Often overlooked – the Jewish influence on world football

THESE are troubled and uncertain times for Britain’s Jewish population. With accusations of anti-semitism aimed at the country’s biggest political party, the mere mention of which sends a shiver down the spine of anyone with knowledge of the Holocaust, there is an underlying fear that history could be repeating itself. From that dreadful period, the tale of a hugely influential football figure has emerged, written … Continue reading Often overlooked – the Jewish influence on world football

A central European odyssey: The life of Josef Bican

IN 1928, the Olympic men’s 100 metre sprint was won by Canada’s Percy Williams. He ran the race in 10.8 seconds. Over in Vienna, a young footballer could run 100 metres in the same time, but he was wearing heavy boots and a football kit. That player was one Josef Bican, known as “Pepi” to his friends. We should all be aware of Bican as … Continue reading A central European odyssey: The life of Josef Bican

Great Reputations: Austria’s Wunderteam – the godfathers of football’s soul

APART FROM  a spell in the late 1970s when Hans Krankl was one of Europe’s most prolific strikers, Austrian football has spent many years in the shadows, despite being joint hosts of Euro 2008. It was during the football-fest of 2008 that an interesting exhibition in Vienna paid tribute to the history of the Austrian game, and in particular, a time when its national team … Continue reading Great Reputations: Austria’s Wunderteam – the godfathers of football’s soul