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Friday 19th August 2022 ko 20:00

Division 4 Södra Stockholm

LÅNGHOLMEN FC 1 (Baldwin 63)


Att 65 at Västberga IP

Free Entry

In this visit of reunions this was a little unusual and it all was due to Kim Hedwall and I picking a random game back in 2008. I remember it well, walking down to Essinge IP from the bus stop from Liljeholmen we were discussing which one of us was going to ask the referee for the team-lineups. As we walked in I was so attuned to hearing Swedish for a second I didn’t recognise the language I was hearing!

It was English much to our surprise, and neither of us realised that Långholmen were an expat club with the majority of the players from the UK but welcoming players of all nationalities. We spent a happy couple of hours with Scot James, formerly of Kilmarnock but now settled and naturalised with a family in Stockholm. Scot and I have been in contact ever since, but have never managed to be in the same place at the same time!

The club started life in 2002 as little more than a kickabout on a gravel pitch on Långholmen island. That created a lovely slice of irony. The island is best known for being the location of one of Sweden’s largest prisons, which in turn was the site of Sweden’s last execution in 1910. These days the prison is now a rather exclusive hotel, but the fact that the football team wear black and white stripes does nod back to the prison!

The new club entered the Korpen, the Swedish equivalent of Sunday League and won their division at the first attempt, ahead of a team called would you believe Gary Glitter. Yes, a side named after a prison..  

From there the club moved both to Essinge IP, and into the main Swedish footballing pyramid and rocketed through the divisions and eventually reached Division 3, before slipping back to Division 4. But the highlight of their existence so far came via the Swedish Cup. They finished runners-up in the Stockholm Cup in 2011 and that gave them entry into the 2012 Svenska Cuppen, where they drew the mighty IFK Gothenburg at home!

The game was played at Grimsta IP and the giants won 9-0 in front of nearly 700 fans but what an experience for the club! The club have retreated slightly since those days, and their reserve side have folded, but the biggest news was that the club had moved to Västberga IP. That meant a trip to Telefonplan.

The station on the metro’s red line is where telecommunications giant Ericsson used to have their headquarters, factory and the apartments of many of their employees until the company moved out to Kista in the northern suburbs in 2003. The site was taken over by the Swedish University of Arts and a tower there is now an interesting arts installation. 

It’s called “Colour By Numbers” and you can see the blue lights on the tower in one of my photos. What makes it interesting is that via an App you can select the colours on the tower. I wish I’d known about it in advance! 

Västberga IP has a wonderful vista from the rocky outcrops and it was lovely to see Scot once again, and a pleasant surprise was that Mats decided to join us. Perhaps he’d enjoyed Åkeshovs BP  more than I thought the day before!  We joined the small band of Långholmen fans, and generally chewed the fat over an entertaining game lit by floodlights that were both yellow and had several bulbs missing; our cameras worked hard that evening. 

It was lovely to see Scot and Långholmen again but I note with sadness that the club finished bottom of Division 4 and were relegated. I hope the club can regroup and bounce back next season. 

We said goodbye to Mats and Scot at Telefonplan station and took the metro to Liljeholmen. From there we took the tram moving slowly through Stockholm’s suburbs back to our hotel back in Sickla Kaj. We only had one full day left in Sweden, but I’d planned it to be rather special…