Obituary

Former Hungary Federation president Szepesi passes away

(FIFA.com)
Former President of the Hungarian Football Federation and legendary sports journalist Gyorgy Szepesi
© FIFA.com

Hungarian football is mourning the loss of iconic commentator and former Hungarian Football Federation president Gyorgy Szepesi, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 95.

A life-time servant to the sport, who reported on his first game in 1945, Szepesi would go on to serve on the FIFA Executive Committee from 1982 to 1994, as well as heading his national federation for eight years until 1986. He was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 2012 for his services to the game.

He became a much-loved figure in Hungary over a record-breaking broadcasting career, with his 60 years at the microphone – capped off in 2005 – and coverage of 14 FIFA World Cups for radio being achievements that are unparalleled across the globe.

Such was his treasured position with fans, as he reported on Hungary’s exploits on the pitch around the globe, he was dubbed the ‘Golden Team’s twelfth player’ following their 6-3 win over England in 1963 – a match known at the time as the ‘Match of the Century’.

"It was thanks to this that I was able to be on this incredible journey, because if there was a twelfth player, it would surely have been head coach Gusztav Sebes and everyone who really contributed to the successes,” he said in response. “I think this title is a little exaggerated, but if they've already given it - and I'm not being disingenuous here - I respectfully give my thanks."

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