Video: on the trail of the darkest episode in Hungarian football history

The undoubtedly darkest episode in Hungarian football history took place in the building complex between Main Street and Gyorskocsi Street. This is where Sándor Szűcs, capped 19 times for Hungary and Budapest Dózsa's excellent defender, was executed on June 4, 1951. Although the original certificate lists his place of death at 70-78 Main Street, according to historical sources and the press representative of the prison, the hanging occurred in a prison wing courtyard at Gyorskocsi Street.

Sándor Szűcs (left) and János Kádár (in hat)


The tragic story has been made more or less known to the public by the work of historians, journalists or even filmmakers since the regime change. The married footballer and his secret lover, singer Erzsébet Kovács were trapped. The couple who dreamed of Western freedom was tricked into attempting to defect by the State Protection Authority (ÁVH – Hungary's secret police during the Communist era). Then, just 60 kilometers from the border, they were arrested in Nagytilaj. Finally, under a law that wasn't even published, Sándor Szűcs was sentenced to death as an employee of the Ministry of Interior trying to defect with his service weapon. The singer, who met the footballer the summer before in unusual circumstances, was sentenced to four years in prison.

The details of the story are relived with the help of Zsolt Zsengellér, fellow Újpest player Gyula Zsengellér's son, and of the filmmaker Béla Szobolits, who has made a documentary on the subject in a new episode of the Budapest Football Tales.

English subtitles available! 

Previous episodes of the series

• Episode 14: Sándor Petőfi, Hungarian poet and revolutionary, joined the forces where MLSZ was born later
• Episode 13 – It was possible to learn journalism at Népsport - time traveling in the history of Népsport
• Episode 12 – The capital's first football leader ended his own life
• Episode 11 – The Buda apartment to where half of NB I from Albert to Mészöly went out for spritzer
• Episode 10 – Could've the father of Gusztáv Sebes be Csoszogi, the old shoemaker's inspirer?
• Episode 9 - In the wake of an astonishing plan, a national stadium carved into Arany-hegy
• Episode 8 – The gym's lightbulbs regretted the first Hungarian football practice
• Episode 7 - The drunken day on joy when tens of thousands forgot to go to work and school
• Episode 6 – Adam and Eve's paradise match on top of Gellért Jill
• Episode 5 – District IX, Springer dynasty – green-white blood in veins
• Episode 4 – We've discovered the place where Hungarian football was born
• Episode 3 – Glasses and a watch found in pocket helped to identify the coach martyrs
• Episode 2 – London's smog was magically simulated in front of Puskás team on Nagyrét by a film industry fog machine
• Episode 1 – Where Gyula Krúdi wrote a match report after the world war

Translated by Vanda Orosz

2022.09.25 18:26:35

English nemzetisport.hu

„It's a final against Italy, a 50-50 match, and it's great to say that.”

2022.09.24 18:06:42

English nemzetisport.hu

„Ádám Szalai is a player who, unfortunately, was and still is much more highly respected abroad than in Hungary.”

2022.09.23 18:29:39

English nemzetisport.hu

We had a talk with the former national team head coach in his home in Berlin.

2022.09.22 23:52:55

English nemzetisport.hu

Talking about the American life he loves, his son's goals, the increased interest, and hopes of a first-place finish.

2022.09.21 12:47:30

English nemzetisport.hu

The captain said an emotional farewell, thanking the Hungarian fans who are "unique in the world."