Fighter pilot became a star of football and journalism
“It was a terrible time: a sea of murders, explosions”
Sunderland paid 18,000 pounds for me. Damn it, for those times it was a lot of money. Someone from the team joked, saying that my legs are made of gold, which is why I got such a large amount. The most interesting thing is that some fans believed in this nonsense: they met me on the street, rounded my eyes and avoided it if I didn’t hurt or injure, ”lied Ivor Brodis, the former England striker, in conversation with the journalist The Telegraph.
Actually, his name was Ivan. The captain of the Tottenham farm club, where Brodis played before the war, is to blame for the miraculous transformation of the name. In one of the matches against a team from East London, the referee, who personally knew the forward, did not want to release players on the field. Ivan Brodis stood in front of him, but there was some Ivor in the application. I had to understand. Only half an hour later it turned out that the referee had confused the terrible handwriting of the leader of the “spurs” who had filled out the application form for the match. The conflict was settled, but from that time, Brodis was all called Ivor.
Even at the front, where the 19-year-old player was a pilot of the Royal Air Force, he was known as Ivor. Because the regiment commander inattentively read the recruit profile. Although at that time it didn’t bother Brodis – all thoughts were about quick battles. He was waited for several years by heavy Vickers Wellington and Avro Lancaster bombers, with Brodis wearing a total of 500 hours in the air. He took part in battles against the Italian troops, flew to the north of the Apennines and was there until the surrender of Japan.
“I remember how we flew home. Hundreds, no, thousands of planes returned with me to England. Many have passed the war from the beginning. It was a very terrible time: a sea of murders, explosions. I woke up and set myself only one task – to survive. I remember how everyone cried, celebrated the victory. I never experienced such emotions again, ”Brodis said later.
“I don’t care that you’re some kind of star.”
The most amazing thing is that the war did not affect his career. Sometimes from the front, Brodis left for the games for Manchester United, and in 1944 even signed a contract with Carlisle United. “You know, when I first came to Carlisle, I felt cramped. Seriously, ”Brodis recalled. – It was such a small town compared to London. After the metropolis, it was difficult for me to get used to the fact that from one end to the other it was possible to walk in half an hour. The first week I was seriously thinking about collecting things and running home. But then nothing got used. ”
If in Manchester Brodis was considered a big player, in Carlisle his authority jumped to the Moon. Firstly, the management of the team, which at that time consisted of 75% of the fans, rented an apartment for the striker practically with their own money. Secondly, Carlisle immediately offered the forward the role of a playing coach. The 23-year-old football player quickly agreed to such conditions. For three seasons, he shot more than fifty balls, held talks with Sunderland, and independently sold himself there. The sports director of Carlisle did not want to let go of the coach and the main star so much that he ended one of the many meetings in which the parties discussed the conditions of leaving with a powerful blow to Brodis’s nose. 18 thousand pounds yet convinced a functionary from “Carlisle”. Subsequently, when Ivor returned to the team in 1955, this same director met him at the entrance of the stadium and said: “I knew that you would return, and therefore did not beat you much”
Ivor Brodis played perfectly in all the teams. The only negative – the character. Brodis often ignored training, glowed in pubs and snapped with trainers. In Sunderland, for example, he was the most expensive and most stellar footballer, so he believed that classes in the general group were not for him, came only to matches, continued to live in Carlisle and kept in shape with a local team.
From time to time Brodis scored at workouts or was late for them, for which the new coach Bill Shankley once smashed him in a personal conversation: “Listen, I honestly don’t care that you are some kind of star and that Sunderland paid you big grandmother. We do you a favor by launching our trainings. Either you change your attitude towards everything, or you fall to hell. ” Eyewitnesses claimed that after such Brodis behaved more disciplined.