4 May 2011

Göteborg Sport's Hall of Fame - nominations for 2011

At the moment, the Sport Museum in Göteborg (Gothenburg) needs candidates for their Hall of Fame to be submitted by the public. A nominee must have been either born or been active for at least five years during their career in the Göteborg district.

Göteborg is commonly known as the Football capital of Sweden and there are quite a few footballers among the 132 previously chosen.

As an ÖIS supporter I nominated Knut "Knatten" Lindberg and Rune Börjesson, although I have just withdrawn my nomination of Lindberg.

Rune Börjesson and fellow striker Agne Simonsson was the dynamic duo of the 1950's ÖIS team. Rune also played 20 national caps between 1958-1961, scoring 17 goals. He was the top goal scorer of the Swedish Top League, Allsvenskan in 1959 and 1960 which earned him a professional spell at Palermo.

Lindberg not only played football for Örgyte IS (ÖIS), where he in the early 1900's won five Swedish Championships. He was also a fine sprinter, holding Swedish record 100 m, 10,6 sec from 1906 til 1936. He won two olympic medals: Silver for Javellin in Athens 1908 and silver in the 4x100 m Relay in Stockholm 1912. All in all he became Swedish champion 28 times.
But the story of Knut Lindberg is not just an epic one of great achievements in sports. Lindberg was a moody, loud drunkard who in 1910 was convicted for manslaughter.

When I found this out I decided that it would not be appropiate that Lindberg, although a character of great interest should be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

This I had to be particular about because at the same time I had insisted that Hall of Fame inductee Viljo Nousiainen should be excluded. Last week when former Swedish Athlete Patrik Sjöberg (who held the world record in High Jump) released his Autobiography, stating that his former coach Nousiainen had abused Sjöberg sexually as a boy.
This story has been confirmed by other men who had Nousiainen as a coach in their childhood.
Patrik Sjöberg represented Örgryte IS, and the club was also the employer of molestor Nousiainen who died in 1999.

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