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Budapest Honvéd FC


Full name
Budapest Honvéd
Football Club
Founded
1909
Ground Bozsik Stadion,
Budapest
Capacity 13,500
Chairman George Hemingway
Manager Attila Supka

Budapest Honvéd FC is a Hungarian sports club from Budapest best known for its football team. Originally formed as Kispest AC, they became Kispest FC in 1926 before reverting to their original name in 1944. The team enjoyed a golden age during the 1950s when it was renamed Budapest Honvéd SE and became the Hungarian Army team. The club’s top players from this era, Ferenc Puskás, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik and Zoltán Czibor, formed the nucleus of the legendary Hungarian team known as the Mighty Magyars and helped the club win the Hungarian League four times during the 1950s. During the 1980s and early 1990s the club enjoyed another successful period, winning a further eight Hungarian League titles. They also won league and cup doubles in 1985 and 1989. In 1991 the club was renamed Kispest Honvéd FC and adopted it’s current name in 2003.

History

Kispest AC


The club was founded on August 10, 1908 as Kispest Athletic Club by Dr. Balint Varga, a teacher. However the club’s earliest members could not agree on a club constitution until August 3, 1909 and this is generally recognised as the club’s foundation date. When the club was originally formed, Kispest was still a village, distinct from the city of Budapest. During the first three decades of it’s existence, the club was little more than a village team and enjoyed only moderate success, winning a single Hungarian Cup in 1926. During the 1930s the team included Rezső Rozgonyi and Rezső Somlai who both represented Hungary at the 1934 World Cup and Ferenc Puskás I, the father of Ferenc Puskás, and later a coach at the club during the 1940s.

Budapest Honvéd SE

In 1943 both Ferenc Puskás and József Bozsik made their debut for Kispest FC and between 1947 and 1948 the club was coached by the legendary Hungarian coach Béla Guttman. However the club’s golden age really began in 1949 when it was taken over by the Hungarian Ministry of Defence and it became the Hungarian Army team. The man behind the take over was Gusztáv Sebes, the coach of the national team. Sebes was inspired by the Austrian Wunderteam and the Italy team that won two World Cups in the 1930s. Both teams were predominantly drawn from one or at most two clubs and Sebes wanted a similar system in Hungary.

In January 1949 when Hungary became a communist state, the resulting nationalisation of football clubs gave Sebes the opportunity. The two biggest Hungarian clubs at the time were Ferencváros TC and MTK Hungária FC. However while the secret police, the ÁVH took over MTK, Ferencváros was considered unsuitable because of it’s right-wing and nationalist traditions. Sebes turned instead to Kispest AC. The Kispest name was dropped as the village was absorbed into District XIX of Budapest and the club was renamed Budapest Honvéd SE. The name derives from Honvédség, the name of the Hungarian Army, and the word honvéd, which literally means defender of the homeland is also used to refer to an army private.

The Mighty Magyars

The Kispest AC team already included Ferenc Puskás and József Bozsik but army conscription now enabled Honvéd to recruit Sándor Kocsis, Zoltán Czibor and László Budai from Ferencváros, Gyula Lóránt from Vasas SC and the goalkeeper Gyula Grosics. Sebes was effectively able to use Honvéd as a training camp for the national team. During the early 1950s these Honvéd players formed the backbone of the legendary Mighty Magyars, helping Hungary become Olympic Champions in 1952, Central European Champions in 1953, defeat England twice and reach the 1954 World Cup final.

European Cup

Honvéd itself also benefited, winning the Hungarian League in 1949-50, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1955. The club’s reputation spread beyond Hungary and on December 13, 1954 they played Wolves, the reigning English League champions, in a prestige friendly. Honvéd were leading 2-0 at half-time, but eventually lost 3-2. It was games like this that led to establishment of the European Cup in 1955.

In 1956 Honvéd qualified for the second European Cup competition and in the first round they were drawn against Atlético Bilbao. Honvéd lost the away leg 2-3, but before the home leg could be played, the Hungarian Revolution had collapsed back in Budapest and the Soviet Union had invaded. The players decided against going back to Hungary and arranged for the return game with Atlético to be played at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. However early in the game the Honvéd goalkeeper was injured and, with no substitutes permitted, Zoltán Czibor had to go into goal. Despite drawing 3-3 they went out 6-5 on aggregate.

Honvéd World Tour

Elimination from the European Cup left Honvéd in limbo. The players, declining to return to Hungary, summoned their families from Budapest and, despite opposition from FIFA and the now Soviet-controlled Hungarian Football Federation, Béla Guttmann organised a fundraising tour of Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Among the most notable matches were a 5-5 draw with a Madrid XI and a 4-3 win over CF Barcelona. Honvéd declined a Mexican offer of political asylum and an invitation to join their national league and instead accepted an offer to play in a tournament in Brazil with CR Flamengo and Botafogo. By now FIFA had declared the team illegal and banned them from using the Honvéd name. After returning to Europe, the players parted ways. Some, including József Bozsik, László Budai, Gyula Lóránt and Gyula Grosics, returned to Hungary while others, including Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis and Ferenc Puskás, found new clubs in Western Europe. Czibor and Kocsis eventually signed for FC Barcelona while Puskás joined Real Madrid.

The Post-Revolution era

The defection of Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis and Ferenc Puskás severely weakened Honvéd and in 1957 they only avoided relegation after the Hungarian Football Federation decide to expand the first division. Despite the emergence of Lajos Tichy and Lajos Kocsis, the post-Revolution era was not kind to Honvéd. There only successes came in the Mitropa Cup in 1959, when they beat MTK Hungária FC in the final 6-5 on aggregate, and in 1964 when they won the Hungarian Cup.

The Second Golden Age

In 1980 with Lajos Tichy as coach and a squad that included Imre Garaba, Honvéd won their first Hungarian League title in twenty five years. During the 1980s and early 1990s players such as Kálmán Kovács, Lajos Détári, János Mátyus, Béla Illés, Gábor Halmai and István Vincze helped Honvéd win another seven titles. They also won league and cup doubles in 1985 and 1989 and won the Hungarian Cup and in 1996.

Kispest Honvéd FC

In 1991 the club revived the Kispest name and became Kispest Honvéd FC. However the name change marked the beginning of a decline in the club’s fortunes. In 2003 they were relegated, but they returned to the first division the following season. However, Kispest Honvéd Sports Circle Ltd, the company that owned the club, owed millions of Hungarian forints in taxes and in October 2004 went into liquidation. The company practiced a policy that treated it’s players as self-employed contractors rather than employees and as result, significantly reduced the club’s tax burden. However the tax authorities objected and were supported by the courts, leaving the club in arrears with no means of paying them. Rival directors argued over who owed how much tax and eventually the Hungarian League intervened. As a result a new club, Budapest Honvéd FC, was formed and allowed to take the place of Kispest Honvéd FC in the first division on the condition that the tax debt was paid off.

Honours

* Hungarian League: 13
o 1949-50, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991 1993
* Hungarian Cup: 5
o 1926, 1964, 1985, 1989, 1996
* Mitropa Cup: 1
o 1959
* Trofeo Ciudad de Vigo: 1
o 1974
 

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Discussion Starter #2
With our newest member here we have no option but to start this thread :)
I took the above from Wikipedia so if any of it is wrong or needs to be changed just let me know.
 

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Nice new venue. Nice to see Honvéd coming back to the main line of Hungarian football. A long way down yet, but really good to see.
To our local Honvéd "expert" :) : what about summer transfer investments? Fishing in Hungary, scouting abroad? Bringing Hungrians back from abroad?
 

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Carbajal said:
Nice new venue. Nice to see Honvéd coming back to the main line of Hungarian football. A long way down yet, but really good to see.
Yes it's great. I went to the stadium before the renovation with Máté when I visited Budapest last September. It really was in bad condition and urgently needed it. I'll post some pics and a maybe a video later.
 

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I saw the pictures of the new stadium last time i was in Hungary, i actually think it looks quite neat. They didwell to get the rennovations.

Having said that, all those seats will always be empty anyways, Honved neverget any good attendance.
 

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MagyarStuttgart said:
I saw the pictures of the new stadium last time i was in Hungary, i actually think it looks quite neat. They didwell to get the rennovations.

Having said that, all those seats will always be empty anyways, Honved neverget any good attendance.
Their attendances have improved. Not only that but different types of fans are returning to the game. More families are attending and there are far less anti-semitic/racist chanting. Last night on Sport 1 they said there isn't any anymore but I find that hard to believe. However I don't go to games so don't take my word for it.. it's just my estimation. They say there are even signs at the stadium asking people not to swear. Hemingway group deserve some recognition for what they have achieved.
 

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Bentex:

Thank you for starting this thread. For obvious reasons, we are extremely enthusiastic and optimistic about the success of the club.

Some of the photos you have shown show the new B. Stadium in remodeling phase. It is even more stunning in person. Those of you in Budapest MUST come to visit. It is our remarkable FANS that make our club the success that it is. We do plan to eventually fill those seats. All of them. You'll see our attendance nowadays ranges from 2500-5500. A far cry from the fall number. And, as so many of you have pointed out, we welcome all fans, from the young to the old, male and female, as long as they are respectful.

As for changes to the club, there will be some, as appropriate, given the needs of our coach and the team composition. The season needs to play itself out, but we are not sitting still. More than that I can't say right now.

G.Hemingway
 

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Thanks for your reply.
I'll hope you'll take time to share more information and your thoughts in the future :thumbsup:
 

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Indeed,

There are three Hemingway's involved in the business, each with different specialties and areas. With regards to Bp. Honved, we speak on a daily basis. Obviously, with his proximity to Budapest, Mr. Hemingway Sr. is the face you know. I'm in New York Office. Alex in Los Angeles.

While we may each pop in here on this account on occasion (for example, all three of us have read this thread) - I'll be here more often, as I personally enjoy reading the forums.

Best, George II
 

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I was very skeptical when I first heard of the take over. But Mr. Hemingway Sr. won me around with his interview on Duna TV's Sportarena.

I'm am very curious on how far things will go with BP Honvéd.
I hear a club shop has been reopened? Hungarian football clubs are notorious for not marketing their 'product'. We've had members here complaining all the time they can't buy club merchandise. Is that something you're looking into?
 

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Mr. George Hemingway II, I am delighted that your prestigous American investment firm has decided to acquire BP Honved and do a renovation of the stadia, and am proud for many reasons. First off, I was born in Budapest, haved lived in the states since the age of seven and have great respect for your short and long business vision after viewing your portfolio and interests in Hungary.

In America, Yankee Stadium and the consistent winning success they have had over the years is identified with the saying "the house that Babe Ruth built" .. the same thing could be said of BP Honved as the "house that Ferenc Puskas built" and your acquistion of this football club is a very fine investment. It is the only club I would consider supporting or visiting their live games.

What a lot of people are hoping on this lobby Mr. Hemingway not just for your BP Honved's investment's sake but a new flowering of football in this nation is that the blue chips for hosting Euro 2012 will take to Croatia-Hungary. Any lobbying the Hemingway Group can do at the UEFA level will be greatly appreciated George.
 

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Édesanyám, kedves anyám
Csak az a kérésem
Piros fehér mezt, piros fehér mezt
Csináltasson nékem

Piros fehér sej-haj,
Négy nagy betűt rája, hogy
BHSE, BHSE!

:D
 

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Mate:

Just to answer your question from another forum:

"That's great I used to be a Honvéd-fan in the late 80's maybe it's time to take my son to his first match in his life We live just a stonethrow away from Bozsik Stadion.

How does it feel at the same time owning a once so famous club, MU of the 50's, but also a club from today's Hungarian reality?
"

Well, obviously we are very proud to be a part of such a storied club. The challenges in Hungarian football affect every single club. For this reason, we support the success of every club, from Fradi to Debrecen, as in only this way can Hungarian football recover.

As for your son, you must take him again! We actually have a "family section" just for that! Plus, we just held a joint football camp with Duracell (www.duracell.hu) and on our website we are holding a contest to name our mascot, the lion!

Best, GH
 
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