• Come on England!

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    22 June 2018

    So the World Cup is upon us. Flags are out. The Jules Rimet trophy will, within a few weeks, be dusted down and handed to a sparkling new team. This is arguably the world’s greatest tournament with television viewings outscoring even the Olympics. It is estimated that the cumulative audience in 2006 was 26 billion with 715 million people watching the final – over 10% of the entire planet. The cup has been won 5 times by Brazil. Germany and Italy have 4 titles whilst Argentina and Uruguay have 2. England, France and Spain have a single victory. Our one time win is of course a date seared on the national consciousness – 1966 with England’s epic triumph in extra time at Wembley - a date as accessible to most English people as that of the Battle of Hastings (when on that occasion of course we lost). England did not enter the world cup until 1950 and so missed out on earlier opportunities to increase her tally. That England should not have been involved earlier or in the creation of FIFA seems a little strange given the that the game’s rules were first codified by our public schools in the 19th Century. The first international football match was played in Glasgow between England and Scotland in 1872 – a 0-0 draw in case you were wondering. After the First World War one of the reasons England did not participate was her objection to playing those countries she had just engaged in the world’s most bloody conflagration. At the time of writing we have just secured victory in our first match against Tunisia and with 3 points to show for it. It was pure England with most of us hiding behind the sofa for most of the game given how many missed chances there were. Still our team rose to occasion with the winning goal arriving in the dying moments of extra time. There is much more to look forward to in this world cup and hopefully England’s result against Tunisia is a sign of things to come - come on England! Mel on Twitter @MelJStride