History Week 16

Tours by overseas club sides and international friendlies have been part of a staple diet for football in this country since the game has been played. In recent months we have seen visits by Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, AS Roma, Liverpool and Real Madrid, to name just a few. These clubs generally play our A-League sides, providing a more than decent opposition.
It may surprise some now but our club St George has also hosted overseas visitors in the past, including one of the major Hungarian clubs, Ferencvaros, in 1974, to J-League side Jubilo Iwata in 1996, a side including Brazilian World Cup winner, Dunga.
Most memorably, on the occasion of the club’s 25th anniversary in 1982, a four team invitational tournament was held at St George Stadium in January of that year, including the national team of Hungary. Hard to believe now that Hungary, a team that had qualified for the World Cup in Spain in 1982, and which would be played just five months later, would travel halfway around the world to play the Saints.
A late 0-2 loss to Hungary, who scored both goals in the final few minutes, was a somewhat better result obtained by the Saints than Hungary’s World Cup opponent, El Salvador, who lost to the Magyars 10-1 that following June, still the record for most goals by one team in the World Cup Finals.
For the record, St George lost 1-3 to Ferencvaros, played at the Sydney Sports Ground, and 1-2 to Jubilo Iwata, played at St George Stadium, but the honour in hosting such clubs far outweighed the match result.
Below we have included copies of the match programmes for the Ferencvaros game and the 1982 Invitational Tournament.