International Puskás Foundation will serve Hungarian football
20 Dec. 2015.
The Puskás International Football Foundation was established this month on 1st April, the 88th anniversary of Ferenc Puskás' birth. The global aim of the charitable and communally-useful organisation is to nurture the memory of the legendary Hungarian footballer Ferenc Puskás and to embrace, support and launch initiatives in aid of this, for example, the coordination of preparations for a feature film of Ferenc Puskás' life as well as two awards to be presented annually and named after people who were big personalities in the international football world and also linked to the career of the great Hungarian Puskás.
The György Szepesi award will be awarded to a sports journalist and the Emil Östreicher award to a family member of a deceased footballer, each of which will be accompanied by a one-million forint cash prize. The Szepesi and Östreicher awards will both be presented on the 20th August each year, the inaugural presentation of which will take place in 2015, exactly seventy years after Ferenc Puskás scored his first national-team goal in the Hungary-Austria match, a fixture which also represented the first national-team match commentated upon by radio reporter Szepesi. When an 18-year-old Puskás scored the first Hungarian goal in the 12th minute, this became the first national-team goal for Szepesi too.
The legendary journalist who, as MLSZ President in 1981 played a key role in Ferenc Puskás' return from emigration to Hungary after 25 years, said in regard to the award that "there is no bigger honour and joy than to have such an award named after me as one which can be won by reporters of football and which has been donated by the foundation named after the best player and my good friend Öcsi Puskás. Emil Östreicher, meanwhile, is well-known to have been one of my best friends and whom Öcsi also had a lot to thank for, so I am happy that his memory is also being cared for by the foundation."
The organisation's founder is Mrs. Puskás, Ferenc's widow, who appointed the 11-member board of trustees based on their personal connections with Puskás and their dedication to the nurture of his memory, has also appointed six external members who can later be brought in as full members.
The members of the board of trustees:
Robert Belteky (Australia)
Dr. Joe Csabai (Canada)
Thomas Csonka (Switzerland)
Nikos Sakulis (Greece)
Dr. András Szinger
Dr. György Szepesi
György Szöllősi (President)
José Tóth Zele (Spain)
Matthew Watson-Broughton (United Kingdom)
The secretary of the foundation: Gusztáv Mravik; Supervisory board: Szilvia Ignáth (President), Ildikó Bálványosi, Gábor Urbán.
"It is a great delight for me that our foundation has been created together with such people upon whom we can always count and whom from now will also ensure the memory of my husband will not be forgotten", Mrs Puskás said at the time of the signatures of the official documents in the Puskás Pub in Óbuda, which followed a short ceremony at the Ferenc Puskás statue on Bécsi út, at which the foundation members paid their respects. "If we can help some people with roles in Hungarian football such as journalists and the loved ones of footballers, it is a special happiness. Öcsi would also have been happy as he lived this way his whole life; he helped whoever he could".