THERE’S a piece of graffiti on a wall in Medellin that reads: ‘Tie me to the neon. Feed me to the cage.’ It’s daubed in six-foot neon letters that seem to shimmer in the twilight like they’re coming to life. When the sun comes down and the moon shivers, the devils children stand beneath it. The Pans people of the sex and drug trade, swaying in the hot air like advertisements for a listless world or stranded angels looking like they’re about to be swept up by a chemical hurricane. Continue reading “Feed me to the Cage: the shooting of Andrés Escobar”
IT was an afternoon, a cool and nice afternoon in 1982. My father was 7-years-old and he went to buy an orange Fanta before the game started. The game in question was Brazil V Italy in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. When my father was walking towards the bakery, he felt the atmosphere of euphoria and festivity among the people. After the game was over and everybody had drunk the Fanta, my father went back to the bakery to return the empty bottle. As he was getting back to his home, the streets were silent and empty; he felt a sense of mutual grief. Brazil had just lost the game. Continue reading “Fanta, Rossi and the Greatest Team Never to Win the World Cup”
THERE is no doubting that Brazil 2014 was England’s worst World Cup in history. Exiting the tournament in the Group Stage as they did in 1958, although then they only lost once in four games, England finished bottom of Group D with two losses and a draw. It was a truly forgettable campaign, with the Three Lions scoring only twice while playing a fairly non-descript brand of football. But why did things go so wrong? After all, the successful qualification campaign had brought the usual outbreak of belief and optimism. Continue reading “Fifty Years of Hurt: 2014 and 2018”
THE Golden generation of English football had failed to deliver at the peak of their powers and were beginning to disband. The squad that the Three Lions took to Euro 2004 is widely regarded as one of the most talented in recent times, including the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard and an 18-year-old Wayne Rooney. Despite all of the talent on offer that tournament ultimately ended the same way as most for English supporters: bitter disappointment, as they were knocked out by Portugal on penalties in the quarter-final. Continue reading “Fifty Years of Hurt: 2006 and 2010”
IN the post-Euro 1996 Three Lions universe, England as a national side was beginning to see the fruition of long held youth development as the Class of 1992 at Manchester United started to rule the roost on the domestic front, winning multiple Premier League titles under Alex Ferguson’s stewardship. Continue reading “Fifty Years of Hurt: 1998 and 2002”
WHEN Factory music impresario Tony Wilson stood up at an American music conference in 1990 and uttered the immortal line ‘wake up America. You’re dead.’, he seemed to perfectly sum up the cultural explosion England was under again. The second summer of love, musically and socially seemed a genuine youth movement that had Downing Street politicians scrambling to form a series of draconian acts. It’s drug of choice Ecstacy certainly was an all encompassing one. From Hartlepool to Harrow – barriers were coming down and hands were coming up. As hedonistic as it obviously was, it was also something of a revolution. Continue reading “Fifty Years of Hurt: 1990 and 1994”
1966. Sir Alf Ramsey had reached the pinnacle with his team at Wembley Stadium. This was it. England were now on top of the world and had future dominance at their feet. Four years later and a West Germany quarter-final comeback, that dominance was shattered.