Tikhonov spent the night in the taiga under a spruce, and Shirokov cleaned up the territory, Yuran faced hazing

On September 21, partial mobilization was announced in Russia. So far, not all categories of citizens are subject to it, but only men aged 18 to 50 years old (category “A”) and fit with minor restrictions (category “B”) who are in the reserve. Those who did not do military service and did not receive a military ID before the age of 27 are not listed as such.

Apparently, the majority of current athletes will not fall under partial mobilization, since many have not served in the armed forces, do not have a military specialty and combat experience.

However, we have a fresh example before our eyes: many remember how in July the goalkeeper of the Russian national hockey team Ivan Fedotov was detained in St. Petersburg and sent to serve in Severodvinsk. So it will not be superfluous to recall that many famous football players in the past had experience of serving in the army. Here are five of our selected short stories.

At the age of 18, the future legend of Spartak did not pass the screening at CSKA-2 and was sent to the Krasnoyarsk Territory to guard prisoners.

“When you get into the taiga at the age of 18 and guard the zone… I think professionals should have been sent there, but not children. 18 years is not enough to stand on a tower and decide whether to shoot a person. I was the head of the guard. We had a whole zone, which we monitored in the composition of 12-14 people.

When I was still a trainee, some prisoner climbed into a KrAZ and went to ram: he broke through three fences on the car. But he did not manage to escape, he just ran across the road and crashed into another zone.

There every day had to overcome. It was still the USSR, so there were all nationalities in the army. People came from villages and did not even understand your words. I was then a sergeant and felt that every nation has its own specifics. Someone, for example, never held a rag in his hands, because they consider it unworthy of a man.

Once we had a field trip – three or four of us were thrown out into the taiga. Snowstorm, blizzard, minus 30 outside, and we spent the night under the Christmas tree. Warmed up canned food on the fire. You break branches, run for about 15 minutes, then lie down – and there is so much snow on you. It’s good that they didn’t eat us there, in the taiga. Who knows what animals might be there.

Well, at least we were not sent to a hot spot. Although they were already sitting on sacks once, they wanted to send them to Georgia when the conflict flared up there. It was 1988. Imagine, an 18-year-old child was going to be sent there to disperse the riots!

(From an interview with “Championship” in 2020)

Already a football player, he was sent to the army “for disciplinary reasons” – due to the fact that he drank and missed training. True, Shirokov spent only a couple of months in the construction battalion.

“I heard a joke like this: “We need to understand where we have a shortage more – in the armies or in prisons.” Where I served, the service gave me nothing. What is the point of this army if I walk around and clean up the surrounding area? Of course, I didn’t remove it for two years, but for two months, but still. Just who is not as lucky as me, they have been cleaning for two years.

If the army is preparing to, God forbid, then defend the country, then there must be some army skills – to let people shoot, to teach hand-to-hand combat. And so to come and build something for someone or sweep after someone – this is not an army. There are, of course, different troops, somewhere it can be more interesting, but where I was, not quite.

(From an interview with SPB.AIF.RU)

It is noteworthy that Shirokov has already reacted to the news about the mobilization, saying that if he is called up, he will go to serve.

“Did I fall under the law on partial mobilization? Don’t know. I haven’t received anything yet. If it is necessary, then it is necessary, what are the questions. If a summons comes, will I go without question? Of course, ”Legalbet quotes Shirokov.

The former striker of the Russian national team has a similar story. In the sense that he also ended up in the army due to a violation of discipline. He was then a football player of Dynamo Kyiv and after a plentiful celebration on March 8, along with several comrades, overslept the morning workout. Valery Lobanovsky was harsh, sending the striker to the unit.

“I had to serve in the internal troops, that is, as an escort. True, he did not accompany the prisoners. Once I was almost sent, but nothing happened – they found someone more suitable. However, he learned all the other charms of the service: he marched on the parade ground, and went to outfits, and peeled potatoes in the kitchen …

I also had to face such a phenomenon as hazing. Although, in general, I did not have any problems in this regard. At that time, according to the documents, I was already considered an old-timer – I “served” for a year and a half, playing for Dynamo.

And I was lucky with the company commander. He turned out to be a normal person. I understood that I needed to keep in shape, and did not particularly load it. So I spent most of my time in the gym. And I even had a chance to play football a little – for our company for the championship of the regiment. It is clear that we won the competition.

Of course, it was a lost three months. But, in any case, they did me good. In the army, I grew wiser, I realized that I need to take my head and finish with these sprees.

After graduating from the football school, he received invitations from the Samara team SKD, the Smolensk Iskra, the Lipetsk Metallurg and the Vologda Dynamo, but “while it was being formalized”, a summons came from the military registration and enlistment office.

“I came to Tbilisi not at the best time – 1990-1991. He served in the security battalion of the Transcaucasian Military District. Considered a relatively quiet place of service, it turned into hard labor for me. Constant provocations, attempts to penetrate the territory of the district put pressure on the psyche. It was especially hard when our recent compatriots shouted in our face: “Occupiers, occupiers!” Are we, ordinary soldiers, guilty of something before them?

Did you have to shoot? Only into the air, although the painful residue from the experience remains in the soul to this day. But even in such an environment, we did not forget about football, we held tournaments between companies and battalions. In parting, our battalion commander handed me a cup that the guys made from an artillery shell, my first prize for the best player, which I keep like an expensive relic.

(From an interview with the weekly “Football”)

At the age of 20, the future striker of the Russian national team, after receiving the summons, was preparing to serve in the sports company, but unexpectedly ended up in a tank division, where he served the required two years. He was in the crew of a tank, and was demobilized with the rank of foreman.

“Probably, I am one of the few football players who at one time served in parts of the Soviet Army. Moreover, my service was not in the sports company, but in the Kantemirovskaya division. Accordingly, there could be no talk of any football. In two years, I only played one or two times in “hole-holes” with colleagues.

By the way, my childhood friend, and now one of the best Russian referees, Igor Yegorov, spent two years in boots with me (Cheryshev gave an interview to the Championship in 2007 – ed. note). But, despite the two lost years without football, I am grateful to fate: the army taught me a lot and gave me a lot.


In 2013, the midfielder of the Russian national team was entrusted with making a midday shot from the cannon of the Peter and Paul Fortress, after which he admitted that he had already had a chance to shoot.

“I’ve had to do something like this before. I served in the missile forces, so I know what it is. But I haven’t shot in a long time, so it’s a little unusual.”


Another midfielder who never publicly spoke about his period in the army, but it is known that he served all two years and rose to the rank of junior sergeant.


He served in the artillery troops, and although he did not tell stories about this, he regularly returns to that experience tangentially in his speech.

“Discipline is different. I know this because I myself served in the army, and we were also ordered to be disciplined. But discipline from above does not always work. Football players also need internal discipline, ”he assured during his time in the national team.


Also do not apply to the army period. It is only known that they served in a sports company, but even there they didn’t like it so much that they agreed to transfer to CSKA, where they spent their entire professional career.

Source: Sovsport

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Peggy McColl

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