Former Partizan forward Bobek passes away

Prolific forward Stjepan Bobek, who starred for both FK Partizan and the Yugoslavia national team after the Second World War, has died in Belgrade at the age of 86.

Stjepan Bobek
Stjepan Bobek ©FSS

Former FK Partizan and Yugoslavia striker Stjepan Bobek has died at the age of 86 in Belgrade.

The prolific forward was, along with FK Crvena Zvezda midfielder Rajko Mitić, one of the leading figures in Yugoslavian football after the Second World War and is especially fondly remembered by fans of Partizan. Bobek joined the Belgrade giants in 1945 and spent the next 14 years there, racking up a club record 425 goals in 466 matches while picking up two league titles and four Yugoslav Cups. During Partizan's 50-year celebrations in 1995, Bobek was elected the greatest player in the club's history.

On the international stage, he fired 38 strikes in 63 outings for Yugoslavia, still the record tally for a player representing either Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro or Serbia. He also represented his country at the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cups, while clinching silver at the Olympics in both 1948 and 1952.

After hanging up his boots, Bobek worked extensively as a coach for the likes of Legia Warszawa, Panathinaikos FC – where he won two Greek titles and a Greek Cup – Olympiacos FC and Partizan, leading his old side to three successive championship crowns.