Hungary mourning Pál Várhidi

Pál Várhidi, a member of the Magical Magyars squad which famously beat England 6-3 in 1953, and a successful coach with Újpest Dózsa, has died at the age of 84.

Pál Várhidi coached Újpest Dózsa to domestic honours in the 1970s
Pál Várhidi coached Újpest Dózsa to domestic honours in the 1970s ©MLSZ

Pál Várhidi, the former Hungarian international who was part of the national-team squad which travelled to England for the famous 'Match of the Century' at Wembley in 1953, has passed away at the age of 84.

Várhidi was born on 6 November 1931 in the Ujpest district of Budapest. He was in the youth ranks at Törekvés and Wolfner Bőrgyár before, in 1949, moving to boyhood favourites Újpest.

He made his top-flight debut in autumn 1950 on the left side of defence, and was eventually called up to the all-conquering Hungary squad – the Magical Magyars.

Várhidi was in the squad that famously beat England 6-3 at Wembley in November 1953 and then finished FIFA World Cup runners-up the following year, although he did not make his international debut until autumn 1954.

Ferenc Puskás (L) leads Hungary out at Wembley
Ferenc Puskás (L) leads Hungary out at Wembley©Popperfoto/Getty Images

As a player, 1960 was Várhidi's most successful year; he won the Hungarian league championship with Újpest, and was captain of the Hungary Olympic football squad which won the bronze medal in Rome.

A successful coaching career followed at home and abroad, in particular with Újpest, where between 1974 and 1980 he won four league titles and one Hungarian Cup. The side reached the European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals shortly after he took charge.

In 1998, he became part of the only father-and-son duo to have each won the Hungarian league title as coaches when his son Péter led Újpest to the championship.