Football has been played in many places and against some impressive backdrops, but this takes some beating! Red Square, Moscow. St Basil's behind one goal, Lenin's Mausoleum and the walls of the Kremlin along one touchline and the GYM Central Store along the other.
An exhibition match was planned for Sportsman’s Day (6th July 1936). Originally Spartak were to take on their rivals Dynamo. Dynamo, however, withdrew from the fixture and Spartak provided both teams. The playing surface was a thick matting laid over the cobbles of Red Square.
Leading Soviet dignitaries were present, including Comrade Stalin himself. The exhibition was originally planned as a half-a-hour match, but was extended to 43 minutes because Stalin was so absorbed in the proceedings.
The 'Spring' half of the 1936 season finished a few weeks after this match, with Dynamo as champions and Spartak in 3rd place. In the Autumn season Spartak claimed their first title.