Personalities: Josef Bican, Legendary Footballer (1913-2001) commemorated on a Czech stamp

Personalities: Josef Bican, Legendary Footballer (1913-2001) commemorated on a Czech stamp

Czech Post issued a stamp to celebrate the centennial of birth of the legendary football player Josef Bican (1913-2001).

Josef "Pepi" Bican was born in Vienna on 25 September 1913 into a Czech family and died in Prague on 12 December 2001. Pepi's father was a great footballer who represented Austria. Following his father's example, Josef Bican became a world-famous footballer. The author of 644 league goals, he spent most of his career in the Czech FC Slavia Prague.

As a young player, he represented Austria where he scored fourteen goals during nineteen matches. During his years in Rapid Vienna he became the best shooter in the Austrian League. In 1937, he joined Slavia Prague where he remained for most of his life. One year later, he became the best shooter of the Central European International Cup (a competition compared to today's Cup of Masters). Bican's greatest achievements as a footballer came during World War II. Despite the possibility to join foreign clubs after the war, he remained loyal to Slavia. He was also good at tennis and futnet.

After the turning point events of 1948, he was found to be a class enemy and Slavia Prague was found to be a bourgeois club by the ruling Communist Party. Bican found a job as an unskilled worker in the iron and steelworks in Kladno. It had taken many more years before he became a coach in Slavia Prague, Kladno, Liberec and Brno FCs. In the late 1960s he also worked as a coach in Belgium.

Bican, Pelé and Uwe Seeler were declared the greatest football players of the 20th century. A planet was named in Josef "Pepi" Bican's honour. Planet 10634 is known as "Pepibican".

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