The World Cup

Nelson Mandela celebrates South Africa's World Cup "win".

As you may have noticed, if you caught the beginning of my blog, my reach has exceeded my grasp as a blogger. I have lots of ideas, but haven’t been able to keep it going.  However, thanks to prompting from Linda, I’m resurrecting the blog at least for the World Cup. In doing this I’m going to be ably assisted by my 16 year old son, Sammy who is a fanatical follower of soccer and other sports. Sammy not only follows sports, but is an athlete himself. He is following in my footsteps as a great goalkeeper for his Silver level soccer team (which I coach). He plays community football (American variety) as well as playing rugby for his school. Sammy will provide a real addition of expert opinion on the teams.

Our plan is to start out by reviewing all of the groups before the World Cup starts on June 11th. Sammy will be covering groups A, C, E, G and I will be covering groups B, D, F and H. (Sammy tried to give me the easier groups).

During the tournament Sammy and I are going to try to get out to some of the places where nations supporters are watching. So it would be great to hear where the fans of the different teams are congregating.

Sammy and I carry the unfortunate albatross of being England fans. I lived in England for two years beginning in July 1966. The first week of my stay in England at age 9 was spent in the bar (I believe) of a hotel which may have been called the Golden Fleece, watching England win the World Cup for the first and only time. This experience made me a lifelong England fan despite the political distaste I later developed for England’s imperialist history, or my admiration for the artistry of the Brazilian teams year after year.

(As an aside the same experience led me to become a lifelong fan of West Ham United because they had three players on England’s World Cup winning team, its captain, Bobby Moore and two players who scored all the goals for England in the Final, Geoff Hurst (3) and Martin Peters (1). West Ham have been about as successful as England since 1966, mostly toiling in the nether regions of Division 1/the Premier League and never having won a league championship.)

When we’re not working and in school… and when we can get in, you will find Sammy and I at the Three Lions. When we don’t make it there, you’ll find us at the Frog and Firkin. Where will you be showing your colours? Let us know and we’ll try and join you there… provided your team is not playing England. And remember, since Sammy’s only 16 it can’t be a full out bar.

More in The Beautiful Game

Homeless World Cup Parade

Video of the Homeless World Cup players opening parade. More videos can be found at

Homeless World Cup draw deconstructed

Team Canada seen relaxing with coconuts on the beach in Rio. But things get more serious on Monday. The draw for the tournament was held Saturday. Canada will be in tough against Ireland and Mexico, b

Homeless World Cup: Coach's Report Day 1 by Alan Bates

Team Canada Coach Alan Bates sent this report directly from Brazil on day 1 of the team's journey...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.