Slavia personalities

Our club has stood at the forefront of Czech sports since its establishment. It is only natural that we have provided functionaries for the management of various sports. There have been quite a few.

The very first football captain of Slavia, Karel Freja, received the majority of votes in the elections to form a Czech football association. He was succeeded by M. J. Horáček, also a Slavia member. With football slowly becoming an Olympic sport, our representatives gradually found themselves involved in more areas. Josef Gruss chaired the Czechoslovakia Olympic Committee from 1929-1951, Josef Loos was in the Operating Committee of the Central European Cup (Mitropa Cup) since its beginning and also helped to establish a continental national team tournament, the European Nations’ Cup (today’s European Cup). Čestmír Nápravník chaired the FIFA Medical Panel and consequently also the health committee at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

Thanks to the origins of the club, Slavia has always been a club of the Czech intellectual elite. Many fans were recruited from actors, singers, filmmakers and athletes. The group with the largest direct influence were artists who, in 1964, formed Odbor přátel (Union of Friends) – a fan organisation that saved Slavia from ruin.

Karel Freja was the first Slavia captain and first football association chairman. Photo: Slavia archive. Edvard Beneš was the only president of the state that wore Slavia’s shirt as a player. Photo: Slavia archive. Josef Laufer was a man of many arts. A radio journalist, international secretary or editor of club yearbooks (1913-1940). Photo: Slavia archive.
Miloslav Jeník was Slavia’s first goalkeeper and later spent 30 years as a solo singer at the National Theatre. Photo: Slavia archive. For many years, Václav Valoušek would be the elected chairman of Slavia and the Czechoslovak Football Association. Photo: Slavia archive. Čestmír Nápravník was a member and doctor of the club. In 1982 he was elected the chairman of the FIFA Medical Panel, which is the highest position in international football attained by a Slavia member. Photo: Slavia archive.
Pavel Hanuš was a prolific playwright contributing to theatre, radio, film and television. It was his newspaper article in March 1964 contemplating reasons for Slavia’s downfall that received great acclaim with many supporters. He was elected with other fans into a preparation committee of the fan organisation Odbor přátel (Union of Friends) which he chaired and later helped to save the club. An acclaimed film and theatre actor and director Martin Růžek spent nearly 30 years as a member of the National Theatre drama ensemble. He was a member of a preparation committee of the fan organisation Odbor přátel (Union of Friends). He chaired the Union after its formal establishment from 1966 to 1982. An excellent film and theatre actor Josef Vinklář succeeded Martin Růžek as chairman of the fan organisation Odbor přátel (Union of Friends) in 1982 and reigned for the following 5 years. A member of the National Theatre drama ensemble.
An excellent film and theatre actor Ilja Prachař succeeded his colleague and close friend Josef Vinklář in 1988 at the helm of Odbor přátel (Union of Friends) and stayed there until 1991 when the Union merged with the Slavia football department. Milan Neděla was repeatedly a committee member of Odbor přátel (Union of Friends) and a member of the organisational committee of Slavia carnivals. He was a highly respected person not only in the theatre world but also often appeared on TV and radio. An excellent comedian Karel Effa would always proudly say he was a founding member of fan organisation Odbor přátel (Union of Friends). Wherever he went, he always remembered his red-and-white heart and the club he represented.
Miroslav Ondříček was one of the most prominent cameramen in Czechoslovak filmmaking history. He closely collaborated with another Slavia supporter, director Miloš Forman. Being a loyal and devoted supporter, he spent many years as a member and chairman of the Slavia board and would not miss a home game. An outstanding film director Miloš Forman became known worldwide mostly thanks to his films Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that earned him Academy Awards for best director. His love for Slavia leaked into the Amadeus film: a short comedian in one of the scenes wears typical Slavia red-and-white clothes. A 1973 Wimbledon winner Jan Kodeš regularly supports Slavia at home games. He is the most successful Czechoslovak tennis player from the 60’s and 70’s. In addition to his Wimbledon title, he also lifted a champion trophy at French Open and played twice in the US Open final.
Standa Procházka is the author of Slavia’s anthem “Naše věčná Slavie” (Our eternal Slavia) that was adopted and adjusted by the kop. This popular singer set up a girl choir called “Slávinky” (little Slavia girls). He played in the Slavia artist football team. A former skilled field hockey player Jan Pirk now scores mostly on the pitch of science. Prof. MUDr. Jan Pirk, DrSc. became a director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Department of the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) in 1991, and four years later the director of the whole IKEM Cardiac Centre. He performed his first heart transplantation in 1991.