De Monk made a name for himself as a goalkeeper in the 1950s and 1960s. He started in his hometown of Goes, but his career has taken him all over the Netherlands. In 1958 he became champion with Utrecht DOS and De Munck was under the Dutch national team tag 31 times.
Mattie Verkaman (1951) was too young to consciously try out De Munck, but later learned a lot about his famous compatriot. “Colleagues have always said he is the best goalkeeper in the Netherlands ever,” says the Katz sports journalist.
Code inside and outside the lines
Under the bar, De Munck turns into an icon. He earned the nickname because of his cat saves in the goal, dark hair and black goalkeeper clothes black Tiger. “He was a beautiful man to watch, he knew it himself, and that made him endearing to the audience.”
According to Verkamann, de Monck was ahead of his time. “He had the looks and stature of a movie star. In that respect, he would have fit in really well in today’s football.” The sports magician even transcended his sport, when he appeared in a German film in 1954.
Frans de Monck was a man of puzzles”
Danny van der Linden, who wrote the biography of the former goalkeeper, also came across such stories about De Monck. “The story of American movie star Jane Mansfield is also well known. For the DOS competition, France received a kiss from her in the middle,” says the author. For his book, he spoke with the Van de Monk family. “He was also a puzzle man. I didn’t solve them all, but enough beautiful stories came out.”
“No boring kloris”
Verkamman is looking forward to the book coming out in early October. “French of course wasn’t boring kloris, and the book probably wouldn’t be. Especially the ‘French and Women’ chapter which piques my curiosity very much.”
Van der Linden hopes to portray De Munck, who died in 2010, in a beautiful but honest way. “Of course I don’t know if he would be happy about it himself. But I got to know him a little while writing. I think he would have been proud to publish a book, but that is not true of everything I have written.”
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