Priceless World Cup memories (2)

parasund

The competition has begun, with a late Mexico equaliser spoiling a dream start for South Africa, and France failing to overcome Uruguay. I think I predicted two draws on the opening day, elsewhere if not here, so was not surprised. And both were, as Bill Taylor has pointed out here, quite entertaining games. England play tonight and, of course, Salut! Sunderland wants even a Bent-free Capello side to win (though we’re also the highly unofficial site for the Paraguay squad – thanks for the flag, Pete!).

Steve Bruce has said the heart wants England, the head says Argentina; Lorik Cana favours Brazil. But in quiet periods between games, you can browse the outstanding pieces in which the same Pete who procured my Paraguay flag – Pete Sixsmith – reflects with startling recall of detail on all World Cups between 1966 and 2006. Here is a second instalment of the highlights (one of them from an intruder), each article reached by clicking the location or year …

See the first round-up of extracts by clicking here, or scroll down each individual tournament, clickable from the sidebar column to your left

1994, USA

Football and the USA is like Cheryl Cole and Rugby League, Nick Clegg and sticking to your principles and Mike Ashley and sensible managerial appointments – they just do not go together. They like games that they can be World Champions at because nobody else plays them. I like Baseball, but calling the play off the World Series… do me a favour.

Read morePriceless World Cup memories (2)

World Cup memories (10): around the world in 18 days

reggae girlz


Not really a break for Pete Sixsmith, whose series of World Cup reminiscences resumes tomorrow. But I also have reason to remember France 98. It was the year I feared I’d be keeping my head down in street battles, but ended up travelling the world …

Imagine you’ve been told at work that you’re going on a month of night shifts, and suddenly you’re given a paid holiday instead. Or that instead of representing your company at a winter conference in Skegness, the location has been switched to the Seychelles.

That was a bit like my France 98. I spent the first four months of the year or more expecting The Daily Telegraph to send me to report on hooliganism, especially any outbreaks involving England fans, or more accurately violent English criminals drawn to the location of football games. It would be an understatement to say I was not looking forward to it.

Read moreWorld Cup memories (10): around the world in 18 days