Daughter travels 17,000km for information about her father

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Pictured at The Showgrounds last Thursday are: Shane Crossan, Brian Cornish, Alda Cornish, Aidan Mannion and Joe Molloy.
By Alan Finn
                    
An Australian woman has come to Sligo in search of information about her father.
                        
Alda Cornish, along with her husband Brian, were at The Showgrounds Thursday last seeking information about Siegfried Dobrowitsch, who played with Sligo Rovers in the late 1940s.
                        
Dobrowitsch was The Bit O’Red’s first international signing from further afield than the UK when he arrived from Racing Club de Strasbourg in 1949 when the striker discovered an advert in a French newspaper about The Bit O’Red’s open invite for players to come to the North West of Ireland.
                           
Dobrowitsch came to Rovers for a brief spell, but he proved to be a revelation as he scored eight goals in ten games.
                                
The research of the Sligo Rovers Heritage Group paid dividends as Aidan Mannion and Joe Molloy helped piece his story together in a meeting with Alda and Brian, first revealing that her father’s Rovers career may have been cut short by a car accident when he and two other players were injured in a crash in Collooney on their way to a game.
                                    
Siegfried went on to sign for Drumcondra in 1950, and until now, little was known about the Hungarian sensation’s life after this spell with the exception of his death occurring in 1994.
Hungarian international Siegfried Dobrowitsch played ten times for Sligo Rovers, scoring eight goals in that time.

Alda’s own research concluded that Dobrowitsch lived in Ireland until roughly 1956, after which he and his wife moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where her father spent most of his life as an electrical engineer.

                            
It was also discovered that Siegfried is reported to have played in five international games with Hungary, however this cannot be verified thus far as Hungarian FA records were destroyed in the 1940s.
                                  
The Holy Grail continues to be vital information which definitely outlines his place of birth, his daughter explained.
                                
“He was born in a part of what was Hungary and we understand he lost both of his parents by the age of seven. He was put in a Jesuit Boys Home, but it was a very cruel place where he grew up. The next thing I could find was he was playing football and working as an electrician. He ended up in France around 1947 and played with Strasbourg, where he met his first wife.”

For the full story, see this week’s Sligo Weekender newspaper – in shops now!

Alternatively, you can purchase an online edition here

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