Puskás International Football Foundation Award recipients revealed
22 Oct. 2019.
The Puskás International Football Foundation established by Ferenc Puskás' widow has announced this year's beneficiaries of its two annual awards, namely legendary sports reporter László Török and the widow of Mihály Lantos, the left-sided defender of Hungary's Golden Team in the halcyon days of the 1950s.
For the fifth time, the Puskás International Football Foundation has held its annual awards ceremony and as has been the case every year, it was hosted at the Groupama Arena. The participants were greeted by György Szöllősi, the head of the board of trustees of the foundation, president of the Hungarian Sports Journalists' Association (MSÚSZ), and editor-in-chief of Nemzeti Sport media group. Subsequently, János S. Tóth, Feleki Prize-winning sports journalist, editor of Nemzeti Sport and member of the board of MSÚSZ, praised the work of László Török, the legendary radio reporter and now György Szepesi memorial prize-winner.
Tóth pointed out that 68-year-old Török had dedicated his entire life to the service of sport. László Török first appeared on the radio in an external capacity in 1971, then became a fully-fledged radio reporter in 1982, becoming a member of the 'Dream Team' of Hungarian Radio's sports editorial team in the 1980s and 1990s. He primarily commentated on hockey, water polo and swimming, reporting on his first Summer Olympics at the age of 38 and immediately reached the peak of his career in Seoul in 1988 where four Hungarian swimming gold medals were won, including Krisztina Egerszegi's. Hers was the race during which Török uttered his legendary phrase: "There's nothing like this, nothing like this... but now there is!", as Egerszegi touched in to win the 200m women's backstroke final.
"It's hard to find the words, because Szepesi was not only my role model, but my second father," Török said, before then reading out a letter he'd received from the award's eponym 51 years ago, when Török had written to him saying he wanted to be a radio reporter.
László Török received the award from the first winner of the award, the legendary radio reporter and honorary president of MSÚSZ, Zoltán Novotny, and from György Szöllősi, for his exemplary, high-quality and passionate radio sports broadcasting and excellence as a role model.
Mihály Lantos, MTK Budapest's Olympic champion and World Cup finalist, was venerated by Tamás Deutsch, MTK president. He also mentioned that the former national-team footballer and successful coach lived happily with his wife Barbara for almost a quarter of a century. Deutsch pointed out that Mihály Lantos would be 91 years old on 29th September and that MTK had named its sports centre in Zugló after him, so his legendary name is not unknown to young sportspeople who train there every day. The Emil Östereicher Award was presented to Lantos' widow Mária Lantos neé Beretvás by Robert Bélteky, curatorium member of the Puskás International Football Foundation, and was honored for his mother's well-being.
"I am very touched by this as I didn't expect it", said Mrs Lantos, before adding that Mihály Lantos has two great grandsons whom she hopes will carry her husband's legacy onto the pitch after her only granddaughter, Kinga Ködmön became the only descendant of any Golden Team member to have become a top-flight footballer with Femina in the Hungarian women's top tier.
According to the foundation's founder Mrs Ferenc Puskás, both award recipients will also receive financial support of one million forints each, a gift kindly supplied by Robert Bélteky.