On Monday, Ajax received the sad news that former player Barry Hulshoff had passed away. The defender was a pillar in the golden Ajax years that conquered the world in the early 70s. Hulshoff played in 385 official games in Ajax 1. The former player passed away on Sunday at 73 years of age, after a short period of illness.
Hulshoff (September 30, 1946) made his debut in the first team on January 9, 1966, under Rinus Michels. The defender’s first game in the red-and white kit ended in a 1-1 tie against arch rival Feyenoord.
In March 2015, Hulshoff looked back on his first official appearance as an Ajax player. “I heard that I’d be making my debut in the Classic five days before. You look forward to that first game so much, but once it’s kicked off, you feel like it only lasts 10 minutes. Time just flies by. But it was a great debut. Although I was back on the second team the following week. But that’s okay: it was part of the learning process.”
Hulshoff was part of the Ajax’s golden years in the early 70s. the defender was a pillar in the very successful Amsterdam team. The absolute highlight was winning the Europa Cup 1 three times: 1971, 1972 and 1973, as well as winning the World Club Cup in 1972. In his first Europa Cup 1 final, he played with Ajax against AC Milan on May 28, 1969. Ajax didn’t have a chance, losing the final by 4-1.
Two years later, Ajax and Hulshoff had the opportunity to avenge itself, this time against Panathinaikos from Greece. This time, the attempt was successful; Ajax won the game in London by 2-0. Rinus Michels’s team had won its first Europa Cup for national champions, which would eventually become the Champions League.
One year later, in 1972, Hulshoff was once again on the squad when Ajax won the final against Internazionale in Rotterdam. Hulshoff played a big part in the World Club Cup win during the same year. In the both first and second game against Independiente from Argentina, the defender was steady in the line-up. With the tall, strong Hulshoff on defense, the Ajax players were secure in the knowledge that they were covered.
Hulshoff was also successful with Ajax in the Eredivisie. The Ajax player, born in Deventer, won no fewer than 7 national championships with the team. Hulshoff spoke of his success: “I’ve always done things my own way. When I was there, I was there, all-in. That has always been my mentality. One thing has always driven me: the game is just so much fun. That’s the foundation. Especially when you win. In the end, it was good enough to win Europa Cups. Things were good.”
With his defensive prowess, Hulshoff was also part of the Dutch national team. On October 10, 1971, he made his debut against East Germany. He played in a total of 14 interlands, and the defender scored 6 times.
On May 15, 1977, the 14-time international played his last game for Ajax. Disappointingly, this last game ended in a 0-0 stalemate against NEC. After his career at Ajax, Hulshoff spent two more seasons in the south of the Netherlands. The celebrated players ended his playing career at MVV.
After his career as a player, Hulshoff remained active in football. He coached several Belgian clubs and even briefly coached Ajax in 1988. Together with Spitz Kohn and Bob Haarms, Hulshoff did the honours in de Meer when Johan Cruijff left Ajax after a conflict.
The top-class defender remained connected to the love of his youth, Ajax, even in retirement. He awarded the Johan Cruijff Shield on July 27, 2013 to then-captain Siem de Jong. Hulshoff was also active as a technical director at Willem II and Ajax America in the United States.
In the last football years, he acted as a supervisor and advisor to Matthijs de Ligt. Hulshoff was regularly in attendance at home games in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. As a representative of a glorious chapter in the club’s history, Hulshoff was a welcome guest at the yearly reunion of Ajax 1 players.
Prior to the Ajax Reserves game on Monday evening against NAC, one minute of silence will be observed. All Ajax teams will play with mourning bands this week. Naturally, Ajax 1 will also observe the passing of this club icon. It’s not yet clear what shape this will take.
Ajax wishes strength to all those who were close to Barry Hulshoff. The service will take place with a selected group.
Barry Hulshoff in numbers:
Hulshoff played no fewer than 385 games in Ajax 1. In addition to his 4 greatest international achievements (3 times Europa Cup 1 and 1 World Club Cup), Hulshoff also won 2 European Supercups, 7 national titles, and 4 KNVB Cups. Hulshoff in on the honour roll including het most successful Ajacieds in the club’s rich history.
Born: 30 September 1946
Debut Ajax 1: 9 January 1966
Last match Ajax 1: 15 May 1977
Total matches / goals: 385 / 24
Competition matches: 283
Cup matches: 35
European matches: 57
Other matches: 10
Barry Hulshoff played with Ajax during the following seasons: 1965-1966, 1966-1967, 1967-1968, 1968-1969, 1969-1970, 1970-1971, 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1973-1974, 1974-1975, 1975-1976, 1976-1977.