On November 12th, marks one year since 24-times-capped Hungarian international goalkeeper Márton Fülöp passed away after a long illness aged just 32 years old.
Having spent the 2004-2005 season as the national youth team’s number one he made his full international debut under Lothar Matthäus against France in Metz in 2005. Successive managers including Péter Bozsik, Péter Várhidi, Erwin Koeman and Sándor Egervári continued to pick him and no wonder; Fülöp kept nine clean sheets in his 24 appearances, his last cap coming in the home clash with the Netherlands on 29 March 2011.
His sad passing a year ago was commemorated before the Euro 2016 play-off first leg away against Norway when the players wore black armbands and then a few days later in the home leg when supporters held a moment of applause in his memory.
‘Marci’s path into football was a natural one given his father Ferenc played for MTK 197 times and even featured as a member of Lajos Baróti’s provisional squad for the 1978 World Cup. Marci started in the youth teams of BVSC as a nine year-old before transferring in 1995 to MTK where he stayed until 2004, also featuring on-loan for BKV Előre and BFC Siófok.
In summer 2004, famous London club Tottenham Hotspur signed him to provide competition for England international goalkeeper Paul Robinson and Czech international Radek Cerny and although he didn’t play for Spurs, Marci gained plenty of experience out on-loan at Chesterfield, Coventry and Sunderland. Indeed, in 2007 Sunderland signed the Hungarian international custodian and it is for this club that he made the most appearances of any club he played for, other which later included Leicester City, Stoke City, Manchester City, Ipswich Town and West Bromwich Albion. In 2012 Fülöp started a new chapter of his life in Greece with Asteras Tripolis where he helped achieve the club’s highest ever league finish of 4th and reached the Greek Cup final where only the country’s best team of that generation Olympiakos could overcome them.
Marci’s passing was an irreplaceable loss for Hungarian football.