20-time Polish representative Janusz Kupcewicz passed away at the age of 66, it was announced on Monday morning. The playmaker was a part of Antoni Piechniczek’s team which won a silver medal at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
Gdańsk-born Kupcewicz was an extremely talented midfielder, who started his playing career with neighbouring Arka Gdynia. Within two years of making his senior debut at the club, he’d also made his first international appearance under legendary coach Kazimierz Górski: coming on as a sub for fellow debutant Zbigniew Boniek in a defeat against World Champions Argentina.
It was whilst still playing at Arka that he became an important part of Piechniczek’s squad: superbly filling in for the suspended Boniek in the World Cup Qualifier against East Germany, before going on to play an important role in the latter stages of the tournament itself. Kupcewicz scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the third-place play-off match against France: a cheeky free-kick which caught goalkeeper Jean Castaneda off-guard.
After the World Cup, Kupcewicz transferred to Lech Poznań for a year, before moving abroad with Saint-Etienne. Two years in France was followed by a year in Greece with Larissa, two with hometown club Lechia Gdańsk, and finally another year abroad with Turkish club Adanaspor.
Following his retirement, Kupcewicz flirted briefly with management. In addition to short spells in charge of Lechia and Radunia Stężyca, he also led the Polish Futsal team and assisted his former Poland teammate Paweł Janas in charge of the U21 national team.
Away from football, Kupcewicz also worked as a PE teacher and, briefly, a local politician.
Piłka.uk wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to Jabusz Kupcewicz’s family and friends.