The Time: 1970.
The Place: Mexico.
The Players: Before the tournament had even begun there was controversy when the late great Sir Bobby More was accused and arrest for shoplifting. The charges were later quietly dropped and we found out many years later he was completely innocent.
In the draw for the first round group stages England were put in the same group as Brazil, who had Pelé playing in his forth and last World Cup. This particular tournament was the first to be broadcast in full colour and the bright yellow shirts of Brazil via the medium of television pierced the eye.
Then on the 7th of June it was the match that is still remembered to this day.
It was the one where Gordon Banks made that save to deny Pele.
The man himself described the moment:
“He came from nowhere.
“I headed it perfectly towards one corner of the net while Banks was at the other corner.
“I was already shouting GOOOL!!! when Banks, like a salmon leaping up a falls, threw himself in the air and managed to tip the ball so it slid over the crossbar. It was an impossible play.”
Then later on Jairzinho (the scorer of the single winning goal) was denied when Bobby Moore made that tackle.
After the match ended the two footballing giants were captured in another historic moment (pic to the right). Pelé later on described Moore as the greatest defender he had ever played against.
Despite the loss England finished runners up in the group and met a certain defeated 1966 finalist in the quarter finals
(corrected - see comments) Gordon Banks got sick before the game with food poisoning and Peter “The Cat” Bonetti went between the sticks for the match.
As for the music:
In the months in the run up to the Finals the England team recorded a single AND an album. The album was called “The World Beater Sing The World Beaters” and had various team members singing cover versions of popular songs from back then. It was re-released years later (I think in part because of his appearance on Baddiel & Skinner’s Fantasy Football) as Jeff Astle & The 1970 World Cup Squad – Sing !
I have that album and I’ll explore it further another day…
I did previously post a couple of tracks featuring Sir Bobby Moore here.
But for now and for your entertainment the single featuring all the England ’70 World Cup Squad:
» England World Cup Squad 1970 – Back Home
When we are far away
Back home, they’ll be really behind us
In every game we play
They’ll share every goal we are scoring
We will still hear them roaring
and we’ll give all we’ve got to give
For the folks back home
Back home, they’ll be watching and waiting
and cheering every move
Back home, though they think we’re the greatest
That’s what we’ve got to prove
Once more we will meet with the best
Like before we’ll be put to the test
Oh we will give all we’ve got to give
For the folks back home
They’ll see as they’re watching and praying
That we put our hearts in our playing
We’ll fight until the whistle goes
For the folks back home.
The B side of the single:» England World Cup Squad 1970 – Cinnamon Stick