Born in Sarpsborg, Norway in 1898, Asbjorn Halvorsen was a powerful centre-half who remains the youngest-ever captain to win Norway’s cup final (in 1917, aged 18). Halvorsen made his international debut, against Sweden, in 1918.
Great player and Manager
In 1922, Halvorsen moved to Germany to play for Hamburger SV. He was a star player there, winning the national league title in 1923 and 1928. Halvorsen returned to Norway in 1934, after the Nazi dictatorship began, even though he was married to a German citizen. He became secretary of Norway’s Football Association and manager of the national team. Under Halvorsen, Norway won the bronze medal at the 1936 Olympics and qualified for the 1938 World Cup.
During the Second World War, Norway came under the German occupation; there was a sports boycott in protest, which Halvorsen supported. He was arrested and spent the rest of the war in concentration camps in Norway and then in Germany. After 1945 he was once again secretary of the Norwegian FA. He died in 1955.
Educators could look at the life story of Asbjorn Halvorsen and work with young people to consider this question:
- Asbjorn Halvorsen played for SV Hamburg and was regarded as a footballing hero in Germany. He was married to a German woman. But he spent years of his life as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Why?
Find out more
If you want to find out more about Asbjorn Halvorsen you can read this article (German) by the NDR covering the lives of teammates Asbjorn Halvorsen and Otto Harder. But when war divided Europe in 1939 so did it also divide Friends. Asbjorn spent this time in concentration camps while Harder went to join the SS.
Check out this article for more in-depth information in Norwegian.
HSV President Emil Martens, Asbjørn Halvorsen and the Hamburg official Gaues Nordmark, Arthur Egon Schmidt (from left) 1933 (Photo: HSV archive).
LIFE STORIES To discover now
Do you wanna know more?
HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.
Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.
Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.
In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
On May 4th 1980 Yugoslav communist leader and lifelong president Marshal Tito passed away while the country was watching the game between Hajduk Split and Red Star Belgrade. Ten years later, another game siding a Croatian club against a Serbian club on May 13th 1990, had the country on the brink of collapse.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
Retelling the history of the women’s football in Northern Ireland offers us a view on how the game came, went and is here to stay.
History uses Football Makes History is the classroom to teach about equality and let’s students decide!
What moments in football history have we highlighted in the last month? How do they provide us with historical mirrors to the present?
During WWII Nazi Germany attacked the harbors of Belfast, destroying with them most of the stadium of Glentoran F.C.
Football StoriesOn this day, International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day, is celebrated in many countries around the world to honour and remember the struggle and fight for rights for the working class and workers. During the latter half of the...