I know the score when it comes to soccer
PUBLISHED: 12:47 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010
YOU could class me as a slightly interested football fan although fan is not really the right word. Onlooker would be nearer the mark, I reckon. I ve got nothing against the so-called beautiful game and played in the team for my junior school when I was
YOU could class me as a slightly interested football fan although "fan" is not really the right word.
Onlooker would be nearer the mark, I reckon.
I've got nothing against the so-called beautiful game and played in the team for my junior school when I was 11.
But then I went to a secondary school where the Welshman headmaster was fanatical about rugby union and banned the formal playing of association football.
Once, a young upstart in the fourth year I think had the temerity to start a petition calling for soccer to be introduced and he barely escaped being expelled.
The memory of whether he avoided the dreaded cane, which was the weapon of punishment in those days, is now lost in the mists of time.
So I played rugby for the school, and then went to college where there were no sports facilities but lots of pubs around.
Thus I was finally lost to the competitive playing of games which involved running around a field.
I did, however, maintain a keen interest, following the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur for quite a while but even that dwindled.
At the top end of football, I am not ashamed to say that I have never attended a national League match but I did go to Stamford Bridge once to see Chelsea v Spurs in an FA Cup round back in the '60s and gladly dragged myself along to watch Stevenage Boro do an excellent job holding the not so mighty Newcastle United led by the disappointing Alan Shearer in an FA Cup tussle eight years ago.
I may watch this year's FA Cup final on Saturday if I don't have anything else to do.
And I will probably watch all, some or parts of some of the England matches in the World Cup - if they happen to be on when I plonk myself in front of the TV.
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for England doing well and beating Germany in the final as the heroes, who are now granddads, did 40 years ago.
What annoys me is all the waffling and irrelevant rubbish now bombarding us in the run up to the tournament.
The selection for the squad of a 17-year-old who has never played a Premiership match is either inspirational or idiotic and only time will tell which of these categories England manager Sven will fall into.
On the face - or foot - of it, the choice of Wayne Rooney, who is unlikely to be fit for the event, seems daft but one can appreciate that Sven may have been lynched if he had not picked the striker who some believe is a god and is the sole reason England will lift that sought-after trophy.
Others think that he is just a nifty footballer who can, on a good day, contribute beneficially to the team effort.
Time will tell whether Wayne makes it on to the world stage. Even if he doesn't, there's a piece of advice to our boys which I always thought was useful: put the ball into the opponents' net more often than they do to yours and you should be on to a winner. It's simple really.