It all started among the beer bottles of Copenhagen

I’VE BEEN fortunate down the years in having some useful contacts in football. For a start, my cousin’s husband was a Danish international goalkeeper who played for Hvidovre when they won the Danish League in 1966 and later became goalkeeper coach for Brøndby and the Danish national team. Another cousin was a player with a Danish minor league club. As a result, I’ve been lucky … Continue reading It all started among the beer bottles of Copenhagen

Europe’s giants of all sizes, Part 1

AS we head towards the inevitable European super league, the rest of the continent’s clubs must be wondering what lies in store for those that find themselves excluded from the great gravy train that will emerge from a future shake-up of football. It would be easy for onlookers to only see a landscape that is dominated by Barca, Bayern, Real and PSG, but across Europe, … Continue reading Europe’s giants of all sizes, Part 1

This year’s culture club – AGF of Aarhus

THEY’RE flying little blue flags from the front of buses in Aarhus this year. They’ve also chiselled the motto, “Aarhus 2017” into the paving slabs around Denmark’s second biggest city. They’re expecting lots of visitors, though heaven knows how Aarhus’ very provincial airport will handle them. For this charming city, full of well-mannered and mellow people, is one of the European Capitals of Culture for … Continue reading This year’s culture club – AGF of Aarhus

When gold came to Hvidovre

HVIDOVRE is a suburb of Copenhagen where a number of Danish TV programmes and films have been shot. It’s the sort of area that looks like many small towns that form part of greater Copenhagen – neat, uniform and well served from an infrastructure perspective. Hvidovre Stadion is just a few minutes walk from Friheden station. It has the classic Danish football stadium appearance, with … Continue reading When gold came to Hvidovre

Experiencing the “new firm”

COPENHAGEN belongs to FC København, so I was told. The battle, which started in 1992, has been won by the team from what is a well-heeled part of the Danish capital. Although I would get some abuse from my Danish family members for admitting it, if I lived in Copenhagen, I would probably watch FCK. I like their branding, the crisp white shirts, the blue … Continue reading Experiencing the “new firm”

If the Nordics get the euros…

IT’S GOOD NEWS that the Nordic football associations are considering making a joint-bid for either Euro 2024 or 2028. The region has been under-used by UEFA and FIFA, hosting one European Championship in 1992, one World Cup in 1958 (neutral Sweden after WW2) and three European Cup-Winners Cups (Goteborg, Copenhagen and Stockholm). The plan is for a four-country approach, with Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden … Continue reading If the Nordics get the euros…

Lightning stops play: A Danish cup tie in 1971

imageIN 1971, Danish football was a backwater, an amateur game played by butchers, bakers and postmen. The Danes had their moments, though, and the Scots certainly underestimated Denmark around this time. In June 1971, Denmark surprisingly beat Scotland 1-0 in Copenhagen in a European Championship qualifier, thanks to a goal from Finn Laudrup, father of Michael and Brian. Two months later, B1903 (who became part of the Danish super club, FC Copenhagen), beat Celtic 2-1 in the first round, first leg, of the European Cup. The goalscorer for the Danes that evening was Benny Johansen, who would become FCK’s first manager. Continue reading “Lightning stops play: A Danish cup tie in 1971”

Farewell, Guld-Harald

Danish football has its legends. The Laudrups, Alan Simonsen, Peter Schmeichel, Morten Olsen and Preben Elkjaer are written into Denmark’s football folklore. But the man who was really Denmark’s first all-action hero was Harald Nielsen. In August this year, Denmark mourned the death of a player who not only made an impact on the field, but also helped accelerate the adoption of professional football in … Continue reading Farewell, Guld-Harald

Calling in on….Frem BK, Copenhagen’s cult club

For most people, the Danish football season is over, aside from the lower divisions that are sleepily moving towards their conclusion. The Superliga has ended, the trophies won, the national team can put their feet up as it will not be going to Brazil, so local fans are eyeing next season. Any weekend in Copenhagen you can find a few games, thanks to the plethora … Continue reading Calling in on….Frem BK, Copenhagen’s cult club

Moeller Nielsen, the unsung hero of Denmark’s Class of ’92

Richard Moeller Nielsen, who died last week, inspired a thousand clichés when he led Denmark to the European Championship in 1992. The Danes shouldn’t have even been at the finals in Sweden, having been eliminated by Yugoslavia in the qualifying groups. But the Balkan conflict and accompanying politics meant that Denmark were last minute replacements. They were the proverbial “no hopers” who created a fairy … Continue reading Moeller Nielsen, the unsung hero of Denmark’s Class of ’92