Besian Idrizaj

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Besian Idrizaj
Personal information
Full nameBesian Idrizaj
Date of birth(1987-10-12)12 October 1987
Place of birth Baden bei Wien, Austria
Date of death 15 May 2010(2010-05-15) (aged 22)
Place of death Linz, Austria
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 12 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1998–2003 Admira Linz
Senior career*
2003–2004 Admira Linz 0 (0)
2003–2005 LASK Linz 35 (4)
2005–2008 Liverpool 0 (0)
2007Luton Town (loan) 7 (1)
2007–2008Crystal Palace (loan) 7 (0)
2008Wacker Innsbruck (loan) 0 (0)
2009 FC Eilenburg 5 (0)
2009–2010 Swansea City 3 (0)
National team
2007–2009 Austria U21 12 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Besian Idrizaj (12 October 1987 – 15 May 2010) was an Austrian professional footballer who last played as a striker for Swansea City. [1] He also played in the Football League for Crystal Palace and Luton Town both whilst on loan from Liverpool for whom he did not make a League appearance. He also played for LASK Linz, Wacker Innsbruck and FC Eilenburg. He died of a heart attack on 15 May 2010 at the age of 22. [2] He was of Albanian descent. [3]

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Forward (association football) Association Football position played near the opponents goal

Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.

Swansea City A.F.C. Association football club

Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, Wales, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. The club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921. The club changed their name in 1969, when they adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city. Swansea have played their home matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005, having previously played at the Vetch Field since the club was founded.



Idrizaj started his career with Austria Linz and LASK Linz.

LASK Linz association football club in Austria

Linzer Athletik-Sport-Klub, commonly known as LASK Linz or simply LASK, is an Austrian association football club, from the Upper-Austrian state capital Linz. It is the oldest football club hailing from that region, and plays in the Austrian Football Bundesliga, the top tier of Austrian football. The club's colours are black and white. The women's football department plays in the second highest division of Austrian women's football.


He signed for Liverpool FC from LASK Linz in the summer of 2005 on a two-year contract, following a trial spell. He was Austria's young player of the year in 2004–05. [3]

At the time he declared "I have always been a Liverpool fan and it is a dream come true to play for them. If you get a chance to go to Liverpool on trial then you have to take it. You cannot ignore a trial with the reigning Champions League winners. I would even have swum across the channel just to take part."

His 2005–06 season was interrupted by injuries. However Idrizaj was expected to be a regular member of Gary Ablett and Hughie McAuley's reserve squad for the 2006–07 season. He made his debut for the first team in a pre-season friendly against Wrexham on 15 July 2006, playing for the first 45 minutes upfront as a striker, alongside fellow debutant Craig Bellamy. After going on loan to Luton Town in 2007 he returned to Liverpool for the close season. On 7 July 2007, Idrizaj scored a hat trick in a friendly for the Reds against Wrexham in a period of 26 minutes. All three goals were set up by Jermaine Pennant. [4]

Gareth Ian "Gary" Ablett was an English professional footballer and manager. He played as a defender from 1985 until 2001.

Wrexham A.F.C. association football club

Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales that plays in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system. Formed in 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales and the third oldest professional football team in the world. Since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club.

Craig Bellamy Welsh footballer

Craig Douglas Bellamy is a Welsh former footballer who played as a forward. He is currently a pundit for Sky Sports.

Luton Town

On 16 March 2007, Idrizaj went on loan to Championship team Luton Town, until the end of the 2006–07 season. [5] He made his English league debut with them the day after, but was substituted after 49 minutes. [6] He went on to play six more times for the club, scoring one goal against Southend United.

Luton Town F.C. English association football club

Luton Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, England, that competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed "the Hatters" and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association. The team plays its home matches at Kenilworth Road, where it has been based since 1905. The club's history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, and some spells of sustained success. It was perhaps most prominent between 1982 and 1992, when it was a member of English football's top division, at that time the First Division; the team won its only major honour, the Football League Cup, in 1988.

Southend United F.C. Association football club

Southend United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. The team competes in League One, the third tier of English football. Southend are known as "The Shrimpers", a reference to the area's maritime industry included as one of the quarterings on the club badge.

Crystal Palace

On 30 August 2007 he signed for Crystal Palace on a 12-month loan deal. [7]

Crystal Palace F.C. Association football club

Crystal Palace Football Club is an English professional football club based in Selhurst, South London, that competes in the Premier League, the highest level of English football. They were founded in 1905 at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building and played their home games at the FA Cup Final stadium situated inside the historic Palace grounds. The club were forced to leave the Palace in 1915 due to the outbreak of the First World War, and played at Herne Hill Velodrome and the Nest until 1924, when they moved to their current home at Selhurst Park.

Idrizaj made his debut for Crystal Palace against Charlton Athletic on 1 September 2007 in the South London derby as a 72nd-minute replacement for Clinton Morrison. [8] However, Idrizaj failed to establish himself at Crystal Palace and in January 2008 Manager Neil Warnock demanded that Liverpool take him back during the January transfer window as he would see no further action during his remaining time on loan with Crystal Palace. On 31 January 2008, Idrizaj of his own accord agreed to a loan move to Oldham Athletic for the remainder of the 2007–08 season after cancelling the remainder of the loan deal at Palace. [9] However, after interference from his agent Idrizaj backtracked on the deal and decided not to join The Latics. [10]

Return to Austria

On 31 January 2008 he signed for Austrian club Wacker Innsbruck on loan, from Liverpool, until the end of the 2007–08 football season, when his contract at Liverpool was terminated. [3] While at Innsbruck, he collapsed on the pitch during a game against Sturm Graz. [11] However, after undergoing medical tests, he was cleared to resume his football career after the tests indicated the collapse was a result of a virus rather than a heart problem. [12]

FC Eilenburg

Idrizaj played five games in the German NOFV-Oberliga Süd for FC Eilenburg and received a red card in his second game. [13]

Swansea City

Swansea City took Idrizaj on trial on 18 August 2009 and he signed for the club on 22 August 2009. [14] He was hailed by "Swans" manager Paulo Sousa "He's not quite a striker but he is an attacking player, I know a lot about him and he is the sort of player that could fit into our squad." He signed after impressing "The Swans" boss in training. He was given permission to train on field during the Reading and Coventry City games. It was reported he was offered the contract during the Coventry City game on 22 August. He accepted the contract at half time. He played three games for the "Swans" that season as they narrowly missed out on the Football League Championship play-offs and the chance of Premier League football. [15]


Idrizaj died on 15 May 2010 at the age of 22, barely two weeks after the end of the Championship campaign. [3] Reports suggest he suffered a heart attack in his sleep. [16] It was also reported that Idrizaj had previously collapsed on two separate occasions while playing football: once during a trial with his former club LASK Linz in November 2008 and also during a match for Wacker Innsbruck in February 2008. [17] [18]


As a mark of respect following Swansea City's 4–2 Championship play-off Final win over Reading on 30 May 2011, the Swansea players all wore T-shirts with Idrizaj's photo and name on them. [19] Swansea also decided to retire his number 40 shirt. [20]


Club performance [21]
ClubSeasonLeagueNational Cup League Cup EuropeOthersTotal
Admira Linz 2003–040000000000
LASK Linz 2003–041000000010
Liverpool 2005–06000000000000
Luton Town (loan)2006–07710000000071
Crystal Palace (loan)2007–08700000000070
Fußballclub Wacker Innsbruck (loan)2007–08200000000020
Swansea City 2009–10300010000040

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  1. "Austria striker dies at parents' home aged 22". 15 May 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  2. "Former Liverpool striker dies of heart-attack aged just 22". The Daily Mirror. UK. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Swansea striker Idrizaj dies at 22". The Independent. 16 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  4. "Idrizaj gives Reds win at Wrexham". BBC News. 7 July 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  5. "Idrizaj sent on loan to Luton". 16 March 2006. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  6. "Luton 0–2 Ipswich". Match report on BBC Sport. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  7. "Besian Idrizaj profile". Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  8. "Palace Sign Reds Striker". 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  9. "Club insist US meeting is not about Benitez as defender prepares to sign". 9 January 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  10. "IDRIZAJ LOAN DEAL OFF". Oldham Athletic. 31 January 2008. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  11. Swansea City manager Paulo Sousa pays tribute to Besian Idrizaj, The Guardian (16 May 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2013.
  12. Besian hopes to repay faith after fearing for pro career Archived 29 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine , South Wales Evening Post (13 March 2010). Retrieved on 18 October 2013.
  13. "Keine Punkte auf der Müllerwiese" (in German). FC Eilenburg. 4 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  14. "Swans take Idrizaj on trial". Swansea City Football Club. 18 August 2009. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  15. "Swansea recruit Austrian Idrizaj". BBC Sport. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  16. "Swansea player Besian Idrizaj dies at 22". BBC News. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  17. "Swansea striker Besian Idrizaj dies of suspected heart attack aged 22". The Guardian. UK. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  18. "Besian Idrizaj stirbt mit 22 Jahren". 15 May 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  19. "Swansea tribute to ex-Red". Liverpool FC. 30 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  20. "Swans to retire Besian's shirt". Swansea Official website. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 4 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  21. Besian Idrizaj UK at Soccerbase