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Górnik Zabrze

Górnik Zabrze is a football (soccer) club from Poland.

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About Górnik Zabrze

Górnik Zabrze is a Poland association football club from Zabrze. The club has won numerous Polish Championship in Football, and was a dominant force in the 1960s and 1980s. For now Górnik has the most titles in Poland. The club plays in white or dark blue - red kit, and is based at the Ernest Pohl Stadium. Their main local rivals is Ruch Chorzów.


First years

The club was founded in 1948, three years after borders of Poland had switched westwards and the city of Zabrze (until then called Hindenburg) became part of the Polish Republic. Górnik was based on several smaller sports associations that had existed in Zabrze between 1945 and 1948 - KS Zjednoczenie, KS Pogon, KS Skra, KS Concordia. The clubs merged into a single organisation, which took the name "Górnik", the Polish language word for "Miner", reflecting the fact that Zabrze was an important coal-mining centre.

In 1950 Górnik joined the Opole Silesia regional league. In 1952 the club was promoted to the Poland II Liga. Their first game in the second tier was against Skra Częstochowa, and was witnessed by 20,000, with Górnik winning 5-1. The whole season was very successful and Górnik finished second overall, behind Górnik Wałbrzych.

The club was promoted to the top division in 1955. In their first game in the top flight Górnik beat local rivals Ruch Chorzów 3-1, with 25,000 in attendance; the club finished the season in 6th place.

First successes

In 1957, just a year after promotion, Górnik won its first championship of Poland. The team, with star, Ernest Pohl, was third in 1958, to regain the crown in 1959 and 1961, together with such players as Stanislaw Oslizlo and Hubert Kostka. In 1961 Górnik for the first time appeared in European Cups, losing in the first round to Tottenham Hotspur F.C..

Golden years

The next championship, won in 1963, marked the beginning of an unusual streak of five consecutive titles (1963, 64, 65, 66 and 67), which is a Polish record.

Górnik's biggest success in European football took place in 1970 (even though in Poland the team was second, after KP Legia Warsaw). In the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, Gornik beat all their opponents - Olympiacos F.C., Rangers F.C., PFC Levski Sofia and AS Roma, reaching the final, which took place in Vienna. There, Manchester City F.C. turned out to be the better team, winning 2-1. The following season Górnik would once again play Manchester City, with the 1970 final being repeated this time in the quarter-final.

Late 1970s and early 1980s

During the mid-1970s Górnik form deteriorated and in late spring of 1978, the team was relegated to the Second Division. However, it returned after one year and in games of 1979-80, Zabrze's side finished sixth. In 1984, after purchasing of a group of talented players (Ryszard Komornicki, Waldemar Matysik, Eugeniusz Cebrat, Andrzej Zgutczyński, Tadeusz Dolny, Andrzej Pałasz), Gornik finished fourth, which was a sign of better times.

Late 1980s until now

Between 1985 and 1988 Górnik again marked a magnificent streak, with four consecutive championships. Zabrze's side also played versus renowned European powerhouses, such as FC Bayern Munich, R.S.C. Anderlecht, Hamburger SV, Juventus F.C. and Real Madrid C.F..

In 1994 Górnik competed again for the title and with players as Jerzy Brzęczek, Grzegorz Mielcarski, Tomasz Wałdoch, hopes were high. Before the last round of the league the standings at the top were: Legia 47 points and Górnik 45 points. Since the two teams were to face each other in Warsaw, Górnik still had a chance to win the title. However the game ended in a 1-1 tie which gave Legia the crown. Before Legia scored the goal which gave her the title (the score 0-1 would mean the title for Gornik), the referee of the match - Mr Redzinski - sent off one by one 3 players from Gornik's squad, and Gornik had to finished match with only 8 players against 11 players of Legia. It was the last match in Mr Redzinski's career.

In the same year Górnik played its last so far game in European Cups, losing to Admira Wacker Vienna.

In the spring of 2007 Górnik got a new sponsor - German insurance company Allianz. However, after finishing 16th in the Ekstraklasa in 2008-09, the club was relegated to the Polish First League, the 2nd level of Polish football, during the 2009-10 season. In June 2010, the club earned promotion back to the Ekstraklasa for the 2010-11 season.


- Ekstraklasa
- - 1st Place (14-co-record): 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988
- - 2nd Place (4): 1962, 1969, 1974, 1991
- Polish Cup
- - Winner (6): 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
- - Finalist (7): 1956, 1957, 1962, 1966, 1986, 1992, 2001
- Polish SuperCup:
- - Winners (1): 1988
- Ekstraklasa Cup:
- - Winners (1) 1978 (Not Official)
- UEFA Champions League:
- - Quarter-Final (1): 1968
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup:
- - Finalist (1): 1970

Górnik in Europe

On loan

Notable former players

- Māris Smirnovs
- Jerzy Brzęczek
- Jerzy Gorgoń
- Tomasz Hajto
- Ryszard Komornicki

- Kamil Kosowski
- Włodzimierz Lubański
- Andrzej Niedzielan
- Stanisław Oślizło
- Ernest Pohl

- Andrzej Szarmach
- Zygfryd Szołtysik
- Jan Urban
- Tomasz Wałdoch
- Józef Wandzik

- Robert Warzycha
- Tomasz Zahorski

Notable coaches

- Werner Lička (2004)
- Gyula Grosics
- Ferenc Szusza (1970-71)
- Géza Kalocsay (1966-69)
- Henryk Kasperczak (2008-09)
- Ryszard Komornicki (2006), (2009)

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