On this day in 1952, Danish international striker Allan Simonsen was born. Kicking off his professional career with hometown Vejle BK, he helped his side lift the domestic league title during his first season before repeating the triumph a year later with a victorious cup campaign.
His talent became evident and defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Mönchengladbach knocked on his door eventually coming to an accord with the footballer. Although the start of his German career was undoubtedly rocky, he acclimatised, scoring 76 goals in 178 appearances between 1972 and 1979, winning three Bundesliga titles, two UEFA Cups and a German Cup.
In 1977, he fell short of European Cup dominance after Mönchengladbach lost to Liverpool in the final despite his consolation goal. His performances that season earned himself the accolade of European Footballer of the Year.
He later backed his bags for Barcelona where he spent three seasons, adding the Copa del Rey to his trophy cabinet as well as scoring the decider as the Catalans defeated Standard Liege in the 1982 Cup Winners’ Cup.
After a short spell with Charlton Athletic, Simonsen hung up his boots back in his hometown but not before lifting another league title in 1984 before his eventual retirement in 1989. Since then, he moved to the managerial side of football with Vejle and is currently FC Fredericia general manager in his native Denmark.
Other sport star birthdays on this day:
1951: Joe Jordan, former Scottish striker, also known as Jaws, played for Leeds, Manchester United and AC Milan. (65).
1970: Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey hailed champion on three occasions, famously riding all seven winners on British Champions’ Day at Ascot (46).
1983: Delon Armitage, English full-back currently plying his trade for Lyon, but rose to fame for on-field antics at Toulon (33).
1984: Martin Skrtel, Slovakian defender for Turkishe side Fenerbahce, formerly of Liverpool (32).