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World Cup ’98: England Does Us Proud!

World Cup 2014 is still under way but unfortunately England’s early exit from the tournament has dulled our enthusiasm for a sporting event we’d spent the last four years looking forward to. To be honest despite my disappointment, I can’t say I’m too surprised – I’ve never seen a team play with so little passion and enthusiasm. I may not be a football expert or a professional footballer but from what I saw, I don’t think the England team gave it their all. ‘Could have done better’ is an understatement. This, I believe, is the second time that England has been knocked out after two matches, and for me, 2014 will be the year that our national team flopped spectacularly. What did they think this was – the Eurovision Song Contest? No room for nul points here!

 

I think back to World Cup ’98 in France. It was the very first World Cup tournament I followed closely (thanks to my then eight year old brother) and that’s just one of the reasons why it’s so memorable for me. The other reason is because I still remember how the England team played in their match against Argentina – the match in which die-hard England fans were hoping that England would avenge Maradona’s 1986 hand of God goal. And those England players really did take to the pitch as though they were going to war and totally played their football socks off. Yes, some underhand tactics were used (cough, cough, Mr. Shearer!) there was fury when Sol Campbell’s goal was disallowed (seriously, Ref, what was that all about?) and who could forget the tears, tantrums and frustration as Goldenballs himself, David Beckham, was given a red card. But I remember how  the England squad played and gave it everything they got. No one could ever forget the two goals scored by Michael Owen and the team’s captain Alan Shearer. And even though he didn’t score, Darren Anderton was commended for his performance and I can see why – poor Darren looked ready to drop but he went after that ball as though his life depended on it.

At home, we were all on the edge of our seats, screaming wildly at the telly – even Mum who normally has no time for footy. My little brother – who was in his England shirt – was the quietest even though he’s the most fanatical about football, but his little face was etched with worry one minute and brimming with exhilaration the next. We thought that this time, England might just have a chance.

But alas it was not to be as England went home without the cup yet again. It was a tie between the two teams, so it went into extra time, followed by penalties, which Argentina eventually won. But the difference back then was that we could be proud of our team for putting up an almighty fight and for playing as a team – I feel there was a real sense of brotherhood which didn’t sense with our current squad. I really believe they did our country proud. And even though, I never became what you could call a football fanatic, I definitely fell in love with our national team – and all because of one match. Who thought football could be so dramatic?

The night didn’t end so well. Little brother stomped up the stairs; opened the door to his room; switched on the light; slammed the door shut; turned off the light and went to bed – probably while still in his England shirt.

If only he knew that worse was yet to come… and how the team back then could have taught our current team a thing or two.

Do us proud in 2018, England!

 

 

 
 

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Bum Deal With Bum Bags

Honestly, Hubby and I do have riveting conversations but the other night for some reason the topic of conversation was er, bumbags! Hubby was shocked to discover that in England they are called bumbags. I was shocked to discover that in America, they are called fanny packs. Hubby was shocked when I told him what fanny meant in England. I, in return was shocked, when he told me that in America, fanny meant bum. It was a night of shocking revelations indeed. Christmas Eastenders had nothing on us!

 

It dawned on both of us that as popular as they were in the 1980s and early 1990s, they now seem to have vanished off the face of the earth. With the exception of someone I trained with back in January who wore one everyday (we have no idea why!) nobody owns a bum bag/fanny pack anymore. Or at least nobody we know. To be honest, I’m not surprised. They may have been the height of fashion at one time but to be honest they were a bit naff! I’m not sure why, but I never actually owned one though I did want a bum bag as everyone had one and they seemed to be really cool. The closest I got to having a bum bag was the purse belt I had to wear as part of my school uniform when I started secondary school. I was thrilled when I first got my purse belt… but the novelty soon wore off.

As handy as I’m sure they are, especially for runners, joggers and other sporty types, I don’t generally see the point of a bum bag. Surely that’s what pockets and regular bags are for. I am surprised to discover that bum bags are still readily available; production has not ceased. You just have to go online to see the huge variety available.I just haven’t seen them in stores for years. And with the exception of that one person, I haven’t seen anyone wearing them. However, the fact that they are still being made means that someone is buying them. But the question is, who?

Answers on a postcard please!

 

 

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