Paul Van Himst

Full name: Paul Van Himst

Date of birth: 2 October 1943

Place of birth: Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium

Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)

Playing position: Forward


Paul Van Himst is a retired Belgian football forward and a football manager.

He was nicknamed Polle Gazon (Polle is Paul in Brussels dialect, and Gazon means lawn in Dutch and French) due to the large number of fouls committed on him.

Van Himst won the Belgian championship 8 times, all of them with Anderlecht, a club for which he started playing his first professional season in 1959–60. With Anderlecht, he scored 233 goals in 457 matches (16 seasons).

Between 1960 and 1974, "Polle Gazon" scored 30 goals (in 81 matches) for the Belgian national team. This performance made him Belgium's topscorer. He made his debut on 19 October 1960 in a match against Sweden and he was part of Belgium's team which qualified for the 1970 World Cup. Van Himst then helped Belgium reach third place at the Euro 1972. He also holds the record of Golden Shoe, awarded to him four times.

As a football manager, Van Himst has worked notably for Anderlecht and the national team which he led to the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

In November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's Jubilee, he was named the Golden Player of Belgium by the Belgian Football Association as their most outstanding player of the past 50 years.




Belgian championship: 8

Anderlecht: 1961-1962, 1963-1964, 1964-1965, 1966-1967, 1967-1968, 1971-1972, 1973-1974

Belgian Cup: 4

Anderlecht: 1964-1965, 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1974-1975



Belgian championship: 1

Anderlecht: 1984-1985

Belgian Supercup: 1

Anderlecht: 1985

UEFA Cup: 1

Anderlecht: 1982-1983

Years Team Apps Goals
1951-1959 Anderlecht (Youth)    
1959-1975 Anderlecht 457 233
1975-1976 Molenbeek 21 1
1976-1977 Eendracht Aalst    
Total   478 234
National team      
1960-1974 Belgium 81 30
Teams managed      
1983-1986 Anderlecht    
1987-1988 Molenbeek    
1991-1996 Belgium