Nikolopoulos: “This is how the AEK anthem sung by Mimis was born”


In an interview with ERT, Christos Nikolopoulos referred to his acquaintance with Mimi Papaioannou, the friendship he had with him, conveying aspects of the great ace’s life that were not known.

Among what Nikolopoulos said was how he composed the anthem of AEK and we got to the point of having Papaioannou sing it.

In detail what Nikolopoulos said:

“Look at Mimi Papaioannou, I knew him from our villages, we come from the same area. Mimi then played in Veria and I played bouzouki at the festivals.

After their victories, they would come to the festivals where I would play and sing. We met later in Athens. He was a very good friend of mine. I stand in the man Mimi, whom I loved very much. Lived in New Philadelphia. While he was playing football and finishing his training he would come to my house. We had a strong bond. I will miss her very much. I can not describe it”.

About how the AEK anthem came out:

“In 1965 this happened. I introduced him to Stelios Kazantzidis and at that time when he was facing the problems with AEK and he couldn’t go to Real Madrid, Kazantzidis told him, you don’t come now that we are going to Germany, since you sing a little .So he joined us in Germany when it was a disaster. Then there were the new immigrants in Germany. He came on stage wearing a national team costume and a ball and sang 2-3 songs.

Of course, the people welcomed him with much love and emotion, just like Kazantzidis. I was playing the bouzouki then, we were in the band together. Then we were together in Athens. And then the idea was born. Kazantzidis told me you don’t write him a song for AEK. So I sat down and wrote the melody and then we called a lyricist, Christos Kolokotronis and he wrote the lyrics. This is how this song was born, which is played and will be played at AEK matches.

We caught up six to eight years ago and it has the problem that the long-term one had. He sang it again and we re-arranged it with songs today. This song will still have life with the voice of my dear friend, Mimi.”

On how he eventually got back into football:

“The last season that Kazantzidis worked was in 1965 at a center called “Faliriko” which is now “Kyttaro”. He used to come there in the winter and Mimis sang. He showed up early and left to sleep for practice.

He also sang three or four songs on records, mine. That wasn’t his job. Work was football. He was consistent in training. He would come to my summer house for two or three days to sit and the schedule was that of trainings. He ate early, slept early. It belonged to football. That’s why he was born. He had talent and an instinct for where to send the ball.”

On what he will remember from Mimi Papaioannou:

“He was a very good person. We met often. Almost every two – three days. Our villages were close. He was a very dear person to me, very social with a lot of humor. He was a unique friend. He was one of those people who leave this life and go straight into the arms of the angels.

Many evenings we gathered together and sang. His favorite song was ‘Bats and Spiders’, while in Germany he sang ‘My Last Night’. Kazantzidis gave it to him for Mimis to sing.”

Source: Sport Fm

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