Thursday, 20 May 2010
That's not the World Cup. It's a commemorative mug from Marks & Spencer - but if all else fails at least we can buy one of these (just don't tell Lord Triesman). So, today, in honour of the beautiful game, I'm outing myself. Yes, dear readers, That's Not My Age is a football fan and here I am at the 1994 tournament in the USA. But that's not the real World Cup I'm holding...
Every four years, national stress levels rise as we watch our injury-prone team struggle through the biggest football tournament in the world (apart from 1994, when we didn't even make it to the finals) and supporters collectively pray for victory or at least a ticket to the second round. But once upon a time, the England squad were World Cup winners and in their very clever Four Legends, One Label campaign, M&S reunite - Gordon Banks, Martin Peters, Sir Geoff Hurst and Roger Hunt - players from the 1966 team. The boys are modelling the Collezione range, which is made in Italy and aimed at customers over 45 years-old, and very dapper they look too.
That's Not My Age and photographer friend, Neil Mackenzie Matthews, literally stumbled upon the M&S press conference yesterday and couldn't believe our luck. One minute we were wandering through Covent Garden talking cameras, the next we were being jostled into a room full of sports journalists, football legends and young Jamie Redknapp - who'd been assigned the task of interviewing 'these top guys.'
Neil being a true pro, quickly took his camera out and snapped three lovely portrait shots:
And here are my five World Cup facts:
1. In 1966 we had a fantastic team. The best goalkeeper, Mr Gordon Banks, and a very good manager. In 2010 we have a very good manager, Fabio Capello, who is similar to Sir Alf Ramsey and, er David James (who Gordon Banks says will be playing in goal).
2. Geoff Hurst thinks Capello is right to keep the WAGS at arm's length. In 1966, footballer's wives were warned by Sir Alf to stay out of the player's hotel (Ramsey even prodded Mrs Hurst in the chest to warn her off). Capello is a strict disciplinarian and won't stand for any Baden-Baden-style shenanigans.
3. England are quite capable of getting to the semi-finals, where they'll be up against the big boys - Brazil, Spain, Argentina. Geoff Hurst wants Wayne Rooney to score just the two goals so that his own record (the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final) stays intact.
4. Times have changed. In a bout of DIY sponsorship, players painted the three Adidas stripes on their boots the night before the 1966 final, made their own way home after the match and cup-winning, newspaper coverage was kept to the back pages. Today, even John Terry has a sponsorship deal, players are chauffeured around in fancy limousines and we've all seen Ashley Cole's sex texts.
5. The 2010 World Cup team suits are lightweight and easy to wear. The Carnaby Street-inspired sixties version was so heavy, players over-heated and begged Sir Alf to let them 'go casual.' The iron manager, insisted they stay buttoned up.
And this is the official FA suit the 2010 team will be wearing. It's made in England, designed by Timothy Everest MBE (to Fabio Capello's specification!), is a very flattering shape and has a lovely red lining. Everest says he's delighted with the suit which fits the brief perfectly, 'We wanted something that was representative of modern British style whilst feeling elegant and comfortable.'
More World Cup merchandise, not designed by Timothy Everest MBE:
A magical, musical tour bus. Wonder what tune it'll be playing on the way home?
Toast the champions with this giant beer glass. Handy markers help keep binge drinking at bay:
Show your allegiance in this eye-catching, World Cup one-piece.
Will football be coming home this summer - can England win the World Cup? And if they do, will you be wearing the soccer-lover's swimsuit?