110 YEARS OF KISPEST AC
20 Aug. 2019.
One hundred and ten years ago, on 3rd August 1909, Kispest Atlétikai Club was formed with eight sports featuring, among them football. This club produced Ferenc Puskás and in 1949 was renamed Honvéd, after which it became world-famous thanks to the Magical Magyars who provided the spine of the team.
Already, at the beginning of 1904, an initiative to introduce football had appeared in Kispest. An association called Kispest Sport Club registered a student-based team at the Youth Football Association but no more information on this association seems to be forthcoming.
An enthusiastic teacher called Dr Bálint Varga then founded the Kispest Athletic Club with some associates of his in the Éder Restaurant on August 10th, 1908. In addition to athletics, gymnastics and fencing, football was added to the club's activities after a minor debate. Varga became the president and a Mr István Bede took charge of the fencers while Béla Mayer took responsibity for the football department. However, the club's members refused to accept the basic club statutes, at which Bálint Varga took offence and resigned.
For the first year, the affairs of the association were handled by István Bede, who tended to favour indoor sports. The debate escalated between the two factions and financial difficulties began to plague the club. To alleviate this, a KAC fundraising ball was held on February 1, 1909 but the distribution of its revenue (100 crowns) caused yet more debate. In the spring of 1909, football life began on Soldier's Meadow (the grund between Fő Street and Batthyány Street).
The first unofficial matches were against teams from Erzsébetfalva, Lőrinc, Rákosliget and Rákoscsaba. Two representatives of the club's warring parties, Károly Schmoch and László Szűcs tried to reduce tension and sove conficts,but without much success. By July 1909, KAC was in danger of disintegrating and because of the many internal debates, Vice President Szűcs and Jenő Krausz, head of the football department, left the club.
On August 3rd, 1909, almost a year after the club took its first steps, the Kispest Athletic Club was finally formed at an Executive Board meeting with eight departments (athletics, wrestling, cycling, boxing, tennis, gymnastics, fencing and football). At the General Assembly, the club's former representatives returned to the board but the presidency remained unoccupied.
However, the history of football in Kispest actually goes back a bit further, to the turn of the century. On the grund behind the market square and on the ground of the Lipták factory (where Puskás and Bozsik later grew up), the Sólyom-Bika (Falcon-Bull) and Kakasok (Roosters) open teams would kick a ball around. Those players went on to form Kispest Sport Club, the predecessor of KAC. After several name changes, the club again became known as Kispesti AC between 1944 and 1949.
On December 18, 1949, the club's name changed again, this time to Budapest Honvéd SE. Puskás' response to what it meant at the time was: "I'm not hurting anyone from Kispest when I say that from being a poor relative, we became stars. Although we were often in uniform and discipline was strict at the barracks, we felt a little bit like princes in disguise at a camp".
In 1991, in accordance with the new requirements of the new system, the football team separated from the parent sports club and was renamed Kispest-Honvéd FC - to the delight of fans.
In 1996, at a low point in the history of the team, the club added 'TIG' at the end of its name in exchange for a bus, and between August and November 1996, Kispest-Honved TIG FC was the official name. In 2003, there were frequent clashes at boardroom level over the future of Kispest-Honvéd FC and in the end, the club could only continue under a new name, Budapest Honvéd FC, which is technically the 'inheritor' of KHFC.
As of summer 2006, Honvéd was owned by the Hemingway Group, which remained in place for 13 years until the summer of 2019 when it sold the club to Reditus Equity Zrt.
(Sources: Wikipedia and www.magyarfutball.hu)