The players, mainly from clubs in Krakow and Chorzow, had just emerged from years of wartime hardship, with several of them having been held in concentration camps. When Poland resumed international matches against Norway the following summer, seven of the players from this tour were in the team.
The games at Dundee, Morton, Ayr and Hampden also added an attractive new dimension to the domestic scene in Scotland. The tour was scheduled to start on 9 October, but a travel delay in Berlin forced a short postponement. When the players finally trained for the first time, they were described by a curious reporter from the Dundee Courier: ‘Fifteen well-built young men, clad in snappy training suits, yesterday lapped Hampden Park and went on to reveal slick ball-control. They were the Silesian footballers having their first trial spin since their arrival in this country. Their names read like anagrams.’
He added that only one had been in Scotland before: Michalski had served in the Polish Army and left Britain just nine weeks ago to be repatriated. Five had been in concentration camps, while others took part in the underground war in Poland.
Managed by M. Kiesielinski, Director of Physical Education in Poland, they were based in Glasgow, where they were entertained by a visit to the cinema, a tour of the city including Ibrox Stadium, and watched a League Cup tie between Queen's Park and Morton.
The match attracted over 10,000 spectators to Dens Park on a Monday afternoon, including 13 truckloads of Polish Army soldiers, and they saw the home team record a comfortable 2-0 win. Then in the evening there was a reception where the players were presented with plush Scotch terriers, decorated with a tartan ribbon.
Incidentally, the same day Sparta Prague met Rangers at Ibrox and they faced Hibs later that week.
The Silesian tour continued two days later in Greenock, and this time the visitors showed their worth by racing to a three goal lead by half time. Although Morton pulled one back, and Garth missed a penalty, it was a good win.
Then on Saturday, there were 8,000 at Somerset Park. Ayr took the lead before Cieslik quickly equalised, and the Silesians scored what proved the winner after the break, although it took a brilliant penalty save by Brom from Smith to retain the lead.
The tour ended where it began, at Hampden Park, where 15,000 turned out to see a Third Lanark and Queen’s Park select face the Silesians. The visitors recorded their third successive win, although it was a close match.
Despite Cieslik and Brom apparently being offered professional contracts by Scottish clubs, all the tourists returned to Poland where they were greeted as heroes when they finally arrived at the railway station in Katowice, and taken for a festive breakfast.
However, it would not be long before Scottish football gained a Polish flavour. There was a large Polish Army base near Fraserburgh and inevitably some of them were decent players and decided to remain in the country when demobilised. The first to move to a Scottish League club was Feliks Staroscik, who signed for Third Lanark in May 1947, and he was soon followed by Alfie Leszcz (shortened to Lesz) at St Mirren and Konrad Kapler at Celtic.
Walter Brom (Ruch)
Erwin Michalski (AKS)
Antoni Barwiński (Tarnovia)
Stanislaw Flanek (Wisla)
Mieczyslaw Gracz (Wisla)
Bak (right half)
Tadeusz Parpan (Cracovia)
Antoni Andrzejewski (AKS)
Jan Wapiennik (Wisla)
Stanislaw Baran (Ruch)
Gerard Cieślik (AKS)
Mieczyslaw Nowak (Garbarnia)
Marian Jabłoński (Cracovia) captain
Maksymilian Baranski (AKS)
Stanislaw Różankowski (Cracovia)
In the first match at Dundee, the Silesian team was Brom; Barwiński, Flanek; Wapiennik, Andrzejewski, Jabłoński; Cieślik, Nowak, Gracz, Różankowski, Baranski. For the other three matches, Parpan replaced Andrzejewski, and Baran replaced Baranski. Michalski and Bak did not play.
October 14, 1946
Dundee 2 (Turnbull 4, 75), Silesians 0
Dundee: Bennett, Follon, Ancell, McKenzie, Gray, Smith, Gunn, Pattillo, Turnbull, Ewen, Hill.
October 16, 1946
Greenock Morton 1 (McInnes 51), Silesians 3 (Cieślik 2, 12, Różankowski 41)
Morton: McFeat, Maley, Kelly, Mitchell, Aird, White, Cupples, Divers, Jones, Garth, McInnes.
October 19, 1946
Ayr United 1 (Morrison 30), Silesians 2 (Cieślik 32, Gracz 57)
Ayr: Paton, Monaghan, Henderson, Smith, McNeill, Nesbitt, McGuigan, Harkness, Morrison, Wallace, Beattie.
October 23, 1946
Third Lanark/Queen’s Park Select 1 (Ayton 61), Silesians 2 (Nowak 9, 79)
Third Lanark/Queen’s Park: Hamilton, Carabine, Kelly, Letham, Whigham, Harnett, McCulloch, Mason, Aitken, Ayton, Mitchell.