Ya'akov Hodorov

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Ya'akov Hodorov
Personal information
Full name Ya'akov Hodorov
Date of birth (1927-06-16)16 June 1927
Place of birth Rishon LeZion, Israel
Date of death 31 December 2006(2006-12-31) (aged 79)
Place of death Jerusalem, Israel
Playing position Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1942–44 Maccabi Rishon LeZion
1944–47 Hapoel Rishon LeZion
1947–62 Hapoel Tel Aviv
1962–64 Hapoel Ramat Gan
1964–65 Shimshon Tel Aviv
1965–66 Hapoel Holon
National team
1949–64 Israel 31 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ya'akov Hodorov (Hebrew: יעקב חודורוב) (born 16 June 1927; died 31 December 2006) was an Israeli football goalkeeper in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. He was considered by many to be Israel's best goalkeeper in history, and among the best goalkeepers of his generation.

Football career[edit]

Hodorov started his football career at Maccabi Rishon LeZion at the age of 15. After a few years he moved to local rival Hapoel Rishon LeZion, where he first got national recognition as the unfancied team reached the cup final in 1946. Shortly afterwards he moved to Hapoel Tel Aviv, the club where he stayed for most of his career. At Hapoel Tel Aviv he won the Israeli league championship in 1957 and the Israeli state cup in 1960. Later he joined Hapoel Ramat Gan and won another league title in 1964, and afterwards played at Shimshon Tel Aviv and ended his career with Hapoel Holon, where he also had a short spell as coach.

His Height Was 5'10 (1.78) and Nicknamed as "The Bird".

Hodorov made his debut for the national team in a friendly match against Cyprus in 1949, and for the next decade played in almost all international matches. He soon became the hero of the team that struggled against European opponents. He reached his peak in the latter half of the 1950s.

The most memorable match of his career was in 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification against Wales at Cardiff, in which he suffered a broken nose in a collision with Welsh striker John Charles, but continued to play and made dozens of acrobatic saves.

Other notable matches were against USSR at Ramat Gan Stadium in 1956 Olympic qualification, where he played with a broken finger, and Israel's sensational win over Yugoslavia at Belgrade in 1960 Olympic qualification.

Hodorov received lucrative offers from several European professional clubs, including Arsenal FC, but he turned them down and chose to play his entire career in the then-amateur Israeli league.[1]


In 2006, Hodorov was awarded the Israel Prize for his contribution for sports,[2][3] one of few sportspeople who received this honour. Several days before he was due to receive the prize he suffered a stroke and was unable to attend the ceremony. This stroke eventually led to his death several months later at the age of 79.[4]

See also[edit]