1) Who are ya?
Christopher Lash, owner and writer of the blog rightbankwarsaw.com which deals with Polish football, mostly from a historical/societal angle but I also dabble in a bit of groundhopping.
2) Who do you support?
In England, I support Reading and in Poland, Polonia Warsaw (Warsaw’s second club).
3) What was your first game?
Good Question! I think it was probably a Burnley game in around 1988, I’m a Reading fan due to a good friend from there who moved to my hometown of Lancaster when I was a kid. So I’m a Northern Reading fan living in Warsaw. Go figure.
4) What do you do for a job?
I lecture in history and international relations at a university in Warsaw but I also lecture in Kraków as well. My focus is on Polish history and ethnic cleansing (fun eh?) but am thinking of designing a sports history module for next year so I can combine some of the stuff I do on the blog outside of the digital world.
5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?
Not really unfortunately. My brother had trials at Lancaster City youth team but I just played for local (pretty bad) sides between the age of 11-16. I suppose that was interesting but I encountered a lot of bad managers and muddy pitches. Some friends and I aim to set up a club here in Warsaw but the planning for that is in its early stages.
6) How did you get into it?
I got into blogging as a result of Euro 2012 which was of course held here in Poland. I’ve always been a football nut and spent too many hours on Championship/Football Manager and the Reading fans’ forum but the blog has really helped me spread my wings. When the Euros came here I thought I’d contribute in some way to the discussion around the tournament and it’s just blossomed from there really.
I have pretty decent knowledge of Polish culture having lived here for a number of years, I can speak/read the language and know how to do historical research so I can traverse the world of football here pretty well.
7) What do you get out of it?
Lots. I really enjoy writing and telling tales and for me it’s been another way of deepening my knowledge about Poland in general. I also love the interaction that you get when you write a blog. Via it and Twitter I have got in touch with some great people which really enriches the whole experience of being a fan and a writer.
8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?
I’d say just go wherever your interest takes you. The early days of starting a blog can be daunting. You feel you’re just writing for yourself, which in essence is true. But keep going, it really is worth it. Also I’d say enjoy the social experience around writing a blog, that’s the whole point. I don’t understand the people who write online and don’t interact with others. To me that defeats the purpose.
9) If you could do it all again what would you change?
Difficult question. Not that much to be honest. I’m happy doing what I am doing, although as most people who write blogs no doubt think, there’s always the question: what next? I have lots of plans, hopefully some of them will come off.
10) Who’s your footballing hero?
There’s a whole host of players I’ve loved over the years. Adrian Williams, Phil Parkinson, Steven Sidwell and Kevin Doyle. I wouldn’t say I have one hero but the Reading sides of 1993-5 and 2005-7 were just brilliant. It was a real pleasure to be a Reading fan during those years.
Read Chris’ blog at rightbankwarsaw.wordpress.com
Or follow him on Twitter –