Kucherevskiy Killed In Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian football is in mourning after Evhen Kucherevskiy, the man who led FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to the Soviet title, was killed in a car crash.

Evhen Kucherevskiy

The former coach, who celebrated his 65th birthday on 6 August, was driving to watch a reserve match in his current capacity as Dnipro's sporting director when his car collided with a truck. He was rushed to hospital but died without regaining consciousness on Saturday.

After an unremarkable career as a goalkeeper with a number of Ukrainian-based Soviet second division clubs, Kucherevskiy found his true calling as a coach.

Starting his career with smaller outfits FC Kolos Nikopol, FC Sudostroitel, he joined Dnipro initially as reserve team coach in 1986.

Handed sole command, he led the club through an incredible period which saw the modest Dnipro finish as runners-up in the Soviet Supreme League in 1987 - his first season in charge - before claiming the title in 1988, the cup in 1989 and a place in the 1989/90 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals.

He would subsequently coach clubs in Tunisia and Syria and moved to Russia to take charge of the national Under-21 team.

He returned to Dnipro as coach in November 2001, leading them to two third-placed league finishes and into the UEFA Cup, but stepped down to take up his current position in 2005.

At the time of his retirement, club general director Andriy Stetsenko said of him: "I think all Ukrainian football should thank him. Dnipro's players have contributed heavily to the national team's [FIFA World Cup] qualification and this has everything to do with Kucherevskiy."

Source: UEFA