Fans

Sweet on Slavia

Supporters don’t come much more devoted than Radmila Štěpánková. She’s a lifelong Slavia Praha fan who bakes cakes for the players and once booked a hotel room overseeing the stadium to avoid missing a match played behind closed doors

INTERVIEW Ondřej Zlámal | PORTRAIT Martin Sekanina

My love for the red and white of Slavia dates back to my third year at elementary school. Some soldiers came to our classroom to give us a talk and, when they mentioned football, one of my schoolmates stood up and said, “I’m a Slavia supporter!” I liked the sound of it so I followed suit.

Then, at 16, I fell in love with another Slavia supporter, Jan, who’s now my husband. He was from a football family and I’d go to games with him and his father but, after we got married and had our girls, football stopped being the top priority for a short time – but not for long! Our home is near the Strahov Stadium, where Slavia used to play, so we soon had season tickets.

Radmila has been a Slavia fan since she was at school

I never thought of not going when Slavia were in the doldrums and I’m really happy these days, with them winning the double last year. And now we’re watching their courageous performances in the group of death in this season’s Champions League. It makes me so proud.

I’ll never forget the club’s first qualification for the group stage in 2007. We got there by beating Ajax and the long wait was over, after four previous failures in qualifying. It was an absolute joy when Stanislav Vlček scored the late second goal in our return-leg win here in Prague. That team had probably my favourite Slavia player of all: defender David Hubáček. He was a hard-working, modest guy who was very friendly to us. He always stopped to see us, even after the worst defeats.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

My love for the red and white of Slavia dates back to my third year at elementary school. Some soldiers came to our classroom to give us a talk and, when they mentioned football, one of my schoolmates stood up and said, “I’m a Slavia supporter!” I liked the sound of it so I followed suit.

Then, at 16, I fell in love with another Slavia supporter, Jan, who’s now my husband. He was from a football family and I’d go to games with him and his father but, after we got married and had our girls, football stopped being the top priority for a short time – but not for long! Our home is near the Strahov Stadium, where Slavia used to play, so we soon had season tickets.

Radmila has been a Slavia fan since she was at school

I never thought of not going when Slavia were in the doldrums and I’m really happy these days, with them winning the double last year. And now we’re watching their courageous performances in the group of death in this season’s Champions League. It makes me so proud.

I’ll never forget the club’s first qualification for the group stage in 2007. We got there by beating Ajax and the long wait was over, after four previous failures in qualifying. It was an absolute joy when Stanislav Vlček scored the late second goal in our return-leg win here in Prague. That team had probably my favourite Slavia player of all: defender David Hubáček. He was a hard-working, modest guy who was very friendly to us. He always stopped to see us, even after the worst defeats.

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It was in that era that I started baking cakes to give to the players after matches. When Michal Švec and Marek Suchý got into the side in 2006, they looked just like kids so I felt I needed to give them a treat of something sweet. A tradition was born. The little cakes I made with Slavia stars on them were particularly popular.

I’ve also designed flags, bags and even clothes in Slavia colours, and I sometimes give them as presents to friends who support the club. Jan and I have had rings made from red and white gold with a star, and I’ve got some special Slavia earrings too.

Slavia fan Radmila outside the club's stadium

Suffice to say, we don’t like missing games. Once, when the team had a match behind closed doors at the new stadium, we booked a room in the hotel next door – with a window looking onto the pitch. At the end the players came over, stood below the window and thanked us for our support.

Today the bond with the club is even tighter as our nine-year-old grandson, Jan-Jakub, is Slavia Under-10 captain! Jan devotes all his time to taking him to training sessions, matches and tournaments. After all, as the club’s motto says: “We are stronger together.”

My love for the red and white of Slavia dates back to my third year at elementary school. Some soldiers came to our classroom to give us a talk and, when they mentioned football, one of my schoolmates stood up and said, “I’m a Slavia supporter!” I liked the sound of it so I followed suit.

Then, at 16, I fell in love with another Slavia supporter, Jan, who’s now my husband. He was from a football family and I’d go to games with him and his father but, after we got married and had our girls, football stopped being the top priority for a short time – but not for long! Our home is near the Strahov Stadium, where Slavia used to play, so we soon had season tickets.

Radmila has been a Slavia fan since she was at school

I never thought of not going when Slavia were in the doldrums and I’m really happy these days, with them winning the double last year. And now we’re watching their courageous performances in the group of death in this season’s Champions League. It makes me so proud.

I’ll never forget the club’s first qualification for the group stage in 2007. We got there by beating Ajax and the long wait was over, after four previous failures in qualifying. It was an absolute joy when Stanislav Vlček scored the late second goal in our return-leg win here in Prague. That team had probably my favourite Slavia player of all: defender David Hubáček. He was a hard-working, modest guy who was very friendly to us. He always stopped to see us, even after the worst defeats.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.