Greetings to you! Did you miss me? I’m back after my summer sabbatical, and I’ve been working away behind the scenes here at CM9798 towers to bring you the greatest content possible to celebrate 20 years of this great game. Twenty Years! So, what better way to kick off the anniversary celebrations than a Q&A with a legend of CM9798 – Mr Bjørn Heidenstrøm!
For those of you who don’t know Bjorn, load a game, start as pretty much any team in the football league/lower Premier League and sign him. Then come back and thank me. Then thank him. He will change your CM life. A defender or midfielder, Heidenstrom would be a pivotal part of any team – and he takes a mean penalty. Starting the game at Leyton Orient, he would inevitably move on and work his way up the football pyramid. Bjorn was kind enough to indulge me and my questions about his time in England, his charity work and, of course, the fact that he is a Championship Manager legend!
Thanks for joining me, Bjorn. Fans of the game CM9798 hold you in extremely high regard due to your legendary performances on the game – are you aware of this!?
I did know that I was in the game – and I need to find and send a case of beer to the man who wrote me in to the game, and I have heard from my old and new football mates that have used me in the game – that they are satisfied – so I’m super happy and it has made a lot of funny episodes atcually in many countries I’ve visited ( people have been asking “are you THE Bjorn Heidenstrom from CM???” (so again I owe a fan a case of beer)
In the game you are at Leyton Orient, can you tell us about your transfer there? How did the move to England come about?
Tommy Taylor (Leyton Orient manager at the time) was at Cambridge United when he saw me on a pitch, he later moved to Leyton Orient and had a man sick before the big 1000 Shilton match – and he just phoned me ( and I thought it was a drunk mate that made a prank call ) – so he asked me if they could rent me for the 1000-Shilton game and some matches afterwards? (and I thought, but did not say that I would pay a lot to do so….:-))
What would you say was the highlight of your playing career?
Playing for Leyton Orient (me and all my mates are raised with British football – Shilton was a hero), winning the national cup in Norway, playing on the national team against East and West Germany ( yepp, I am that old…:-)
Are you still involved in football now? Have you considered management?
I follow and are one of the billion in the Football Family – have used and will use the football family and the “football planet” for expedition ( read: The Shirt) —— and yes, I have considered management, but the expeditions have taken my time so far.
You’ve done some incredible charity work in recent years, can you tell us about The Shirt and the bike ride you did for the 2010 World Cup?
The most fantastic year in my life where I said “I can cycle to the World Cup in South Africa because the football family will take care of me – I have 1 billion mates out there “… and it was right – in Russia, Belgium, Sudan, Denmark, Malawi, and Ethiopia – it was fans, ex-players, players who helped me and it was football journalists that exposed it and in the end the UN and the Nobel Peace Centre endorsed it because they did see that the huge volume was carrying it…
What’s keeping you busy at the moment?
I’m making nature books about hiking, cycling, outdoors and I’m trying to get backing for the next expedition (((((So – let’s do that again, let’s see if we can make a CM-expedition with The Shirt in 2018 ? 2019 ? ))))
Have you any experience of the Championship Manager series yourself?
No, just getting a lot of super nice, funny and cool moments – the last was a TV celebrity asking (again) “are you THAT Bjorn from CM???”
Norway’s chances of qualification to the 2018 World Cup look fairly slim, what could Norway do to improve their chances of qualifying in future?
We need to start now – with the youngest – and let them see and experience how hard and focused they train and work in other countries, and they need to do the same (work hard) – We had 10-20 lads who got out in the 80 and 90s (playing for Liverpool, Man Utd, Tottenham) – and it was no magic – it was working hard (too many movie stars at the moment)
I’ll put you on the spot – if the World Cup was tomorrow, who would you be backing to win it?
I always back the British countries as number one (always) because of the tradition in my gang and in Norway for Norway to support the Brits, … then …when the British are out ( sorry, but that happens) – then I start to support the one working hardest ( read; Iceland ) then the coolest ( read: Brazil and Argentina or any African nation) – then in the end Germany wins …….. 🙂
I never support any posh or diving-for-free-kick-countries…
Once again, thank you to Bjorn for giving up his time to answer my questions and kicking off our 20 year anniversary celebrations in style. You can follow Bjorn on Twitter, Instagram or his blog. There’s also The Shirt which is an incredible story which is well worth reading.
We hope to have another CM Legend along later in the year, but I’ll be back with a new save next week.
In case you missed it…
Here’s some things I have been up to in the summer which you may have missed (on purpose or otherwise)
Alive & Kicking 90s Podcast: I was fortunate enough to be invited on the iconic 90s podcast to discuss Newcastle in the 1995-96 season, as well as some CM9798 chatter
The Full Toss: I thought I’d try my expertise in the world of Cricket Management. It’s not going well.
Tales from the Top Flight: If you like a lighter look at the Premier League, you’ll find me contributing on Tales in various columns