World Cup 98
World Cup 98
I know that like me most of you will have overdosed on analysis of France 98 in the spoken and written media, well you don’t have to worry this article is going to be nothing like that!! It is in fact how one Motherwell supporter had a small part to play without actually going to France. I was fortunate enough to participate in two World Cup events without leaving my living room.
Firstly in early April I received a letter from Teletext on ITV and C4
asking if I could supply a three page preview of the World Cup as part of their plans that they stated were to keep their viewers entertained and informed during the run-in to the World Cup, and naturally they wanted me to take part!! Obviously being extremely flattered by this I wrote back right away – one paragraph on Scotland (home after the first round after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – pretty accurate), one on England (sail through the opening rounds before losing in the quarter finals – not quite so accurate), and a list of 4 semi finalists and
prediction for the final. I predicted that the semi finals would include
Brazil, Germany, Italy and Argentina – 25% - must do better. Then that the final would be a 2-1 victory for Germany over Brazil, at least my belief that a South American country would still not win in Europe was proved correct.
I forgot about this until a couple of weeks before the World Cup when I
thought I would check out Teletext to see if they had used my drivel. The first night I checked there was a page dedicated to this with 5 fanzines featured but not ours. I checked the next night and there it was the GLF preview of France 98 on page 182, the first Scottish fanzine to be featured – was this some kind of honour or merely a coincidence. So I was delighted that I had in some small way entertained and informed the great British public!!
Secondly on the day before the Morocco game I was sitting at my desk
working as hard as ever when my phone woke me from my slumbers. I was a bit surprised when the caller was from BBC Scotland’s Off the Ball, asking if I would be prepared to appear on that evening’s programme as a caller. The surprise was mainly as a result of not knowing that the programme had been running during the World Cup. I was told if I hadn’t been contacted by 6:45 then I could forget it.
That night I made sure the phone was kept clear, then at 6:35 the phone rang, I leapt from my chair in a state of anticipation of another National Radio appearance – only to find that on the other end of the phone was one of my younger daughter’s friends wanting to know if she was going out to play! Then at 6:45 the call did come through, and in minutes I was put through to Stuart Cosgrove and Richard Gordon (Tam Cowan being off sick). I then rambled for about 5-6 minutes on the Motherwell connection with theWorld Cup – Craig Brown, Hugh Dallas, Tom Boyd, Paul Lambert, Ian St. John and Tam Cowan all rating a mention!
When this ramble was over I was asked my prediction for the Morrocco game. I boldly stated that we would win 1-0 as we don’t score many and our defence is our strength – how stupid did I feel 24 hours later when I watched the game.
This was almost the end of the World Cup for me as we spent the second two weeks in Florida. The only two games I saw live on TV were the ¼ finals between Brazil/Denmark and Italy/France, on a Spanish speaking channel, before being home for the Final.
One other footnote to my World Cup was a strange experience in Florida, where we thought we were actually in the wrong country. On the night of the Brazil/Holland semi final we were due to meet friends for Dinner onInternational Drive. As we approached this road I saw a car with 4 Brazil flags out the window and made the stunning observation that they must have won through to the Final. When we turned on to International Drive it looked as though we had actually turned into downtown Rio, as almost every car and bus had Brazil flags draped from the windows, car horns blaring and all occupants canting Brazil at the top of their voices. A fairly unreal experience in this Soccer outpost, who knows what the locals made of it all.
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