In this ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ post there is a continuation of the recent theme of:
(a) Helena Blehárová
(c) Football (or ‘Soccer’, to American readers!)
The most recent of the Helena Blehárová videos I have encountered is her Czech-language version of the Curtis Mayfield song, originally recorded by The Impressions in 1965, ‘People Get Ready’ – the lyrics immediately following the title being “there’s a train a-comin'” – ‘Život jde dál’ (‘Life Goes On’), from 1973, accompanied by Gustav Brom and his Orchestra.
Being an aficionado of Modernist Architecture, I was wondering where this striking complex of buildings might be. ‘Intersigma’, it transpired, is a fairly international term, not really incontrovertibly specifically Czech or Slovak, but thank goodness that one of the signs in the background dropped the ‘Inter-‘ to leave just ‘Sigma’, which gave a massive clue regarding the city where this video would have been shot.
Knowing a thing or two about football clubs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, I was already familiar with the name Sigma Olomouc, the full name of which is actually SK Sigma Olomouc. If one compares the logos on the shirts of the SK Sigma Olomouc players in this Winter Break fixture away at, it just so happens, Helena Blehárová’s home city club, MŠK Žilina – incidentally, with the same snow in the background as would have lain there four, five and six days after this match, when I was visiting the city back in January this year – with that on the signs in the background in the ‘Život jde dál’ video, that is the ‘clincher’. It more or less 100% is Olomouc, therefore.
This is another one of those cases where my dealings with matters Eastern European go back some way, since when the group Half Man Half Biscuit had ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit’ out in the mid-1980s I had already heard the name Sigma Olomouc by then and was quite taken with the sound of it, so my alternative version of that would have been ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Sigma Olomouc Away Kit’. I wasn’t quite aware at the time, though, that their home kit is blue and white – just like my club, Norwich City’s dreaded local rivals, Ipswich Town…which might have put me off a little…at that time, but not at the height of the ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Era, I hasten to add. Please read below to see why.
Curiously, in the heart of the ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ Era in the early 1970s, my ‘adoption’ of Norwich City was still some years into the future and as a Derbyshireman and as one with affectionate feelings vis-à-vis the North-East Derbyshire town of Chesterfield at the time – (a) the days out with Dad and my older brother, Julian at Derbyshire County Cricket Club matches at Chesterfield’s beautiful Queen’s Park ground, with lunchtime boating on the lake were a dream and (b) a new family ‘tradition’ sprang up whereby the treat of a fireworks party on Guy Fawkes’ Night was replaced by a Chinese meal for the family, when that was still considered something quite exotic, at the ‘Superior’ restaurant in Chesterfield – I exercised my right to be a bit different from Derby County-supporting Julian by becoming a Chesterfield fan. They happen to play in blue and white, so I haven’t always been ‘allergic’ to football teams who play in that strip!
Furthermore, when I was picking through a selection of Scottish clubs to ‘adopt’ in the days of the family’s ‘Dormobile’ holidays in Scotland in the late 1960s, another name that cropped up before I eventually settled on Dunfermline Athletic, on the basis that I liked the sound of the name, was the Perth-based club, St. Johnstone…who play in…you guessed it…blue and white!
So, thank you, Helenka, for reminding me of the days when footballing blue and white wasn’t ‘poison’, even though your home city team is yellow and green!
In keeping with early 1970s feelings, then, there might be nothing untoward at all about my becoming an SK Sigma Olomouc fan, after all!