“I ran for a dog to earn money for the treatment of my wife, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis at the age of 20!”

Article by Adrian Florea, Liviu Manolache – Posted on Thursday, 23 June 2022, 11:25 / Updated on Thursday, 23 June 2022 13:24

On June 23, 1974, Jiul Petroșani won the Romanian Cup, after 4-2 in the final with Poli Timișoara. The unprecedented winner from Petroșani was the big surprise of the domestic football season, especially since in the championship, which had just ended, the team from Vale had barely avoided the matinee. He had finished on the 15th, tied for points with the relegation Rapid, but with a slightly better goal difference.

And in the Cup he had a chance. On the route, he had avoided the giants, so he reached the last act after the victories with Partizanul Bacău (L3, 2-1), Petrolul Ploiești (4-2), ASA Târgu Mureș (1-0) and Chimia Râmnicu Vâlcea (L2, 1 -0).

The opponent on Bega was not going through an extraordinary moment either, but she was clearly the favorite. However, on the turf, the “miners” were more inspired and imposed themselves without much emotion. Almost half a century after the day he brought the only trophy in the window of Jiu, the MVP of the match played on the former “Republic”, Gigi Mulțescu, has everything fresh in his memory.

Gigi Mulțescu: “I won 3 trophies in one year. I scored goals in all the finals. Will it be a little ?!

– Mr. Mulțescu, does 1974 tell you anything else?
– How not ?! It was my best year!

– Better than in 1984, let’s say, when did you reach the semifinals of the Champions Cup with Dinamo?
– Yes. In Stephen the Great, the performance of the whole team was huge, not just mine. When I say that ’74 was my year, I mean that then I won the Romanian Cup with Jiul, with the national student I won the World University Championship in France, where I also wore the captain’s armband, and with the youth team I became Balkan champion . In addition, I entered all the finals of these competitions! Will it be a little?

– Not at all, especially since you were only 22 years old and played for a relatively modest group. Returning to the only trophy in Jiu’s record, how was it possible for an almost relegated team to win the Cup against Craiova, the country’s champion that season, Dinamo, Steaua or Dobrin’s Argeș?
– Well, just like that, all these listed teams got lost on the road. Dinamo offered the surprise of the competition in the very first round in which it played. He lost to the Oltenita Shipyard, which was in Division C! And we took advantage of a quiet route. The great craftsman of the success was the president Mircea Pascu, the one who would later lead the Federation. When no one believed, he thought that we could reach Europe by winning only 4-5 matches. Somehow, he was right.

– Great joy in the Valley after the historic victory?
– Do you realise! It’s just that I didn’t participate. I stayed in Bucharest, I was going to go with the national team to the University World Cup, which took place in July.

The first went on medication

– What was the first thing, money or a coal wagon?
– Well, not even that … I took about 10,000 lei, if my memory serves me right.

– Lots of money in 1974?
– Not who knows what, a couple of football salaries. Or about five or six for an ordinary worker.

“Did you do anything special with that amount?”
– Yes, I really did something special … I bought my wife some expensive medicines from France!

48 years since the only trophy in the history of Jiu, the Romanian Cup »Mulțescu's drama:“ I ran like a dog to earn money for the treatment of my wife, who suffered from multiple sclerosis at the age of 20!

– Was she sick when she was young?
– Unfortunately yes. At the age of 20, he was suffering from multiple sclerosis! Even though he had played handball at the second league level, he had been an active person with a healthy lifestyle.

– Did they use his first-aid drugs?
– Well, if it were just those … He went through a lot, including complicated spinal surgery. Fortunately, he had days, as they say.

It means that’s why you were the best on the field with Timisoara. You scored two goals, and everyone noticed, including your opponents, that you did an incredible job!
– Yes, I ran like a dog in that match, I really needed money!

The leaders of the miners changed the coach from Jiul Petroșani because the team did not play spectacularly

– Returning to football, in the autumn of that year Jiul played in the Cup Winners’ Cup. He came out of the first round, after 0-3 and 2-0 with Dundee United.
– In the round, we were “pinched” by the Scots, and on the way back we were one step closer to the fate of the qualification. We were 2-0 from the break. It was an amazing match, in a formidable atmosphere.

– Traian Ivănescu, the one who had won the Cup, was no longer on the technical bench, but Titus Ozon. Why has the coach changed?
– The directors of the Mines, the ones who actually decided everything at the club, were unhappy that we were not playing spectacularly. They told Ivanescu, “You brought a trophy, but in the championship we went badly, and the game is not what we want, you play too defensively”, then they kicked him out and brought Ozone.

– Times have not changed much, from this point of view.
– That’s how it is. And then, and now, the coaches have been and are at the mercy of those with money, who I think know them all.

– What else do you know about the current Jiul?
– He is struggling to survive by “C”, without great prospects. Unfortunately, another club with a tradition of over 100 years has been destroyed …

When I was made an Honorary Citizen of Petroșani, I was told that I could get a 500 square meter plot of land where I could open a business. But what business to do in a downed city?!. As a sign of appreciation for what I did at Jiul, it was proposed to me that my name be borne by the stadium in Petroșani.

I thanked for the intention, but I thought that was not the case, especially since I am still alive. Now the arena is called “Petre Libardi”, a good thing. The late Petrică played a life in Jiul, it’s worth it
-Gigi Mulțescu

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (or multiple sclerosis) is called because a foreign body (sclerosis) is formed in the central nervous system as a result of abnormal deposition of connective tissue in the form of plaque. Approximately 2.5 million cases are diagnosed worldwide, and in Romania, over 10,000. The condition has a greater impact on women and most commonly occurs between the ages of 20 and 40.

The main symptoms are:

  • numbness
  • muscle weakness or paralysis
  • vision impairment (double vision or vision loss)
  • problems in maintaining balance
  • coordination problems
  • facial paresis
  • vertigo
  • memory disorders

The cause of the disease is unknown, but it may involve an autoimmune reaction, in which the immune system attacks its own tissues. There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis. However, there are treatment protocols that slow down the disease and allow the patient to control it.

Romanian Cup Final, June 23, 1974: Jiul Petroșani – Poli Timișoara 4-2 (2-1)

  • They scored: Mulțescu (32 ‘, 47’), Rozsnyai (34 ‘), Suciu (77’) / Surdan (36 ‘), Bungău (86’)
  • Stadium: Republic. audience: 12,000
  • Referee: Victor Pădureanu (Bucharest)

Jiul: G. Ion – Nițu, Tonca, Stocker, Dodu – Al. Nagy, Libardi – Suciu, Mulțescu, Rozsnyai, Stoichiță
Trainer: Traian Ivanescu

Poly: Jivan – Mioc, Păltinişanu, Arnăutu, Maier – Surdan, Mehedinţu, Laţa – Dașcu (59 ‘L. Pârvu), Bojin, Covalcic (46’ Bungău)
Trainer: Ion Ionescu

Read also:

Today, Dumitrache would have turned 74 years old. The story of the amazing transfer of the “Mops” from Dinamo to Jiul

The strange coincidences in Mulţescu’s career