(1932 – 2023)
Dr. József Csabai, a former football manager and coach who led Vancouver Columbus FC to the 1969 Canada Soccer Football Championship, has passed away. A professional footballer in Hungary, Spain and USA before moving to Canada, he later had a successful career as a Doctor of Chiropractic and was co-owner of the Brentwood Chiropractic & Sports Rehab Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Csabai played for Sátoraljaújhely, Ferencvárosi Budapest and Budapest Kinizsi in Hungary before he moved to Spain where he played for Atlético Madrid, Recreativo de Huelva FC and Real Zaragoza. Across the Atlantic in North America, he won the 1962 USSFA National Challenge Trophy with Hungária SC New York in 1962.
Csabai then briefly served as an assistant coach to Ferenc Puskas with the Vancouver Royals SC in the North American Soccer League before joining Columbus FC in August 1968. After back-to-back Pacific Coast League titles, he also managed Eintracht SC Vancouver and Vancouver Inter-Italia in the Pacific Coast League. He was also often called upon to train and manage British Columbia all-star teams against touring teams like West Bromwich Albion FC and Newcastle United FC. Csabai was honoured as a coach in 2020 by the Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia.
Csabai’s son Rob followed his footsteps as a footballer and later coach, mostly recently serving as Manager of Coaching Development for BC Soccer. Another son, Dr. Chris Csabai, followed József’s footsteps as a sports-orientated chiropractor and was co-owner at Brentwood Chiropractic & Sports Rehab Centre.
Born on 7 March 1932 in Sátoraljaújhel, Hungary, he earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Physical Education and was a Doctor of Chiropractic for more than 40 years. He passed away on Thursday 9 February 2023.
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