Jerzy Bulanow

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Jerzy Bulanow (Russian: Юрий Буланов, Yury Bulanov, Polish: Jerzy Bułanow; 29 April 1904, Moscow - 1980, Buenos Aires) was a Russian-Polish footballer.

As a teenager, started playing soccer in Nazdar Moscow, then moved to another local team - MKLS Moscow. However, some time in late 1918 or early 1919, he moved with family (parents and three brothers) from Russia to Poland, escaping the Russian Revolution (see: White Emigre).

Bulanow, a native speaker of Russian, came to Warsaw at the age of 16. He went to a Russian Gymnasium, but also started to learn Polish. Soon became proficient in the new language, later married a Polish woman from Warsaw, also wrote numerous articles, short stories, even novels. Nevertheless he is the most famous for his soccer achievements.

Together with older brother Borys, young Jerzy decided to continue soccer career after moving to Warsaw. The siblings briefly played for the teams of Korona Warszawa and Legia Warsaw and in 1923 they moved to Polonia Warsaw. In Polonia, Jerzy spent 12 years, representing the team in 163 games and scoring only one goal (he was a defender, which may explain the lack of scoring abilities).

Jerzy first capped for Poland in 1922, while still playing in Korona Warszawa. Then, after six years, he put on white-red jersey again, in 1928, becoming a regular starter. In late 1920s and early 1930s, the Russian emigre was highly appreciated as a player. His skills, manners and leadership abilities were noticed by coaches of the Polish National Team — Jerzy altogether capped for Poland 22 times, in 17 games he was the captain. Together with Legia Warsaw's Henryk Martyna, the Russian player created a great pair of defenders.

Bulanow finished active career in 1935. Then, he became a coach in several Warsaw-area teams. During World War II he stayed in Warsaw, until early 1945, when the whole family decided to escape the advancing Red Army. In February 1945 the Bulanows (parents and four brothers) went on a risky train journey from Poland, via Bohemia and Austria to Italy. On the road, one of Jerzy's brothers, Roman, died when the train was bombed by Allied aircraft.

In mid-1945, after safely reaching Italy, Jerzy joined the Second Polish Corps under General Władysław Anders. Three years later, the whole family moved to Argentina. Jerzy Bulanow died in 1980 in Buenos Aires.

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