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Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Terrible Embarrassment of the Goalkeeper on the Crown Princess's Birthday


The Belgian goalkeeper Van de Weijer is beaten again, Netherlands - Belgium (9-3), Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
: photographer unknown, 11 March 1934 (Nationaal Archief)


Man cheering after the first goal, Netherlands-Belgium, Amsterdam: photographer unknown, 1931 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

A shot by Wim Lagendaal (right) runs wide of the goal of the Belgian keeper Vandenbergh, Netherlands-Belgium (2-1), Amsterdam: photographer unknown, 17 April 1932 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

The players of the Dutch national team enter the field at San Siro Stadium, Milan for the World Cup match against Switzerland (2-3). Leading: Puck van Heel, followed by Frank Welsh and Sjef van Run: photographer unknown, 27 May 1934 (Nationaal Archief)

International match, Belgium- Netherlands (3-3), Beerschot Stadium, Antwerp. People shinnied up trees so that they could get at least a glimpse of the match: photographer unknown, 9 March 1913 (Nationaal Archief / Sparnesstaad Photo))

The Czechoslovak keeper parries a Dutch attack. Czechoslovakia - Netherlands (0-3, aet), Stade Municipal, Le Havre: photographer unknown, 5 June 1938 (Nationaal Archief)

The Dutch team scores again against Belgium (9-3). Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam: photographer unknown, 11 March 1934 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

Dutch  player Bep Bakhuys bearing down on goal during Netherlands-Belgium match: photographer unknown, 1935 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

Soccer for the disabled. One legged-player plays the ball, Berlin: photographer unknown, 1935 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

Swiss goalkeeper
Sechehaye in action between Beb Bakhuys (middle) and Kick Smit during World Cup match between Netherlands and Switzerland (2-3) in San Siro Stadium, Milan: photographer unknown, 27 May 1934 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)


Keeper Gejus van der Meulen ashamed after letting an easy ball pass through, during a special match played by the military in Heemstede, Netherlands on Crown Princess Juliana’s birthday: photographer unknown, 30 April 1940 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo) 

Ajax players' wives watching the European Cup Final (Ajax - AC Milan 1-4), Madrid. Right to left: Yvonne van Duivenbode, Maya Suurbier, Danny Cruyff, Andrea Swart and Carla Suurendonk: photographer unknown, 28 May 1969 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

Women's football, England - France (2-0), Preston, England. Team captains greet each other with a kiss
: photographer unknown, 28 May 1920 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)


Supporter "riots": the public floods the field, just before the match starts. 300.000 tickets have been sold for the 125.000 seats in the new Wembley Stadium. London, FA Cup Final (Bolton Wanderers - West Ham United 2-0): photographer unknown, 28 April 1923 (Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo)

Players celebrate Netherlands' 5-2 victory over Ireland with coach Karel Lotsy, Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam: photographer unknown, 8 April 1934 (Nationaal Archief)

Billboard advertising Netherlands-Czechoslovakia World Cup match, Stade Municipal, Le Havre: photographer unknown, 5 June 1938 (Nationaal Archief)

Dutch football supporters in Milan for the World Cup match against Switzerland (2-3): photographer unknown, 27 May 1934 (Nationaal Archief)


Tom Raworth said...

Tom: this is actually a news item on the BBC news website today:
You'll have noticed the "national anthem" as the English don't have one of their own.
love, Tom

TC said...

Can it be the 41-year-old Mark McConville of Glasgow, who was dressed in the Scotland away top and a tartan hat and ginger wig, was seen on TV waving a Saltire and cheering with Uruguay fans, is actually not so much an exception as a representation of the general attitude in this matter?

I believe his response was identical with mine, save for the theatrical accessories sadly lacking here, the tartan hat, the ginger wig, the Saltires.

The Uruguay anthem having seemed to go on for several slow geological epochs, with the several differential movements and moods, the frolic, the fanfare, the Wagnerian references, the bridging introspective passages, the crescendos of horns anticipating a triumphant conclusion, then ebbing back into the basic default confusion tinny bombast, one couldn't help thinking the England song was for once going to have to sound better than that of the adversary.


Particularly poignant I thought was the shocked response of the English audience to the evident happiness of Luchito Suarez, the man who had just made it plain that even if being conquered by a nation with one-thirtieth its population was not a smiling matter for the losers, joy had not been dispelled entirely from the universe.

Barry Taylor said...

Surely the bowler-hatted man in the second photo is Rene Magritte, not celebrating but bawling out the Belgian goalie?

And that would be some kind of installation of his in the fifth shot?

Wooden Boy said...

My nephew watched the match in a room thick with Scottish joy.

Wonderful photographs; I'm not a football fan but it makes me want to read a good history of the beautiful game.

TC said...

The hints of what was to come in the realm of blood sport do creep into the frame, here and there.

The traveling billboard in Le Havre for the Czechoslovakia/Holland match, for one.

Twenty five years later, at least Le Havre would look pretty much the same.

And is it just me, or have not a few local fellow travelers worked their way into the row of genial traveling Dutch supporters gaily posed before the Duomo in the bottom shot?

Brilliant camouflage tactic.

The fifth shot is one of those photos that might have been read in many ways.

This way proposed by the caption -- the "correct" way -- perhaps represents the least menacing of the imaginal possibilities.

The dusty phrase "hanging tree" erupts from some buried memory bank.

And yes, the wave of nostalgic anti-Empire sentiment was palpable all through the terrible final stages of England's elimination, coming down to the ultimate humiliation of having Costa Rica put in the final blow, just now.

Late in the Uruguay match it was almost as though the whole world had elected to open up its harbours for German battleships to be scuttled in, all at once.

Everyone got to be Scottish-Uruguayan for a moment.

Not that it's all that simple being a Scot, mind.

Those centuries of chafing servility have to have left their mark.

manik sharma said...


These pictures reiterate Roy hodgson's comment after the match-that results colour everything .. yes they do..and to think that Costa Rica can pull of what Costa Rica have pulled of is still is on lines of fragments in a pipeline of the absolute..what an achievement it is ..quoting commentary"have eliminated England without even playing them" for that man Suarez, has any man ever provided myriad WC moments to savour,remember with dread..the handball,the pump of the fist at Ghana's miss..the tears after his late strike..and the two fingers he for uruguay and one for Scotland..

Be the BQE said...

Is anyone ever as alone as the goalkeeper who lets one through he should have stopped? I knew nothing about Gejus van der Meul's embarrassment and now I will never forget the image of him, head in hands. Beautiful post for a World Cup Saturday!

TC said...

Where is pity. No one even pauses to pat him on the back, in his hour of great disgrace and sorrow. No one seems to care at all really. Not those watching impassively from the side of the pitch. Plainly not the wondrous Total Football WAGS in the shot below. Nor the obviously unfazed woman footballers in the next one down, nor for matter the surging throng at Wembley.

A hard lot, folk are.

It hit me directly between the quavering blogging sticks much as a sort of deferred spasm of Gerd van der Meulens' guilt that I'd put the wrong date on his humiliation. The caption now correctly explains that the day of embarrassment, the occasion of the birthday of the then 31 year old Princess Juliana, occurred on 30 April 1940. It was a military match. The ball had a moment before this photos was taken dribbled slowly, agonizingly, embarrassingly, between Gejus's half-squatting hams.

Not forgetting that ten days later Holland along with the rest of the Low Countries would fall before the Germans. (Football would kept up, but in a way the Germans encouraged.)

Gejus was a club player at Koninklijke HFC in Haarlem, the oldest club in The Netherlands. He had 54 Dutch national caps and was the national keeper over a ten year period, 1924-34. (Perhaps a bit rickety by the time of the military match?) He was in goal the first time the Dutch went to the World Cup finals, in 1934. There are brilliant videos of the Dutch team playing in the 1930s here.

At 2:49 of the epic 1934 World Cup travelogue vid, Gejus appears, at the peak of his game, in early Euro railroad station mufti.

And at 3:34 we are there again, in the Piazza del Duomo, with the congenial fellow travelers once more infiltrating the supporters' party, an oddly ebullient lot altogether.

Ageaus Yme "Gejus" Vander Meulen was 37 on the day of the performance before Princess Juliana.

Princess Juliana might in fact be the brightest feature in what remains of this sporting saga.

"In 1940 van der Meulen retired from competitions and opened a pediatric clinic in Haarlem. He joined the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands and openly supported Hitler's compulsory sterilization laws. His views were strongly opposed by the parents of the children he treated, forcing him to close his clinic. After the German invasion, van der Meulen joined the SS and eventually became a prominent doctor there. He was arrested four days after the liberation of the Netherlands and tried in June 1947. He showed no remorse and stated that he did not know that the Netherlands was at war with Germany when he joined the SS. Van der Meulen was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was pardoned in August 1949 and opened a new medical clinic, but met a chilly treatment both in the medical and football worlds. His only clients were the former Nazi associates, and nobody wanted to talk to him when he tried to enlist his son at his former football club."

He died in 1972.