Friday, January 31, 2014

Badge of the Day #67 (Hajduk Split #2)

Finally acquired for the collection, today we present a much-desired vintage object representing the crest of Hajduk Split as it was (re)designed for & appeared during the era of the former Yugoslavia, whose red star it incorporates, thus imbuing the badge with suitable hauntological & ‘Ostalgic’ credentials.

For the badge featuring the current (& earlier) Croatian Hajduk Split logo & more on our devotion to the name/cause, please redirect here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Badge of the Day #66 (Rot-Weiss Essen)


Today’s example, recently acquired for the collection, represents the fine name of Rot-Weiss Essen, currently resident in the fourth tier of the German domestic league structure, but, amongst other occasions, for the four years from 1973 – 77 members of the Bundesliga, when they must have come to my attention, most likely via the ‘world soccer’ pages of Shoot! magazine.
Again, it’s just a name that appealed, in the exoticism of its native form – translated into English, for example as ‘Red & White’ Wrexham, or any other British town, just doesn’t have the same magic somehow.

The pin badge itself is rather a lovely vintage object, with a suitably ‘hauntological’ appearance, displaying the club’s strikingly-designed ‘RWE’ logo in fine fashion, & having all the potential to be another stylish adornment upon a lapel.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Badge of the Day #65 (Spartak Hradec Králové)

Another recent acquisition for the (mostly) European club collection, representing the name of DSO Spartak Hradec Králové, of the former Czechoslovakia, who existed as such between 1953 – 76 (now, through the course of numerous rebrandings, being known more prosaically as FC Hradec Králové), achieving a championship & subsequent appearance in the early years of the European Cup during that period.
The badge is another of those lovely, irresistibly redolent vintage objects, hauntologically rich - being the manifestation of a ghost - & inspiring the familiar 'Ostalgie', featuring the ever-exotically Eastern European socialist sports society name & legend ‘Spartak’ upon & most harmoniously contained within the cog-like design of the club crest (as is the iconic Soviet red star, of course) which, to someone saturated in the particular aesthetic during the post-punk times, is reminiscent of those (East) European Modernist, Futurist-Constructivist-inspired, machine-age designs appropriated/produced by Peter Savile during the early years of Factory Records’ redefining of the landscape of music-related graphic design, perfectly suited to the ‘industrial’ (yet in the very process of becoming post-industrial) Manchester milieu in which they operated. One is reminded, particularly, of the ‘anvil’ logo that had its very own Factory catalogue number – FAC 47 - & appeared imprinted upon both the reverse of the sleeve & the disc labels of the 12” release of New Order’s ‘Everything’s Gone Green’/’Mesh’/'Cries and Whispers’ amongst others, a pleasing conjunction of art, football & music, those enduring passions & staples of TOoT’s content.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Perfect Nostalgia...

Presenting today a recent acquisition in the interests of football-related nostalgia, this time a genuine Subbuteo catalogue, its vintage dating from the mid-1970s, a time when I was immersed in such pursuits: back in the day, I would have owned this very edition of the publication, included with the boxed sets of the game.

The illustrating photographs provide a delightful snapshot of the fashions of the time (look at those hairstyles)

&, opening up the first fold of the catalogue to peek inside, the range of accessories available to the keen customizer of his (assumed to be, as one must, from personal experience) or her set, the builder of their full football stadium environment.

The particular gold, however, & the reason for investing in this particular catalogue for the archives, is the team colours chart it contains within, visible in all its glory once the publication is unfolded to its full extent,

whilst flipping the sheet reveals the gridded list of the actual British, European, South American & African teams that the colours represent, again those exotic names & kits that seduce so readily, even in miniature form.

All this has also served to remind me & lead to a reminiscence of The Undertones’ rather wonderful ‘My Perfect Cousin, once owned on a 7” single, the iconic Subbuteo-themed sleeve of which is reproduced here, illustrating the reference to the game in the song’s lyrics.

Ironically, by the time of the record’s release, in 1980, we were then so immersed in our addiction to post-punk music (the obsessive listening-to, collection of, reading about & passionate discussion of), that we’d just about outgrown our devotion to Subbuteo.
And then, nostalgically, it all comes round again…

Monday, January 27, 2014

Badge of the Day #64 (Sachsenring Zwickau)

This latest object to be acquired for the collection represents the glory of Sachsenring Zwickau, another of the great lost names of European football, now rebranded as FSV Zwickau who, although they have quite an attractive club crest, can’t be said to hold a candle in terms of nomenclature.
Sachsenring quite possibly might have come to attention during the 1974 World Cup finals, perhaps being mentioned in dispatches as being the club of Jurgen Croy, East Germany’s goalkeeper whose own name registered at the time & has been remembered since, but, if not, then they must have done, with the inevitably seductive results, during their run to the semi-finals of the Cup-Winners’ Cup during 1975-76 (which tournament featured, as has been previously noted, a truly irresistible roster of entrants), certainly when playing against & eliminating Glasgow Celtic at the quarter-final stage: as usual, the exotic wonder of the Germanic name has endured to inspire a lingering affection, whatever the vicissitudes of history.
The badge itself displays a sufficiently vintage appearance (& Sachsenring Zwickau were known as such between 1968 & 1990) to inspire that particular ‘Ostalgie’ for the names & products of the former Soviet bloc, &, as such, is a source of hauntological richness, being a physical manifestation of the ghost of a name & sporting institution.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Badge of the Day #63 (Seljak Cvetojevac)

Presenting today a most welcome addition to the collection & a badge featuring Seljak Cvetojevac, a rather wonderful name full of eastern exoticism that has recently emerged from out of the Serbian obscurity in which it resides (the second level of the Kragujevac league, apparently) & into consciousness, instantly attractive & ripe for a spot of favouritism.
The badge as object, representing the club’s crest, is delightfully desirable – the Cyrillic representation of the name has the familiar aesthetic appeal, of course, as does the ‘communist’/Yugoslav red star motif, the appeal of which is in this instance intensified by the presence of the sickle within (a signifier of Seljak’s peasant/farmer roots), whilst the fresh, pale green ground is unusual in a football context, where darker tones & more emerald colouration is closer to a norm. It’s a lovely thing.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Badge of the Day #62 (Excelsior Mouscron)

Today’s example from the collection represents Excelsior Mouscron, another Belgian club whose magnificent name is tragically no longer with us (since late 2009) yet the romance of which lives on in the heart of TOoT.
Excelsior Mouscron are another team who would have appeared on the radar at the turn of the old & new millennia, appearing as they twice did in the UEFA Cup in the late 1990s & early 2000s, instantly insinuating themselves into the affections & possessing sufficient charm & cool to remain there since, & whilst the badge-as-object lacks any especial evidence of vintage, still it hauntologically preserves the ghost of the name in suitably desirable fashion.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Badge of the Day #61 (Lommelse SK)

Another of the very recent additions to the European football club collection is this object representing Lommel, or Lommelse SK, whose name as such sadly ceased to be in 2003 (although, via mergers & rebrandings, are now known as Lommel United), but happened to be another of those, like Genk & Westerlo, that held a particular appeal amongst those encountered via Ceefax when indulging in the weekly treat of checking the Belgian aspect of the selected European league football results & tables in the early years of the millenium.
Again, there just seemed, & enduringly seems, to be something ineffably romantic about smallish town/city Belgium, or its football teams, both in themselves & in relation to the bigger familiar names domestically & who enjoyed a significant continental profile in the less financially-imbalanced 1970s & 80s.
The club’s green & white colours, as represented on the badge, that hauntological object of desire, physical manifestation of the ghost of the name, are, of course, another aspect of the appeal, partial as we are to that combination.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Badge of the Day #60 (KVC Westerlo)

Today’s recently-acquired specimen for the collection features another of our particular favourite names in the form of Belgium’s rather lovely Westerlo, which somehow always seems to have had about it a certain poetically melancholy charm, utterly irrespective of the team’s footballing prowess.
Westerlo, currently heading the Belgian second division in their attempt to regain promotion to the top flight, would have come to attention at the very cusp of the old & new millennia, as their domestic profile rose to the highest level of the league structure & subsequently even a brief sojourn in continental competition, & the attachment to the name has endured since.
The badge itself, featuring the club/municipality crest, displays no particular vintage in its objectness, but still, bearing that romantic name, it’s another to be sported on the lapel with an affectionate pride.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Badge of the Day #59 (Hutnik Kraków)

Returning to the subject of the still-burgeoning collection of European football club badges, today we present an object representing the favoured name of Hutnik Kraków, who came to notice during the period of their ascension to the Polish top-level ‘Ekstraklasa’ in the 1990s, the very zenith of which earned them a place in the 1996-97 UEFA Cup & thus a continental profile.
As ever, on-pitch achievement has little bearing, other than oft being the catalyst that brings a team to attention - there’s just something inexplicably, indefinably, romantically appealing about the name, which has endured whatever vicissitudes the club might have experienced.

KS Hutnik Kraków existed as such from 1984 – 2010, at which point the debt-riddled club was dissolved before being reconstituted under a different branding reflecting the Nowa Huta district of its home city, thus the badge dates from some time during this period, the object’s appearance bearing witness to a certain vintage, which quality hauntologically informs it in the familiar manner.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Found Object (of Desire)

Yesterday turned up a rather fabulous discovery, via the workplace (essentially a former Library that is now one of those redesigned, new-fangled ‘Learning Zones’, an ironic study resource replete with the usual time-wasting technologies), that appears very much as though it should belong on the delightful pages of the ‘Found Objects’ blog but is nonetheless represented here in at least selections of its profound glory.

Here then is ‘The Landscape of Roads’, authored by Sylvia Crowe & published by The Architectural Press in 1960, an irresistible period piece, illustrated with the most wonderful photographs, of empty or not more than lightly-trafficked roads, signage, bus shelters &, best of all, modern European filling stations comparing favourably with their British counterparts (& blimey - do they ever: the French example is particularly magnificent, with its ‘AZUR’ & encircled star logos), with lovely line-drawn plans also included for good measure: a veritable treat in book-form, please enjoy the view.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Badge of the Day #58 (Pakhtakor Taskent)

Being the latest addition to the football badge collection in the form of a lovely vintage object representing Pakhtakor (in desirable Cyrillic) Tashkent of Uzbekistan, fabulously romantic names, from when both were contained within the embrace of the Soviet Union, the hauntological ghost of which, seeming palpable via the medium of the badge, inspires the usual ‘Ostalgie’.
The fact the object arrived from Sofia can only enhance such credentials.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Badge of the Day #57 (Blyth Spartans)

Today (re)presenting the very latest essential & freshly-arrived addition to the football club badge collection in the form of the rather desirable object featuring the crest of Blyth Spartans, another of those mighty, inspiring & irresistible names from outside the confines of the Football League, but titans nonetheless to rival any of the so-called big (& formerly successful) clubs of the north east, & immeasurably more romantic.
As for the badge/crest, in design & graphic terms – what a corker.

Blyth Spartans first came to my attention during their giant-killing run to the Fifth Round of the 1977-78 FA Cup (on the way to which they'd won at Second Division Stoke City), where, presenting a huge dilemma, they were drawn to meet another of that season’s giant killers (having eliminated a pair of First Division teams in thrilling fashion, thrashing both Bristol City & Newcastle United in replays) in the shape of Wrexham, the team I supported in the sense of actually going to watch them: ordinarily, favouring the real minnows would have been a no-brainer - especially aesthetically considering their sporting of a most stylish green, white & black kit - but for this crucial & insurmountable distinction.
As events transpired, only the travesty of the failure of a corner flag to remain stuck in a frozen pitch, resulting in a retaken corner kick from which Wrexham salvaged a very late, face-saving equaliser, prevented Blyth from continuing their march upon Wembley as they subsequently succumbed in a replay before a massive crowd at Newcastle (where Wrexham had already drawn in the previous round, of course), but the name has resonated down the years since & Blyth continue to be numbered amongst the favourites, those teams whose result is sought, whatever fortunes they enjoy or suffer.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fudbalski Heaven

(Re)presenting today a recent addition to the European football print library/archive in the form of the magnificent & essential Yugoslavian ‘Fudbaleri i Timovi’ 1974/75 season sticker album, an original artefact from the season I became properly interested in football & seduced by the glamour & romance of continental teams’ names, imbued with a hauntological aura & redolent with ‘Ostalgie’, acquired via ebay from a seller resident in Belgrade, for just that little bit extra authenticity: this, dear reader, is the very realest of deals.

As can be seen from the images, the album & its contents form an essential visual document(ation) of the protagonists of Yugoslavian domestic football in the mid-1970s: the player pictures are, of course, a period delight, there is also a brief illustrated (with black & white stickers, a nice detail) history of Yugoslavian league football since 1946, the complete roster of first & second division teams are featured in pictorial sticker form, enabling an aesthetic appreciation of their colours, but perhaps the real gold is the inclusion of the grid-format graphs plotting each of the featured teams’ top division progress from post-war to the previous '73-74 season (the vertical y-axis), & the unique line drawings that are thus created as a consequence of joining the small circles that fix the individual seasons’ finishing position from 1 to 18 (along the horizontal x-axis).
Grids & drawing is, of course, living the TOoT modernist dream, at least in terms of historical & enduring concerns, & especially so when applied to a football statistics context.

From the examples below, please feel free to appreciate the jagged elegance of the point-to-point line drawings, from our favourites Velež Mostar, through the particularly striking inconsistent ups & downs of lovely-sounding Vojvodina, to OFK Beograd, whose linear progress can be seen to be interrupted by a season’s absence.

On the subject of football statistics as drawing, art, the stuff & subject matter of creative practice, we return to the example of Marc Renshaw’s continuing ‘Sporting League’ project (who also happens to run another blog on the subject of ‘The Grid’, albeit the search for a particular one), & recent personal considerations of the possibility & viability of doing something along similar lines, having, since 1990, sporadically worked on what now stands at a total of almost 34 full seasons’-worth of an alternative football league (better & much more real, vivid, exciting than the real thing, of course), featuring a combination of English & Welsh league, non-league & invented teams, thus already having a significant store of raw material from which to work & expand – there might be mileage, watch this space…

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Badge of the Day #56 (Sparta Praha #2)

A new year - & wishing a happy one to you, dear reader – but the subject matter remains, for now at least, the same as the old, as today’s badge from the collection features, for a second time, Sparta Praha, now of an earlier vintage than the previous example, this from between the years 1965 – 90, when they were known as Sparta ČKD Praha, as evidenced in miniature fashion in the midst of the club’s then crest, resplendent with its red star, as represented within the form of the badge, which itself as an object appears, hauntologically & ‘Ostalgically’, to have experienced more of a life, however secret the details of must remain.