morten gamst pedersen against a tile wall


Morten was born on September 8th 1981 in Oslo, Norway. Within a year of his birth he and his family moved to Vadsø in Lapland located a mere 1000 km North of the Arctic Circle. Even in those early days Morten’s passion was football.

The foundations of Morten’s talent were laid in his parent’s backyard. It was here that he carefully constructed his very own football ground using whatever came to hand to make it work. His mother’s drying frame and a wooden broom turned into goal posts and crossbar. Three times a week he purposefully mowed the lawn to make it look like the grass he had seen at the great football stadiums on TV. At times he slept in his boots, gloves and kneepads as if wanting to stay close to the game at all times. Morten even bought his friends football gloves so that he always had a goalie at hand whilst glaziers paid regular visits to the neighborhood replacing the shattered windows that came in the way of practice.

Morten’s idol growing up was Marco Van Basten, one of the greatest forwards of all time. Morten watched every game that Van Basten featured in and did his best to imitate Van Basten’s spectacular strikes and volleys in the backyard. When Morten’s training sessions grew out of his parent’s backyard, he would sleep at his grandmother’s house simply because it was closer to the town’s football grounds and school. The time saved meant more time for practice.

The endless hours of hard work paid off. With support and encouragement from family and friends, Morten was already well on his way to becoming a Norwegian International and Premier League player. At the age of 17 he was signed by the local team Tromsø IL. He hoped for a quick opportunity to prove himself and when the chance came he quickly earned himself a regular spot on the team. As one of most consistent performers in Tromsø IL, Morten soon attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Blackburn. In 2004 Morten signed with Blackburn Rovers and manager Graeme Sounees.

Morten made his Premier League debut in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United only two days after his arrival at Ewood Park. However, Morten found himself out in the cold shortly thereafter due to a change of management. According to the new manager Mark Hughes, Morten was not yet equipped for Premier League football. During the three-month period of not being selected, he watched his team play from row 11 on the Jack Walker stand hoping for the opportunity to showcase his talent on the left side of midfield.

Morten was finally given the chance in early 2005 in a game against Cardiff City and went on scoring three goals in his next three games. Since then Morten has further developed his trademark skills: fierce free kicks and breathtaking goals. In May 2010, Morten had featured in 239 games with the Blackburn Rovers and scored 39 goals. Following a particularly spectacular goal in September 2006, Morten was nicknamed Van Gamsten by the Norwegian dailies after his childhood idol.

Stig Einvik,
Childhood friend