The 18 May 1946 is not a day that many will remember as being well known for anything. If you are old enough to remember, then President Truman gave a televised speech announcing the end of the railroad strike in America and that is probably it, unless you were a resident in the small town of Ängelholm in south west Sweden.
On that night, in a small forest on the outskirts of the town a UFO landed. The Swedes aren’t known for their strange beliefs such as other nations (Trolls for instance in other more northerly areas) so it was hard to put this down to a flight of fancy, especially as it was seen by a chap called Gösta Carlsson, a famous Swedish ice hockey player at the time. Gösta claimed that the aliens landed and then passed him some secrets that enabled him to set up a successful natural therapy company. A bit like an extra-terrestrial Herbalife then. There is a monument in the forest clearing where the incident was alleged to have taken place which makes it the one of the biggest tourist draws in the area.
The town itself is better known for us younger people as one of the best surfing beaches in the Nordics. People come from hundreds of miles away to enjoy the wide sandy beach and the strong currents. It is certainly a nice looking place – free from litter and well kept lawns, and lots of very bronzed Swedes cycling around.
But I was not here for the UFO watching or the wind surfing. Of course I was here for football. Ängelholms FF are your typical provincial Swedish football team. Happy to sit in the mid-table of the second division, occasionally upsetting one of the big boys in a cup and even rarer pushing for a promotion spot. They have ambition though, and the club have stated that 2011 is their target date to reach the Allsvenskan for the first time. This season has started well for them. A 3-2 win on the opening day against favourites Hammarby in front of over 3,000 set them up well, but since then it has been a disappointing series of draws mixed in the occasional defeats. In their last home game the crowd dropped down to just over 300 which must be a real concern for the club. Continue reading