By Daniel Cochran
Industry and football have always been interlinked in Hungary. From the ironworkers of Vasas to the factory workers of Budafoki (see my Map of Football Teams in Budapest for more), there’s nothing more natural than workmates blowing off steam on a Saturday by kicking lumps out of fellas from another trade.
Krolupper SC was one of these teams. Their company was founded in 1854 by a retired Austrian railway official, József Krolupper and – like the aforementioned clubs – worked with metal, creating tin goods and railway signalling equipment, some of which can still be seen today.
The photo at the top shows the squad in 1935, and what a squad it is. With an average age of around 75 and a selection of facial hair and accessories that one would usually find at the Pickwick Club, they embody the true spirit of amateurism in all its gloriousness. Pipes and tobacco pouches, umbrellas, rounded spectacles and Flavor Flav-sized clocks, capped off by a benevolent Captain Mainwaring of a keeper who manages to cram more personality into one photo than most media-savvy pros manage in a career.
Unfortunately, such perfection could not endure. The Great War saw a decline in company fortunes and the Krolupper family were bought out by Magyar Fémlemezipar (The Hungarian Sheet-Metal Company). The team endured under various names, such as Fémtömegcikk SK and Vasas Fémtömegcikk SK (no relation to the more successful Vasas side), before disappearing from record in the 1950s.
I think I speak for us all when I say that all we want for Christmas is a Krolupper SC keeper shirt.