Bohemians Prague: Risky trip with two kangaroos in the luggage

Bohemians Prague: Risky trip with two kangaroos in the luggage

The Czech national team? Did not want it. Slavia Prague? Neither. Then maybe Viktoria Zizkov? No, the team from the Prague district also canceled the Australian association.

Somehow understandable that no one wanted to accept the invitation to Down Under. A flight was out of the question in 1927, the trip by ship was anything but a bed of roses.

Vrsovice becomes “Bohemians”

However, a Prague suburban club called AFK Vrsovice was willing to take the risks and hardships. On April 7th, 16 players and two officials first boarded the train to Naples, 72 hours later the steamship left. There was even a test match on the way to Australia: On April 23, Vrsovice won 4-2 against a selection of British soldiers in Colombo in what is now Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).

The club did not reach its actual goal until May 5th, almost a month after the departure. At Vrsovice, however, there were (rightly so) serious concerns that no one on the other side of the world would be able to pronounce the club’s name. And so they simply called themselves “the Bohemians”, or in English: Bohemians.

15,000 people from Prague also cheer for two kangaroos

In Australia, the club kicked against various teams, including three times against the Australian national team. Vrsovice won an impressive 14 of 19 games. The tour group was amazed when they visited Brisbane. She got a gift that wasn’t exactly hand luggage-friendly – two live kangaroos. Nevertheless, it was possible to bring the marsupials home as a gift for the then President of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Masaryk, who did not want them at all. Masaryk is said to have said that he already has horses. They later ended up in the Prague Zoo.

The adventure lasted 114 days, it was supposed to create an identity for the entire club. “The successful expedition was welcomed by 15,000 enthusiastic Prague citizens at the Wilson Station,” says the website, which today does not bear the name of AFK Vrsovice, but that of Bohemians. The club renamed itself after the return – and the kangaroo ended up in the club crest.


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