Please don’t look at this series of blog posts and just think “I don’t like football” and then go on your merry way. All of these blog posts are about much more than football. In particular they concern the eternal battle between sporting genius and cream cakes.
In the last post, I said that there was one football match that I wish I had seen. It took place just a few months after I was born. It was England v Hungary, played on a cold, dull, misty afternoon on November 25th 1953 at Wembley. This game would later be called the “Game of the Century”
Kick off was at 2.15 pm because there were no floodlights. Hungary were the greatest team the world had ever known. They were Olympic champions, undefeated since 1950:
A good ten years ago I bought the programme for “Goal of the Century” on ebay. I paid more for it than I cared to communicate to my wife, but the big thing was that it contained three autographs. Of that more later. Here is the front cover:
The back cover showed, perhaps, the suggestion of a possible contributory factor to England’s problems:
The programme did everything possible to welcome the Hungarians. There was a pronunciation guide:
And news of an exhibition about Hungary:
There was a nice bit of “whistling in the dark”. A list of recent results against those pesky foreigners:
A couple too many draws, perhaps, but we had beaten both Belgium and Argentina. But had we played too few home games against foreign opposition ? Just five in eight years.
The programme had adverts for other games at Wembley but they were very inward looking. Firstly, the Varsity match:
And then, the next best thing to the biggest England game of the season:
Next time, we’ll look at the players and the timetable for the day’s events.