John Eriksen

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John Eriksen
Personal information
Full nameJohn Hartmann Eriksen
Date of birth(1957-11-20)20 November 1957
Place of birth Assens, Denmark
Date of death 12 February 2002(2002-02-12) (aged 44)
Place of death Svendborg, Denmark
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1964–1975 Svendborg FB
Senior career*
1975–1977 Svendborg FB (23)
1978–1980 Odense BK 60 (42)
1980–1984 Roda 144 (80)
1984–1985 Mulhouse 34 (27)
1985–1986 Feyenoord 31 (22)
1986–1989 Servette 87 (75)
1989–1991 Luzern 70 (37)
1991–1993 Svendborg FB 57 (39)
National team
1975 Denmark U17 1 (1)
1975 Denmark U19 2 (1)
1978–1983 Denmark U21 15 (5)
1981–1988 Denmark 17 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John Hartmann Eriksen (20 November 1957 – 12 February 2002) was a Danish footballer who played as a striker. He scored 319 league goals over the course of 15 seasons. He played in four countries, namely the Netherlands and Switzerland. Eriksen was a Danish international in the 1980s, appearing in the 1986 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1988.

Denmark Constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

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.


Early life

Eriksen was born on 20 November 1957 in Assens. In 1964 he moved with his family from Assens to Svendborg, where he and his brother started playing football in Svendborg FB. Here he won the Funen boy Championship in 1968. He debuted for Svendborg FB in June 1975, aged 17.

Assens, Denmark Town in Southern Denmark, Denmark

Assens is a town with a population of 5,956 on the west coast of the island of Funen on the eastern side of the Little Belt in central Denmark. By road, Assens is located 41.2 kilometres (25.6 mi) southwest of Odense, 34 kilometres (21 mi) northwest of Faaborg, and 33.34 kilometres (20.72 mi) southeast of Middelfart. Assens is the municipal seat of Assens Municipality in Region of Southern Denmark. It was the birthplace of sculptor Jens Adolf Jerichau who married the well-known portraitest Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann; both artists' works are exhibited at the local art museum, Vestfyns Kunstmuseum.

Svendborg Town in Southern Denmark, Denmark

Svendborg is a town on the island of Funen in south-central Denmark, and the seat of Svendborg Municipality. With a population of 26,672, Svendborg is Funen's second largest city. In 2000 Svendborg was declared "Town of the year" in Denmark, and in 2003 it celebrated its 750th anniversary as a market town. By road, Svendborg is located 195 kilometres (121 mi) southwest of Copenhagen, 183 kilometres (114 mi) south of Aarhus, 44.2 kilometres (27.5 mi) south of Odense, and 28.5 kilometres (17.7 mi) east of Faaborg.

Club career

After two season with Svendborg, Eriksen switched to Odense BK, scoring 22 goals in each of his two seasons with the club. In January 1980, he moved to Roda JC in the Netherlands, never netting less than 16 goals in each of his four Eredivisie seasons.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands, sometimes known as Holland, is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Eredivisie professional association football league in the Netherlands

The Eredivisie is the highest echelon of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. As of the 2018–19 season it is ranked the 11th best league in Europe by UEFA.

In 1984–85, Eriksen joined FC Mulhouse in the French Ligue 2, finishing second in the goal scoring charts as the club narrowly missed on promotion, falling short in the playoffs. In the summer, he returned to the Netherlands and joined Feyenoord, again surpassing the 20-goal mark as the Rotterdam outfit ranked in third position.

Statistics of Division 2 in the 1984/1985 season.

FC Mulhouse association football club in France

Football Club de Mulhouse is a French association football club based in Mulhouse. The club was founded in 1893 and currently play in the Championnat National 3, the fifth level of French football. Mulhouse plays its home matches at the Stade de l'Ill located within the city.

Ligue 2 second tier of French football

Ligue 2, also known as Domino's Ligue 2 due to sponsorship by Domino's Pizza, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the other being Ligue 1, the country's top football division. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with both Ligue 1 and the third division Championnat National. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each totalling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday and weekend evenings. Play is regularly suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January.

Aged almost 29, Eriksen moved to Switzerland where he continued to display solid scoring form, for both Servette FC (having played alongside Karl-Heinz Rummenigge) and FC Luzern. With the former, he led the scorers list in his first two seasons, notably scoring 36 in 34 games in 1987–88 (second position overall, only two points behind champions Neuchâtel Xamax).

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Servette FC association football club in Switzerland

Servette FC is a Swiss football club based in Geneva. They play in the Raiffeisen Super League. The club was relegated to the third division in 2004–05 due to a bankruptcy, but achieved promotion to the Swiss Challenge League after the 2005–06 season, where the club remained until 2011. Servette earned promotion to the Swiss Super League after defeating Bellinzona in a relegation/promotion playoff on 31 May 2011. The club finished fourth in its first season back in the top flight, thereby gaining entrance to the Europa League second round qualification round for the 2012–13 season. However, they were relegated at the end of the 2013 season.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge German footballer

Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge is a German former professional football player.

Eriksen closed his career at nearly 36 with his first club, hometown's Svendborg FB.

International career

Eriksen won 17 caps and scored six goals for Denmark, his debut coming in 1981. He was selected for the squad that competed in the 1986 FIFA World Cup, appearing as a substitute against West Germany (2–0 win, one goal) [1] and Spain (1–5 round-of-16 loss). [2]

Eriksen was also picked for UEFA Euro 1988 in West Germany, playing twice in an eventual group stage exit (two 0–2 losses), starting against Italy.


After ending his career, Eriksen suffered Alzheimer's disease, and lived his last three years in a nursing home in Svendborg. After falling accidentally in his home he died on 12 February 2002, at 44 years of age. He was buried in St. Nicolai Church in Svendborg on 20 February 2002.

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  1. "Denmark – West Germany 2–0 (1–0)". 13 June 1986. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. Denmark – Spain 1–5 (1–1); Planet World Cup, 18 June 1986