Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Historical parallel

I was always been a bit wary of Class War - especially after they orchestrated a fracas that nearly got me killed by Dibble. But I've just stumbled across Ian Bone's blog.

His comment on British athletes being discouraged from saying what they think while they're in China is worth a look.

England Footballers - 1938.


Harry Barnes said...

I was discussing this photo with some friends on Sunday. Jackie Robinson who was transfered from Sheffield Wednesday to Sunderland in 1946 is on the photo. One of my friends had known him in the North East. The best of his career fell foul to the War. He is, I believe, the second from the left. He made his debut in a home game against Grimsby Town on 19 October and scored the only goal in a 2-1 defeat. It was the first League game I ever saw.

Harry Barnes said...

P.S. Stanley Matthews is amongst them. He scored, as Robinson did twice in a 6-3 win. Here is a take on events from the Independent of 14.6.2000 -

"What seems to have happened is that the Football Association's secretary, Stanley Rous, and the tour party's senior official, Charles Welford Brown, consulted with Sir Nevile Henderson, the pro-appeasement British ambassador. According to Rous, the Nazi salute was given at Henderson's request. Hapgood would speak of muttering in the ranks but Rous denied this. "They [the players] all accepted it at the time. The row started later."
However, in an autobiography, The Way It Was, completed shortly before his death earlier this year, Sir Stanley Matthews insisted that there was bedlam in England's dressing-room when the decision was made known. "Everyone was shouting at once," he wrote. "Eddie Hapgood, normally a respectful captain, wagged his finger at the official [presumably Rous] and told him what he could do with the Nazi salute... In fact, Eddie offered a compromise, saying we would stand to attention but the offer fell on deaf ears. We were told that the political situation between Great Britain and Germany was now so sensitive that it needed `only a spark to set Europe alight'."

Robinson and others in the team went on to fight against Hitler in the War.