Archive for October, 2011
When Jesus ‘Chus’ Pereda, a goalscorer in Spain’s 1964 European Nations Cup final win, passed away recently at the age of 73, I wasn’t surprised by the wave of sympathy and nostalgia in Spain, with fond remembrances from former colleagues, older journalists and current national coach Vicente del Bosque. More of a shock though, were the recollections of a 40 year conspiracy of silence which followed the tournament win.
It looked an interesting story, mixing sporting glory and political intrigue, i.e. perfect material for my weekly Football Ramble blog, so I did a bit more digging around and found out that Chus had been edited out of the official film of the Spanish winning goal…
“The footage had been put together in a way which, depending on your point of view, was either a technical error or politically motivated. Most people were none the wiser, and those who did know kept their mouths shut even after fascist dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975, in keeping with the ‘pact of forgetting’ agreed when democracy was established in Spain. Spanish TV showed the doctored action right up until 2008, when Canal Plus show Fiebre Maldini found the actual footage in a Dutch TV archive.”
The fullstory (or at least an honestly put together version of it) is through here on the Ramble site.
Although still busy with football and other stuff, I did a travel piece last week for top English language Spanish comment and news website Iberosphere, advising people that the best time to learn about Semana Santa in Sevilla is when it’s not Easter. That might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but given the crowds and hassle of holy week in the city, and the way Sevillanos spend the rest of the year preparing for Easter, it does kinda make sense. Here’s a taster…
El Señor del Gran Poder, carved in 1620 by Holy Week master Juan de Mesa, now resides in a purpose-built basilica on Plaza de San Lorenzo. The deep-purple, cloaked, dark wooden figure dominates the building from his post over the altar, with a mix of intense agony and weary acceptance carved deep into his face. Such sublime pain can be difficult for modern non-believers to fathom, but was presumably deeply resonant when the Spanish Inquisition was burning heretics. Steps beside the altar bring you right up close to the Great Power, for female visitors to kiss his shiny wooden heel.
The rest of the piece is through here on the Iberosphere site. Enjoy. Hopefully.