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Chapter 5: World Cup ’02

June 5, 2014

The Pub

It was like something out of the Inbetweeners. I was playing the role of Jay, telling the lads at school how I’d watched the England vs Denmark game in the Dog pub, singing and drinking away all day, and how amazing it had been and we all should do it soon. Luke’s eyes lit up, and he had that look on his face…

“Let’s go down the Dog this afternoon then, watch the Italy game!”

“Err I don’t know if we’ll get served mate…”, was my less than eager reply.

“Course you will, you were in there Saturday!”, he countered.

“Yeah but older people got my drinks!”, I really wasn’t feeling this.

“We’ll be fine…”, Luke Belso had spoken and we were going to the Dog.

So after our latest GCSE exam we went home, probably gathered what loose change we could muster, and met back in town. It was Luke, Sean, and me.

As I was the one who had been drinking in their on the Saturday, I was tasked with getting the first round in.

I was bricking it. I started swetting, probably went red, and felt really small as I stood and faced the barman and muttered the immortal words: “3 lagers please…”

My heart was pounding. Time stood still.

I still get ID’d now and I’m 28 today, so sod knows how young I must’ve looked then.

But as Del-boy says, “he who dares, wins”, and to my absolute relief and delight the barman turned and started pouring 3 pints.

I turned to Luke and Sean and gave it the Danny Dyer “sweet as a nut” look, I’d sorted it, buzzing!!

I felt like Billy-big-bollocks as I carried the pints back to the table, passing the ultimate man-test of carrying 3 pints at once.

Hours passed and pints were sunk as we watched football, talked football, and discussed all the girls at school we fancied but never had the guts to ask out, typical teenage-lad stuff! The South Korea vs Italy game was on and I can still remember being sat in a Carling-haze as Korea secured a famous victory with a golden goal.

We finally left the pub and I had to balance myself against a wall. Drunk.

Drinking in the pub was cool.

’02 Memories

Micky was adamant Senegal would beat France. It was the opening World Cup game and France as the holders were nailed-on to beat the World Cup newbies from Africa.

It can be a bit annoying at times but Micky really is a bit of a Mystic Meg when it comes to footy (He introduced the 4-2-3-1 formation on Champ Manager 2001, a formation that’ll dominate the coming World Cup!) so when I came out of my exam to a text saying “what did I tell you about Senegal”, I knew what had happened… Good old Mystic Micky! France vs Senegal –

I watched the England vs Argentina game in the old Derby Turn pub (wasn’t drinking, didn’t attempt in the pub until the Denmark game mentioned above) Beckham’s penalty the perfect revenge for 4 years previous. I remember everyone up at Henhurst Club that night, my whole family were up there and it was a good night celebrating.

The England players said they took more pleasure from that result than the Germany 5-1 fixture after how ungracious the Argie’s been in victory in ’98. Highlights –

England were looking good, a draw against a Sweden team that we never ever beat, that win vs Argentina, and another draw 0-0 with Nigeria putting us through to the last-16 and a tie vs Denmark who we easily swept aside 3-0. Denmark highlights –

I loved that Denmark game, the buzz in town, the singing and celebrations, the laughs, great memories…

Brazil awaited in the Quarter final in what was something daft like an 7.30am kick-off English time. We got our cereal and cuppa’s and got ready for the game.

From Carling against Denmark to Cheerio’s vs Brazil.

Despite Owen giving us the lead and Ronaldinho getting sent off early in the 2nd half, we couldn’t recover from Ronaldinho’s free-kick that was either a fluke or a moment of genius.

It was a tame exit for the 3 Lions, we never really had a proper go against 10-men but I suppose that shows how good a side Brazil were.

I remember the England players applauding the fans at full-time and big David Seaman inconsolable, a shame that his international career would end in that way but that’s international football for you.

Brazil highlights –

Some great memories of World Cup 2002, it was just the kick-off times that let it down really. I mean I love my football, but I’m not getting up at 7.30am for Paraguay vs South Africa, no way…

All the goals from World Cup 2002 –




From → England

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