Josef Jelínek

* 1941  

  • "Dutch football was the top of Europe. Dr. Fadrhonc fled there and trained Ajax, the national team, Go Ahead Deventer, Feyenoord, he went through all these clubs. So, there were players like Johan Cruijff, van Zoechel. And I was supposed to break into the top of Europe practically. The level of football was excellent, attendance, it cannot be insulted. The whole life there was peaceful, people were smiling at you."

  • "We drove through the whole town; we came into the bush and we looked for where the accommodation was. There was a large "Levarde" sign, a recreation center for the tobacco industry. With the bus we passed through the gate, stopped, and then we looked around. We went to the rooms and the joker Andrej Kvašňák said: 'Those Dukla players will be at their best, because they are used to sleeping on double beds from the barracks, so it will suit them here.' And that was it, there were military beds in the rooms. We came for lunch, there was some block and our coach Vytlačil says: 'Gentlemen, so as not to confuse you, I chose it. We will stay here, you will not have to worry about anything. Football is down, there are stadiums. Here we have one factory pitch, there we will train alone.'"

  • "We were unlucky to catch a referee who could blow the whistle, but otherwise he probably was not clever at all. Offensive action, it got to the left wing, it got into a penalty box, from an angle. I had it on the orthodox left, I fired, a shot like a cannon, and Djalma Santos slammed it down. It went into his hand and he put it down with his hand. Referee Latyšev did not even blow the whistle and the game continued. Láďa Novák, Pepík Masopust, everyone - and now our Russian was heard, because Russian was definitely taught everywhere in schools. And we started swearing at him, but there was no way that he would whistle a ten."

  • "When I played for the Bohemia club we flew to Colombia. We landed in Paris, players came to see me at the airport and coincidentally a fan of the Paris team came there. And when he found out that Jelínek Josef had arrived, he started jumping there, shouting that it was not true. That it's not me, that there is already one Jelínek Josef who pretends to be me. He also got a job there and he is working second there at the World Championships in Chile. And when they told me this, of course Pepík Masopust found out. And he found out that this maniac exists in Teplice. The guy went abroad and played in the French second league. But I have nothing to do with it. I was surprised that something like this could happen. Probably yes."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 13.11.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:47:34
    media recorded in project Sports Stories of the 20th Century
  • 2

    Praha, 03.12.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:49:55
    media recorded in project Sports Stories of the 20th Century
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Suddenly the whole nation supported us and it was amazing

The football player of the Dukla Prague club, 1961/62
The football player of the Dukla Prague club, 1961/62
photo: archive of the witness

Josef Jelínek was born on January 9, 1941 in Prague. His dream was to become a football player. He started at ČAFC Vinohrady in Spořilov, where his father was the manager of the pitch. He got into a big club (ÚDA Praha, today Dukla Praha) by scoring a hat-trick in a match against him in the youth team. He trained to be a heating engineer. In order to play in the A team in the army club, he enlisted early in the military service at the age of 18. They offered him to join the Communist Party, but he refused. His career had a steep start, he played in the left wing, excelled in speed and scored a lot of goals. During the years 1961 - 1966, he won the league title with Dukla five times. Between 1961 and 1964, he significantly contributed to winning the cup in the International Soccer League in America, where Dukla went after the season. He soon received an invitation to the Czechoslovak national team and he was a member of the team that brought silver medals from the World Championships in Chile in 1962. His daughter was born during the tournament. Josef with the Dukla club later fought his way to the quarterfinals of the European Champions Cup several times, he was in a draw with Real Madrid in 1964. In 1967 he joined the second league VTŽ Chomutov, in the period 1970 - 1972 he worked in the Dutch league under František Fadrhonec for Go Ahead Deventer. He applied the acquired international experience after his return in the Bohemians Prague team, later he worked in ČSAD Benešov. He ended his active career where he started at ČAFC Vinohrady. He then worked until his retirement as a pitch manager. In 2012, after half a century, he visited South America again as a part of the anniversary of the Chilean finals. He is married, has two daughters and lives in Prague. He still goes to watch football matches.