Israel Halivner "Halaula", one of the greatest players and coaches in Maccabi Tel Aviv history, has passed away aged 85

Israel Halivner, Maccabi Tel Aviv "runner" (midfielder) in the 1940's and 1950's, was born in Poland and came to Israel at the age of five. Seven years later entered the Maccabi Tel Aviv youth system, joining the senior squad in 1946. The Arabs he played football with at Tel Aviv's Basel market (now called the Betsalel market on King George St.) were very fond of him and called him by the Arabic word for "sweet" (hilwe), a nickname that was eventually adapted by his Maccabi teammates, who called him "Halaula". Halivner played for Maccabi Tel Aviv until the 1955/56 season, when he moved to Maccabi Ramat Gan as player-manager. He retired from active play at age 30 due to a knee injury but left a legacy of four championships and three prestigious State Cups as a Maccabi Tel Aviv footballer.

Following his retirement, Halivner returned to Maccabi as head coach and lead the club on to great successes from the touchline as well. In his first year as coach, the double season of 1966/68, he led Maccabi to two titles. The 1966 season was drawn out over two years and combined into one season of sixty matches, at the end of which Maccabi Tel Aviv under Halivner led Hapoel Petah Tikva by three points. The State Cup competition was played twice in this double season, and in the final played for the 1966/67 season Halivner's Maccabi Tel Aviv beat municipal archrivals Hapoel Tel Aviv to lift the trophy.

Halivner's best season as head coach was in 1969/70 when Maccabi won the league and Cup double, the former on goal difference and the latter with a 2-1 victory in the final over Maccabi Netanya. The following season Halivner ended his illustrious career as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, but not before winning his final trophy, the Asian Club Cup. This international title for Halivner and Maccabi Tel Aviv was the closing chapter of his relatively short but distinguished career that earned the club an impressive two league championships, two State Cups and one Asian Club Cup in the short space of his four years as Maccabi head coach.

Click here to see Israel Halivner's page on this website

May he live on in blessed memory.