Thursday, 25 February 2010

Kazimierz Deyna

There's a new sport website worth checking out - Sporting Intelligence - which features a fascinating article by John Roberts, a veteran northwest football journalist, on the story behind the purchase of Kazimierz Deyna in 1978:

Deyna, a lieutenant in the Polish army, played for the army club Legia Warsaw, for whom he had scored almost 200 goals in nearly 500 games, so City had to enter into a series of complex negotiations with the Polish FA, the Polish government and the Polish army. There was no problem with the translations, however, because City already had one Pole at the club: George Bergier was the head of match-day catering.

The Polish army had to agree to demobilise Deyna, and the Polish FA delayed transferring his registration forms until a train arrived bearing photocopying machines and medical instruments, which were part of the “transfer fee”. The deal cost City around £100,000, comprising machinery, tools and some cash in US dollars, which the Poles used to send their athletes abroad to prepare for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Do read the whole thing, it illuminates a great episode in MCFC history. I must admit to knowing almost nothing about Deyna before I read this - although I had seen him in Escape to Victory. All of these events took place ten years before I was born. But the central theme of the story: City shelling out big money for a talented foreign star who couldn't quite make it at City is certainly one I'm familiar with.


ruffers said...

A classy, classy player.

Adrian said...

He was class personified,I can`t remeber the game but he scored 10/10 in every sunday paper