Bosko Bursac: Vitessenaar for Life

On Wednesday 8 April, the football world was rocked by the death of Vitesse clubman Bosko Bursac (74). The Serb was a high-scoring striker with the Arnhem mers in the 1970s. He later became a master scout at the club and brought in great players such as Machlas, Diarra, Curovic and Perovic.  

Bosko Bursac was born on August 22, 1945 in the Bosnian Isjek, near the border with Croatia. He grew up in Serbia, near Belgrade. Through Proleter Zrenjanin, HNK Rijeka and NK Zagreb he joined Vitesse in 1974. The Arnhem club played in the First Division and was trained by Ned Bulatovic. Bursac immediately made himself immortal with the Arnhem crowd: he scored a goal against arch-rival NEC on his debut. Six years would play the head strong and cunning attacker in Arnhem. The highlight of this period was the Championship of the First Division in 1977. After the power striker under coach Henk Wullems became increasingly on the bench, he ended his career in 1980 at the age of 35.

After his football career, Bursac returned to Yugoslavia. As a Serb, the former striker lived peacefully in rijeka, where his great achievements made him a 'great gentleman' for the club. However, the Balkan war in the 1990s had a major impact on Bursac and his family. Suddenly he was no longer safe in Croatia with his family. Because Bursac had a dual passport, he was able to return to the Netherlands. Friends from his Vitesse champion team, including Charly Bosveld, Joop Heezen and Herman Veenendaal, picked him up and arranged a fully furnished home for the Bursac family in the Netherlands, including a luxury VCR.

Bursac was deeply moved didn't know how to thank his friends. Yet he succeeded, in a special way. In an excellent scouting team with Jan Streuer among others, he would later bring great players to Arnhem, such as Nikos Machlas, Marko Perovic, Dejan Curovic, Mahamadou Diarra and Miroslav Stefanovic. Many players were sold for a lot of money afterwards. Nikos Machlas was his greatest find. The Greek was picked up for a pittance from OFI Crete. At Vitesse he became European top scorer and was sold to Ajax for nineteen million guilders. Bursac retired in 2015. He left the club as 'Silver Vitessenaar', because of his great merits for the club. 

Bosko Bursac was a good footballplayer, a great scout, but above all a beloved person. Because of his great merits and sympathetic character a Vitessenaar for Life. We wish his loved ones a lot of strength at this great loss.

(Photo: ANP)


Bursac in 2015 with our editor Maarten van Wieringen

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