Denne teksten er hentet i sin helhet fra Facebooksiden Once upon a time in Scandinavian football. Siden er drevet av en Portugiser som har lagt sin elsk på Skandinavisk fotball og synes Lyn er et spesielt lag i fotballhistorien. I samarbeid med herrelaget vårt har han nylig postet Lyn-stoff i en hel uke, som han kalte “Lyn-uken”, der han blant annet hadde et langt intervju med en av klubbens største spillere gjennom tidene, Andreas Morisbak. Intervjuet er på engelsk.
PART ONE - The Legend
🇳🇴 Andreas Morisbak is a Legend of Norwegian football. A gentleman of the sport, an ambassador of the spirit that sometimes tends to fade away in modern football. Morisbak, the player, liked the football in hard pitches. Muddy, rough to opposition, exactly how football used to be for amateur players in the 60’s, at Oslo and football pitches in cold Norway. Mr. Morisbak, the man is always hopeful that football can improve, can be respectful, can follow the traditions, but also achieve higher standards, as NFF and UEFA director for 25 years.
In a conversation with one of the inspirations of this page, he told that nowadays we are almost forced to admire players like Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappé and almost forget players that played the sport really for fun. In OUTSF, players like Andreas Morisbak are truly well admired. I had the privilege to have access to his story, to his achievements, by Morisbak own words.
🎤 “I was playing a lot of football in my younger days and played senior football very early, but in a lower division near Trondheim. Locally I was looked upon as a good player, but no one knew me in Oslo. I was of course very interested to follow up my big interest for football, and to get some help to find a suitable club. I therefore went with my father to the Football Associations office to hopefully get some advice there. The boss himself, General Secretary NIc. Johansen wished us nicely welcome and we discussed some possibilities. As I had got a bedsit not so far from Ullevaal stadium which was owned by Lyn at that time, and Lyn played in second division, we thought this was a good advice. It is special to think about that N. Johansen became my boss twenty years later when I started to work for the Association.”
Reports confirm the Legend words. 225 games for the club and 5 goals between 1960 and 1971. As a defender and midfielder in the intense football played in Norway, Andreas Morisbak received a single yellow card in his career. 1964, 08th August, against Brann, in Bergen (7-0 win for Lyn). How brave is this statistic? Born in 1940 in Vefsn, Morisbak played in small clubs before his family moved to Olso. Indeed, Andreas helped Lyn to be promoted in 1960, and even though a relegation occurred next year, Andreas was Norwegian champion in 1964 and 1968. Three additional times as a runner up and four Norwegian cup finals, winning in 1967 and 1968. Andreas Morisbak was the captain of the magical team of the 1968 double.
October 9th, 1968. First international match for Andreas Morisbak. The derby against Sweden, in Stockholm, ended 5-0 to the home team. Morisbak was part of the Lyn squad players that at that year were part of the National team.
🎤 “The only thing I missed was to get a possibility at our National team. But the possibility came when I was 28 years and in the season were we gained “the double”.
I was one of the six players picked from Lyn – and I was of course very satisfied to also put this occasion to my football CV!”
Two more games in 1969 for the international experience. Against Mexico, played at Ullevaal in Oslo (0-2) and another one with Sweden, at Gothenburg. Interestingly, Andreas made part of a Military National team, subject that I will talk about in a future extended post.
The legendary player finished his playing career in 1971 in Lyn, and almost immediately started a coaching career in 1972. He completed 72 games as Lyn Oslo coach, interestingly the first game was against Skeid (winning 2-1). The last one was in October 1974, against Aalesund, 1-1 was the result. He won 23 games, tied 22 and lost 27. Morisbak also coached Norwegian U-23 team for two years, Viking in 1983, and was Norway’s assistant manager in 1987.
Keep in mind that most of the players at that time were amateur and continued to earn money in other occupations. Andreas was a High school and Primary school teacher, was an Officer at Army Medical Service and had scholarships studying Sport. From 1975, he was until 2007 he was Technical Director at Norway FA and had several technical participations in UEFA committees. Mr. Morisbak studied about football, learnt about football, shared knowledge about football, thought about football, and changed mentalities about football.
Andreas Morisbak may not have been the goalscorer that made stands rise. He definitely is not the player that sold shirts in Barcelona, Liverpool, Milan or Munich. He wasn’t world champion or won the European Cup. But loving football should be admiring also players like Andreas Morisbak. Part of an amazing team of Olso in less known league, playing in cold winters and hard pitches and fight to play honestly. Andreas Morisbak is a true Legend of Once Upon a Time in Scandinavian Football.
PART TWO: The Barcelona challenge
Not many Norwegian teams succeeded in European competitions. It’s more easy to remember the 90’s Rosenborg team, even though they didn’t went that far. Lyn Oslo shares the country record alongside them (1996-97 Champions League), but also Brann ( 1996-97 Cup Winners’ Cup), and Vålerenga (1998-99 Cup Winners’ Cup).
In 1969, Lyn Oslo achieved the Quarter Finals of UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and had the surreal task to challenge FC Barcelona team (later runner up that season tournament), with the huge disadvantage of playing the two legs at one of the most mythical stadiums in the world, Nou Camp. For 22 minutes, Lyn Oslo had the advantage to go to the final and the dream was near to be real. But it’s better to know the story for the Legend who lived these moments on the field.
“After the memorable season for Lyn in 1968, Lyn was the first club to take the double since the ten club league started in 1963, and was qualified for the Cup Winners Cup. By winning against Altay from Turkey in the first round and Norrköping from Sweden in the second one. Then we were ready for the quarter final. When we went through the two legs against Norrköping the first leg at home the winter had already started and we had to play on a snow covered Ullevaal. The away match in Sweden was a tough one because the pitch was hard frozen and it was very painful too our groins. We managed the winterly circumstances and reached the quarter final which happened to be Barcelona and the dates were decided to 30. January and 5. February 1969.
Because of strong winters in Norway those days and none artificial grass pitches, the solution was to play both matches in Spain within one week at Camp Nou.”
⚽ Lyn Oslo-FC Barcelona
30th January 1969
Nou Camp, Spain
Svein Bjørn Olsen
Karl Johan Johannessen
Jon Palmar Austnes
Lyn - Harald Berg, 40’, 80’
Barcelona – José Zaldúa, 12’, Carlos Pelicer, 25’, Gallego, 62’
“As our normal season ended late October, we had of course to continue our training, but also play training matches. We found some possibilities on the west coast and I would say we were as well prepared as possible for the two big matches.
Of course it was a kind of a respectful feeling to enter the huge stadium taking nearly one hundred thousand spectators. It was far from that numbers at our first match 30. January, our “home match”. The Spanish spectators were probably thinking of an easy match. Although you could feel the nerves just before and at the start of the match, but quiet soon the nerves went away and you concentrated in the same sway as in other matches. A good opponent, yes, but not so easy for them as the players and spectators had thought. The result 2-3 was truly surprise for them, as well as Harald Berg could put two balls in their net. We were quiet satisfied with result and raised our self-confidence, trained well at our camp in Spain and looked forward to the “away match” “
⚽ FC Barcelona-Lyn Oslo
05th February 1969
Nou Camp, Spain
Svein Bjørn Olsen
Karl Johan Johannessen
Jon Palmar Austnes
Trygve Christophersen (46. min.) in for Knut Kolle
Lyn - Karl Johan Johannessen, 30’, 53’
Barcelona – Gallego, 75’, 83’
“If the first match has caused some Spanish surprise, the second one 5. February caused frustration for them most of the match. Again one player scored our goals with two good shots, Karl Johan Johannessen, a midfield player. It was a tough pressure against us after the two goals lead, but we worked hard, and were in the semi finale until it was 15 minutes left of the match.
After having stopped a lot of their tryings and our keeper had done very well, we could not stop their first goal. A Spanish player took the ball from the net and held in to his body. I was eager to start the play as soon as possible to hopefully get another goal, so went to him to get the ball by taking it from him. But then he pushed his elbow hard under my chin so I got a black out and fell to the ground. It caused some excitement among players from both teams and also against the referee. But after a little while everything calmed down and I was up again and ready for work. Their second goal was a bit unlucky for us. A loose ball was on the way to the inside of the left post just above head height. Our left back was placed there – an only had to jump a few cm to head away the ball. But when he tried, the cramp in his legs stopped him – and 2-2 was a fact.
Because we were leading and “were” in the semi final so long- we felt disappointment just after the match, but later on we were proud over what we had done. The famous Norwegian radio reporter were present at the matches – and when he come on the air when we were leading 2-0 he cried out: “Here is Barcelona –were I am witness to the football sensation of the century!”
And when we came home to the airport Fornebu at that time, there were a nice receipt with roses and champagne bottles!
⚽ Barcelona went to the final played in Basel, Switzerland and lost 3-2 to Slovan Bratislava.
“After these two matches it probably had been wise to take a rest period since we had played football nonstop from April the year before. However we did not do that. We decided to do something no team has done before – to continue to train and play training matches against top teams in Denmark and Sweden. So when we started the Norwegian season again in April 1969, we had been in activity for one year without a break. We thougt it would be an interesting experiment to see if it could give us any advantage for the coming season. But it did not – it caused us problems! During the season almost all players were injured at different times, so we very seldom could play with our best team. We lost energy both physically and mentally and everything turn out so badly that relegation was the end result! The reason was obviously, because the next season, 1970, we qualified for the first division again with a large margin of points and also reached the cup final!”
PART THREE: Travelling Europe
Lyn Oslo FK played 28 games in European competitions, since 1963-1964 season, starting in European Cup against Borussia Dortmund, in the early days of this competition. They were the second Norwegian team to participate, after three entering in a row for Fredrikstad. Oddly enough, both Lyn and Fredrikstad weren’t country league champions to enter European Cup.
Andreas Morisbak remembers well of the games around Europe:
“We were all amateur players with full time work or studies besides the football playing. During those years and due to our championships both in the league and cup, we played against different professional opponents in European tournaments – such as Borussia Dortmund, Germany in 1963 (2-4 and 1-3), Reipas Lathi, Finland (1-2 and 3-0), DWS, Netherlands (0-5 and 1-3) in 1964, Derry City, Northern Ireland (5-3 and 1-5) in 1965, Bologna, Italy (0-2 and 0-0) in 1967, Altay, Turkey (1-3 and 4-1), Norrköping, Sweden (2-0 and 2-3) in 1968, Barcelona, Spain ( 2-3 and 2-2) early 1969, Leeds United, England (0-10 and 0-6) late 1969, Sporting CP, Portugal (0-4 and 0-3) in 1971, Tottenham Hotspurs, England ( 3-6 and 0-6). I stopped playing early in 1971 and in 1972 I was the coach of our team.”
⚽ The first victory of Lyn happened in 1964, against Finnish team Reipas Lathi and it was the first time that they achieved second round.
“In 1969 we had our biggest losses against Leeds United which probably was one of the, if not the best, team in Europe at that time with all their well-known stars as Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer and others. 10 – 0 at Elland Road and 6-0 at home were the ugly results in the two matches. Before the match in England we talked about the importance to hold them away the first 15 minutes, but it took only 15 seconds before the first ball smacked into the back of the net! After the match we could hear about it on the radio, and got in a way some comfort in spite of the bad result when the reporter cried out at the end of the match: “The Norwegians are still running and fighting – they don`t give up!”
⚽ Game against Leeds United: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tROHWk4kJn0
⚽ Andreas Morisbak coached the team in 1972-73, when they played against Tottenham Hotspur, the winners of previous season UEFA Cup. Interestingly, after Morisbak quit coaching Lyn, the club only participated again in European competitions in 2003 and in 2006 for UEFA Cup, playing against Faroe Islands Runavik, Greek PAOK and the last match until today was against Estonians Flora.
“A little story connected to our matches against Tottenham: One of the star players in the club at that time was the scot Alan Gilzean who scored two times against us in the 3-6 match at Ullevaal, which we thought was a quite good performance from us. Two years ago I happened to go to London with my son and two grandchildren to look at a Tottenham match at White Heart Lane. When we came to our ticket place in the stand, I showed the guard a newspaper from the match in Oslo and asked if any of the players from that team were present and if it were possible to get in touch with them. The answer was yes –and soon after Alan Gilzean popped up, he was one of the hosts at the stadium. We got a nice chat together, he looked at pictures from the match and remembered very well that he scored those two goals – and of course we got his signature on the paper. He looked well when we met him, and it was sad to get the news that he died in July 2018.
To get the experience to meet such big teams as Tottenham Hotspurs and Leeds United at that time was exciting and inspiring in one way, but on the other hand it was a bit frustrating to see the difference in quality although we were pure amateurs against professionals.”
⚽ In total, Lyn won 6 games in European competitions and may be proud of playing against powerful teams, mainly FC Barcelona.
PART FOUR: Pure Football
“One thing about our training at winter time those days will possible seem strange to many, but for us we thought it was an advantage compared to other teams: We played football in an ice hockey rink through the whole winter, using metal studs under the shoes. To be better in playing football you have to play a lot of football, and we played a lot more than other teams. On the ice the ball run fast and you have to be very precise in passing. And it was fun to play, so we looked forward to every training.”
The two more impressive things I learned during the process of creating This is History Lyn week is the passion of Norwegian fans to football and their history, and the way that Mr. Morisbak talks about football, about how grateful things in life can be when we do it with dedication, passion and full spirit.
This is until now the highest point of this facebook page. To be able to share and to hear Lyn’s fans and to deliver so many stories and pictures, is a project that I was eager to do and now that it almost concluded, I want to thank everyone who made part of it in this nine days. Followers, new followers, true Lyn fans, people at Lyn, Pedro, Mr. Morisbak, Thomas. I hope that this can make a bit part of recent history of the club as it undoubtedly made part of this page history.
Once Upon a Time in Scandinavian Football wants to deliver better, more and to bring a different perspective of pure football, based on clubs like Lyn 1896 FK. Even though Lyn’s related posts doesn’t stop here, tonight I will share with you the last one of this week: the profile of one of the promising talents that plays in Oslo pitches. Like a vision to the future of the club, that alongside with the romantic vision, can bring back the glory days and enrich even more the Norwegian football.