Zoltán Blum

Zoltán Blum – or as he was nicknamed, Blumi -was born on 3 January in Pápa. His father, Pál Blum, was a merchant; his mother was Ilona Haas.

The child’s love of sport was evident from an early age. His favourite sport with his friends was chasing the ball, which his younger brother Miklós, two years younger than him, soon joined in.

The family moved to Budapest and the brothers started playing football for the Ferencváros Gymnastics Club. First to join the club was Zoltán, who at the age of fourteen was already showing off his youthful talent for the green and white eagles; he was followed by his younger brother Miklós, who for simplicity’s sake was known in sporting circles only as Blum II.

Zoltán Blum played for Ferencváros for seventeen years, during which time he won four league titles and two Hungarian Cups with his team.

The quiet, skinny, medium height boy became a member of the Hungarian national team. In the same year he also played for the team that travelled to the Summer Olympics in Stockholm. He was a player with a tireless will to fight.

Blum’s younger brother Miklós, aged just twenty-one, died a heroic death in World War I.

In October, he married the love of his life, Irén Taub, with whom they stayed together through thick and thin until the end. Their first-born son was named Miklós in memory of his brother, who lost his life too soon.

The immensely talented, hard-working and ambitious young footballer was voted player of the year.

He was part of the national football team that went to the Summer Olympics in Paris; he travelled with the team as a reserve, but did not play.

He was part of the national football team that went to the Summer Olympics in Paris; he travelled with the team as a reserve, but did not play.

Zoltán Blum was immensely proud of being Hungarian. He has made more than 400 appearances for Ferencváros, more than 200 of them in championship league matches, and has scored a total of five goals for his club.

For one year, football lovers could experience him as a player of Budai 33 FC.

Zoltán Blum spent two years at the Somogy SC for two years, then played for Váci Reménység.

After his playing career, he stayed with Ferencváros, where he succeeded his former teammate, the famous István “Potya” Tóth, as head coach for seven years, a record period in itself.

Ferencváros became cup winners’ thanks in part to Blum’s effective work. Also associated with his name is the legendary success of the Ferencváros football team, winning the league with a perfect score in the 1931/32 championship season.

His team won the Hungarian Cup and repeated the Cup victory in 1935.

In his final year, they won the Central European Cup. Blum briefly emerged as the coach of Oradea.

In Romania he coached the ITA Arad team in the 1946/47 season, with whom they won the Romanian championship.

He died at the age of sixty-seven after a long and dignified illness. His ashes were laid to rest in the Jewish cemetery on Kozma Street.

To play football, you need good morals, an unspoilt body and a pure soul.

The above quote is from Zoltán Blum himself. According to his contemporaries and the chronicles of his years as an active player, he not only talked about it, but this personality traits and team play backed up his words. In his private life he was also a man of integrity and loyalty to the end, a devoted husband and father. His critics have said that his shots were inaccurate and he was not one of the top scorers. Blum only kicked with his left foot, which weakened his performance somewhat, but he never brought disgrace to the Hungarian jersey. As a proud member of the national team, he has strived to play his best in every single appearance.

He travelled to the Paris Olympics, but did not play in a match

The football tournament at the 1924 Summer Olympics was by invitation only. The German team did not participate, England stayed away and the Portuguese withdrew, but twenty-two teams turned up to decide who was the best of the best. In Europe at the time, it was hardly thought that football even existed in South America until they met the eventual Olympic champions from Uruguay. The Hungarian national team consisted of eleven players led by Gyula Kiss, namely: János Biri, József Braun, József Eisenhoffer, Károly Fogl, Béla Guttmann, Ferenc Hirzer, Rudolf Jeny, Gyula Mándi, Gábor Obitz, Zoltán Opata and György Orth. Zoltán Blum was one of the 12 reserves. The first match against Poland ended with a 5-0 Hungarian victory. The scorers were Hirzer, Eisenhoffer and Opata, but in the second match the Hungarian team was hit by the “Egyptian plague”, losing to the African team, which also ended their Olympic participation.

After his football career, Blum tried to carry on the legacy of István “Potya” Tóth

István “Potya” Tóth was the first to raise the idea of creating a coaching body and the first to introduce the training diary in Hungary. Many other progressive initiatives have been linked to his name, from warming up to winter preparations. His vision was realised with the first coaching college in the 1920s. During the World War, he hid hundreds of persecuted people in his house on Telepes Street for longer or shorter periods, or provided them with false papers to survive. Many of his colleagues joined the secret society as members or external supporters. Among them were, for example, Géza Kertész, Béla Jánosi, Károly Fogl, Gyula Bodola and Zoltán Blum. Many athletes and artists have been rescued, but Blum’s brother was not one of them. Young Miklós died a heroic death, never to return from compulsory labour service. Tóth, who was captured by the Gestapo, did not reveal the names of his companions despite the torture. He was executed together with Géza Kertész, but Zoltán Blum and his wife survived the horrors of war in a way that bordered on the impossible.

“Button maker” was stated in the occupation column of his death certificate

Blum and his family are buried in the Jewish cemetery on Kozma Street. The Ferencváros Gymnastics Club, which has always played an important role in the life of the club in preserving traditions, cherishing the memories of former legends, along with the Albert foundation, the Fradi Museum and the FTC Friends of Ferencváros renovated the family memorial of Zoltán Blum, which was wreathed in a ceremony in the spring of 2022 in memory of the football legend.

His career as a player in Hungarian championships

Zoltán Blum won a total of four championship titles during his seventeen-year career as a player at Ferencváros Torna Club. In the amateur championship seasons of 1911/12 and 1912/13, FTC repeated the previous season’s championship results twice, winning five consecutive titles. The results of the 1925/26 and 1926/27 championships confirmed the expected trends. Ferencváros again came away with a well-deserved championship trophy at the end of the season.

His career as a player at the Olympic Games

The football tournament at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm was held from 29 June to 5 July. As a result of the draw, the Hungarian team advanced from the first round without a match. In the second round, the fact that nine of the opposing team’s players were professional players made the match against England a foregone conclusion. Apart from their routine and coolness, their undoubted superior knowledge, strength, more harmonious play and scoring ability helped them to win. But at the Stockholm Olympics, the game was also on for a consolation prize. Another interesting thing about the Olympics was that the Hungarian delegation was the first to include members from Ferencváros – sixteen of them, including Zoltán Blum, were outright qualified to compete. In the second round of the consolation round, the Hungarian team won a clear victory against the German national team. And in the consolation final, they overcame the Austrian team led by Hugo Meisl with an elegant game, which was a very valuable victory. The Hungarian team’s efforts earned them fifth place and the silver cup as a consolation prize.

He also tried to lead his former club to victory as a coach

After an active playing career, he worked as a coach for seven busy years. In terms of championship titles, he is only one behind his predecessor, István “Potya” Tóth, who has won three consecutive titles. It was under Blum’s tutelage that the team won their twelfth league gold medal, the so-called perfect score victory of 1931/32, when they won all 22 games, during which they scored 105 goals and conceded only 18. Zoltán Blum led Fradi’s defender’s line, which was formed by György Sárosi, Antal Lyka II and Gyula Lázár, which was as strong as the T-strikers – Táncos, Takács, Turay, Toldi, completed by Vilmos Kohut. The Ferencváros football team also won the 1933/34 championship. Blum’s team won the Hungarian Cup for the fifth time in 1933. “Ferencváros overwhelmed Újpest with Sárosi’s superior centre play” – reported the next day’s edition of Nemzeti Sport about the shockingly one-sided match, which ended with a 11-1 result.

As a coach at the Mitropa Cup

The Mitropa Cup – also known as the Central European Cup – was Europe’s first international football cup. The first edition of the event took place in 1927. The matches were played against the best teams in Central Europe. Ferencváros TC won the cup for the first time in its history in 1928, although Zoltán Blum – along with Mihály Pataky and Imre Schlosser – had already retired from active play. Until World War II, Hungary won the European Cup on four more occasions. In February 1937, on a Hungarian proposal, the name of the event was to be changed to Meisl Cup in memory of the late great Austrian football leader, but this was later dropped. The eleventh edition of the Central European Cup in Blum’s farewell year as coach saw Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Italy represented with three teams, Switzerland with two and Yugoslavia and Romania with one each. Ferencváros won the cup for the second time in a hard-fought battle.

1892.1.3 – 1959.12.25