Football’s Most International National Cup

Football fans Singapore

Originally constructed in bonnie Newcastle in 1915, the HMS Malaya had been of service both in World War I and II in places as varied as Denmark, Anatolia, Malta, Genoa, Cape Verde and the Caribbean. She gallantly ended her service as target bouncing bomb practice in Loch Striven in Scotland in 1944, but where Football is concerned, the HMS Malaya made her most important trip in 1921 – to the land after which she was named. Continue reading

FC Start and the Ukrainian Death Match

Dynamo Kyiv death match

In an effort to legitimise their rule, the National Socialists decided to relax restrictions of certain cultural activities in the territories they occupied in 1942. In Paris, this meant permitting a return to the café culture – a hallmark of Parisian society. And on the Eastern Front, the Nazis decided to organise a summer Football league in Kiev.

During and after Operation Barbarossa, the Kievans Continue reading

The Kozakken Boys

Kozakken Boys fc

It isn’t often the FBTG boys wake up on a Saturday morning in the Netherlands. But when we do, we are seldom in a state to drive.

On our first Football-culture trip to the Netherlands, stadium tours in Alkmaar and Amsterdam were pleasant, but ultimately outdone by a rain-soaked yet brilliant Friday evening contest between SC Telstar and FC Twente and the Rabobank IJmond Stadion in IJmuiden. Mercifully Continue reading

The Beautiful Fans

Milan derby tifo

Many comment on the decline of Serie A as an exhibition of the highest quality Football on the planet in the past two decades, but far fewer seem to correctly observe the fact that the Italian Football culture has been undoubtedly one of the most influential in the 20th century. Fanatics and Ultras from Lombardy to Sicily were the first to incorporate choreographies and tifos into the typical game day on a large scale, and this Continue reading

The Club of Kings

Oldest Football Club in Holland

There once was a time when most European nations were governed by monarchies. Royal families (often related to one other) wielding almost limitless political power maintained the status quo by offering virtually zero social mobility to their peasant subjects. Revolutions in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries transformed the political landscape on the continent that was the first to industrialise and subsequently colonise the rest of the world. Only a small handful of European nations in the 21st century hold on to their Royal Families, and one Continue reading