The Ernest Pohl while playing on the pitch.
The Ernest Pohl while playing on the pitch.

Ernest Pohl: A Remarkable Journey

Ernest drinks but Ernest is playing.

Ernest Pohl was a Polish football player from Silesia. He represented Poland from 1955 to 1965 and participated in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Pohl scored 186 goals in league matches, earning him the title of three-time top scorer in the I Liga. Ernest was affectionately known as “Nochal”. It was a nickname given to him due to his unusual nose. Ernest Pohl’s journey showcases his determination and aspiration to become a football legend whose talents and successes deserve recognition.


Pohl’s versatility and goal-scoring prowess were evident from an early age. Starting at a small local club Slavia Ruda Śląska, his coach recognized his potential through his style of play. He then moved in 1935 to his first serious club, Legia Warszawa, where he earned the moniker “King of Warsaw” after consistently achieving remarkable results, such as scoring 43 goals in 55 games. However, differences with teammates and a strong connection to his Silesian roots led him to leave Legia and join Górnik Zabrze. Another reason for resigning from the Warsaw football club was its association with the communist government. This was not a popular association among Polish people, including him.

This decision proved pivotal for his career, as Górnik Zabrze offered not only financial benefits but also unique perks like a box of oranges, which was considered an exclusive commodity in Poland at that time, and a job at the Concordia mine, which could be considered well-paid work. 

Record-Breaking Achievements

Pohl’s impact on Górnik Zabrze and Polish football is undeniable. He holds the record for the highest number of goals in the first Polish league and played a crucial role in securing the Ekstraklasa title four times in a row. His contributions extended to the Polish national team, where he played in 46 matches and scored 39 goals. Pohl’s dedication to the sport was evident as he continued to play, even with a leg injury, leaving a lasting impression on the field.

Quirks and Sayings

Known for his unique personality, Pohl was famous for the saying, “Ernest drinks, but Ernest is playing.” Despite his inclination towards alcohol, he claimed it fueled his fearlessness against opponents. This quirk added a distinctive element to his character, making him a memorable figure in football history.


To honour Ernest Pohl’s contributions, the stadium of Górnik Zabrze was named after him, serving as a lasting tribute to his greatness. The story of Pohl’s career also sheds light on the challenges and opportunities within the Polish football league during his era, emphasising the significance of regional origins in achieving global success.

Thinking points

Ernest Pohl’s journey from local fields to becoming a football legend with Górnik Zabrze exemplifies the resilience, dedication, and talent that transcends his region. 

Educators working with learners could pose the following questions:

  • How did Pohl’s strong connection to his Silesian roots impact his career?
  • How did his regional identity influence his decisions and contributions to both club and country?
  • What does this reveal about the importance of cultural and regional ties in sports success?

Find out more

To find out more about Ernest Pohl follow this link for a comprehensive insight into his life and legacy. If you want to know more about the amazing stadium names after Nochal follow this link. Follow here to discover more of our stories related to Górnik Zabrze.

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The Ernest Pohl while playing on the pitch.
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