Kertesz, Vilmos : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Kertesz, Vilmos

Vilmos was the most famous of the three Kertesz brothers who played for the Hungarian National team in the early decades of the 20th century (the other brothers were Gyula Kertesz and Adolf Kertesz). Vilmos was also considered one of Hungary's greatest players ever. During his prolific international career, Kertesz won 47 caps and scored 11 goals for the National team.

Originally an inside right, Kertesz eventually moved back on the field to play halfback, first on the left and then on the right. According to Andrew Handler in From the Ghetto to the Games, Kertesz was a "...quick, intelligent player whose technical skills were a source of befuddlement to defenders on opposing teams." A jovial person, Kertesz was one of the most popular players in Hungary during his career.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1890 - d. unknown

Career Highlights:
A winger and halfback, Kertesz was an outstanding player for Hungary's National team and his club team, MTK Budapest. In 1909, in a matter of only two months, he moved from a place on MTK's third team to the Hungarian National team, a spot he held for the next 15 years.

Kertesz, who eventually played in 47 international games and scored 11 goals, seemed to get better with age. In September 1923, at the age of 33, he was a key factor in Hungary's 2-0 win over Austria, considered one of the best played games of the decade. He was also a member of Hungary's 1912 Olympic team that finished in fifth place, although Vilmos appeared in only one game.

As a member of MTK, Kertesz was a very influential player. Starting in 1914, the club won nine Hungarian Championships in a row (1914, 1917-1924; there was no championship play in 1915-16 because of World War I), and Kertesz was a starter every year. MTK also won the Hungarian Cup in 1914 and 1923.


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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)