Monday 14 June 2010
My first World Cup was Mexico 70. I was football mad and we'd just got a colour TV. It was the dawning of a new age - though not, as it transpired, for English football; little did we know back then, but, we had to fill our boots while we could - we wouldn't be troubling the world stage for another twelve years. But it wasn't just the matches that occupied my time. I had wall-charts to fill in, football cards to swap, even Hartleys were putting the squad on their jam jar lids. All to the backdrop of 'Back Home.' This, however, was all overshadowed by the Esso World Cup coins - the mother of all collecting crazes. Every dad in the land was hounded by their offspring to forget fuel economy. We demanded that the old man went to the forecourt at least three times a week: more petrol meant more coins. And then we had to get the rarities: yer Peter Osgoods and yer Jeff Astles were ten a penny. We needed Henry Newtons and Colin Harveys. Alas, it wasn't to be. My collection was filled with gaps (a little like our defence when we should have beaten the Hun) and so the coins c/w display board (bought separately for the princely sum of 2/6) got flung into the loft with the Christmas decorations and winter woolies. Cash In The Attic? Maybe not.
I couldn't leave this piece without mentioning Back Home. Yes, it's been done to death and, yes, it's cheesy. But flip it over and you get a pleasant surprise. Brian Labone and barrel chested Frannie Lee slip anchor with a cracking bit of singalong bubblegum (from the stable of Martin and Coulter, no less).