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 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
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. In 1964, he played in the Belgium-Netherlands match alongside 10 Anderlecht players after the substitution of goalkeeper Delhasse by Jean-Marie Trappeniers.
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). He then played for RWDM (another Brussels club) in 1975–76 and for Eendracht Aalst (then in the second division) in the following season.
Between 1960 and 1974, "Polle Gazon" scored 30 goals (in 81 matches) for the Belgian national team. This performance made him Belgium's second topscorer—along with Bernard Voorhoof—and the 10th most capped player for his country. 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. As a football manager, Van Himst has worked notably for Anderlecht and the national team which he led to the 1994 FIFA World Cup.
He holds the record of four times being awarded the Golden Shoe. 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.
He has been an ambassador for the Belgian/South-African NGO "Born In Africa" since 2005.
His wife, Arlette Neckebroeck, died on 4 December 2013.
- Escape to Victory (1981) - Michel Fileu - The Players: Belgium
- Max (1994) - Himself
- "Paul Van Himste takes leave of his wife". Niewsblad.be. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
Media related to Paul Van Himst at Wikimedia Commons