13.06.2014 13:59 h

Hungary's 'black panther' Grosics dead at 88

Hungarian football legend Gyula Grosics, Olympic champion and goalkeeper of the "Magical Magyars" national team that dominated world football in the early 1950s, died Friday at the age of 88.

Grosics, who had suffered lung problems and survived three heart attacks in recent years, died in his sleep in hospital Friday morning, his family told state news agency MTI.

Nicknamed the "Black Panther" for his all-black kit, daring saves and runs out of goal, Grosics was one of the best-known players in the powerful 1950s team after captain Ferenc Puskas.

Between 1947 and 1962, Grosics won 86 international caps, and played at three World Cup Finals in 1954, 1958 and 1962.

Grosics, who also won an Olympic football gold medal with Hungary in 1952, played in the so-called "match of the century" in 1953 when Hungary became the first team from continental Europe to beat England at home, winning 6-3 at Wembley.

He also played 360 times for Budapest club side Honved, was voted Hungary's Goalkeeper of the Century in 1988, and awarded the state decoration of National Sportsperson in 2011.