SK Slavia Praha and the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR) joined together today to celebrate legendary forward Josef Bican on what would have been his 100th birthday.
Born in Vienna on 25 September 1913, he was part of the SK Rapid Wien 'Wunderteam', finishing as the Austrian league's top scorer in 1934. He also registered 14 goals in 19 appearances for Austria and played at the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy, where his side came fourth. However, he would leave even more of a mark at Slavia Praha, where he scored 395 goals in 217 games between 1937 and 1948, as well as 18 in just 16 outings with Czechoslovakia.
"Pepi was a player with all the qualities of a star," recalled former Slavia team-mate Jan Andrejkovič. "Excellent technique with left or right foot, outstanding headers, perfect positional play, precise passing and most of all he was an incredible goalscorer. Any forward would dream of winning as many top scorer titles as him." Bican lifted five national championships with Slavia and was the league's top scorer ten times.
It has been calculated that during his club career, which ended when he was well into his 40s, Bican netted over 800 goals. He later coached Slavia, FC Slovan Liberec, FC Zbrojvka Brno and FC Hradec Králové among others. He died in Prague in December 2001 aged 88.
The celebrations for his centenary coincide with Bican being admitted into the Czech football hall of fame. He will be remembered once more at Saturday's Prague derby between Slavia and AC Sparta Praha.
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