Friday, 28 September 2012

Sepia Saturday - Soccer

This weeks' theme has to be picked from a picture made available by the Dutch National Archive. It shows some presumably Dutch boys on their way to the weekly soccer match, their soccer boots casually dangling from their  necks. The photo is dated 1915-1925. 
The thing that strikes me is that they carry just their boots and very little else. No towels, no club shirt, no nothing. If you compare that with todays situation, where boys in comparable situations carry big bags with a track suit, match clothing, a towel, clean underwear, shampoo etc, the conclusion can only be that the times they are a-changing (thank you Bob Dylan). The explanation is probably simple. In those days clubs did not have showers (or maybe cold water only) nor sophisticated dressing rooms. It is not unlikely that these boys wore their club shirt underneath their daily clothing. They probably had to "change" in a draughty dressing room, played their match and went home where the weekly tub with hot water was waiting. The other thing that draws my attention are the soccer boots. Today those are unthinkable without commercial striping. And they can be bought in all colors of the rainbow. The boots in the picture are black and black only, I can assure you.
Picture ex Dutch National Archives
Although our son played soccer, I have very little action pictures showing him. But in 1976 he participated in the penalty trophy of his club DVH. DVH means De Vliegende Hollanders or The Flying Dutchmen. The name of the club finds its origin in the circumstance that it was meant to be the club for families of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines staff.
DVH's 5 best penalty kickers in 1976.
Picture taken on the DVH grounds in Amstelveen.
For more action shots, have a look at the Sepia Saturday Site where my fellow bloggers show their trophies.


  1. Peter, boy, are you right about all the fancy gear that they all haul around now. The NIKE swoosh had many years to go before being invented when this picture was taken.

    Love the photo of your boy and his team ... they look so proud.

    Kathy M.

  2. Hi Peter,
    I enjoyed your post. Yes, the athletes of today carry tons of stuff in their bags. In fact, I watch the tennis channel here and one of their features is called "Bag Check" where a tennis player shows you everything that he carries in his bag. It's pretty interesting.
    So which one is your son in the photo?

  3. I'm guessing that this was the era of Johann Cruyff - my Dutch cousin sent me a sticker with JC's picture of it around the early 1970s. Great photo Peter - thanks for sharing it.

  4. @Kathy
    I guess hauling is the right word. Sometimes I thing they are in the transporation business :)
    That Bag check sounds interesting. I think some of these guys resemble the good old sandwich men. The only difference is they don't realize although they are being paid very handsomely to walk around like that.
    My son is the one on the very left.
    You are right, JC was also around during that time. As a matter of fact he still is featuring in the newspapers frequently.

    Thank you all for dropping in.

  5. Brett has just mentioned the name of a footballer I have actually heard of, which is amazing considering my lack of interest in the game! The picture of your son and his team is definitely of the era, judging by the haircuts, but what a wonderful name for the team!

  6. @Little Nell
    I'll convey the message to Mr. Cruyff. I'm sure he'll be honored to hear that even non-soccer fans of the opposite sex know his name :)
    The term 'The Flying Dutchman' used to be part of the livery of KLM planes. Hence the name.
    Thanks for your visit!

  7. Your comparison of sports today and past is right on. My daughter played fastpitch softball and having all the right bats, batbag, sliding gear, not to mention cleats, was almost as important as being able to field and hit. Well, that's how it looks in my checkbook, anyway.

  8. Well you certainly brought up points I would have never considered.

    I also found the origin of the name of The Flying Dutchmen to be quite interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh Peter yes, you are so right about these days. It's all about the gear and the labels (Nike) being so very important as well as others. It's even come to more about the stadium even beyond the game itself. I get farther away from it all (happily) Your family photo of your son is wonderful. What rich colors in that photo too. I do see the hair styles of the 70's in that photo too! Those were the days where they had hair (not shaved) and looking quite handsome! Excellent post Peter.

  10. I'm perplexed!!
    You speak of flying dutchmen and KLM, but there's a boat on the trophy...
    Why is that?!?

  11. You are right about the simpler times, and substantial boots. What a great competition idea 'best penalty kickers' is from the land of Total Football. On past experience I don't think any of our professionals with the swoosh on their boots would do very well in that.

  12. @Wendy
    I pity your checkbook :(
    Well,the true origin of The Flying Dutchman goes back even further. I quote from Wikipedia: "The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever. It probably originates from 17th-century nautical folklore. The oldest extant version dates to the late 18th century.
    Sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries reported the ship to be glowing with ghostly light. If hailed by another ship the crew of the Flying Dutchman will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is a portent of doom."
    So better stay away from Dutch skippers :)
    I even hear stories about kids in grammar school. If they don't wear the right shoes/shirt etc. they belong to the have-nots. And that doesn't increase your popularity...
    For an explanation of the boat please see @Teresa.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  13. You're right, Peter - in those days it was all about the playing of the game and not the accessories. I bet they got the bath water after everyone else when they got home covered in mud ;-) Jo

  14. Peter, thanks for sharing the origin of the Flying Dutchman name. Wonder if any first-person accounts exist of people who saw this apparition out at sea?

  15. Of course, every Flying Dutchman team should be accompanied by the music of Richard Wagner's great overture.

    And don't worry, though I sometimes get carried away with a good story, I do keep a balanced life outside the internet. Wait, what time is it? :-)

  16. @Jo
    Hear, hear, here speaks experience ;)
    @Queen Bee
    I know in our archives there are several sworn statements from long ago...
    Thanks for adding a classic touch to my post.
    LOL. As far as I am concerned you cannot be carried away far enough ;)

  17. I had boots like those in Alan'spicture prompt made of brown untreated leaded and studs that where nailed into the soles.
    Good to see the DVH photo and to know that it includes your son.

  18. Hi Peter

    I am old enough to remember cork-studded football boots that weighed a ton,and footballs that, when wet, might just as well have been made of concrete. Later, I remember the misery of being hit on the thigh with a wet plastic football!

  19. And quite expensive to play today, what with camps to attend and traveling teams. My son played with a little YMCA group when he was about 4. He got kicked in the behind and that was it for him! :)

  20. What a fun name for the team! And the photo is great too.

  21. You're right and it hadn't dawned on me. Of course today children's lives are nearly organized down to the last minute. Just getting together for a game on their own is practically unknown.

  22. @Bob
    It's fun reading all these memories, it's also funny that many coincide so much.
    You are right but at times that can have a discriminating effect. Parents may be "forced" to have their children participate...
    I'm sure also our son is glad it survived.

  23. @Tattered and Lost
    We hear of kids here who have their own agenda... And you are absolutely right, it is almost rare these days that kids play outside. Haven't seen kids playing hide and seek for ages!

  24. Peter, you have well observed the differences in the game of soccer. It is a different world today with all the competition for the best gear. I think at the time 1915, the boys must have been lucky to have soccer boots!

  25. @Titania
    You are absolutely right!

  26. I was thinking about this over the weekend. We went to Detroit for a family event and I remembered how we used to just play, without uniforms or fancy equipment and now almost everything is adult sponsored. Sort of sad.


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