The Stephen Milne Babushka doll

By Tom Briglia

My brother just returned from a six-week trip to Europe in which he saw some incredible things, in the truest sense of the word. He saw what remains of the horrors of Auschwitz. He visited my mother’s family for the first time in the remote village of Csuza, along the border of Croatia and Hungary. He saw Buckingham Palace, the headquarters of the British Empire. He also saw a Stephen Milne Babushka doll in Prague.

Yeah, amongst the absinthe shops, souvenir shops, “little market” and “restaurants that sell ghoulash” (his descriptions) of Prague lies a Stephen Milne Babushka doll. When you open it up there’s a Roo, a Kosi and a Schneider inside.

I don’t know if it’s made more or less remarkable by the fact that there is a similar doll for all of the clubs (I’m assuming they were made in 2011 as there is no GWS but there is a Gold Coast doll). The detail of the jumpers is very specific – right down to the sponsors and jumper manufacturers (connoisseurs amongst you will have noticed that North Melbourne’s middle stripe is faithfully interrupted by the questionable Blades graphic beneath the collar; oddly, though, Collingwood’s jumper looks more like an inverse version of their third jumper).

One highlight for me is the fact that somewhere in the world Quinten Lynch, despite now being a Pie and Quinten Lynch, is the international representative of the West Coast Eagles Football Club.

My brother said the guy in the shop wasn’t an expat or anything like that, and as you can see in the photo other leagues in other countries have their own dolls. Does anyone know exactly what the story is behind this place? Are these dolls available in other places, maybe even here in Australia?

It turned out it wasn’t his only footy experience on the other side of the world in non-footy side of the year; he also partied with Scottish guys who played Aussie Rules in Scotland (who lived up to the crassest of stereotypes and “forced” him to drink incessantly).