Happy Birthday, Andrés Escobar. Que descanse en paz

The model professional of Colombian football, Andrés Escobar

Today marks the birthday of one of Colombia's finest players from their greatest ever team; Andrés Escobar. Had he not been shot and killed in Medellín, Colombia, he would have been 45 today. Andrés was the centre-half and captain of Colombia's 1994 World Cup team in the USA. He is more famous for being shot and killed outside of a nightclub in his hometown of Medellín after scoring an own goal against the United States in the group stages of that ill-fated competition than he is for the exceptional partnership he shared with Luis "Chonto" Herrera that allowed 4 goals in their entire qualifying campaign, and only one loss. Nicknamed "The Gentleman" because of his exceptional on and off the field demeanour, Escobar was killed by the bodyguard of members of the Gallón brothers' cartel. Humberto Muñoz, the bodyguard and murderer, was released after 11 years in prison. The Gallón brothers were absolved.

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Gastown FC vs Vancouver Olympics: Tonight

Hit him hard in the first five minutes, let him know you're there

Gastown FC go into their final Division 1 game of the season and it couldn't be bigger (SKY SPORTS NEWS HYPERBOLE ALERT!). The Iron are currently outside of the bottom 3 by just two points, however fellow league strugglers Akal FC have games in hand, and against weaker opposition. GFC's opponents tonight couldn't be tougher, as the Olympics are looking to leapfrog Richmond Hibernians to claim the Division 1 title and secure promotion to the Premier League. Expect a stern rearguard action and plenty of bite from the boys from the downtown east-side.

The match takes place TONIGHT, 8pm at Queen's Park Stadium in New Westminster. C'mon The Iron!


Introducing the first knitted football boot: Adidas Samba Primeknit

An undead Luis Suárez plays Cat's Cradle with a shoe.

Here at Gastown FC, we’re simple folk. We like our coffee black, our cars German and our shoes to be made of leather. These are simple, respected standards by which the world has abided for many years. Adidas are not so sure (and so too, as it happens, are Nike); following the success of the Nike Flyknit and the Adidas Primeknit, both companies have looked to transplant the technology into the world of football. Today, we focus on the Adidas Samba Primeknit (Nike's eagerly-anticipated Magista releases on the 7th of March), made from one piece of coated yarn – a knitted football boot. Our initial, aesthetic, reaction is positive – read more after the jump.

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Gastown FC vs Vancouver Rinos: Friday night

Possibly a different Rino...

The Iron will be looking forward to Friday night, as a win will drastically improve their chances of survival - it is also conceivably their last real chance to pick up all three points before the final match of the season against league-leaders, Vancouver Olympics. Rinos lie 4th in the table and have had promotion pass them by for another year. The Iron will also be buoyed by the fact that they had Rinos at arms' length for a long period in the away fixture before conceding three late goals to lose the game 3-2. With more experience and some new faces in the team, not to mention the confidence that comes with winning back to back games, Gastown FC will be hoping that they can nick three points in their final home fixture of the season. It should be a clear evening, so bring the missus, a bottle of wine, a blanket or ten and some meth and come support your favourite GFC.

Details: Andy Livingstone Park, Friday 21st Feb., 8.15pm kick off.


Newswire: Following a strong clean-sheet victory against Shaheen last week, The Iron were buoyed into thinking they could get a result against the Serbian White Eagles on Valentine's Day. Despite missing chief defence-botherer Brandon Ho due to romance issues, Gastown were able to put the Serbs to the sword 2-0. Successive victories and successive clean-sheets for the first time this season have lifted The Iron temporarily out of the relegation zone. Despite not being given a Bosniak's chance in Belgrade at Christmas, Gastown FC are making a real go of Division 1 survival. #FORZAGFC!

Gastown FC vs Serbian White Eagles: Tonight

A Serbian, circa 2009.

Tonight: Gastown FC take on Serbian White Eagles in a must-win relegation crunch match. The Serbians are safe in mid-table, but The Iron know that this is one of their final chances to take all three points to try and secure their safety. As it stands, GFC are one point away from avoiding the drop; a win tonight will put the pressure back on Akal FC to pick up points from their remaining fixtures.

Come support The Iron at 8.15pm at Point Grey Turf in Kerrisdale if you don't have any Valentine's Day plans. In fact, bring madame, I'm sure she'll thank you later.


Pedro Martinelli

Pedro Martinelli is a Brazilian photographer who has devoted his life to documenting the Brazilian way of life (including football), as well as having a career as a photo-journalist. He started his photographic career at the tender age of 17 and by the time he was 20 he was employed by O Globo to document the militaristic expansion of Brazil's roads and highways into the Amazon rainforest. During this assignment, he discovered encountered the Panará, an indigenous tribe that was paid scant regard by the expanding Brazilian contractors and businesses. Once his contract had expired, he moved back to the jungle to document the Panará in an attempt to preserve their way of life. He shoots all of his material with manual cameras and without props or external lighting. He is truly one of the most soulful and profoundly humane photographers I have ever seen. The above photo from the Pacaembu is one of my favourite footballing photographs. More of his work can be seen here and thanks to Ed Neale for steering us in his direction.


Newswire: There has been quite a bit of action since the last update. The Iron crashed out of the Cup, losing to old foe, Vancouver Greencaps. This was preceded by a 3-0 loss to league leaders Richmond Hibernians. In dramatic style, GFC bounced back this past weekend against mid-table Shaheen FC winning by one David Yesaya goal to nil. It was Gastown's first clean sheet of the season in Division 1, something that has been a long time coming, especially considering it was the solidity of their back line that won them promotion last year. Valentine's Day sees an interesting clash between The Iron and Serbia - the Serbians won the reverse fixture 3-1 before Christmas. A win for Gastown would take them out of the relegation zone for the first time this season. Never say never.
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