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Óbuda inaugurated the world’s legendary Golden Team football player Ferenc Puskas, first public statue depicting the full figure.

Dozens-and-dozens of Puskás’s fans came along on Thursday, March, 27. to Óbuda (one of the districts in Budapest) to see and celebrate the erected, one-and-only full-length of body statue of Puskás, the legendary football player of all times. Within the celebrating audience were representatives such as: Ministers, Deputy Lord Major of Budapest, Óbuda’s major, rep. district’s self governments, reps. of parliament, Hungarian Ferenc Puskás Football Academy’s elementary school students, Real Madrid, Academy of Hagi, Greek – Panathinaikos, Australia – Melbourne’s Football Institute junior boys were present as well.

Lady Erzsébet (Puskás called her as „Böbe”) the widow of Puskás and Mr. György Szepesi, sport reporter unveiled the statue. Böbe was fighting hard to hold back her tears. Before getting to turn to speak to the audience she placed her right arm cuddling her husband’s left arm and placed her left palmhand into Puskás’s left hand and gently spoke to “him” … “You see, here I am my sweet dear, I miss you so much and hope your spirit feels my everlasting love for you. See(?) how many people came along to see you and to show their love for you right now.” thereafter turned to the audience saying how grateful she is for the attendees to pay tribute to the memory of her husband.

Mr. György Sepesi, aged 92, said he is so honored to be present at this memorial  day, despite having to have been together with Puskás and to have had seen him on the grounds in the early days playing football. I immediately saw he is going to be a rolling, shooting star with his golden feet. Mr. Szepesi’s  one of the stories was  …”There was a boxing match to be held in Madrid in 1963 with the legendary Hungarian boxer Mr. László Papp to be in the ring. Papp told Puskás he was down, disappointed having to know that there will not be any Hungarian fans cheering him when fighting in the ring. Puskás, had already a thought mind.  Went to Mr. László Kubala, playing at the time being football in Barcelona and it was decided they will “bribed” 100 Catalan individuals and teach them how to say  in Hungarian „Go for it”, Go ahead Papp” in order to support, cheer their Mate.  So this was Puskás!” Even in the freezing cold weather, spraying rain and the length of the given time made him short Mr. Szepesi stories were really appreciated by the freezing audience. He added at the end „I could speak for 90 minutes about Puskás. I am use to that length, cause that was the my broadcasting time on-air at the footy games.” There was a laugh in the audience, cause many elder folks were present and remembered him broadcasting football games on-air.

Indeed, Óbuda is very proud now which is deeply understandable to give space and to host the sculpture of Puskás. The statue formation stands on the Bécsi Rd. and soon the space will be called from „Puskás Square”. From now on not just for the Hungarians will be a place to worthwhile visiting the promenade, take snaps at the scene, but for the foreigners around the world who for one reason know where you are from whenever you say your from Hungary, immediately they say … yes „Puskás”. He was, still is a symbol to Hungary. Puskás is and will be a role model for all young people. He was an excellent athlete and a great person.

Óbuda-Újlak Community Association President Mr. György Hatházi and Mr. Sándor Barna, owner of the Symbol Restaurant and other private catering establishments of the district, private shops and service providing individuals gave their support in creating a spectacular group of statues which is copied from an old photo taken in the streets of Madrid, where kids were playing „football” and as Puskás stepped close to them  showed them how to keep a hold to their ball. So at the Puskás pedestrian anyone can see in a way the picture coming alive within the awesome artistic statue composition. The idea owner was the avant-garde fine artist Mr. Gyula Pauer (gone ahead), Kossuth Prize-winner. The statue composition survived in his legacy. The sculpture was finally composed by Mr. David Tóth.

Puskás was a member of the Hungarian national team, Kispest AC and the Budapest Honvéd and Spanish Real Madrid’s classic, and later on at the Greek Panathinaikos as coach accumulating success. The Puskás Academy of invitees for the third time will be included the Constanta Hagi Academy. This year for the first time to take part at the tournament will be a non-European club’s players, namely the  Melbourne’s Football Institute.  Puskás worked at a local club  with the Melbourne team as a coach between 1989 to 1991.  Puskas was extremely popular in Australia, where it has grown by leaps and bounds being the coach of the number of viewers at championships and cups were  won.

In memorial a stamp was connected to this event was presented by the Hungarian Post of Ferenc Puskás, the worldwide known football player’s 80th anniversary.

Puskás’s career for the youth all over the world is a pure example as football taught humility and set an example for generations.

Update and snaps by Aggie Reiter

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