István Szőke, the legendary 13-time national team midfielder of renowned Hungarian football club Ferencváros TC (FTC), has died at the age of 75.
István Szőke was born on Friday, February 13, 1947, in Budapest, and joined the youth team of Ferencváros (FTC) on his 12th birthday in 1959.
Szőke made his debut for FTC in 1965 at the age of 18. He played his first match in the top Hungarian football league NB I. against Szeged EAC, and a year later secured his place in FTC’s starting line-up. He was a key member of the football club’s team of 1967, which won the national championship that year, while also defending the Hungarian cup a year later.
He was an active contributor to the team that won the silver medal in the 1968 Vásárvárosiak Cup and the team that reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1972.
Under the leadership of Károly Sós, he first played for the Hungarian national team in the spring of 1969 against Czechoslovakia. He scored his first goal on the national team in a friendly game against Yugoslavia in the autumn of 1971. He became a national hero with his goals against Romania in the 1972 European Championship quarter-finals – scoring the first goal in Bucharest in a 2-2 draw, and three days later he scored in the 87th minute to send his team into the last four in Belgium.
According to Blikk, the legendary player died of a stroke.
Featured photo by Lajos Soós/MTI