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The Blue Brazil


When The Sun Shines


One Of The Many Fables Regarding Our Nickname

People have often asked Cowdenbeath supporters how Cowden got the nickname ‘The Blue Brazil’, we have researched this phenomenon and have found an amazing story behind the name...

Years ago, Fife was the leading light in the coal mining industry. For those people that are of an age not to know what a miner is, then this was a man that burrowed in the ground and extracted a rare mineral which was sold on to rich people who set fire to it for there own comfort. As Cowdenbeath was, at that time, surrounded by several of mines one of which stood right next to Central Park (The No. 7 pit) Cowden became known as The Miners’.

The majority of the Fife populace, including football players from the majority of senior Scottish football clubs, were involved in coal mining in some form and the men used to earn a pittance as a basic wage. This pittance was boosted by bonuses for achieving target volumes that had been set by the mine management; it therefore was financially beneficial for workers to constantly mine further and further into the bowels of the earth. At the time of one of the early recessions (about 1891) when miners were paid based on the number of tons produced, one of the No.7 mine shafts came through on the surface. At first the miners had thought they had tunneled over to Edinburgh when they saw the strange clothing that the locals were wearing, this was also down to the fact that they could hardly understand a word that they were saying. What they had actually done was to dig a mineshaft across the globe to a small shantytown just south of Rio De Janeiro.

When the men emerged from the pit, the locals of the area thought that they were demons and fled leaving a group of young men, who had failed to notice the occurrence, playing football. Following their long journey, the miners (about a dozen or so) sat down and had their tea break. Flasks were opened and sandwiches were consumed with some of this veritable banquet being shared with the local footballers. An immediate friendship was established and a challenge match was played. Some of the local lads impressed a couple of the miners, who were Cowden players at the time, and they immediately informed their manager who was a face worker on another shaft. The Cowden boss took one look at the gifted youngsters and decided to get them to play for Cowden in their last league match of the season against Dunfermline which Dunfermline had to win to become league champions. The only problem that he had was to get them signed and registered before the game. The registration was refused on the grounds that they would be classed as illegal aliens.

The boss was not to be denied though and on the Saturday, three of the ‘new signings’ took the field for Cowden. When the Cowden captain was asked by the referee who the new players were, he replied "These are regular players who have just finished a shift down the pit and didn’t have the time to have a bath before the match!" The referee allowed play to proceed and Cowden ran out 11-1 winners with the 3 ‘trialists’ claiming all the goals. The Cowdenbeath community hailed these 3 lads as heroes and as they didn’t know their names they were christened ‘The Blue Brazilians’.

This nickname has never left the team who failed to retain the services of the ‘Rio Trio’ as they felt it was too cold to play ‘beautiful football’ in Scotland and returned to a sunnier climate to sign for Brazilian champions Santos. Although they stayed but a short while, their impact was immediate and the 11-1 result against the Townies is to this day a club record and they also left us with a nickname which is known throughout Scottish football - THE BLUE BRAZIL.

And that is a true story!


This articles was originally published in the When The Sun Shines fanzine


When The Sun Shines is an independent magazine written by the supporters, for the supporters.
Any opinions expressed in this page is not the opinion of any players or officials directly or indirectly connected to Cowdenbeath Football Club.