The Miro Story
Boro x Banik
The Miro Story
Boro x Banik
First step to Europe
In 2004, after a 128-year wait, Boro triumphed in the Carling Cup and finally entered European football. Their first opponents were the champions of the Czech Republic – FC Banik Ostrava.
At the time, Boro fans had no source of relevant information, as Banik’s website was offline.
That’s when I registered as BANIK_FAN on the FMMTM message board and penned my first post, offering Boro fans assistance with accommodations, travel, and other essentials for their inaugural European football adventure.
Later, I changed my username to MIRO, and that marked the beginning of an incredible journey…
In 2004, after 128 years of waiting, Boro won the Curling cup and finally stepped into the football Europe. Their first opponents were champions of the Czech Republic – FC Banik Ostrava.
Boro fans have had nowhere to go for the relevant information as Banik’s website was off at that time.
At that moment I’ve registered as BANIK_FAN on FMMTM message board and wrote my very first post to offer Boro fans the help with accommodation, travel and other stuff they needed before their first European football adventure.
Later I changed my nickname to my name MIRO and the incredible story just begun…
I built a website for Boro fans
Following my initial post on FMTTM, I was inundated with emails that were impossible to respond to individually.
To address this, I created a website for Boro fans where I posted the information they were seeking, such as contact details for hotels in Ostrava and guidance on reaching Ostrava from various airports, complete with timetables and ticket prices.
After my first post on FMTTM, I immediately started to receive tons of emails, which I simply couldn’t reply to individually.
So I created a website for Boro fans where I was posting information people were asking for, like the contact details to hotels in Ostrava, advice on how to get to the Ostrava from different airports with timetables and tickets’ prices included.
Entire hotel for Boro fans only
Soon after I published an extensive list of Ostrava’s hotels on my website, some Boro fans informed me that there was one hotel where no one spoke English.
I got in touch with the owner and reserved the entire hotel for three days on my own behalf.
Subsequently, I brought in my own English-speaking staff, who welcomed guests and organised their entire stay at the hotel as part of my agreement with the hotel’s owner.
Shortly after I posted a long list of Ostrava’s hotels on my website, some of Boro fans informed me there’s one hotel, where no one speaks English.
I contacted the owner and booked the entire hotel for three days for myself.
Later I brought my own english speaking staff who welcomed guests and organised their entire stay in the hotel as it was part of my deal with hotel’s owner.
Coaches from airports
I arranged transportation from airports in Poland to Ostrava. Due to the lack of suitable public transport connections, I hired coaches and sent them to airports in Katowice and Krakow to collect Boro fans.
Each bus always had two English-speaking individuals responsible for overseeing the transportation.
I organised transport from airports in Poland to Ostrava. As there was no suitable public transport connection I hired a coaches and sent them to airports in Katowice and Krakow to pick Boro fans up.
There were always two English-speaking people in the bus who were in charge of transportation.
Taxi anywhere for a fixed price
I negotiated a fixed-price agreement with a chosen taxi company in Ostrava.
As a result, anyone who used a taxi paid a fixed fare of less than £2.20, regardless of their destination.
I negotiated a fixed price agreement with the selected taxi company in Ostrava.
So whenever anyone took a taxi, they paid fixed price less than £2.20 only, no matter where they wanted to go.
Boro Embassy Miro's Team
I established the Boro Embassy Miro’s Team by hiring several young football enthusiasts and dividing them into small groups, ensuring that each group had at least one English speaker.
These groups welcomed Boro fans at railway stations, hotels, and in Ostrava’s city centre. They guided fans to their destinations, assisted with taxi bookings, and more.
I’ve set up a Boro Embassy Miro’s Team. I hired a number of young football enthusiasts and split them to small groups so there was always someone speaking English in each group.
They welcomed Boro fans in railway stations, hotels or in the Ostrava’s centre. They guided fans to their destinations, they were also booking a taxi for them etc.
Friendly fans footy match
I organised a friendly football match between Boro and Banik fans to further strengthen the exceptional bond between them.
I met with the leaders of Banik’s most tough fanbase to ensure that the fans’ match wouldn’t be an opportunity for any fights or altercations. I was even contacted by the police’s special anti-riot department to inquire if I anticipated any disorder during the match.
The match concluded with a 6:6 draw, and the Boro side triumphed in the penalty shootout. The rest of the evening was spent forming new friendships and enjoying a fantastic time together.
I organised a friendly football match between both Boro and Banik sets of fans to make all that outstanding bonds even stronger.
I’ve met leaders of the toughest core of Banik fans to be sure the fans’ match won’t become an occasion for any fights.
I’ve been even contacted by the police special anti-riots department with a question if I’m expecting any disorder during that match.
The match ended with a draw of 6:6. The Boro side then won on penalties. The following night was nothing but making new friendships and enjoying a great time together.
Great gesture of thanks
All that I had done for the Boro fans was greatly appreciated by them.
In a show of gratitude, Boro fans paid for my son Jan and me to travel to Middlesbrough for the first-leg game.
I had never felt more welcome. It was truly one of the best times of my life.
Everything I’ve done for Boro fans, was much appreciated by them.
In a gesture of thanks, Boro fans have paid for me and my son Jan, to come over to Middlesbrough for first-leg game.
I’ve never felt more welcomed. The best times of my life indeed.
The tale of these extraordinary friendships between rival football fan groups quickly caught the attention of the mass media.
Though giving a series of interviews was somewhat uncomfortable for me, as English is not my native language, I was ultimately pleased to do so in order to highlight the incredible kindness and hospitality of Boro supporters and to enhance the overall reputation of English fans across Europe.
The story of such unusual friendships between opposing groups of football fans soon attracted the attention of the mass media.
Giving a series of interviews was not very comfortable for me because English is not my first language. But in the end, I was happy to do so to show Boro supporters’ incredible kindness and hospitality and to improve the overall reputation of English fans in Europe.
Following the successful first match in Middlesbrough, Boro fans were even more eager for their inaugural European football trip to Ostrava. The home victory of 3:0 boosted their confidence and belief that the second game in Ostrava wouldn’t be their last in Europe. The 1:1 draw secured Boro’s advancement to the subsequent stages of the UEFA Cup, allowing everyone to celebrate and enjoy their time in Ostrava.
My Boro Embassy Team, other Banik fans, and I did our utmost to ensure that all Boro supporters had the best possible experience in Ostrava. Dozens of pubs along the renowned Stodolní Street were filled with friendly mixed groups of Boro and Baník fans, enjoying great fun, banter, and beer for just £0.50.
Many of us formed new lifelong friendships.
After the successful first game in Middlesbrough, Boro fans were, even more, looking forward to their first European football trip to Ostrava. The home victory of 3:0 gave them a lot of confidence and belief the second game in Ostrava won’t be their last one in Europe. The draw of 1:1 secured Boro’s promotion to the following stages of the UEFA cup, so everyone could celebrate and enjoy their stay in Ostrava.
I, my Boro Embassy Team, and other Banik fans tried to do our best to make all Boro supporters experience the best possible stay in Ostrava. Dozens of pubs in the famous Stodolní Street were full throughout with friendly mixed groups of Boro and Baník fans enjoying great fun, banter and beer for just £0.50.
Many of us made lots of new lifelong friends.
New start, new home...
My initial visit to Middlesbrough in 2004 made me fall in love with the club, the town, Boro fans, and the entire Teesside area.
It’s no surprise that I have now been living in Boro with my children for five years. My son Jan is working, while my daughter Sara plays football and studies at a college with a football academy.
Recently, I started a small business doing what I have been passionate about for over 15 years – Web Design.
My first visit to Middlesbrough in 2004 was enough for me to fall in love with the club, the town, Boro fans and the whole Teesside area.
So It’s not a surprise I do live in Boro with my children for 5 years now. My son Jan is working and my daughter Sara plays football and studies at the college with a football academy.
I recently started a small business doing what I have been doing for over 15 years – Web Design.
Please consider supporting my business.
Supporting my business would be greatly appreciated. In today’s world, having a presence on social media is essential for business growth. Various methods are available for promoting small businesses through social networks. However, it is impossible to utilise all the features unless the social profile has a sufficient number of likes or followers.
I would be extremely grateful if you could like and follow my profiles provided below. Additionally, if you could occasionally share some of my future posts, I would be more than thankful. Thank you.
Can you support my business, please? Presence on social media is a must in business development nowadays. There are many different ways how social networks can help to promote small businesses. But it’s impossible to use the all features until the social profile is liked or followed by a certain number of people.
Therefore I’d humbly appreciate if you can like and follow my profiles below. And if you sometimes share some of my future posts, I’d be more than grateful. Thank you.