A TRIBUTE TO PUSKÁS IN LIVERPOOL
23 Jan. 2019.
The hat-trick Hungary's world star Ferenc Puskás scored in a friendly match and more to the point, his great kindness while he was there, are now commemorated on a memorial plaque in South Liverpool, England.
"The goal was there, where the platforms start and Puskás was able to shoot from here where the café is now", enthusiastically explained one a fan who was one of the many thousands of people here to see the Real Madrid star's display half a century ago on the Holly Park pitch of suburban club South Liverpool FC. and also came to Tuesday's ceremony. The event was covered from the venue by Nemzeti Sport Online.
The former football pitch was replaced twelve years ago by a busy new railway station and shops, a development which at least meant that many passers-by were able to see a lot of the ceremony held to celebrate the unveiling of a circular plaque which also commemorates the participation in the match of Liverpool FC legend Billy Liddell and is placed between a Costa Café and an ATM. Those making speeches included Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool, and his Budapest counterpart István Tarlós.
The idea for and organisation of this event was down to the honorary consul of Hungary, Dr András Zsigmond, who was also present at the 1967 match organised by the manager of the local cultural centre, Brian Taylor and held to raise funds for local charitable causes and young people in the area of Graston on May 9, 1967, and which ended with a Billy Liddell XI defeating a Puskás XI 5-3. Taylor was an idealist, a folk artist and football fan who tried to attract stars to his events in order to crat charitable benefits.
Unfortunately, Pelé and then the following year Di Stéfano refused his invitations, but there was one world star who not only responded to the invitation but actually travelled to take his place on the pitch alongside local celebrities. Ferenc Puskás went to Liverpool and even acquiesced to the organisers' subsequent request for free Real Madrid gifts for the locals by, to their joy, ordering and taking receipt of a package of pin badges and pennants in England, all in under one day.