Almost everyone, who is interested in Czech soccer would recognise the green kangaroo in the emblem of the well-known Prague soccer club, Bohemians Prague. But how did a Prague club end up taking on the iconic Australian animal as their mascot?
The entire expedition of AFK Vršovice in Perth, Australia.
At the beginning of 1927, soccer players from the club AFK Vršovice set off on a journey to the other side of the globe. They took on the name Bohemians, to make it easier for Australians to pronounce. They played 19 matches in Australia, winning 14 of these. After returning from their successful tour, the club kept the name, along with a new mascot. Players even took care of a pair of live kangaroos, gifted to the then president Masaryk by the Minister of Public Affairs of Queensland. Some claim that the ‘kangaroos’ they brought back with them were actually wallabies, which can be distinguished from other species by their smaller stature. The fate of these kangaroos is shrouded in mystery and there are a range of theories surrounding it, the most convincing of which is that Masaryk just ceremonially accepted them and then left them to the club. According to this theory, they were later gifted to a Zoo in Prague.
If you want to find out more interesting facts about the rich relationship of Bohemians soccer club with distant Australia and about the influence of Czechs on the Australian soccer scene, follow this website, where we will be gradually publishing more fascinating stories and photos.
Match between Bohemians and a select representative squad of Australians on 6th June. The Czech soccer players beat Australia 6:4 in front of 30 000 spectators.