All members of the Cambridge United family will be saddened to learn of the death on Saturday, June 2, at the age of 83, of legendary 1960s goalscorer Janos ‘Johnny’ Haasz.
For two seasons in the mid-60s, Johnny lit up the Abbey Stadium with levels of skill seldom seen at Southern League level, and some phenomenal goalscoring feats: his 63 goals in 87 appearances in all competitions is unlikely ever to be equalled.
He already had an extraordinary life story behind him when he arrived in Cambridge in August 1963. Born in Budapest on 7 July 1934, he grew into a talented and industrious inside forward who worked his way into the Hungarian first division, playing for the Air Force team Magyar Légierö against legendary figures like Ferenc Puskás and Nándor Hidegkuti
The bloody Hungarian uprising against Soviet rule of 1956 not only interrupted Johnny’s football career, it also caused huge upheaval in his personal life. With other guerrilla fighters battling Soviet forces intent on crushing the revolution, he took on some tanks. Just nine of the 200 fighters survived, and Johnny was forced to go on the run, at one point hiding in an occupied coffin.
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