110 years of Josef Bican. Book launch and Walk of Fame

Sunday September 24th was significant, as the 308th derby was being played, and a day later, on September 25th, Josef Bican, the greatest scorer in the history of football, would celebrate his 110th birthday.

In this article, we will recall Bicanīs achievements and statistics, and Jan Andrejkovič, Pavel Kuka, and the late Rudolf Vytlačil will reminisce about this remarkable individual and brilliant footballer. We will also recap the events of the 308th derby, which was dedicated to our legend. Events to commemorate Josef Bican took place directly at the stadium and in front of its gates.

Josef Bican played 514 matches for Slavia, scoring 1131 goals. He served in the first team intermittently for thirteen years, between 1937 and 1948 and then from 1953 to 1955. He was crowned the league top scorer in Slavia ten times and won the league title with the team five times (1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1947).

The legendary striker achieved his greatest success with the club in 1938 when the Red-Whites won the Mitropa Cup. He represented Czechoslovakia sixteen times and scored eighteen goals. Between 1953 and 1956, he coached Slavia. He passed away on December 12, 2001.

"Bican was not just exceptional; he simply had no competition. Primarily because he was an amazing scorer. But he didnīt score with powerful strikes, no. His goals were perfectly placed shots. He was fast, an excellent header, could kick with both his left and right foot; nothing seemed to be a problem for him. He was a complete footballer, and thatīs what made him exceptional; he had no weaknesses," says Jan Andrejkovič, one of the two living players from Slavia who played alongside “Pepi”.

Rudolf Vytlačil, Josefīs famous teammate from Rapid Vienna and Slavia, later a globally recognized coach, also reminisced about their shared experiences.

"Memories from Vienna warm my heart, but I experienced the most beautiful period of my life with Pepi at Slavia. We canīt forget the victorious campaign in the Mitropa Cup in 1938. Our camaraderie, unity, determination. Slavia had to win that cup. Iīve experienced a lot in football, and I dare say that no one could have stopped Slavia with Pepík Bican, Vlasta Kopecký, Vojta Bradáč, and Ota Nožíř."

Bican in Numbers

  • All-time top scorer with 805 goals: awarded by RSSSF (in 2021)
  • Best scorer of the 20th century: awarded by IFFHS (in 1997)
  • Clubīs top scorersī badge by the Gól magazine – badge number 1: 447 goals
  • 6-time top scorer in the Czechoslovak League
  • 5-time top scorer in the Protectorate League
  • 1-time top scorer in the Austrian League
  • Czechoslovak national team 1938 – 1949: (14 matches/12 goals)
  • Austrian national team 1933 – 1936: (19 matches/14 goals)
  • Protectorate national team 1939: (1 match/3 goals)
  • Longest scoring streak in the highest league in the world (according to IFFHS): 19 goals in the 1939/1940 season (1st round on September 3, 1939 – 19th round on May 19, 1940)

Notes:

FFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics)
RSSSF (Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation)
Cristiano Ronaldo is still an active player, and as of the last count in 2021, he had officially scored 758 goals.
Compiled by: Stanislav Hrabě, Chairman of the History and Statistics Committee of the Czech Football Association.

308th Derby for Bican

On the 110th anniversary of his birth, a tile bearing the name of Josef Bican was added to the Walk of Fame in front of the Slavia Museum. The ceremony was attended by Josef Bicanīs son Ivan, and Slavia was represented by the General Director Martin Říha; they together made a ceremonial toast.

After an incredible 35 years, a new edition of the legendary book "Bican Pět tisíc gólů!" (Bican: Five thousand goals) has been released. The book launch about the greatest player in Slaviaīs history took place on the playing field during the pre-match studio show, and Pavel Kuka, who had several memorable encounters with Bican, launched the publication.

"It was an honor for me when he handed me the trophy for winning the Bican Cup. At that time, we won it with Slavia, and I was also named the best player and scorer. Then, we met before a match at Slavia, and I still remember him saying, in his unmistakable slow speech, īYou are an excellent striker, almost like me. The only difference is that I converted every chance I had, while you missed some.ī Back then, before the game against Slovan Bratislava, it hurt my confidence a bit, but today, itīs just a funny memory. Any contact with such a legend, not only of Slavia but of European level, was an incredible experience for me. Later, we met several times at social events; by then, Josef Bican was in advanced age. We exchanged a few words each time. Like all other players, I held him in high regard, and I value all these meetings."

A new edition of the Slavia Magazine “HALFTIME” is also dedicated to Josef Bican. The September issue includes three exclusive texts about the legend, spanning 28 pages in total. Out of respect and symbolism, the release of the new HALFTIME was scheduled for Monday, September 25th.

A unique collection was presented in the fan shop, which you can find at proslavisty.cz.

To celebrate Bicanīs birthday, we have prepared a set of six wallpapers for mobile and desktop. These wallpapers include three originally black and white photos of Bican, now colorized. You can download the wallpapers here.

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