Today I’m handing over the reins of the CTG blog to Gunnar Staalesen for the latest stop on his WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE Blog Tour. Gunnar Staalesen is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. His guest post is on “The Game is Afoot” …
There is a certain European Championship going on at the moment, as most European citizens will know. As I write, we don’t know who will win. Will it be England? Spain? Italy or France? What if Iceland won! Or Wales! The only thing I know for sure is that it will not be Norway. Our team did not even qualify!
From time to time, I visit schools in Norway to meet some pupils and talk about my books, and there is inevitably lots of time for questions. One question I am often asked by the boys is: What is Varg Veum’s favourite English football team?
There is a tradition in Norway, not only to support our own local team, but also of the English teams. This tradition stems from the late 1960s, when they started to show games from the Premier League on Norwegian TV (NRK was the only channel at that time), and all of the men (and some women) who had a TV at that time watched the football with their friends or their children. Those who did not have a TV went to their neighbors to watch it there. Premier League football was essential viewing! The very first game to be shown was Wolverhampton versus Sunderland, on 29 November 1969. Wolverhampton won 1–0. At that time the games were free to watch, but now we have to pay for the pleasure!
We did not have a TV and nor did most of our neighbours, so I was in my twenties when I watched my first English football game on TV. This was the period when George Best was playing, and as I always have loved the more artistic players, I liked to watch him, even if I never became a real Manchester United supporter. When I was a teenager, we heard a lot about Tottenham, so I made the decision to support them. I also have a son who is an ardent supporter of Liverpool, so I dare not say anything against them…
My team – in Norway – will always be Brann from Bergen; Brann is the Norwegian word for Fire! The most famous player from Brann was a local ‘George Best’, Roald Jensen. ‘Mr Jensen’ played for Hearts in Edinburgh in the 1960s and early 1970s, and was one of the best players ever to come from Norway.
So what is Varg Veum’s favourite English team? I thought a lot about it, and I found the answer. When he is asked that question, he always answers: ‘Nottingham Forest, because of Robin Hood.’
Have an excellent European Championship – and may the best team win!
Big thanks to Gunnar for dropping by the CTG blog today.
WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE is out in paperback this month.
Here’s the blurb: “September 1977. Mette Misaer, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close, middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge …”
And be sure to check out all the other great stops on the Where Roses Never Die Blog Tour …