Football

The hooligan poet

CURATOR

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In retro Dutch beach town Egmond aan Zee (at Sea) lives Jos A. – a former AZ‘67 hooligan – who now writes poetry and is the local copywriter.

How did you end up being the copywriter for local businesses?

“As a fan I used to make cloth banners with slogans form my football club AZ [formerly AZ‘67], so I got used to playing with words that have an impact. After I got banned from football I got bored and started to come up with names for local businesses in my home town Egmond at Sea, in the Northwest of Holland.”

Singing of the waves (Golfzang)

The far away wind approaches
Slowly, crawling on top of the heaving sea – a song

A choir of hooligans
Partially grey haired
All teary eyed

Damn you, breeze

Your poetry is somewhat… abstract. Can you explain your style?

“There’s not much of a style, for the most I let my heart speak – instead of my hands. My heart has a lot to say.”

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You also make photographs. Why?

“My hero is Mark Rothko, the artist. When I stare at the sea I “see” the same depth as I experience when I stand in front of his paintings. I know it sounds strange when a tattoed guy in a wifebeater says stuff like this, bit yes, I’ve travelled here and there and have been to museums.”

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How did you become a hooligan?

“I was 18 when AZ became, for a short period of time, one of the best teams in Europe. AZ, from Alkmaar, a small city in Holland. It was exhilarating, and I had too much testosteron… I overdid it a wee bit the next 10 years. Of course, after the high AZ relegated a few years later, which really pissed me off. I molested a policeman.”

AZ '80-81

Picture: AZ’67 in the year they became champion, 1980/1981

Do you still go to football matches?

“I was banned for 10 years. So it was strange to come back; I’m not a big fan of the way everything is overly organized. Everything is nice and tidy, it sometimes feels like I’m going to a theater. But I’m still a big fan of the game – and so is my son, so we go together. He’s 18. He wants to become a policeman. I’m dead serious.”

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Jos A. preferred not to be photographed: ”I have nothing to hide anymore, but it’s an old reflex. And it reminds of an intens period in my life I’m not overly proud of.”