When we were young, they were giants. The ten athletes from the realm of football who are immortalized on these stamps were admired by the masses, each in his specific era. Some of them played on the eve of Israel's Independence and others in the early days of the State. Israeli football began back in the days of the Ottoman period, many years before the establishment of the State. The sport became instituted in 1928 and during the course of its history legends were created.
Menachem Ashkenazi (1934-2000)
Israel's senior football referee and an international referee. He officiated at the Final of the 1964 Olympic tournament in Tokyo and also in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.
Jerry Beit Halevi (1912-1997)
Moshe (Jerry) Beit Halevi played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and for the Eretz Israel national football team. He managed Maccabi Tel Aviv and, in the early 1950's, the Israel national football team as well.
Shmuel Ben-Dror (1924-2009)
Played football for the Maccabi Avshalom Petach Tikva team. He enlisted in the Jewish Brigade and fought during World War II. In 1948 he served as the first captain of the Israel national football team in a game against the U.S. national team in New York.
Ya'akov Grundman (1939-2004)
A Polish-born Holocaust survivor. He played for Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv as well as for the Israel national football team and managed the national team alongside Itzhak Shneor as half of the renowned "S.G." duo.
Ya'akov Hodorov (1927-2006)
Born in Rishon Lelion and played for the local Maccabi and Hapoel teams. He transferred to Hapoel Tel Aviv and while there grew to hp Israel's premier goalkeeper. Hodorov was the Israel national football team goalkeeper from 1949-1964.
Avi Cohen (1956-2010)
Played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and transferred to Liverpool, with whom he won an English national league championship. He was captain of the Israel national football team and played with the team in the 1974 Olympic Games in Montreal. He was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Nahum Stelmach (1936-1999)
Played for Hapoel Petach Tikva, leading his team to six league championships. He was an Israel national football team player and captain, scoring the first goal ever scored by the Israel national team at the Ramat Gan national stadium during a game against the Soviet Union in 1956.
Eli Fuchs (1924-1992)
Joined Maccabi Tel Aviv as a youth and is considered to have been the team leader and one of its best players from the eve of Israel's independence through the mid-1950's. Fuchs was an Israel national football team playerand its highly admired captain until 1954.
Natan Panz (1917-1948)
Began his career with Maccabi Tel Aviv, from which he reached the Israel national football team. In 1939 he transferred to Beitar Tel Aviv, with which he was identified. Penetz fell during a battle of Etzel fighters in Jaffa during the 1948 War of Independence.
Avi Ran (1963-1987)
An esteemed goalkeeper for Maccabi Haifa and the Israel national football team in the 1980's. He was killed in a tragic accident in the Sea of Galilee. Today, the Israel National Youth Championship Cup bears his name.
Sports journalist and author (along with Danny Dvorin) of a book about Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Currently documenting the history of Israeli football for the Israel Football Association.