A non-league club in South West London is celebrating the life of a legendary Brazilian footballer who briefly played for the club.
Corinthian-Casuals, based in Tolworth, are hosting a day of celebration on Saturday 4 December for former Brazil captain Sócrates on the tenth anniversary of his death.
The legendary midfielder played for both teams in an exhibition match in 1988 when Casuals toured Brazil and played against the illustrious Brazilian club side Corinthians, to whom Corinthian-Casuals gave their name.
The Casuals’ league game on Saturday against Wingate & Finchley will form the basis of a day of celebration which will also include a one-off memorial shirt that will be worn for the fixture.
The number eight shirt, famously worn by Sócrates, will also not be worn for the game.
Artist Francesca Morris has also created a number of limited edition prints of the Sócrates playing in the famous chocolate and pink of the Casuals.
Only 240 will be available to buy online and on the day, where Brazilian food, drink, and music will also be on offer.
The midfielder became indelibly linked with South West London when he turned out for the Casuals in 1988 in an exhibition game, which also included Brazil internationals Rivellino and Wladimir.
The two clubs have a very close bond stemming back to the formation of the Corinthians in 1910, in which they took their name from Corinthian FC of England.
That side subsequently merged with Casuals FC in 1939 but retained its links with the Sao Paulo side.
The clubs played again in 2015 and the Casual’s home of King George’s Field is a pilgrimage for many fans of Corinthians, who have won the Brazilian Série A seven times.
The day will be a celebration of the life of one of the 1980s’ most famous footballers ten years after his death aged just 57.
The midfielder was capped 60 times for Brazil, scoring 22 times, and captained the iconic Brazil side that played in the 1982 World Cup alongside the likes of Zico, Falcão, and Toninho.
Like all three of his famous compatriots, Sócrates played in Italy, in his case with Fiorentina, but he is most associated with Sao Paulo-based Corinthians, one of the most successful clubs in Brazilian football.
Nicknamed ‘Doctor Socrates’ due to his medical degree earned from the University of Sao Paulo, the midfielder was also well-known for his political beliefs including his opposition to the military dictatorship in Brazil and his support for democracy.
Casuals have made a solid start to the season, currently sitting in tenth place, and are unbeaten in their last five matches, putting them eight points ahead of visitors Wingate & Finchley.
Featured Image: James Boyes via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)