History | Oct 16 2019

Only Laszlo Papp’s government could get the better of him

Bob Mee pays tribute to the great Laszlo Papp who died on this day in 2003
Laszlo Papp

1956: THE year of Suez, Jim Laker’s 19 wickets in a Test, Heartbreak Hotel, Devon Loch… and the year when a stumpy southpaw, Laszlo Papp, won a record third Olympic boxing gold medal.

The fact that Papp did that in Melbourne, less than a month after thousands of his fellow Hungarians had died in a crazy, futile attempt to free themselves from the shackles of the Soviet machine, makes it even more remarkable.

Papp’s amateur and professional career will forever be intertwined with what happened to Hungary in those strange days when the Cold War was at its height.