Lajos Kocsis

Lajos Kocsis (18.06.1947, Szeged - 09.10.2000, Budapest)

1959-61 Móravárosi Kinizsi
1961-64 Szegedi VSE
1965-66 Salgótarjáni Bányász
1967-77 Bp. Honvéd
1977-82 Gyulai SE

Lajos Kocsis was known as a very skilful, technically perfect player who created many scoring opportunities for his team mates. He was a great dribbler and could have achieved even more with the talent he had. He played for Móravárosi Kinizsi, Szegedi VSE and Salgótarjáni Bányász before joining Honvéd. It was József Bozsik who brought him to Kispest in 1967. He played his first league game in Honvéd against Komló (2-0 defeat). He became the favourite of the fans - thousands showed up in the stadium to admire his skills. His 40-meter passes arrived precisely; defenders had no idea what he would do with the ball, while the goalkeepers were scared from his free kicks. His most unforgettable free kick was against Scottish Aberdeen. As usual, "Kicsi" (nickname meaning "small") curved the ball in the upper right corner. However, the referee was still adjusting the wall and disallowed the goal. The crowed was furious and the Scots applauded the ref. Everyone was angry but Kocsis who placed the ball back and curved it once again in the same corner. The stadium exploded again, now in joy. The Scottish goalkeeper could hardly believe his eyes.

It happens rarely with a Hungarian footballer, but Lajos Kocsis was loved by everyone from Újpest to Pestlőrinc. His dribbles and pinpoint passes were admired by all the fans.
He was often criticized for disappearing for minutes during the game, but he needed only a moment to decide a match.

He collected 33 caps and scored 7 goals for the national team. He won the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games, and was runner-up in Munich, 1972.

He was a genius "wide boy". Honvéd played a second leg against Lazio in Rome on 10 December 1969. It was raining - the pitch was wet and slippery. Kocsis was dribbling at the sideline when two Italians attacked him. Kocsis made a fine dribble and the two defenders slid off the field. Kocsis stopped for a moment, pulled his shirt out of his shorts, wiped his face and only then did he pass the ball. The Italian crowd erupted in applause.

In 1972, he made a circus of the Romanian defence in Bucharest during a Euro qualifier. He dribbled inside the area after a cross until three defenders fell on the ground, then he scored with a lot of style.

He scored 112 goals in 308 first division games. Lajos Tichy once said: "When Kicsi's got the ball, all ten players have to move because you never know to whom he would give it. Maybe to the goalkeeper..."

Kocsis could not win a gold medal with Honvéd, though he was close to it. He was runner-up three times ('69, '72, '75), and third in '70. He was also Cup finalist in '68, '69, '73, and Central European Cup finalist in '75. By the end of the Seventies, the management abandoned him.

In 1977, he played a beautiful game against Salgótarján (6-0). It was his last ever match in Honvéd. Within a couple of weeks, he became a persona non grata in Kispest. He played five more years in Gyula's third division squad for much of the pleasure of the local fans. His career was ended by the so-called "Toto" (match-fixing) scandal. As a fan, he returned to Kispest, where he always got a warm reception. He died early, at the age of 53.

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