Sparta Prague 1992-93, Home Shirt

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I decided to eschew a shirt from the store at Sparta’s Letna stadium since the only ones on offer at the time were fairly boring Nike designs; I saved my money for a Bohemians Praha shirt. But that didn’t stop me from finding a Sparta Prague shirt via the internet upon returning home. I had wanted a Sparta shirt sporting this classic Adidas design (please see my Liverpool and Levski Sofia entries) since watching Sparta face Galatasaray in the 1995/96 Uefa Cup as a kid.

Amazingly, I remember the night like it was yesterday. We were in my grandmother’s house as my late grandfather sat on the couch listening to his classical music. On TV was the team I would learn to love, Galatasaray. My eyes caught Sparta Prague’s maroon Nike kits—with the Opel sponsor in the center of the chest. To a kid growing up in America it was all foreign—especially the Opel. Weren’t they just Chevrolets, after all? Still, the shirt reminded me of a fake Bayern Munich shirt my parents had bought me, which carried the Opel sponsor as well. Later I learned that the Bayern shirt was a copy of the era’s design (the same Adidas template and same Opel sponsor as this shirt only on a red background with blue stripes) which Sparta had also worn. Ever since that night I had wanted a Sparta Prague shirt with an Opel sponsorship and here it is.

The fabric is standard Adidas from the era and in Sparta’s trademark maroon with “Opel” printed on the front but with no club badge. I honestly have no idea if this is a latter-day imitation of the shirt (photos and videos from the period include shirts with no badge and the tags are definitely from the era, but one can never know). Still, this Sparta Praha shirt represents a childhood dream fulfilled and that is all I can really ask for at this point.

The shirt being worn against Werder Bremen:



Sigma Olomouc 1998-1999, Home Shirt

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I got this shirt way back in high school way before ever setting foot in the Czech Republic—I think it was the Mazda sponsorship that had attracted me since the number one thing on my mind back then had been getting a car. The shirt is a very standard Adidas fabric and I have half a mind to think that the Sigma Olomouc details are heat pressed onto this Adidas template from the era by someone in a back room with a heat press machine. After all, I feel like if I wash this one too many times the writing will all peal off and I’ll be left with a blue Adidas shirt! Turkish football fans will remember Sigma Olomouc for their 7-1 thrashing of Fenerbahce in the 1991-92 UEFA Cup. The team have since fallen far; currently they play in the Czech second division.

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Czech Republic 1996-1997, Home Shirt Matchworn Novotny 20

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This classic Puma design (as worn by Neftochimik Burgas, among others) is one of my favorites. The fact that this one is (purportedly) match worn by Jiri Novotny only adds to its value for me personally. The bright red fabric of this extra-large sized shirt is not shiny like Neftochimik’s, it is more of a matted finish—similar, in fact, to the fabric used by Tomy Sport for Cherno More Varna’s shirt. The numbers and name are both felt printed in a professional manner. In short, a very classy shirt.


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Bohemians Prague 2010-2011, Goalkeeper’s Shirt


On my visit to Praha I saw all three stadiums that the beautiful city had to offer. And I decided on a shirt from the smallest of the city’s three teams—Bohemians Prague. Unfortunately, this shirt is not in the team’s traditional green and white colors (the only vestige of the team’s colors are in the badge—complete with the team’s kangaroo logo!). According to the man who sold it to me at the team’s shop outside the Dolicek stadium it is a goalkeeper’s shirt. I asked for a shirt with a name but was informed that no such shirts existed. Still, this is a good quality Umbro shirt sized extra large, with all the requisite sponsors–which are all professionally screen printed.


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1. FC Brno 2009-2010, Home Shirt


Sure, I might have swerved off the highway without warning at the Brno exit en route to Bratislava much to my friends’ consternation but isn’t this shirt a great souvenir from the Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadion Srbska? There is no sponsor, nor is there a name and number, but its still a pretty shirt—the white pin stripes add a lot to Umbro’s design. For me the badge is a little small but it is professionally applied—and that’s something.


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Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadion Srbska, Brno, Czech Republic – FC Zbrojovka Brno

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Much to the dismay of my friends I decided to veer of the European E65 motorway in Brno while en route from Prague to Bratislava. My friends should have known better before putting me behind the wheel of our Opel Astra, but I guess they secretly wanted to enable my soccer hobby. After hitting the exit for Brno at the last minute I plugged the coordinates for the Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadion Srbska into the GPS and navigated through the back roads of Brno to the gates of the stadium.

The stadium looked great in the summer sun, having replaced the aging Stadion Za Luzankami as FC Brno‘s home stadium in 2001. Currently the stadium, which is up to FIFA standards, has a capacity of 12,550. It a fairly modest number, considering that Brno is the Czech Republic’s second city, and compared with FC Brno’s previous home–the aforementioned Stadion Za Luzankami–which was the old Czechoslovakia’s biggest stadium with a capacity of 50,000.

Without wasting too much time on the road to Bratislava I was able to get a nice Umbro shirt from FC Brno’s secretary, which can be seen here. As for the stadium pictures, they are below:



A Pristine Pitch Beneath Blue Skies:


The Seats Spell Out My Location Precisely:


Visiting Fans Won’t Expect a Red Carpet Welcome:

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Who Knew One Could Drive–Literally–Into the Stadium?

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The Author and His Shirt (And a Baseball):



Dolicek Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic – Bohemians 1905

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It was a warm summer day in 2010 when I visited the Dolicek, my head heavy with a vodka-induced hangover from the previous night. Bohemians are by no means on the same level as their more illustrious Prague cousins Sparta or Slavia–their main rival, whose stadium lies just 1 Kilometer away–but they still have an interesting story. The Kangaroo on their shirt, which serves as the team’s logo, was garnered from a 1927 tour of Australia. Fitting, I suppose, until you think of the absurdity of a Czech football team touring down under more than 80 years ago.

The Dolicek itself is a small ground which opened in 1932 and that now has a capacity of 7,500 (its been reduced over the course of several downsizings as the team have decreased in stature). Most recently it was Bohemians’ “B” team that played here–the “A” team played their Gambrinus Liga games at Slavia’s ground, the Synot Tip Arena, before being relegated to the second division after the 2012 season. Here is to hoping that the Dolicek survives to see 100 years, since it is indeed a quintessential neighborhood European ground:



The oddities of World Football’s interconnectedness:


Bad shots will end up in the trees, like Izmir’s Alsancak Stadium closer to home:


I wonder how much one of those flats would sell for…:

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A Pristine Pitch at the Dolicek:


Or these flats–an even better view:


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