The old Soviet Union, of course, had a huge number of less well known teams in the lower divisions, and they can often be quite interesting because they have such marvellous names, the Russian equivalents, perhaps, of Scottish football teams such as “Bonnyrigg Rose”, “Civil Service Strollers” and “The Spartans”.
This first programme is “Кубань Краснодар” aka “Kuban Krasnodar”, a team which used to play in Krasnodar, the 16th largest city in Russia. It was built by the Cossacks on the southern plains as a fortress to guard the River Kuban. “Krasnodar” means “gift of the Reds” aka “the dirty Commies”. Before that, the city used to be “Yekaterinodar”, which means the gift of Catherine the Great. In modern times, “Кубань Краснодар” became FC Kuban but that didn’t prevent bankruptcy on May 17th 2018 and, as far as I know, a short trip into oblivion. Like most football clubs, though, oblivion didn’t last that long, and on August 5th 2018, the club was back in business, now called FC Kuban (2018). Here is their badge.
Below is one of the old programmes of “Кубань Краснодар” aka “Kuban Krasnodar” . It dates from September 1st 1967 (top right). Just above the number 1 is the word Russian “пятница” or “P-ya-t-n-ee-ts-a” which means “Friday”. The origin of the word is that “пят” or “P-ya-t” means “five”. It’s the fifth day of the week, of course.
In Russian, the home team is always on the right, so the visitors this Friday are “Динамо Кировобад” aka “Dynamo Kirovabad”. Kirovabad was the city’s name from 1935-1989 and it is now called “Ganja”. It is the third largest city in Azerbaijan, but the most mellow by quite a long way. The team is now called “Kapaz PFK” incidentally…….
Inside the programme, which is a single sheet folded in two, are the two teams, complete with an illegible autograph:
Look at the three vertical lines down the middle. On both sides of that vertical division, the bottom two horizontal lines, on both left and right, contain the words “Тренер” and “Капитан”, trainer and captain. The left hand trainer has the very unusual first name “Hamlet”, which in Russian is “Гамлет”.
This is literally “Gamlet” but Russian has no letter “H” and replaces it in foreign words with a hard “G” sound. In the USA this gives you “Gonolulu” /”Гонолулу” and “Gollyvood”/”Голливуд“. In England, this gives you “Galifax”/”Галифакс” , “Guddersfield” / “Гуддерсфилд” and “Garry Potter” / “Гарри Поттер“.
Chaos ensued with the fact that England had two ports very close to each other. One is called “Hull” and the other is called “Goole”. Both of these places came out as “Gooll” / “Гулл” which caused so much confusion that Russian ships completely stopped going to Goole and only ever went to Hull.
The next programme is from “Ташкентская Обл(асть)” or the Tashkent district. Tashkent, of course, is nowadays the capital of Uzbekistan, a country usually regarded as being in Asia.
The programme is from a home game for a team called “Политотдел” which is “Politotdel “ aka “Political Department”:
Tashkent is home to this stunningly beautiful mosque:
On the left, Politotdel’s visitors are called “Уралмаш Свердловск” or “Uralmash Sverdlovsk”. Sverdlovsk has now been renamed “Ekaterinburg”, and is to the east of the Ural mountains. It is the third largest city in Russia with around two million inhabitants.
Nowadays, “Политотдел” has become the beautifully named “FC Dustlick” of Uzbekistan. “Уралмаш Свердловск” have been at various times “Avangard”, “Zenit”, and “Mashino-stroitel”. “Avangard” must be the well known French expression, “Avant garde”. ”Mashino-stroitel” in Russian, means “car constructors” and “Uralmash” is an acronym type creation meaning “Ural Car”. Nowadays, no cars are manufactured in this area, hence the present name of the team, which is just “Ural” or “Урал“:
The final programme, below, is “Локомотив Челябинск” or “Lokomotiv Chelyabinsk”, who are the home team. They face “Селенга Улан- Удэ” or “Selenga Ulan Udé”. The match took place on Friday, “пятница”, still pronounced “p-ya-t-n-i-tz-a”, and based, as we know, on “пять”, “p-ya-t”, the Russian for five. “Пять”, “p-ya-t”, is related to the Greek “pent” as in “the Pentagon”. The match kicked off at 1600, which was a very early end to the working week. East of the Urals, and sheltered away from central government in Moscow, “Уралмаш Свердловск” games always used to bring about a “POETS” .
Chelyabinsk aka “Челябинск” is the seventh largest city in Russia with 1.1 million inhabitants. It is to the east of the Urals (just).
The football club “Selenga Ulan Udé” is now called “FC Buryatia Ulan-Udé”. Ulan Udé is to the south east of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal and stands at the confluence of the River Selenga (hence the team name) and the Uda. The city is the capital of the Buryatia region, which is directly north of Mongolia. It has a population of slightly less than a million, of which 450,000 live in Ulan Udé. Buryatia therefore, must be really empty with an effective population destiny of roughly four per square mile. Alaska has 1.3 and Wyoming six. Here’s a map. Look for the black arrow:
Ulan Udé is the centre of Tibetan Buddhism in Russia but most spectacular of all is its 25 foot tall Head of Lenin statue. I wonder how the people at the Nottingham city planning department would feel about one of those on our nearest Ring Road roundabout ?