The World Cup.
And it starts again today.
I can remember every World Cup from 1970. I wish I could remember 1966 but I can't say I do. I know my dad was playing cricket the day of the Final and they stopped the game and all came round to our house to watch it but maybe I just made myself scarce when the house was invaded by 11 loud grown up men.
1970 - collecting ESSO coins and being at an advantage because at the time my dad was a sales rep and did loads of driving. I had forgotten all about Ian Storey-Moore until I started thinking about those precious coins. And then in Mexico there was the horror of the Bobby Moore set up and Gordan Banks extraordinary save from Pele.
1974 was when I learnt to love watching sides other than England but I can't recall why that would have been.....
1978 I wanted Scotland to win but they didn't.
1982 The stunning Paulo Rossi, Northern Ireland beating Spain and the worst tackle EVER when Harald Schumacher took out Patrick Battiston with a horrendous challenge in a match we all wanted France to win, and he never even got booked.
1986 and there is one overwhelming memory concerning one man and one hand as I have blocked the second goal scored by the Foot of God from my memory for ever. I wasn't even bothered when the first 'goal' went in as I knew it would be disallowed. Yeah right.
1990, Gazza in tears along with the rest of the England after the semi-final. I have since learnt that a certain acquaintance of mine went screaming up and down a corridor shouting 'Yes, Yes, Yes' when we lost that penalty shoot out. Nessun Dorma. Cameroon. And a crap final.
1994 and another tournament where I didn't have to worry about England so supported Ireland instead which was fun.Maradonna got banned mid tournament for drug taking...that was fun too.
1998 and bloody misery by penalty shoot out again, but France were wonderful, and whatever went on with Ronaldo? Also, a personal memory of being stuck in a school governor's annual general meeting whilst we were playing Argentina and some idiot who didn't like football asking question after question and causing me to miss our two goals.
2002 and terrible kick off times combined with a boss who didn't like football made for a stressful few weeks until we exit to the eventual winners,and beating Aregntina. Oh yes, and Roy Keane came home.
I just can't wait for what the next month will bring. And please let me and Reidski still be speaking by the end of it all. As someone he works with said to him, the only way he can lose is if England win, because otherwise, the further we get, the worse it will be when we get knocked out.
BRING IT ON!
Expiration - I wonder when I will die. Just the other day as I was strolling through Ecclesall Woods, it occurred to me that eight years have passed since I walked away...
1 hour ago