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Rikkert La Crois (1934-2021): The football player of the premier league club GVAV also played with one shoe

Rikkert La Crois.

R.ikkert La Crois played the first games at GVAV in 1948 together with his friend Johnny Oldenburger on one pair of football boots. Johnny used the left and the young Rikkert the right. The pair wore a regular shoe on the other foot. A special version of ‘a slippers and an old football boot’.

It didn’t stop a great career. La Crois would become one of the biggest stars of GVAV, the current FC Groningen. He scored no fewer than 170 times, half of which – he estimated himself – were header goals. In fact, he didn’t need shoes either. In 2014 La Crois said in the FC Groningen News: “My headers were harder than the shots of my clubmates.”

Dick Heuvelman, former sports journalist of the Dagblad van het Noorden, compared La Crois with contemporary Sándor Kocsis, the attacker of the Hungarian wonder team from the fifties and Barcelona who was called ‘the golden head’.

La Crois was center forward of GVAV from 1952 to 1963. When he discovered that players attracted from the outside like goalkeeper Tonny van Leeuwen and defender Martin Koeman earned three times as much as he did, he was furious. He then played for Go Ahead, Veendam and Heerenveen until he had to stop in 1971 due to a worn knee. He was then 37 years old. He always said he made the most money from the training. You received 1 guilder fee for each training, ‘says his son Dirk La Crois.

He scraped his food together in the drawing office of the PTT and later at Essent. He also became a club trainer at various amateur clubs, a scout for FC Groningen and team coach at SC Heerenveen. After his football career he lived in Schoonoord near Coevorden. On January 18 he died of corona in a nursing home in Sleen.

Despite his French surname, he was a real Groninger, born and raised in the Oosterparkwijk. Three years after joining, he made his debut against AGOVV. He immediately scored and GVAV won the game 2-1. In September 1961, La Crois scored three times in De Kuip against Feyenoord, giving GVAV a 4-1 lead at half time. But Feyenoord struck in the second half and won 7-4. La Crois said this was due to trainer Onno Bonsema who forbade him to cross the halfway line after half time. ‘I got a chain on my legs. We thundered straight from the seventh heaven into hell. ‘

La Crois trained his jumping power by jumping up a wall at home. ‘I lived for the sport. I always spent my holidays on Ameland and there I would train on the beach every morning at seven o’clock, ‘he said.

In 1963 La Crois was sold to Go Ahead for 50 thousand guilders. Although he still scored eleven times, he returned to Groningen disappointed after a year. A year later he was sold to Veendam, where the same Otto Bonsema had then become a coach. Here he also scored frequently. In the 1967/68 season, Veendam became champion in the second division and La Crois scored 25 goals, with which he is still the season’s top scorer with Michael de Leeuw. In that year he also made a hat-trick by scoring three times in a match within twenty minutes.

He showed his last trick on the football field at Heerenveen, where he still had a large share in a subsequent promotion with ten goals.

Rikkert La Crois (1934-2021): The football player of the premier league club GVAV also played with one shoe
Source link Rikkert La Crois (1934-2021): The football player of the premier league club GVAV also played with one shoe

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