Leftist Kult Kuts (III)
I guess it's one for the knowledge corner of the footie section of the Guardian, but has there ever been any bona fide anarcho-footballers?
Every other day, someone finds the blog via a google search of 'Gary Neville' and 'socialism', and every leftist transpotter who has ever used his anorak for a makeshift goalpost knows about Jackie McNamara (sr) being a member of the old CPGB; Paul Breitner thinking the cultural revolution was more about Mao's bloodthirsty dictatorship than seventies Dutch 'total football'; Livorno's Cristiano Lucarelli being a fan of Che; and my piss poor attempt at trying to claim Tony Higgins for the SPGB (well, anyone who reads the blog), but any noted anarchist footballers?
I don't think so off the top of my head, though I'm sure someone will try and make a case for such front page/back page luminaries as Mickey Thomas, Stan Bowles or Ramon Quiroga as honorary anarchists but unless they can show me the receipts for their subscription to Freedom, I'll continue to peg them as the pisshead, the gambler and the cheat (mmm, sounds like the title of a Jimmy Webb song).
The best I can come up with is that I seem to remember that Eduardo Galeano mentioned something in his footie book, 'Soccer in Sun and Shadow', about Argentinos Juniors - Diego Maradona's* first club - originally being called the 'Chicago Martyrs', in honour of the anarchists framed, and then executed, in the aftermath of the 1886 Haymarket bombing but, christ, that was about a hundred years ago. A forgotten era of quorate SPGB branch meetings, Mugsborough and a slimline Chic Charnley making his debut for Third Lanark.
Therefore, it was a tonic to read of the anarchos/libertarian communists down in the south coast winning their recent footie grudge match against the local Brighton branch of the Millies. A 4-1 spanking, and that after the Red and White Taafite Army were 1-0 up at half time, which is surely a reversal of history in the relations between the anarchists and the bolsheviks?
The usual post-match analysis between these two sides chews over the fact that it's the 'meninblack' who make the running early on - Petrograd 1917; Barcelona 1936; Paris 1968; The Coronet Pub, Holloway Road 2003 - only for the vanguard to wear them down late on in the second half with their deft use of supersub(stitutionism) . . . placards, petitions and paper sales.
Does this mean that the
Spanish anarchist team have finally found the stamina and 'bottle' to win the big tournaments? Or are they just 'homers'? Who, once they play away from home - Urban 75 noticeboards, Graduate Common Rooms, suburbia, shouty anarcho-punk gigs - will crumble quicker than you can sing,'You're going home in a class war ambulance'?
And whilst I'm on the subject of politics and footie, why are there so many Chelsea and Fulham fans in the SPGB?
So many questions, and yet I feel they will remain unanswered.
*Of course, Maradona is known for his Che Guevera tattoo on the bicep of his right arm. Sadly, it's not connected to the 'hand of god'.