About Me

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Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
I'm a director of Maidenhead United Football Club. For ten seasons one of my roles at the club was to produce the match programme. The aim of this blog was to write football related articles for publication in the match programme. In particular I like to write about the representation of football in popular culture, specifically music, film/TV and literature. I also write about matches I attend which generally feature Maidenhead United.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

One [Insert hero here]

Holidaying in Cuba in splendid isolation from the modern commercial and cultural influences of the rest of the world was just the one reminder of planet football. Although sports mad as shown by yet another creditable Olympic medal haul, the Cubans preferred team game is baseball, yet their even greater passion for music has had an enduring influence on British terrace culture.
Wherever you go in Cuba you will find a group of musicians ready to entertain you, and almost certainly their repertoire will include Guantanamera a song which found global fame in the 1960s just as football supporters all over the UK were looking to adopt popular melodies on the terraces and henceforth Guantanamera has provided a handy template for fans everywhere to serenades their heroes.
Although officially a patriotic song with lyrics by Cuba's nineteenth century godfather of revolutionary thought Jose Marti, its origins are a murky affair but there is a consensus that it was originally written as a tale of thwarted love. My favourite version is that it was written by Herminio "El Diablo" García Wilson who was so struck by a barbed retort to one of his chat up lines that he wrote a song about the woman in question, who came from Guantanamo (as in Bay), hence Guantanamera, a suitable template then for the British terraces.

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