By the time 'Kazzy' Deyna arrived in Manchester in November 1978 he was
already a hugely experienced player. He'd previously played for Poland
in both the 1972 Olympic Games and the 1974 World Cup (not to mention
being the holder of 105 caps and the scorer of 45 international goals),
had won Poland's Player of the Year trophy three times and had scored
more than 140 goals in nearly 400 games for Legia Warsaw. After some
careful negotiating by chairman Peter Swales and secretary Bernard
Halford with the Polish military authorities (£110, 000 and some office
equipment!), manager Tony Book was finally able to offer the cultured
midfielder his debut in a 2-1 home defeat by Ipswich on November 25th.
He played in 14/3 games of that 1978/79 season and maintained his
goalscoring ratio, finishing on a high with six goals in the last five
He was injured in only the second game of the 1979/80
season at Middlesbrough, returning to action six games later and was
immediately on the scoresheet again in a 2-1 win at Leeds. It was the
first of three goals in four games for this most skilful of players.
Other niggling injuries followed, making it a stop-start time for Deyna
who'd end the season with six goals from 22/1 games in all competitions.
With the arrival of new manager John Bond in October 1981, City's
fortunes began to improve after the earlier disappointments of Tony Book
and Malcolm Allison.
Unfortunately Deyna did not fit into Bond's plans
and he moved to NASL side San Diego Sockers for an undisclosed fee on
28th January 1981. His playing career at Maine Road took in a brief but
enjoyable 38/5 games and 13 goals. He played a further four years in San
Diego and after retiring from playing, stayed on in California to coach
youngsters. He was just a month short of his 42nd birthday when he was
tragically killed in a road accident in San Diego, California, on 1st September 1989. In June 2012 Kazimierz Deyna was buried in Warsaw's military Powazki Cemetery. (Ian Penney - author of The Legends of Manchester City).
He appeared in the 1981 film Escape to Victory as Paul Wolcheck.
Deyna played for Poland 97 times (84 after the deduction of Olympic Football Tournament competition games), scoring 41 goals and often captained the side.