Football World Cup memories: Chris Reed

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Diego Maradona of Argentina celebrates after winning the 1986 World Cup. Photo / AP
Diego Maradona of Argentina celebrates after winning the 1986 World Cup. Photo / AP

In the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Herald writers are looking back on their favourite World Cup memories.

Today, Herald deputy editor Chris Reed, a 'mad Manchester City fan', shares his top moments.

First World Cup memory
My first World Cup memory is rubbish. I was on holiday in the former Yugoslavia just before the 1982 tournament was held in Spain. I was 10. I bought a key-ring featuring the tournament mascot. It was Naranjito, a stylised orange wearing a Spain kit.

England failed to reach the semis.

Four years later, the tournament was held in Mexico. All the TV talk in England was of the large spidery shadow over the middle of the pitch. I still don't know what it was. On the night England were knocked out of the quarter-finals I was at a youth club playing records to anyone who wasn't glued to the telly. Bitter England fans still blame Maradona's Hand of God goal early in the second half. They rarely mention the Goal of the Century, scored four minutes later. Maradona beat four outfield players, one of them twice, on a 60-metre run before dribbling round the hapless Shilton in net. England failed to reach the semis.

Another four years on and England did make the semis. To do so they had to overcome Cameroon in the quarter-finals. Everyone who loved underdogs loved Cameroon because they beat holders Argentina in the opening match of the tournament, held in Italy. Their hero was 38-year-old striker Roger Milla, who came out of retirement to play. England beat Cameroon 3-2 on a Sunday night.

Favourite World Cup memory
My favourite World Cup memory is from the previous Thursday and had nothing to do with watching the World Cup. I was at the Hacienda club in Manchester. It was Temperance Club, nominally student night featuring a mix of music by groovy guitar bands, hip hop and the increasingly dominant house sound. England has a tradition of popular acts recording (largely crap) World Cup songs. Somehow, the job of writing and performing the 1990 song was hijacked by underground darlings New Order and then-alternative comedian Keith 'father of Lily' Allen. It was called World in Motion. It was good. It was on New Order's label Factory Records, the terminally cool imprint at the epicentre of the Madchester scene. When DJ Haslam played it as his last record just before 2am he did something associated more with wedding DJs than those manning the decks in the best club in the world. As it got to the chorus, "We're playing for England/En-ger-land" - he pulled back the volume on the "En-ger-land" bit so the hundreds of people in the club chanting along were the only thing audible. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Sad really. Must be my midlife crisis. England failed to reach the final, losing on penalties to Germany. On the BBC Gazza cried to a Pavarotti soundtrack. Football became a topic of middle class dinner party conversation after a decade of hooliganism. Two years later the Premier League was invented and the game as we knew it died.

Favourite World Cup match
Cameroon's victory over Argentina. (I didn't say I wasn't bitter.)

Favourite World Cup player
Carlos Valderrama had my favourite hair.

Who will play in the final
I'd love to see Argentina beat Brazil 2-1 with Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta or Martin Demichelis scoring the winner. The reasons? 1) They play for Manchester City, who I support; 2) Argentina and Brazil don't like each other very much and it would be a cracking atmosphere; 3) As a match-going Manchester City fan, I had more than 20 years of misery before we were taken over. It's about time a stadium full of Brazilians felt the pain.

World Cup memories
Stuart Dye
Chris Rattue
Dylan Cleaver
Steven Holloway
Michael Brown
Daniel Richardson
Kris Shannon
Coen Lammers
David Leggat

- NZ Herald

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