Old Faithful (Vasas FC vs. Haladás)

I’m feeling a little bit of a traitor to grassroots football today, because I much prefer the comforts of the new Rudolf Illovszky Stadium on a week-to-week basis than the crumbling wind tunnels of Budafok or Soroksár (or even bigger stadia like Újpest for that matter). The new ground is becoming home for Vasas, but to cement that feeling you need the gritty, blood and guts comebacks that linger in the memory. Vasas hadn’t really had one of those until now.

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Kőbánya Waterworks

One thing Budapest does very well is to open up the inner workings of its architecture from time to time. There’s been all manner of architectural events during my fairly short time here: from socialist-era power stations to ruined apartment blocks, but the Kőbánya reservior provided something spectacular.

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Back on Track (Vác vs. Vasas FC)

Soroksár SC’s Mihály Szamosi Sporttelep: One of the more homely grounds I’ve visited.

Due to my recent wedding, honeymoon and work schedule (Wednesday night games are always a bugger for an English teacher), it’s been a while since I’ve been to see the boys in piros-kék (that’s red and blue to all you non-Magyars).

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A plague on both your defences (Vasas FC vs. Vác)

Last year I found myself holding two human skulls. The people they were formerly attached to had died from the plague, and I had to identify who was who in order to save another life. I worked quickly; measuring jawbones, assessing facial features and trying not to think about the incessant tick of the clock. I was running out of time…

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Shirt Story #2: Vasas FC (1991 Home)

I’ve seen a few of these knocking around online and managed to pick one up fairly cheaply. The design is the classic Adidas template which was used for Colombia’s Italia 90 strip, leading me to believe this is from the 90/91 season,

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A Tour of the New Vasas Stadium (Illovszky Rudolf Stadium)

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The nearly-completed Illovszky Rudolf Stadion – future home of Vasas FC.

Due to an improbable series of events, I ended up being interviewed on Hungarian national media for creating an Instagram account about statues (@statuesofbudapest – should you be curious). The topic of the interview turned to football and I mentioned how I’d come to support Vasas since arriving in Budapest (namely – I like underdogs and the shared ironworking history of Vasas and Middlesbrough).

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Young Guns Go For It (Vasas FC vs. Ceglédi VSE)

With no league win in six and a managerial firing, I have to say I wasn’t expecting much from the home team in this one. Ceglédi lay just a place and a few points below Vasas and had won two of their last three. They also have a kit that demostrates what an Ikea international team would wear. Surely they saw a chance to take a big scalp against a side lacking confidence and in freefall down the league table.

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The Nomad in the Truck – Propaganda in the Storied Life of László Kubala.

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It’s 1949 and László Kubala is sitting in the back of a truck, speeding away from the Budapest and the country of his birth under cover of night.

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A Kis Goodbye

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So the Károly Kis reign of terror at Vasas FC ends after just a few months, the doughty veteran has been given the boot after proving unequal to the tasks of:

A) motivating his players past the 45 minute mark,

B) holding on to any sort of lead,

and C) beating teams whose home crowds are slightly sparser than a Katie Hopkins dinner party.

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Vaskó da Gonners (Vasas FC vs. Gyirmot FC Gyor)

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Full of innocent hope…

One of the unfair things about dipping into a team’s story is that you don’t get the whole sense of things. Take Tamás Vaskó for example. I’d never really given him a second thought before this season. I now know he was a Vasas youth product and played for Bristol City for a bit. I know also that he’s the definition of a journeyman (12 clubs in his career, barely time to paint the bathroom). I know that he has one of those slicked-back mohican hairdos that immediately unravel into a wet duck’s arse on the football pitch. I know that he’s a committed tackler and seems to be one of the few players who’s consistently given his all this season for the team…

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