An International Incident

By Michael Bloor

(first published in The Drabble, 15/6/2022)

In 1934, Derby County FC toured Germany, invited by the German Football Association. A year previously, Hitler swept to power, banning all other political parties. The manager told the players that the British Ambassador had insisted that, prior to kick-off, the Derby team must line-up with their opponents and give the Hitler salute.

Inside the packed stadium, the team lined up and duly raised their right arms in salute. All except the goalkeeper, Jack Kirby: Hands on hips, he turned and faced in the opposite direction.

To defy everyone, alone, in full view, far from home – that’s true courage.

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