Jan Tomaszewski

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Jan Tomaszewski
Jan Tomaszewski.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1948-01-09) 9 January 1948 (age 71)
Place of birth Wrocław, Poland
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1960–1962 Śląsk Wrocław
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1967 Gwardia Wrocław
1967–1970 Śląsk Wrocław
1970–1972 Legia Warsaw 19 (0)
1972–1978 ŁKS Łódź 155 (1)
1978–1981 Beerschot 85 (0)
1981–1982 Hércules 12 (0)
1982–1984 ŁKS Łódź 4 (0)
National team
1971–1981 Poland 63 (0)
Teams managed
1989 Widzew Łódź
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only
Copy of J. Tomaszewski medal and autograph in Sports Star Avenue in Dziwnów

Jan Tomaszewski (born 9 January 1948) is a former Polish international football goalkeeper of the 1970s. He backstopped the national teams that came third at the 1974 World Cup, where he was named Best Goalkeeper, that won the silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics, and that competed at the 1978 World Cup. He was later a football commentator and politician.

Jan Tomaszewski (left) and Henryk Kasperczak after 3rd place match Poland-Brazil, 1974 FIFA World Cup

Playing England[edit]

He grew up in Wrocław where his parents were expelled from Vilnius after World War II.[1] Tomaszewski is best remembered by some for his performance for Poland against England, in a qualifying match for the 1974 World Cup, which England needed to win.[2] Tomaszewski had been labelled "a clown" by Brian Clough before the match (the two men however became quite friendly in later years), but had the last laugh as he turned in a man-of-the-match performance repeatedly denying England's attackers; the only goal he conceded being an equalizing penalty from Allan Clarke.[3] Earlier, Jan Domarski had scored for the Poles. Poland drew the game 1–1 and qualified for the finals in West Germany at the expense of England.[4][5]

In "The Story of the World Cup", Brian Glanville wrote: "In retrospect, to be eliminated by so fine a side as Poland seems no disgrace, but this is a posteriori reasoning. I doubt if England could have made so dazzling a contribution as Poland to the tournament, yet it should be remembered that the Poland which beat England and the Poland which took their place were two very different propositions". (p. 191, 2005 edn.)

Other achievements[edit]

Poland went on to claim third place during a world cup tournament in which Tomaszewski saved two penalties in two different matches (from Staffan Tapper and Uli Hoeneß) – the first 'keeper in FIFA World Cup history to do so. Tomaszewski went on to win a silver medal with Poland at the 1976 Summer Olympics, and also played in the 1978 World Cup, where Poland disappointed in only managing to get as far as the second group phase.

Tomaszewski's club career was mainly at ŁKS Łódź, having been forbidden by Poland's communist government to play abroad before the age of 30, even after coming to international attention.

Later life[edit]

After the 1978 World Cup, he moved abroad, first to Belgian club Beerschot, and then Hércules in Spain, before retiring in 1982. In all he won 63 caps for Poland,[6] making him at the time his country's most-capped 'keeper, although that record was later broken by Artur Boruc in 2016.[7]

After his playing career he worked as a commentator and sports journalist. He was elected to the Sejm at the 2011 election, representing Łódź for Law and Justice.


  1. ^ Człowiek, który nie zatrzymał Niemiec at Gazeta Wyborcza
  2. ^ "England v Poland: 'clown' Jan Tomaszewski has the last laugh 40 years on". Daily Telegraph. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Jan Tomaszewski: A man haunted for ever after being called a clown". Guardian UK. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  4. ^ Bevan, Chris. "BBC Sport - England v Poland 1973: When Clough's 'clown' stopped England". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Jan Tomaszewski: Poland arrived at Wembley like ugly ducklings but we left like beautiful swans". Daily Mail. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Piłka nożna, Euro 2012, Reprezentacja Polski, Ligi Europejskie". Kadra.pl. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  7. ^ Dobek, Dariusz (14 November 2015). "Artur Boruc pobił rekord w liczbie występów w reprezentacji Polski wśród bramkarzy" [Artur Boruc breaks record number of appearances for the Polish national team among goalkeepers]. onet.sport (Eurosport) (in Polish). Retrieved 21 November 2016.

External links[edit]