What another amazing night for this small island nation of ISLAND- ICELAND and what a friendly place.
Think of all the memorable fan occasions in football and other sports that make the hairs on your neck stand on end. The New Zealand ALL BLACKS HAKA led by the captain facing their opponents before game time: YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE sung at Anfield and now copied world wide; The MEXICAN WAVE..world wide and sometimes when the action is slow on the pitch; THE HAMPDEN ROAR in Glasgow,. Sadly no more with reduced seating, but I remember back in April 1966 being with 123,000 plus fans for England v Scotland prior to the World Cup; THE AGGIE YELL at Texas A&M Kyle Field when the whole of the three or is it 4 tiers student section in College Station takes on the role of The twelth man and stands and sways and roars all during the American football college match; THE POZNAN which I witnessed a few years ago at Stadion Miejski of Lech Poznan... maybe some more...
Last night at LAUGARDALSVOLLUR the national stadium of Iceland I was privileged to be a guest as a decent crowd of over 6,000 showed up to support STELPURNAR OKKAR (OUR GIRLS) as the national women's team beat Slovenia 4-0 and qualified top of table for EURO 2017 Netherlands. The coach is Freyr Alexandersson. Note that most men's names end in SSON, son of.... while girls and women's names end in DOTTIR...daughter of....
How many of us were amazed by the feat of Iceland at FRANCE EURO 2016 when maybe 8% of the population descended on France to support their Boys in Blue? Portugal 1-1 in St. Etienne, Hungary 1-1 in Marseilles, Austria 2-1 in Stade de France St. Denis. The rout of the Three Lions 2-1 in Nice and loss to France 5-2 in St. Denis. Captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson led his magnificent warriors there for the last time with The Thunder Clap to their faithful travelling fans.
Local club STJARNAN played at Motherwell a few years ago where a similar version is used accompanied by the song SINCE I WAS YOUNG. The national team adopted the idea. It starts with a slow clap-hands above the head - and UHHH /HUH/ Viking Clap and increases in sound and pace. It was used a number of times last night and after the final whistle was blown by Czech referee Olga Zadinova the team came to the fans and captain Margret Lara Vidarsdottir led the chant and the Thunder Clap. I was in the VIP section and they all joined in including 48 year old President of Iceland GUDNI JOHANNESSON a former history professor and prolific writer who is married to a Canadian.
I got to chat with him and he was interested in my Shefield FC scarf of the Worlds First club 1857 and its history. www.sheffieldfc.com. You can read all about Island football at www.ksi.is website. The last President I got to chat with was Lyndon Baines Johnson at his Pedernales Ranch in Central Texas in late 1966 while at graduate school at UTAustin (Oxford on the Range) and was invited to a press confernce there where me and POTUS (President of the United States) chstted about the 66 World Cup and how soccer was the coming thing. ... BUT thst's another story !
WELL DONE 'OUR GIRLS' and I hope to watch you live in Netherlands next summer.