Friday, July 27, 2007

Only a game?

I don't remember any of the early games of the 1966 World Cup, but the final - England against West Germany sticks in my mind. We sat in the dining room watching the match on TV. Germany scored early on, then Geoff Hurst equalized. England then went 2-1 up, and we were all ready for celebrations when the Germans equalized in turn, just before the final whistle.

I was distraught - I burst into tears and hid behind the sofa. "It's only a game" insisted my parents - but it took Geoff Hurst's controversial goal - his shot hit the crossbar, then bounced down onto the ground and then out of the goal - to get me out from behind the sofa. My face was still stained with tears when he shot his hat-trick in the dying moments of the game, putting England 4-2 up.

The goal is still controversial here in Germany. Every time England play Germany, it seems that there is a TV documentary special about the goal, with the grainy video footage replayed over and over again. The final clip in the German documentaries is always the one showing the ball bouncing well outside the goal line.

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