December 2019

The year 1956 was a special year when it comes to football in the Netherlands. For the first time in history, a Dutch football club decided to attract players from Surinam, a country that used to be a colony of the Netherlands. One thing was for sure, Dutch football would never be the same again.

Four years after his arrival in the Netherlands, Humphrey Mijnals received a letter from the Dutch football association, inviting him to play for the Dutch national football team. Humphrey Mijnals would become the first - but definitely not the last - football player with Surinamese roots to play for Holland.

Back in 1960 it was considered a controversial move to select a black player for the Dutch national football team. Many people were under the impression that coach Elek Schwartz selected Humphrey Mijnals because of affirmative action. Humphrey Mijnals only played 3 matches for Holland. Remarkably, his last match for the Dutch national football team was in and against his home country Surinam. Unfortunately Humphrey Mijnals passed away this year. We’d like to commemorate him, because he paved the way for some of the greatest football players in the history of the Netherlands.

Photography by Eva Roefs
Models: Aten, Duncen

Special thanks to Hairstudio Pu Ma