What moments in football history have we highlighted in the last month? How do they provide us with historical mirrors to the present?
In this article:
Superga tragedy (Photo: Wikicommons, Maxperot).
Exploring Football History in the past and present
In May, we posted stories covering numerous areas associated with football history.
Highlights to cherish
In May, we continued our #onthisday social media campaign with 32 entries, playing close attention to stories – large and small – that connects football to social and cultural developments on the continent. With these posts, we always ask a question.
We recalled two disasters in football history:
- On May 4th 1949 the football team of Torino FC died in a flight crash on the Superga hill, close to Turin. All the players, the coaches and some journalists died. The shock was so big that in 1950 Italy traveled to the Brazilian World Cup by boat.
- On May 8th 1985, Bradford City’s stadium caught fire during a match, killing 56 and injuring 265. An antiquated wooden stand that was due to be replaced caught fire from a cigarette.
We get a variety on perspectives on the Second World War through football:
- On May 2nd 1943 a football match was played on the ruins of Stalingrad. It seems 90 minutes of kicking about offers people an escape from daily life, also in war.
- On May 7th 1944, Italian partisan and footballer Bruno Neri played his last football match, Faenza played against Bologna FC. He died fighting for Italian Resistance, in July 1944, on the mountains between Faenza and Florence.
- On May 9th 1942 Frank Soo made his international debut for England. He was the first and only person from an Asian background to play for England, although it was in an unofficial wartime match. His cap was not recognised.
- On May 10th 1947, the “”Match of the Century” between Great Britain XI and the Rest of Europe XI took place. The match celebrated the return of the four British FA’s to FIFA after an 18-year absence.
- On May 12th 1940, the Netherlands was scheduled to play against Luxembourg, but due to the outbreak of the WWII, the match was canceled. The two countries would eventually face each other six years later, in 1946.
These were just some of the highlights! Explore more of our May stories on our social media. Miss something? Why not tell us?
Pass the ball around
Educators almost entirely produce our campaign’s content. Each day we aim to deliver exciting mini-stories from football’s rich history. These will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The content aims to support the educational objectives of the Football Makes History project. If you are reading this and have suggestions or ideas for the months ahead, we are most happy to receive those! Join us! Help our team tell the stories that matter.
Football club Eintracht Frankfurt works with 88-year old fan and Holocaust survivor to educate and build a fan culture of anti-discrimination.
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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.
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