Quando estávamos a viver na Rua A às Amoreiras era aquilo um beco sem saída no fundo da Rua Aviador Plácido de Abreu. Ao lado havia apenas um campo abandonado nas traseiras do quartel da Artilharia 1. Este campo onde brincava era conhecido como Campo da Aliança. Tinha-se lá jogado à bola e ainda havia havia restos de uma bancada de cimento. Foi aí que se organizou durante um par de anos uma feira popular e foi tambem aí que uma noite correu a noticia que estariam lá uns jogadores do Benfica, entre eles o tal moço que tinha vindo de Lourenço Marques, o Eusébio. Claro que o queríamos ver. Ganharam uma coisas nas rifas ou na tombola. Penso que o que iam ganhando ofereceram aos miúdos. Foi o meu primeiro encontro com o Eusébio.
Tambem visitava o meu vizinho Vicente Lucas na Praceta do Junqueiro em Carcavelos. Vimo-nos várias vezes na década se sessenta e sempre mostrou humildade e bons modos. Cacei durante esse período o seu autógrafo que aqui fica!
Ele tinha dez anos mais que eu. Durante muito tempo era Eusébio o único portugues que se conhecia fora das fronteiras de Portugal. Embora não tenha jogado naquele jogo amigável com a Inglaterra em 69 estava lá, e encontrei-o por casualidade numa loja do centro de Londres. Quando se lhe dirigia a palavra falava como se fossemos conhecidos.
Uns anos depois, já não jogava, veio integrado na comitiva do Benfica que fez o seu estágio pré época na Suécia. O treinador era o sueco Sven- Göran Eriksson. Organizou-se um jogo treino com a equipa local do Alnö. Foi e continua a ser um dos eventos desportivos mais importantes aqui realizados. Foi um agora funcionário do municipio de Sundvall que se encarregou da organização do evento. Segundo ele deu lucro e foi de facto um feito trazer áquele campito o grande Benfica. Infelizmente não estava cá por ter sido no período de férias. Tive pena e tenha a certeza que se assim não fosse teria tido a oportunidade de falar mais com o Eusébio.
Cá estamos nós na Côte d’Azur.Passamos uma vida porreira.Fartamo-nos de roubar coisas. Espero que este postal não te cause sarilhos, bem é que foi tambem fanado, especialmente para ti. Nós devemos chegar aí dia 17 ou mais tardar dia 18.
Beijinhos Carlos, Nelson e Zé
Foi este o texto que apareceu na casa em Barnes, Londres, onde alugava um quarto à senhora Meltzer mais ou menos no dia 15 de agosto de 1969. A Sra. Meltzer, viúva de uns 65 anos, alugava quartos e tambem estava incluído na renda de 6 Libras e 6 shillings o pequeno almoço à inglesa. O que terá a Sra . pensado do postal que lhe entrou pela caixa do correio mostrando uma francesa nudista da ilha do Levant- nunca cheguei a saber. Mas que este trio causava sarilhos, causava.
Sweden and Portugal are set to play a decisive play-off to participate in next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Whilst trying to decide whether or not I should go to the match in Stockholm on the 19th November, I am recalling the matches I have seen live, with Portugal’s national team. My team!
First match I saw was a friendly as part of the preparation for the England World Cup of 1966. Portugal played Uruguay at the national stadium on the 26th June. José Torres scored all the three goals and my grandmother who had never seen a football match but was very keen on Eusébio felt very sorry for the Uruguayans and said that they should be allowed to score a goal.
I had moved to London in 1968 and one year later Portugal played a friendly on the 10th December 1969. England won by 1-0 after a goal by Jackie Charlton, so Portugal did not at this time revenge being knocked out of the England World Cup three years earlier.
In 1984 Portugal were in the same qualifying group as Sweden for the World Championship of 1986 in Mexico. Thanks to a late goal by Fernando Gomes Portugal could come home with a precious 1-0 victory. That match was seen surrounded by Swedes that had little or no understanding when João Oliveira and I jumped up to celebrate the goal. Much could be said of this Stockholm encounter but it is a story that will have to stand on its own.
Fate had it that Portugal and Sweden would once again play each other, this time for the European Championships. My fourth match was also in Råsunda, Stockholm, and was played on the 23rd September 1987. Even in this match Portugal came out as a winner. An early goal by defender João Pinto ( his only one, in 70 caps) was enough but neither of the two countries would reach the final phase in Germany 1988.
Before the 2004 European Championship that was organized in Portugal the National Team only played friendlies. It was on the 10th September 2003 that I saw Portugal defeat Norway by 1-0. The goal scored by Pedro Pauleta at the Oslo Ullevaal arena. Through our mobile we heard that Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh had been knifed in Stockholm some hours earlier. Unfortunately she would no longer be with us the next day.
Esta foto não está relacionada com a carta e foi tirada um ano mais tarde
Caro Amigo Johnny
Recebi a tua carta que me deliciou. Não recebi os cigarros mas não tem importancia, obrigado de qualquer modo. Não tenho escrito a vocês todos, não porque vos tenha esquecido mas por razões óbvias, falta de tempo, etc.
A minha vida agora está completamente mudada, estou a trabalhar numa das maiores corporações do mundo, cheia de snobs ingleses que passam a vida a chamar “sir” uns aos outros. Um dos meus directores só diz disparates como por exemplo- “And what other interests have you got on this fine bâteau, monsieur?- Good man. Good man”!
Os gajos aqui fartam-se de assinar seguros para os barcos portugueses. É vê-los a dizer os nomes todos em português, é de partir o coco. Todas as Marias e Manéis and all the bacaloeiros,etc.
O meu director no 1 deu-me já as datas para escolher para férias do verão que consistem em duas semanas sem contar com sábados nem domingos.
Espero que a malta da praceta que vem a Londres escreva e diga e principalmente o Zé e tu. Este ano não vos posso receber condignamente porque não tenho um andar nem nada mas para o próximo tude se há de arranjar. Se vocês trouxerem a tenda eu talvez possa ir com vocês até ao norte ou qualquer coisa do género.
Espero que o Zé tenha recebido o disco que lhe mandei pelo natal.E manda-me o dia dos anos dele para lhe fazer outra surpresa.
Escrever é uma merda ( bolas até que enfim que me lembrei duma palavra irregular) só queria que os meus pensamentos se propagassem até aí, pois eu penso muito em vocês. Os bifes são todos malucos. Parecem todos criminosos ou bêbados. O tipo com quem eu trabalho é um pachá, só fala do Concorde e do Queen Elizabeth II ( outro Johnny). Quando vocês vierem a Inglaterra vão me encontrar a falar português catedrático, pois estou-me a esquecer de todas as palavras que a malta costuma usar, pá.
Nunca mais joguei à bola e onde me entretenho agora é no rinque de patinagem no gelo que está cheio de miúdas taradinhas sexuais. Vêm contra mim, e começam a perguntar-me o nome, a morada,etc, etc. Desculpa estar –te a escrever tão mal mas estou muito cansado. Já escrevi duas cartas antes desta.
Espero que o Mário continue a ser “o melhor” e que o Lacerda continue com as suas filosofias, retóricas(gagusdasi*Incompreensivel) e excelente brilhantismo em Ciências Naturais e que todos tenham tido notas porreiras vocês e os putos da praceta, isto é todos os outros. O Sporting está uma merda. Escreve depressa e não te esqueças de dizer quando vens, se vens.
Back in 1969 I would do my shopping in Richmond-upon- Thames. It had boutiques that Barnes did not! It was there that I acquired a pair of red crushed velvet trousers. These trousers disturbed my relatives that evidently were not sure where this choice of clothes was taking me. In reality they made a strong contrast from the City suit I wore during the working week.
At this time and with my 17 years of age the attraction was going to Piccadilly Circus. Something was always happening there and I would spend whole weekends there. There was a fantastic atmosphere. Young people from all over the world would gather there. All of a sudden some demonstration was organized and youngsters showed that they were not happy about the way things were going. Cries for Mao Tse Tung were on many demonstrators lips. This was the Hippie period at the aftermath of the 68 events. The Vietnam War was raging on and everybody was against it. Italian partisan songs- Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa Bandiera rossa, bandiera rossa … would be followed by Spanish Civil War songs making mockery of Pablo Franco and his wife… La mujer de Paco Franco bumbala, bumbala, bumbala…
A bit down Green Park some large mansion was occupied by homeless hippies and defended by Hells Angels. The police came in and got them out to everybody’s disgust and sense of injustice. It wasn’t fair! These were exciting times and I could not find anything more entertaining than those weekends doing my bit for world revolution on my red crushed velvet trousers!
I was employed at the Tramp Club in Jermyn Street. This club had been opened in 1969 by Johnny Gold, Oscar Lerman and the third owner was a Bill Ofner. I have come to understand that many in the staff are still there, even though the ownership has changed. The concept has been kept and I presume it is as hard to get in now, as it was back in 1972 when I worked there. At the inconspicuous door you would have found Shah, the tall and handsome Pakistani doorman. But the rules were clear! In order to get in you needed to be accompanied by a member or be one yourself. Many people prepared to pay a fortune to get in had to turn back at the door.
If we are to touch the subject of money and we should, I would say that I received a salary while working at Tramp’s. It wasn’t very high but our rather good salaries were produced by the addition of handsome tips, that were divided at the end of each week, after a model, with the manager getting most then the head waiters and finally the rest of the staff. When bills were paid the tips would be directly placed into a box and this was the reason why we were not to wear trousers with pockets.
It was exciting, each evening, to know what celebrity would turn up and I can admit that some evenings there were very well known people there and that this was a motive of curiosity for the staff. “My first celebrity” was Harry Belafonte, but many would follow and I shall in future blogs tell some more episodes of interest connected with this period and what I can recall.
Summertime came and I hadn’t seen my mother for some time, I am guessing 1969. It was suggested we should go away on a round tour by coach.This trip went more or less like this: London, Bath, Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Isle of Bute, Gretna Green , Lake District, London.
It was a good opportunity for us to talk and my mother had plenty of news concerning not so pleasant events after my departure from Portugal in 1968.
According to my sister Joana who was about 11 at the time I had taken my very sharp and elegant,green 3 piece suit. She also wondered why I was drinking pints of beer and having to go and visit the toilet after that. She couldn’t really see the point. Explained like that neither can I…
This tour by coach was a unique experience. People on the bus were friendly but we didn’t actually spend time getting to know any of them. According to my frail memory we stopped in Bath but looking in the map it does not make much sense, I am sure we went to Edinburgh and probably stayed the night there. We carried on to Loch Lomond where we spent the night in a hotel overlooking the lake. Next day off to the Isles of Arran and Bute, after all, the destiny of this excursion…I believe there was a last night stop around Windermere in the Lake District.
On our way down south, quite a lot of history and the importance of Robert Burns in poetry and Gretna Green on the significance of getting married across the English border.
On the day I am remembering my mother’s first year of passing it felt important to remember that outing where mother and son tried to come nearer and I believe succeeded in an ever lasting effort to join past and present and where childhood and adulthood try to come to terms with each other.
When Mário Soveral turned up in London his idea might have been to stay there. Breathing democracy and freedom is what most 17 year olds like to experience. His mother Laura kept a close eye on him. Life in those days was a daily adventure and everything was more or less possible. I had to earn my living and had a fixed job in the City. On our free time we would look for more adventures.
When in London Laura visited friends that she had known previously. Some of these were Brazilian. We were invited to a Guilherme Araújo in Chelsea that had an open house to other Brazilians. I remember being invited to a Beans lunch (Feijoada Brasileira) there, together with the Soveral mother and son.
Araújo was often on the phone on long distance calls. I really had no idea who these people were but it became clear to me that our host worked as an agent for two of the other tenants Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.They had spent some months in prison in 1968 after being arrested by the military led government for subversive activism.
Below is what anyone might read on Wikipedia. There’s nothing there about our Beans lunch!!
“Thereafter, Gil and Veloso were exiled to London, England after being offered to leave Brazil. The two played a last Brazilian concert together in Salvador in July 1969, then left to Portugal, Paris, and finally London. He and Veloso took a house in Chelsea, sharing it with their manager and wives.”
Gil and Caetano were political refugees in England. They had arrived there under the influence of The Beatles latest work. Tropicalismo developed and made Brazilian pop more international and social aware. Velos’s and Gil´s political ideas on the left made them enemies of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Their songs were often censored and some were banned.
Many people I know, couldn’t imagine going to the cinema on their own. Same thing concerning travelling! That’s not the case, as far as I’m concerned. I have throughout my life done these things on my own and not found it tedious in any way. Whether this is part of my personality or just something I have become used to, I couldn’t tell.
I have enjoyed going to the cinema and continued to enjoy it when I moved to London. The main destiny was, when living in Barnes, the Hammersmith Odeon. The Odeon is huge and functioned as a cinema but also saw the visit of world artists since inauguration in 1932. It is now known as “The Hammersmith Apollo”.
At weekends I would go and see films at the Odeon. Some titles of the day, remain still today. A favourite was Steve McQueen and his “Thomas Crown Affair” and “Bullit” were seen there. “Candy”, “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” and “Midnight Cowboy” I also remember from this time!
Two concerts I saw there were those with The Beach Boys in May 1969 and Ray Charles in the same year. These were two fantastic concerts.
The problem of going to the cinema alone was that I could attract the attention of men. One particular incident I remember was a man coming to sit next to me after an interval and spreading his coat too much over to my seat. As I was beginning to feel uncomfortable I felt a heavier weight on my leg. When I looked down his hand was resting on my leg. I got up and went (I might add) and sat on a place further back. Being 17 years old and doing things alone was not without risks.
When I got redundant from the Lloyd’s experience it was not difficult to get a new position in the City! My new address was Dunster House on Mark Lane, very near the Tower Hill tube station. The business at hand was Reinsurance and its international market. My new employer was Leslie & Godwin- brokers at Lloyd’s- and starting date 10th October 1969.
The work consisted mainly on writing letters to our customers- big insurance companies- all over the world. Like this I got in touch with Japan, Argentine, France and even Portugal. I would write these letters by hand and leave them on a tray where the typing pool would type them and returned them for confirmation by me and signing by my superior Mr. Johnson.
Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnson sat in a special glassed room so they could see what was going on. I could not help years later to see parallels with what was going on and that brilliant British sitcom, “The office”.
My arrival at the office was not welcoming by all. I came to understand, later on, that some of the younger office workers saw me as a threat because of the international character of the business and my knowledge of languages. Still, I did my work and most of my life at that time was revolving outside the office.
I was already combining the City life with an ever increasing night life and as the Portuguese connection grew deeper changes were occurring up to the day that I left in my notice and moved on and away from the world of Reinsurance.
Curiously it was a temp girl called Judy, who I was going out with, that prompted my resignation.
The picture shows me in a three-piece suited with colleagues Tony Cooper and Joe enjoying a lunch break with half a pint.