Sándor Popovics (footballer)

Sándor Popovics (22 June 1939 – 1 July 2019) was a Hungarian-Dutch association football manager and a professional footballer in the position of forward.

Sándor Popovics
Popovics with Sparta in 1964
Personal information
Date of birth 22 June 1939
Place of birth Keszthely, Hungary
Date of death 1 July 2019(2019-07-01) (aged 80)
Place of death Roosendaal, Netherlands
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1960 Újpest Dózsa
1960–1963 Fürth
1963–1964 Sparta 5 (0)
1964–1966 FC Zaanstreek
Teams managed
1970–1971 Quick
1971–1972 MVV '27
1972–1974 RFC Rotterdam
1974–1976 Overmaas
1976–1977 Unitas
1977–1978 Xerxes
1978–1980 Barendrecht
1980–1981 SVV
1981–1983 Waregem
1983–1985 De Graafschap
1985–1987 N.E.C.
1988–1990 Cambuur
1990–1992 Excelsior
1993–1994 FC Eindhoven
1994 MTK Budapest
1995–1998 ADO Den Haag (gen. manager)
1999–2000 Verbroedering Geel
2002 MTK Budapest
2010 RBC
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career


As a footballer he played for Újpest Dózsa (1958–1960). When in 1960 he played a game in Austria, he defected from Soviet Union-oppressed Hungary.[1] He continued his football career in Germany at SpVgg Fürth (1960–1963) and later moved to Holland to play for Sparta (1963–64), and FC Zaanstreek (1964–1966).

Managerial career

After retiring form playing, Popovics coached Dutch amateur clubs Quick (1970–1971), MVV '27 (1971–1972), RFC Rotterdam (1972–1974), Overmaas (1974-1976), Unitas (1976–1977), Xerxes (1977–1978) and Barendrecht (1978–1980). The first professional team he managed was SVV Schiedam (1980–1981), then Belgian side KSV Waregem (1981–83). Back in the Netherlands he continued coaching professional teams De Graafschap (1983–1985),[2] N.E.C. (1985–1987), Cambuur (1988–1990),[3] Excelsior Rotterdam (1990–1992), FC Eindhoven (1993–1994) and RBC (July 2010). At Roosendaal he left after six days as the club tried to have his unlicensed deputies do the main work.[4][5] He also managed Hungarian club MTK Budapest twice and Belgian side Verbroedering Geel, succeeding Dimitri Mbuyu.[6]

He also held the position of general manager at ADO Den Haag[7] and was named head scout at NAC in February 2002[8]

Personal life

He became a naturalized Dutch citizen in 1970.[9] Popovics was married to Corrie, the ex-wife of Theo Laseroms,[10] and was father-in-law of former NEC and Hungary goalkeeper Gábor Babos.[11] He suffered from Alzheimer's disease and died on 1 July 2019.[12]


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