City Blogger: Three Lions
- 21 November 2013 14:56
- Posted by @ThomSoutter26
International week… Already?! The sheer mention of those two words, for a lot of avid domestic league fans, is enough to start the stifling of yawns, a quick review of the DVD box set collection and that depressing feeling of shopping on the local high street on a Saturday afternoon.
However, the last week or so has been slightly different, as the last remaining places are snapped up for the greatest sporting show on earth (apart from watching City away at Sunderland!!!) -The FIFA World Cup. Usually I would happily swap a City corner kick for an England victory, but the World Cup brings back wonderful memories.
In 2006, I was 21 years old and fresh out of University. With the sweet scent of a vast period of unemployment on the horizon, a few good friends and I decided to descend on the “auld enemy” Germany for the festival of football. This was going to be THE summer to remember and certainly better than the previous summer when, whilst students, a good friend and I had embarked on a summer job cleaning caravans under the ever memorable moniker ‘Clean Team 17’.
What could be better than watching England’s ‘golden generation’ battering their way through the World en route to lifting the Jules Rimet trophy, right?! Well, wrong actually as England were predictably woeful on the pitch.
However, we weren’t to know this as we descended on what, for most of us at that time, would prove to be our longest period away from the family home.
We had planned to follow England through various cities, whilst staying in unknown hostels, meeting new people from all over the world and having a great time to boot.
The ensuing month consisted of one of the best months of our lives as we partied across Germany and even collected a Geordie beatboxer complete with equipment, who proceeded to announce our arrival in true style at each destination.
Those few weeks provided some unforgettable moments, some of which could not possibly be repeated but one thing was prevalent throughout. The joy of football and how it can bring people from all different walks of life to share emotions together. One evening, dejected after a dismal England display, we entered a deserted bar as the only customers. A drink or so later our rendition of ‘Three Lions’ was being sung by about half a dozen nationalities as the bar filled to the sound of our vocal chords. ‘We started this!’ we all shouted at each other as a full scale football party began and lasted long into the night.
I was finally supporting a team together with best friends, who would normally find themselves at St James’s Park, Old Trafford or Anfield. Football at the end of the day is the game that we all love and in such an environment it is savoured by all. England tickets were a little of out of our post student budget, but it was well worth spending a fifth of my meagre funds on watching those world heavyweights Togo against South Korea. The fact that we cheered every goal from both sides simply made it all the more enjoyable.
The summer of 2006 has a few regrets. The blonde highlights in my hair, the fake earring and the over excessive use of sweat bands but one thing is for certain…. if anyone gets the chance to depart for the World Cup in Brazil next summer along with close friends, grab it with both hands and have the time of your life.
This time, there will even be considerable City players on show. So, let’s hope The Blues sort out their away form and have a truly successful season. However, if they don’t, there is one consolation at the end of the tunnel. Summer 2014, in the home of the beautiful game, will be one to remember.