Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

24th September 2014 Budapest, Hungary

GB United – Ferencváros Back Office Team Friendly Football Match

Guest blog by Gábor Imeli, Trade Adviser UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Budapest.
GB United
GB United, the British Embassy’s amateur football team, made up of British businessmen and diplomats

The signs were not good. On a dark and rainy Saturday the players of the Embassy’s amateur football team, GB United, were about to face the toughest opponents they’ve met so far, the back office team of Hungary’s record champion Ferencváros (FTC). Nevertheless, we were optimistic. You never know what will happen in sport. We were hoping that the grass – or turf – will be greener on the other side, on our side this time. It turned out to be so in the end. When I’ve entered the indoor arena, I’ve seen a lot of determined faces, but the same applied to our opponents. I have to admit I’m not good at losing and thankfully my teammates shared this principle. Although the start wasn’t so promising, we were down by one goal relatively quickly. Thankfully, we managed to score an equaliser just before the half-time.  One could think that Bill Shankly’s (the legendary Manager of Liverpool) sentences were crossing our mind:

Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”

This day and this game in particular proved that right, and the team regained strength to go in the lead, eventually defending the 3-1 score, which meant the first ever win for GB United!

GB United
GB United and FTC posing for a photo before the big game

The supporters of both teams created a great atmosphere. Speak of which in the afternoon we’ve been privileged enough to sense this on a much larger scale, namely in the newly built Groupama Arena, the home of Ferencváros. Embassy members were pleased to see that one of the most important things in this state-of-the-art facility comes from the United Kingdom: the turf, showcasing the best of British technology and innovation. President of FTC, Mr Pál Orosz guided the tour and allowed us to take a look behind the scenes of a professional football club, which we enjoyed a lot.

Groupama Arena
The newly built Groupama Arena’s world famous turf. The stadium is home to Ferencváros (FTC)

Can you imagine a better way to end the whole programme than watching a live match in the Hungarian First League? Ferencváros managed to secure the win and a long day came to an end with both GB United and FTC winning, so let’s call it a draw.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the British government.

About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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