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Shires, 1933: The seeds of Hungarian football
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-11-09 01:05:38
Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
ENGLAND, AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, ROBERTSON, HOGAN...
Shires Edward officiated the first Hungarian-Austrian football match — according to the MLSZ jubilee yearbook. Shires Edward was not hard to find, as he was still a resident of Budapest. He was a typewriter dealer. He lived in Budapest for 29 years. Before that he lived in Vienna for 10 years. He was there at the birth of Viennese football and, after moving to Budapest, maintained close links with the revival and development of Hungarian football.
He spoke interesting topics, which was mainly English, highlighted the interesting relationship and interdependence between Hungarian and Austrian football over four decades and the fact that one could not have reached the heights both reached or achieved without the other. The first thing that emerged from the conversation was that the MLSZ jubilee yearbook was wrong, Shires was not a referee at the first game in Hungary-Austria, but a player. The match was officiated by Lowe.
He was ab Englishman, whose career was of particular interest because he came into contact with football at many points.
— Edward Shires | 15/03/1933 —
I lived in Manchester until I was 17. I played football for amateur teams. I also had a serious occupation: I was a clerk in the now defunct Oliver typewriter factory. I left Manchester in 1894, aged 17, and settled in Vienna.
In Vienna, I quickly made friends with fellow English sportsmen. Cricket and tennis were our pastimes at first. One day Gandon, who later also came to Budapest and was a good tennis player, was competing in Prague (he won the first Czech tennis championship) and brought the news that Prague had a lively football scene (Prague was ten years ahead of Vienna in this respect due to German influences).
VIENNESE FOOTBALL IS BORN
— "You, Shires," said Gandon, "you're a footballer, take a look around the English in Vienna and pick out a team for Prague."
I had my football kit in Vienna, I liked the idea, so we put it in the paper that any Englishman interested in football should apply to the First Vienna Cricket and Football Club. The response was a lot of applications and - a protest from Hohe Warta. We were told that the First Vienna Football Club had already been formed, so we would choose another name for ourselves. So we became the Vienna Cricket and Football Club, and so the Cricketters were born...
We immediately played our first match at Hohe Warte against First Vienna and in October 1894 the first football match took place in Vienna. We won 4:0. As always. In Vienna, only the goalkeeper was really good. In those days, these fights were called Cricketer gegen Molisch.
THE FIRST AUSTRIA-CZECH MATCH
Gandon, who was the soul of the Cricketter, tied up our team in Prague. The match was played in December 1894. The opponent was the Regatta. It later became DFC. The Prague team, already advanced in football, looked on in disbelief when they lost 2-1 to us. It is true that they later returned the defeat in Vienna, but for this match they even brought two loan players from Berlin. The main thing was that there was a link between the two cities, which ensured further progress.
BUDAPEST IS ALSO IN THE MOOD
Once a deputation arrived from Budapest. Once led by. I was invited to Budapest. It was in 1897. It was a big trip. About 30 of us set off and stood up against the BTC at Millenáris. I think we won 2-0.
In Vienna, clubs were formed: FC 98, then WAC, so the need to form an association arose. We wanted to play international matches and we did. Interesting that it was in the Austrian national team! At that time there were 7 or 8 Englishmen playing: Nicholson, Redfern, Foy, the two Lowe's and myself. I played the longest, I was captain of the Austrian national team in 1902.
LINK BETWEEN BUDAPEST AND ENGLAND
After ten years in Vienna, my company needed someone who could do business in the difficult Hungarian market. I did. I've been here ever since, only spending the two years after the war at home. I stopped playing in Budapest because my health had deteriorated. I was busy with the organisation of the MTK team.
I brought people to Budapest, my employees were the English players of MTK: Lane, Owen. I brought Robertson to coach MTK in 1911. I am most proud of that, because I can say that Robertson did most of the work in Hungary in developing football.
ROBERTSON IS STILL PROUD OF HIS PUPILS TODAY
The Hungarians learned more from Robertson in two years than they would have learned from anyone else in ten. But it is not only the Hungarians who are grateful to him, but also the class. As someone who has been able to observe the football of two neighbouring countries since their inception, I can safely say that the Austrians and Hungarians taught them the true game of football and that without the Hungarians they would not have achieved their present greatness. Robertson, incidentally, made the same point when he visited Rapid Scotland, where Robertson is coach. Robertson told the Austrians:
— I'm very proud of the way the Austrians are playing because I feel like I have a part in it.
Robertson has not worked in Austria and so is obviously proud of the conclusion he has applied to Austrian football through the Hungarians.
In the end, there is no denying that the Austrian school of today has developed from the seeds sown by Schaffer, but especially by the Konráds.
Robertson arrived on a Sunday and immediately wanted to see a match. I took him to the Millenáris where the youth team was playing. Robertson watched the game for a quarter of an hour, then pointed to one of the boys:
— See, I'm going to make a player out of him!
The boy was Kálmán Konrád, a member of the great MTK forward line, who later became the master of Vienna. Robertson had such an eye, but he also knew his job. He had more in his little finger than a hundred others. Apart from Konrád, Klament, Winkler, Tauszig, Knapp, Feri Nyul and a lot of other footballers proved their worth by making the national team under Robertson's hand.
HOW DID HOGAN END UP IN PEST?
Too bad Robertson was not a teetotaler! Otherwise he might still be here. But after Robertson — with a break — came Hogan.
In 1914, when war broke out, Hogan was interned in Vienna, where he had been working as an Olympic coach. He wrote to me from captivity to help him. At my request, the MTK leaders, headed by President Brüll, acted on my behalf, and Hogan was released and became an MTK instructor. Throughout the war he was free to teach his favourite sport in the Hungarian capital.
The Austrians, as I saw it, were better than the Hungarians until about 1912. Then, with the emergence of the great Ferencváros, the Hungarians gained the upper hand over their neighbours, and this superiority was later secured by the great MTK team.
For a long time, MTK were constantly in second place behind FTC, but through the work of Robertson and the example of English centre-forward Lane, the MTK style was established and MTK became an increasingly difficult opponent for FTC. After Robertson, Lane had to leave, but the style stayed and in 1913-14 they finally won a championship for the blue and white colours, and for ten years after that these colours were the flagship of Hungarian football.
MTK's championship was secured by the MTK-FTC match in February 1914, when the hard-working blue and white team won 4-1. The victory was also won by an English player, Owen. Owen was also my employee. He's an older boy now, he didn't take football very seriously. We kept him on his toes until he had two weeks of hard work to prepare for this game. And he scored the first three goals.
HUNGARIAN FANS IN AUSTRIA, ITALY...
The famous MTK style was born from the teaching of Englishmen, and later, through Schaffer, Konrád, Guttmann and others, it had such a fertile influence on Austrian football, and then, through the many Hungarian travellers, on Italian football. The Hungarians can be proud that they have been the most receptive admirers and the most effective missionaries of this beautiful English game on the whole continent.
Hungarian football is now, under the blows of fate, weakened. but all blows could easily be undone were it not for the absence of the young masters who have taught it. A new generation of footballers could easily have been raised on the example of the Schaffers and the Orths, but now we are sorely lacking these true classic examples.
IF THE SCHAFFERS COULD HAVE GONE TO ENGLAND...
But the talent is still alive and well in Hungarian children, and I see a couple of old-fashioned Hungarian footballers emerging again. For now, we envy the success of the Austrians in England, but the time is not far off when we too will be able to achieve similar success, as the more fortunate Austrians are not far ahead of us.
If the Hungarian team had been allowed to go to England in 1920 (as was out of the question at the time), with Schaffer, Konrád, Schlosser, Orth, Braun, then England and Scotland would have been watching.
But if the Hungarian managers have their eyes on the education of youngsters, they will have the heart to fill the old prima donnas' places with youngsters, just as Robertson, for example, dumped the great Sebestyén from the MTK team in favour of the hard-working and talented Engelbert Klement, then my country will also be able to look at the Schaffers' and Orths' successors, the Sárosis' game, for it is indeed a wonder to see so far from England, on Hungarian soil, what a beautiful and original flower has sprung from the seed we English have sown.
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