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Eternal love and 35 years of happiness of the legendary goalkeeper: Lev Yashin and his Valentine
Eternal love and 35 years of happiness of the legendary goalkeeper: Lev Yashin and his Valentine

He was one of the most famous goalkeepers of the twentieth century, the stadiums applauded him, and the fans were ready to do anything to get the ball from the hands of the legendary football player with his autograph. In life, Lev Yashin was a very shy person and was even ashamed of his fame, and the wife of the famous goalkeeper Valentina was proud of her husband and his victories. Even now, almost 30 years after the death of the famous football player, Valentina Yashina does not change anything in the house where they were happy.

Happy dance floor

Lev Yashin

She first saw Lev Yashin on a dance floor in Tushino: tall, a little awkward, in large tarpaulin boots. Valentina, who at that time worked as an editor on the radio, did not like Lev Yashin at all. He seemed to move awkwardly, and he danced not very gracefully. Nevertheless, he was considered a rising star and girls gladly accepted invitations to dance from him. Only Valentina decided to waltz with another young man.

Lev Yashin

But after the dances, Lev Yashin volunteered to take this intractable girl home. Young people began to meet, the football player was immediately set for a serious relationship and repeatedly hinted to his girlfriend about the wedding, but Valentina stubbornly pretended not to understand his hints. And it wasn’t a question of whether or not she was sure of her feelings. It was just that the girl sincerely believed that at the age of 20 it was too early to get married. Moreover, Lev Yashin often left for training camps and competitions, and the lovers simply did not have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Lev Yashin

Lev and Valentina met for four years, they had long been sure of each other's feelings, and therefore, shortly before the new 1955, Lev Yashin resolutely took his bride by the hand and took her to the registry office. However, she did not resist, but already at the moment of filling out the application, she made an unfortunate mistake, which almost led to her break with Yashin.

The questionnaire should have indicated the surname that she would have after the wedding. And Valentina, glancing briefly at the questionnaire filled out by a couple in the neighborhood, suddenly wrote that after the wedding she would still bear her maiden name. Lev Yashin did not say anything to this, he simply grabbed the sheet from under Valentina's hand, crumpled it, threw it into the urn and left, slamming the door behind him.

Lev Yashin

Fortunately, Lev and Valentina at the registry office met a friend of a football player with his wife, who reconciled the lovers. And the next day, Valentina herself went to the Tushinsky registry office, where everyone knew her, and, having explained the situation, persuaded to appoint her painting with Lev Yashin the very next day, December 31, 1954.

Meetings and goodbyes

Lev and Valentina Yashin

Valentina Timofeevna later recalled how her young husband went to the training camp the next day after the wedding and the newlyweds met only two months later. So they lived all the time: they met and parted, rejoiced at every moment together, lived through failures and injuries, raised two wonderful daughters.

Valentina Yashina often attended football matches, but only once in training. I couldn't watch the whole team take turns hitting her husband with the ball. If I had a chance to watch a match, I was always very worried about my spouse and knew: he worries much more. He was always afraid to let the team down, play badly, miss the ball.

Lev Yashin with his wife Valentina Timofeevna and daughters Lena and Ira on vacation in Gagra

Once in England, during a match, Lev Yashin was seriously injured and still stood on the field until the end of the game. Feeling only acute pain, the goalkeeper stood at the goal and only after the match asked his wife: with what score the game ended, he himself did not understand this.

He was called the best goalkeeper in the world, and Lev Yashin was always shy, as if it were not about him. On the football field, he was a real king, but at home he remained a very kind and open person. From abroad, he brought gifts in suitcases, but at the same time he did not buy anything for himself, believing that he already had everything.

Lev Ivanovich and Valentina Timofeevna Yashin

There was no special wealth in the family, they lived simply and modestly, like most Soviet families. The Yashins were not at all burdened by the fact that they could not afford to mindlessly make purchases, and the legendary goalkeeper sincerely believed: their desires must be correlated with their capabilities.

In those rare moments when Lev Yashin was at home, the couple loved to receive guests, and on New Year's Eve they staged whole costumed performances, rolling with laughter, and then looking at photographs showing the "Dance of the Little Swans" performed by the best footballers of the Soviet Union.

Keeping love

Lev Ivanovich and Valentina Timofeevna Yashin

For 35 years of family life, the spouses almost never quarreled. As in any family, disagreements between them happened, but Lev and Valentina Yashin made up pretty quickly. Usually Lev Ivanovich took the first step towards his wife and offered to stop sulking already. In general, he was a very sensitive person, courageous and unyielding Lev Yashin. Lyrical music or a touching scene in a movie could make him cry.

Lev Ivanovich and Valentina Timofeevna Yashin

When in the 1980s Lev Yashin was already in coaching, due to gangrene caused by intense smoking, the famous goalkeeper had to amputate his leg. Then Valentina Timofeevna was there, convinced her husband that no tragedy had happened, supported and helped in everything.

Lev Yashin with his wife Valentina Timofeevna, daughters Lena and Ira and granddaughter

And in the late 1980s, a real trouble came to the house: Lev Ivanovich was diagnosed with cancer. They fought together, tried to overcome the disease, but could not … Two days before his death, the legendary goalkeeper was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero …

Lev Yashin

Valentina Timofeevna has been keeping the memory of her beloved husband sacred for almost 30 years. And even in their house, where they lived happily for a quarter of a century, the same situation is still preserved as during the life of Lev Ivanovich. She only regrets that her husband did not live to see the day he was recognized as the best goalkeeper of the twentieth century.

The football match between the Ukrainian team "Start" and the German anti-aircraft gunners "Flakelf" was called the "Death Match". The event took place in August 1942 in occupied Kiev and over time was overgrown with fictions and legends.

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