CHESTER BROOKS BORZYMOWSKI
As a founder of one of New Jersey’s most famous soccer programs, Chester Brooks Borzymowski has certainly proven to be one of the leading figures in soccer in this state.
Born in Gdynia, Poland in 1919, Chester developed a love for soccer as a youth, but with the start of World War II in 1939 his active career as a player came to a sudden stop.
A soldier in the Polish Army during the campaign of 1939, he was arrested and sent to a POW camp near Gdansk where he remained for the rest of war.
Following the war he returned to an active career in soccer, but in 1950, to avoid arrest on Poland, defected to the U.S.
Soon after arriving in America, Chester resumed his playing career with Eintracht in Astoria, N.Y. For two years he also played for Warsaw Brooklyn, Elizabeth Falcons and Sportsfriends in Wayne, while living in Clifton.
In June, 1952, along with a group of Polish sportsman who also moved to the U.S. after World War II, Chester helped found Sport Club Vistula, a social club that took its name from the English translation of “Wisla” the largest river in Poland.
Vistula’s first clubhouse was located at the Polish Peoples Homes in Passaic.
Shortly after Chester was elected first president of the club as well as team manager and captain of the soccer team. He continued his playing career and remained as captain until 1957 when a knee injury forced him to retire as a player.
But it did not stop Chester Brooks Borzymowski’s career in soccer. For 20 years he held various positions in Vistula, including president, treasurer, and team manager.
Under his persevering efforts and energetic leadership the club gradually grew in membership. Its social activities spread from soccer to volleyball to table tennis and chess, earning awards throughout the United States.
Vistula’s soccer team took second place in the New Jersey State League in 1959. Three years later the club formed a second team, and in 1956 fielded a third team for league play.
By 1967 Vistula had retired the Commissioner Stanek Trophy after winning its third straight title, and in 1967 took the first step to retiring the New Jersey Referee Association Trophy by taking first place.
Chester Brooks Borzymowski was a soccer pioneer in other ways. In 1957 he started a youth program at the club and for the next tree years managed and supported Vistula’s youth teams.
The same year he was inducted as an honorary member of S.C. Vistula.
By 1969 Sport Club Vistula had moved to a n new home in Garfield, N.J., opening as the Wisla Center, with Chester Brooks Borzymowski as its first president.
He and his family moved to Greenfield Park, N.Y. in 1971, but he remained involved in all Vistula’s sports affairs. In 1997 Chester Brooks Borzymowski was inducted in Vistula’s Hall of Fame and became Honorary President of the Club.
He is inducted into the New Jersey Soccer Association Hall of Fame for his countless contributions to helping develop the game throughout the state.