Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Surreal Sport: Ooh Aw, Salvador!

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Surreal Sport: Ooh Aw, Salvador!

Article excerpt

Few would argue that there is a poetic quality to British football team names. The likes of Hamilton Academical, Sheffield Wednesday and Queen of the South veritably trip off the tongue. So when the Sunday kick-abouts I have been involved in with friends for the past year formalised into a competitive five-a-side team recently, there was a high standard for us to follow when it came to picking a name.

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The early favourite, Duck Pond Albion--reflecting our damp training environs on Clapham Common--was eventually discarded in favour of the silly-but-appealing Surreal Madrid.

We have since discovered that this name has been subconsciously plagiarised from either a Spanish pop group or a well-established Sunday league side from Hackney, depending on who you believe.

No matter: it is fixed now. We are Surreal Madrid, and we are committed to doing justice to our name. But how to do so? We already employ some fairly abstract tactics, though uncharitable critics may replace the word "abstract" with "poor". Playing with Dali moustaches drawn on with marker pen seemed like a good idea briefly, until someone pointed out that our opposition would probably have enough reasons to laugh at us without the team looking like art students on a stag weekend.

The only way to pay homage to our inspirations in the surrealist movement seemed to be with some well-worded chants. As I was carrying an injury for our opening game, I volunteered for the task. Incorporating an ideology into something as epigrammatic as a football song is not easy. …

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