Gyula Lóránt (6 February 1923 – 31 May 1981), born as Gyula Lipovics, was a Hungarian footballer and manager of Croatian descent. He played as a defender and midfielder for, among others, UTA Arad, Vasas SC, Honvéd and Hungary.
Lóránt in 1953
|Full name||Gyula Lipovics|
|Date of birth||6 February 1923|
|Place of birth||Kőszeg, Hungary|
|Date of death||31 May 1981(aged 58)|
|Place of death||Thessaloniki, Greece|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Defender / midfielder|
|1965–1967||1. FC Kaiserslautern|
|1968–1969||SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin|
|1969–1971||1. FC Kaiserslautern|
|1971–1972||1. FC Köln|
|1975–1976||PAOK Thessaloniki FC|
|1977–1979||FC Bayern Munich|
|1979||FC Schalke 04|
|1980–1981||PAOK Thessaloniki FC|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
During the 1950s, he was a prominent member of the legendary Hungarian national team known as the Mighty Magyars, which also included Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, Sándor Kocsis, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti.
After retiring as a player, Lóránt became a coach, most notably with Honvéd, FC Bayern Munich and PAOK Thessaloniki FC. While at PAOK, he guided them to a Greek Championship title in 1976. On 31 May 1981, while still working as coach, he suffered a heart attack, watching PAOK play Olympiacos CFP and died at the game, aged 58.
The son of a policeman, who fought as a volunteer in World War II on the German side, Lóránt turned professional footballer at the age of 16; in parallel, he then also studied economics at university in the 1950s.
Gyula Lóránt began his career as a youth with his hometown club, Kõszeg SE, after encouragement from a local trainer. He then played for Nagyváradi AC and UT Arad in Romania. It was while at Vasas SC, where his team mates included Ladislao Kubala, that his career prospered. However in January 1949, as Hungary became a communist state, Kubala fled the country in the back of a truck and formed his own team Hungaria to play exhibition friendlies. The team was made up of fellow refugees fleeing Eastern Europe. Lóránt also attempted to escape and follow Kubala, but was captured and ended up in a detention camp.
Lóránt was released from detention after the intervention of Gusztáv Sebes, the national team coach, who regarded him as pivotal to his plans. Lóránt then made his debut for Hungary on 19 October 1949 in an away game against Austria. Sebes personally guaranteed the country's Interior Minister and future Prime Minister, János Kádár, that Lóránt would not abscond while in Vienna. Kádár agreed and Lóránt responded with a superb performance as Hungary won 4–3. He subsequently joined Honvéd where together with six of his fellow internationals, he helped the team win three Hungarian League titles. As one of the legendary Mighty Magyars, he helped Hungary become Olympic Champions in 1952, Central European Champions in 1953, defeat England twice and reach the 1954 World Cup final.
Lóránt died on 31 May 1981, while working as a trainer of PAOK, during a game against Olympiacos CFP. He suffered a heart attack in the 16th minute of the match after PAOK's Giorgos Koudas headed a cross into the side of the net from close range. He was tried to be resuscitated on the spot and then moved to the club doctor's room but died before the ambulance arrived. PAOK players were told in the break that he had to be transported to the hospital and his death was revealed only after the game. PAOK eventually won the match 1-0 with the goal of the substitute Vassilis Vasilakos who sat next to Lóránt on the bench when he collapsed. The autopsy revealed that he had at least two more previous heart attacks, the second one at longest one week before his death.
- Hungarian Champions: 1944
- Romanian Champions: 1947
- Hungarian Champions: 1952, 1954, 1955
PAOK Thessaloniki FC
- Greek Champions: 1976
- "Aranycsapat: eltemették Lóránt Gyula hamvait Kőszegen" (in Hungarian). www.nemzetisport.hu. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "SZABÓ Róbert: Győztesek és vesztesek" (in Hungarian). www.historia.hu. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Gestorben Gyula Lorant" (in German). Der Spiegel. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Gyula Lóránt, Sports-Reference / Olympic Sports. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
- Jávor, Bence (25 October 2018). "A PAOK magyar legendája a kispadon kapott szívrohamot" (in Hungarian). index.hu. Retrieved 26 October 2018.