Friday, 3 September 2010

The Death Match

The great Bill Shankly once said that "football is not a matter of life or death; it's much more important than that."

Tonight England are playing the first match of the European Championship Qualifiers but I just can't be bothered to watch it. Shankly's quote however reminded me of a book I read a few years back about the legendary "Death Match" in Kiev and the incredible bravery exhibited by a group of Ukranian footballers in the face of Nazi intimidation.

The story inspired the semi-classic film Escape To Victory, but enjoyable though that film was the true story is much more inspiring and ultimately saddening. If you get a chance to read Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi Occupied Kiev by Andy Dougan please do. Even if you are not a football fan you will find the actions of these brave players uplifting and see that Bill Shankly did know what he was talking about, even if it was only to the people of Kiev.

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