World Cup is here. And despite that I am also protesting against the overspending of the government budget on the stadiums while the education and public transportation quality is still below standard, I just can not help myself to be dragged into this madness.
I still support England, of course, although I no longer put much hope or I would be utterly disappointed. So when I saw the photo of their 1966 victory at the “Jagat Laga Bola” (loosely translated as “Football Universe”) exhibition at Antara Gallery, it reminded me to those 1990s era when I was still so excited to see football matches on the telly.
Then there was this quiz on Buzzfeed, which asked ‘Which devastating England penalty miss are you?’
And of course I got.. Gareth Southgate. Yes, that penalty miss which sunk me to the lowest level. It was probably the first time I had to face the bitter fact that England was not that good.
If you want to see that bitter moment again, see it here in the “Three Lions ’98” video:
I personally like the “Three Lions” (ie. 1996 version) better, probably because there was a bigger hope. I even used to record the video from MTV to my VHS tape again and again.. I think that was the first time I started to idolise Ian Broudie.
Triggered by those videos, I started to listen to some England football songs and browsed for the list of best football songs for England when I found a song called “World Cup Willie” by Lonnie Donegan. The song was so familiar to my ear, and soon I realised that I knew this song from a mixtape, sent by my Singaporean pen friend Penelope in 1998.
In 1996, there were two football songs which I really, really liked. First was “Three Lions”, and the other one was Simply Red’s “We’re in This Together”. It still gives me the goosebumps.
And of course since I used to listen to New Order, I also listened to this, even though when the song was released, I hadn’t been watching football yet. It was a very motivating song, I particularly like the first two lines:
Express yourself, create the space
You know you can win, don’t up the pace
And John Barnes really got the groove!
I also knew this song not from the 2004 football fever, but because I listened to The Farm anyway. It was re-released in 2004, as the original song was released in 1995.
So tonight, I hope England wins their first match against Italy.
Oh how I wish Paul Scholes was still playing, he used to score against Italy and Italian teams.. *sigh