|Markism Today: LUSCOS Links!|
Thu 29th Jul 2010 19:46 by Marko
Marko pays tribute to those Leeds crazy Scandanavian's.
I must admit it was something I never appreciated until my third or was it fourth season going regularly to Elland Road.
That was, how Leeds-daft Scandanavians are!
Forget the saunas, Saabs and Smorgasboards, for some Scandanavians, Leeds is their spiritual home.
Brann on Tuesday night was buzzing as Leeds rolled into town and I bet most of the locals were rooting for the away-side!
Late in 1989, Leeds gave a trial to Norweigan striker Goran Sorloth. Unfortunately Goran didn't make it beyond a run out in the reserves but you can bet the deepest darkest Fjords were rippling with excitement that the man who was capped 55 times for Norway was close to pulling on the white shirt.
LUSCOS is the Leeds United Supporters Club of Scandinavia. The Peacock News is the long running publication of the branch. A former member of LUSCOS Frank Strandli achieved something every member must dream of, not only signing for Leeds but scoring on your Leeds debut as he did in 1993 against Middlesbrough!
The advent of the www in the mid/late 90's and the rise of TEAB meant I got to meet many Scandinavian fans, both in and out of modem! Tomas Brolin, okay lets not dwell on him but through the web I met a Leeds ex pat called Eric Kinchin who was living up in Iceland. He told me many stories of The Olver pub which hosted the Icelandic branch and during the O'Leary rollercoaster years 100 whites' would pack in to the pub.
It wasn't just those oversea's venues which would draw the Scand's! On a matchday, Peter Lorimer's pub The Commercial would pay host to many visitors from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Even now, they may be lesser in their number but there is always a hardcore of LUSCOS in there on matchdays and you are as likely to hear an accent from Scandinavia as you are from West Yorkshire.
One Danish Leeds friend Lars Skov often recalls staying there on matchdays and literally rubbing his eyes with disbelief as the late, great John Charles served him breakfast. Me and Lars go back a long way. I met him before a match against Manchester United about ten years ago.
Lars reckoned a trip to "Mecca" would set him back between £700-£1000! In 2000, he invited me over to "play" in what was called the Danish Fans FA Cup! I flew to Copenhagen on easy-jet and on Saturday I was driven out to the outskirts of the city to a sports complex. Dozens of Danes in the colours of Leeds, Man U, Liverpool, Manchester City and even Kidderminster Harriers (Jan Molby had gone there as ,manager!) milled around. It was an amazing sight. Our Leeds team finished runners-up, I nearly broke the corner flag and lasted about three minutes before collapsing in an unfit heap! The Danes took their football seriously and the challenges were more meaty than the hot-dogs that sizzled away on the sidelines (along with gallons of ice cold Tuberg!). That wonderful afternoon in the September sunshine will remain with me until I die.
Copenhagen is a fantastic city to visit and I would recommend anyone to go for a couple of days.
So let us raise a glass and say SKOL to our Scandanavian brothers! Let us admire their dedication and commitment to the cause. Like all sectors of the Leeds United support they may not come over in as significant numbers as they did ten years ago, but you have to admire the ones who have done during these lean years.
Lets hope it won't be too long before they are coming over by the planeload again!
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