Professor of Sociology at the University of Orebro in Central Sweden. That's the title of ODD LINDBERG who I had a long chat with this week in Norway.
Odd played for Lyn Oslo when in 1967 he, along with a number of other young, impressionable soccer players, answered advertisements in newspapers in Oslo, Stockholm, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere.
They had been placed by Bob Kap, a former coach from Hungary, who had attracted Lamar Hunt's attention when writing in the first soccer newspaper that sort of went nationwide, from Toronto, Canada called TELESPORT.
Hunt entrusted his newly bought franchise team, The Dallas Tornado to Kap and told him to get a team of young players and take them on a tour to end all tours. I know a thing or two about tours, but this tour will never be repeated.
In 1967 US had 2 new national leagues, after some sports businessmen saw the 1966 World Cup in England. Hunt's group, the United Soccer Association had to think fast when a rival group, the National Professional Soccer League, not affiliated to US Soccer or FIFA, decided to start that summer with teams in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago etc.
So, USA imported whole teams such as Dundee United in Dallas, Wolverhampton Wanderers in LA , Shamrock Rovers in Boston, Bangu of Rio in Houston, Cerro of Uruguay in New York etc.the first season.
Then came the Dallas Tornado in the 2nd year. I attended the meeting in Dallas' old city hall to announce the World Tour.
Kap interviewed lots of young player, assembled them at Real Madrid's training facility in Spain with only one American, Jay Moore of St. Louis, and the show was on the road. One Swede met Kap in Stockholm and told him about his great soccer career and ability-sight unseen. In Madrid he confessed he was only a waiter, and was made assistant (non playing coach) until the squad rebelled against him in East Asia and he went home.
The team played in Morocco, Spain, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Linka, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti- and I might have missed a few.
Arriving in Dallas Love Field for the first time I assembled a couple of hundred new young players and families to welcome them.
Wes Wise the ABC Channel 8 Sports guy, later to be Mayor, was there with his film camera for this memorable event in Dallas soccer history for the News at 10. Unfortunately, in his haste he had forgotten to put film in the camera!! That was before video tape.
Anyway, Odd was a great goalie and was made 'poster boy' with a giant size diving goalie pose on a billboard on LBJ Freeway, and I became friendly with him, Jan Book, Chris Tonning, Brian Harvey, Mike Renshaw and others.
They lost the first 20 or so matches in the USA League against more experienced and better paid opposition until Coach Kap was sent to Europe to get some 'Stars'. He returned with 3 Turks, and Mustafa Sabanka ,the goalie promptly knocked himself out diving into his goalpost and wasn't as good as Odd anyway. Their first match, at the old Turnpike Stadium in Arlington, TX they had beaten the Dallas League All-Stars 10-0, in an 'exhibition' led by Hans Mansion, but against 'real' opposition, the Houston Stars a week later they lost about 5-0. I was then writing for TELESPORT weekly and after interviewing the disillusioned young players after the match,I wrote a story that filled the whole back page the following edition and they led with the headlines, "The Men vs The Boys, Dallas gets a Spanking". Bob Kap wasn't very pleased.
Odd returned to Oslo then moved to Sweden and played for Orebro and then under a young coach called Sven Goran Erickson at IFK Goteborg.
As you know Brian Harvey and Mike Renshaw stayed in Dallas until Brian moved to Oklahoma City University.Jan Book with the support of Eric 'Swede' Nordstom, got the Irving Youth Soccer Association on the move, and started his own soccer club, Jans Soccer Club. Mike became coach of the Tornado and they folded along with the league. Well, there is lots more to tell if you ever want more-but that's the core.
Odd played again in Norway and then got his Masters and PH D and is now an academic, but I remember his acrobatics, his pleasant personality and his love for the game.
Can you imagine trying to arrange a tour to those countries these days.