It’s ok to [Stanisław…

It’s ok to [Stanisław Burzyński] Ekstraklasa (75/100)

The year is 1991, Zagłębie Lubin won their first ever Polish Championship, Pegrotour Dębica were in the I liga, and the Soviet Union was dissolved. It was also the year Stanisław Burzyński died.

On 5 November 1991 Burzyński stood on his balcony in Gdynia. It is likely that he would have been thinking about his life in that moment. He was born in Gdańsk in 1948 growing up with the struggles of communist Poland. Despite the hardships his life took him to a career in football as a goalkeeper, making his debut for Lechia aged 18. He spent 3 years playing for Lechia before joining rivals Arka Gdynia in 1969. In the next 6 years he helped Arka win the II liga, achieving promotion to Poland’s top division. Playing a season in the top flight before moving to Widzew Łódź, where he reached peak Burzyński.

In his 5 seasons at Widzew he finished I liga runners up three times, and Polish Cup runners up in 1977. He had agreed to a move to England to join Ipswich Town, a move that would have provided financial security for the rest of his life, before disaster struck.

In 1980 Burzyński had been drinking, deciding to also take his car out for a drive. This resulted in him hitting and killing an 86 year old man. The death was eventually linked back to Burzyński and he was sent to prison for two years.

He eventually left prison in 1981 and moved back to the Tricity. Due to his failure to move to England for his career, Burzyński saw this as a missed opportunity and descended into alcoholism. He first joined Bałtyk Gdynia and then Arka (a decision that can only be made under the influence of alcohol), and lastly played for MOSiR Gdańsk. He made few appearances after his comeback to football, with his alcoholism becoming worse after his retirement.

Knowing that the death of the 86 year old was his own fault, and that it was the reason for his relatively successful career for failing, Burzyński stood on his balcony on the night of 5 November 1991. After years of alcohol abuse and addiction, he concluded that his life was to end that night. He jumped from his seventh story apartment.

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