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Oskar Kosche’s Job

Foto by Stefanie Fiebrig at textilvergehen You just call on me, brother, when you need a handWe all need somebody to lean on As his teammates wheeled away having secured the unlikeliest of victories, a goal that the Unioner will talk about for a generation, Andreas Luthe didn’t join in. He had been at fault …

Union Berlin’s past, and Union Berlin’s future

As I cycle along Wilheminenhofstrasse, the Indian summer’s sun on my back, the wind coming off the Spree across to the north, the first thing that hits me is the little things, the minutest of details that have changed on the iconic, industrial revolution era yellow brickwork of the Transformatorenwerk. There’s new tags painted up …

Jimmy Hoge’s Best Story

There was a strangely sad, though beautiful and quite remarkable moment at the 1.FC Union members meeting back in 2009, when Jimmy Hoge received his golden needle. The highest honour the club can present. He was not a man often at a loss for words, but this time there was a choking in his throat …

Sebastian Andersson’s Goals

I interviewed Sebastian Andersson last year for Textilvergehen, only a day or two after the fire that started in a fridge in the main stand so catastrophically damaged the building. Workers ripped plasterboard unceremoniously off the walls with claw hammers as I waited. They pulled out mile after mile of wiring. It was a mess. …

Sebastian Polter’s Melody

Image courtesy of Stefanie Fiebrig at textilvergehen In 1969 Pharoah Sanders recorded a fifteen minute long track called “Hum Allah Hum Allah Hum Allah.” You might not know it. Many don’t, for it’s an impenetrable and challenging record. It’s difficult to listen to, especially for those who don’t know their late sixties, black consciousness, free …

Neven Subotic’s Caveat

When he was the figurehead of a peculiar revolutionary movement sweeping through Corinthians football club in the late 1970s, Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, MD, used to invite other people, non-footballers, to come and talk with the squad on Fridays before a game. For Brazilian footballers were traditionally sequestered away in the …

The Magic in Their Sighs

I’ve been listening to the Shirelles’ “Will you still love me tomorrow” a lot recently. It had come back to me out of the blue, the way that certain songs, laying dormant, sometimes do. Its driving, almost mockingly martial, marching snare fits perfectly to a rolling walking pace. That’s when it comes back, mostly. When …

Union’s first goal in the Bundesliga.

Image courtesy of Tobias Hänsch at http://www.unveu.de In the press conference before the Leipzig game last week, Union’s coach, Urs Fischer, was gushing in his praise of his two strikers, Sebastians Andersson and Polter. Even though we all knew that their chances would be hard to come by in the thin air of the Bundesliga. …