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Torpedo-Zil Youth
Group shot post game with the Torpedo Zil youth team

What a storming game of football we have just played… Post Moscow derby match between Locomotive (“Loco, Loco”) and Torpedo Zil, we gathered signatures on our World Cup ball, like football star trainspotters (a small bottle of ‘nail lacquer’ to protect) and attracted a crowd of young up and coming Torpedo stars whose trainer was only too happy to agree to their demands of an England/Russia showdown on the training ground across the car park.

We go to watch our first game, but have more fun playing our first game of the trip afterwards.

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The training ground and Roman, beautifully confident before the game

So I threw my Spartak WANKA (shaika, bobble hat bought yesterday) to one side and joined in the 6/7/8 aside. Blimey, could they play or what! The smallest of them, Roman was well gifted so I took him out early doors and we beat ’em hollow….wrong… he was on my side actually and we linked beautifully now and again and all in all the game was played in a fantastic spirit, England, Russia and peace thrown off several pigeon English tongues.

Post photo session it was back on with my WANKA and head off to this ’round the corner from Red Square’ net cafe.

We were given tickets to the Moscow derby courtesy of Richard, friend and colleague of our Moscow sponsor Fraser Lawson. He also sorted tickets for us to see Spartak Moscow, where I picked up me hat and we also nearly lost the ball to an army lad who assumed we had nicked it from the stadium as they were using the Adidas World Cup ball too!

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Phil at Spartak
My WANKA, me and the Spartak ‘Luzhniki’ Stadium

Young Spartak fans
Young Spartak fans

A Spartak player signs the ball
A Spartak player signs the ball

Fan with Spartak flag
Fan with Spartak flag

Another Spartak player
Another Spartak player (we think it’s Titov, the captain)

Written by on Sunday, April 7th, 2002

6 comments on this post

  1. lads, what happens when your ball has no more room for

    signatures – will you kick it around till more room appears?

    and i’m interested to know what you’ve been eating in Moss

    Cow with the shooters?

  2. Spot on Will… the ball is looking somewhat bedraggled after our kickabout with the Torpedo-Zil kids… but I like the idea that as it travels, it gains a kind of archaology of signatures. Not os much an encrustation of the years, but of distance. One day somebody might be able to reconstruct all the signatures, but for now they remain ephemeral.

    As for food – isn’t that for wimps ;-)

  3. Chris, if you’re still saying ‘food is for wimps’ in a month’s time when you’re crossing China, I’ll eat this keyboard!

  4. Um, er, actually, the food’s great, if you like pickles, sausage and dark brown bread. Just so happens that it seems to lead to an excess of flatulence, and not just verbal…

  5. Lets see some food photos for us foodies!

  6. Lads, get in contact with me if you want an article in The Moscow Times.

    Kevin O’Flynn

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.