Lefter Küçükandonyadis

Lefter Küçükandonyadis (Greek: Λευτέρης Αντωνιάδης, Lefteris Antoniadis;[2] 22 December 1924 – 13 January 2012) was a Turkish professional footballer of Greek descent, who played as a forward. He is often recognized as one of the greatest strikers to play for Fenerbahçe and Turkey.[3] Having won several regional and national championship titles with Fenerbahçe and becoming Turkish top scorer twice in his career, he left an imprint on the history of the club. Lefter is one of a few players whose names are included in the Fenerbahçe Anthem.

Lefter Küçükandonyadis
Lefter Küçükandonyadis, 1958.jpg
Lefter in 1958.
Personal information
Date of birth (1924-12-22)22 December 1924
Place of birth Büyükada,[1] Istanbul, Turkey
Date of death 13 January 2012(2012-01-13) (aged 87)
Place of death Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position(s) Inside left
Youth career
1938–1941 Taksim
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1941–1943 Taksim 90 (75)
1947–1951 Fenerbahçe 135 (100)
1951–1952 Fiorentina 30 (4)
1952–1953 Nice 12 (2)
1953–1964 Fenerbahçe 480 (323)
1964 AEK Athens 5 (2)
Total 752 (506)
National team
1948–1963 Turkey 46 (21)
Teams managed
1965 Egaleo
1965–1966 Johannesburg
1966–1967 Samsunspor
1967–1968 Orduspor
1968–1969 Mersin Idman Yurdu
1969–1970 Boluspor
1970 Samsunspor
1970–1971 Sivasspor
1972 Samsunspor
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early life and club careerEdit

Lefter playing for Fiorentina.
Statue of Lefter Küçükandonyadis at Yoğurtçu Park, close to Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, in Kadıköy, Istanbul.

Lefter started his footballing career in Büyükada (an island in Istanbul) but professionally played first with Taksim SK, a club based in the European part of Istanbul. He transferred to Fenerbahçe in 1947, achieving instant success. He won the National Division championship in 1950, his first nationwide championship title with the club, becoming the Turkish top scorer in the same edition.[4] He was one of the first Turkish footballers to play abroad, playing during 1951–1953 for ACF Fiorentina in Italy and OGC Nice in France. Returning to Fenerbahçe, he won two Istanbul League titles and later, after the start of the Turkish Super League, three Turkish League (1959, 1961 and 1964) titles. In the 1947–48 and 1953–54 seasons, he became the leading goalscorer of the Istanbul League.[5] Overall, he scored a total of 423 goals in 615 games for Fenerbahçe. After ending his career in Turkey in 1964, he played a single season in Greece with AEK Athens. He participated in five games in the 1965 season scoring two goals before an injury in the match against Iraklis forced his retirement.

International careerEdit

Küçükandonyadis was capped 46 times for the Turkish national football team, 9 of which as the captain. He also played at the 1954 FIFA World Cup netting in two goals, one against West Germany and the other against South Korea. He scored 21 goals for the national team and was the top scorer for Turkey until overtaken by Hakan Şükür. He was the first Turkish football player to receive the "Golden Honor Medal" from the Turkish Football Federation, for having played for the national selection in 50 international matches.

After active footballEdit

Lefter coached Egaleo F.C. in Greece and Johannesburg in South Africa.[6] He later returned to Turkey and coached Samsunspor, Orduspor, Mersin İdmanyurdu, and Boluspor.

He was also known as "Ordinaryüs" (professor of professors) in Turkey.[7] His statue was erected next to the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium in 2009.

He was buried in the Greek Orthodox cemetery on his native island.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

Lefter was born as the son of Christofis Antoniadis, a fisherman and Argyro Antoniadi on the island of Büyükada in Istanbul. He grew up with ten other brothers and sisters, and was of Greek descent. One of his brothers, Panagis Antoniadis played for Pera Club. His family took part in the exodus of ethnic Greeks from Turkey during his childhood - except for his father. Due to his small stature, the Turks gave him the nickname Küçük, Turkish for ("The Small") and Lefter added it to his surname, Küçükandonyadis, meaning ("The Small Antoniadis"). He was married to a fellow Greek woman, Stavriani Bekiari and they had three children.[2][8]





  • Turkish top scorer: 1950, 1957–58
  • Istanbul League top scorer: 1947–48, 1953–54


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c Ferentinou, Ariana (16 January 2012). "Farewell to Lefter". Hürriyet. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  3. ^ Κουκουλας, Γιαννης. "Η Γκαλατάσαραϊ του Αλί Σαμί Γιεν και του UEFA". kathimerini. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Turkey – List of Topscorers". rsssf.com. RSSSF. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Turkey – List of Istanbul League Topscorers". rsssf.com. RSSSF. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.biyografya.com/biyografi/7011
  7. ^ Turkish football mourns loss of Lefter Küçükandonyadis
  8. ^ "Lefter'in aramızdan ayrılışının 4. yılı - Lefter Küçükandonyadis kimdir?". hurriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 21 December 2017.


  • Hergün, Haluk (2012). Lefter (Futbolun Ordinaryüsü) (in Turkish). NTV (Biyograf Dizisi). ISBN 9786055443481.

External linksEdit