Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (Chapter 1)

Nikolai Petrovich Starostin (1902-1996) was a Soviet football player and official. He was the co-founder of Spartak Moscow, which turned into the most popular club in the USSR and Russia, and worked as its head administrator for most of his life. Starostin is considered one of the most legendary and universally revered figures of Soviet football. In 1986, he published the book 'My Football Years' with Lev Filatov, and even well into his eighties, he retained a keen understanding of the game, … [Read more...]

VVS MVO Moscow, Vasily Stalin’s toy

VVS MVO Moscow is not a club name that many will recognize, and the acronym doesn’t reveal much about the club either. Nevertheless, it is a club with a short but interesting history. VVS MVO Moscow, a sports society VVS MVO Moscow was a sports club based in Moscow. The name was short for Voenno Vozdushnye Sily Moskovskogo Voïennogo Okrouga (Военно-воздушные Силы Московского военного округа), which means 'Club of the Air Force of the Military Region of Moscow'. It was founded in 1944 on … [Read more...]

Nikolai Starostin: From Hero to Gulag and Back Again

This is the second and last part of Vincent Tanguy's mini series about Spartak founder and Soviet football legend Nikolai Starostin. You can read part one here.   One man was going to send the life of Nikolai Starostin, his brothers and all his relatives deep into the dark: Lavrenti Beria. A key figure of Soviet power from 1938 to 1953, this man born in Georgia remains sadly famous for his cruelty. In 1938, Stalin appointed him head of the NKVD, the secret Police of the Soviet … [Read more...]

Starostin Means Footballer in Russian

People have always been fascinated by biographies of women and men with exceptional histories. Nowadays, stories about atypical lives invade both bookstores and cinemas, but there are still many stories which haven't been told to the wider audience. One of these is the story of Nikolai Starostin. His story fascinated me, to the point that I myself want to write his French biography! (I didn’t find any in French...) Besides his contribution in the Professional Football League organization … [Read more...]