Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Had an Uncle Who Once Played for Red Star Belgrade


Reading in the Guardian today about Rangers' 1-0 win over Crvena Zvezda Belgrade in the Champions' League qualifying round I noticed yet another erroneous referral to the Serbian club being 'formerly known as Red Star Belgrade'. There's no 'formerly known' about it; they are still known as Red Star in English - as the official club site testifies - it is just that for some reason they are being referred to these days by UEFA and by English-language media by their Serbian name. The club was always known as Crvena Zvezda, as anyone that paid close attention to the Yugoslav lineups in the Panini World Cup sticker albums back in the 80s will know. If some in Britain or Ireland (the 'formerly-known as Red Star' line was used in the Irish media when they played Cork City in last year's competition) imagine that a Yugoslav club founded by communists in the last days of the second world war would choose an English moniker, only to change it to the Serbian sixty years later, then the English-speaking world has an even more Ptolemaic sense of its own position as centre of the universe than I previously thought. Funny that: they speak Serbian in Serbia. Will the Guardian's reporter be referring to Spartak Moscow - Celtic's European opposition tonight - as 'formerly known as Sparta Moscow'? Tomorrow on Underachievement: a piece on exotic club names from around the world. In the meantime, a bit of trivia: what song does the title of this post come from?

3 comments:

Donagh said...

'Sexuality' by Billy Bragg, though I was going to say some song by Halfman HalfBiscuit, but that's 'All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit'

seanachie said...

The Bard of Dorking is the right answer. Crvena Zvezda wouldn't have scanned quite so well.

Seán Báite said...

Donagh, ye bearded gom ye, couldn't ye have left the winning of a season ticket to Sligo Rovers to meself ?? Funnily enough, France has a good few clubs called 'Red Star', always in English I think... The most prominent was (and still is) a club from round about Paris that were well up the divisions in professional football until recently. All clubs with this moniker inevitably had links with the Communist Party.
Tomorrow then you'll explain 'Young Boys' to us seanachie ??