Monday, January 24, 2011

"Hope and Glory", The Official History Of The England Football Team

  In 2004, world football's governing body, FIFA, formally recognised China as the birthplace of football. Although it is unlikely definitive proof will ever be unearthed, recovered artefacts in particular balls and drawings depicting early games - suggest that the Chinese played a sport known as tsu chu or, more popularly, cuju as early as 2,500 BC. This involved kicking an animal skin past 9-m (30-ft)-high bamboo poles and was probably part of military training. The ball would later become round and less likely to burst, and the goals would be made smaller. By 200 BC, cuju had spread to the upper classes and there were even professional players, several of them members of the Chinese royal family, who enjoyed staging cuju matches at diplomatic events or feasts. The rules became increasingly complicated, with a points system for performing particular manoeuvres and a number of judges keeping score: matches were watched by thousands of fervent supporters and players gained fames for their exploits on the field. Women were as likely to take part as men, and the game also flourished in some pans of Korea and Japan until medieval times...

Until 1862, many attempts had been made to establish a single set of football rules between public schools, but agreement had never been reached, hindering the game's development in the wider world. John Charles (J. C.) Thring understood these difficulties only too well - having played football at Shrewsbury as a schoolboy, he wanted to continue the game at Cambridge University but found he could not agree on the basics with his new team-mates, who had been drawn from a number of different schools around the country. Thring was instrumental in bringing representatives of 14 public schools together in 1848 to'devise a set of rules they could stick to - although it took time for them all to come on board. No copy of these original rules - known as The Cambridge Rules - survives, but Thring issued his own rules for what he called The Simplest Game' in 1858 and later saw the introduction of a revised Cambridge Rules in 1862, prior to the formation of the Football Association.
England and Scotland first took the field in March 1870 at London's Kennington Oval, the start of a long international rivalry. The match is regarded as unofficial, since most of the players were FA committee members, and a number of the Scottish team were 'on loan' from the opposition. The match finished 1-1 and the two nations met four more times at the same venue before the first official international game took place between full England and Scotland teams at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick, Glasgow, in November 1872. It was the brainchild of Charles Alcock, the founder of the FA Cup, who decided that 'in order to further the interests of the Association in Scotland ... a team should be sent to Glasgow to play a match versus Scotland'. Alcock, who was one of the most accomplished centre-forwards of his age, would probably have been selected for the England team himself but was injured and had to be content with a role as an umpire as the game finished goalless.

The 1966 World Cup final was not only England's finest hour - it was also an excellent end-to-end game of football with a moment of controversy and plenty of twists and turns. Alf Ramsey was careful to keep his players calm and collected before the match, but they made a disastrous start when Germany took the lead in just 12 minutes. A scrappy Geoff Hurst goal seven minutes later put England level and helped them gradually assert themselves on the game. Both teams created chances, but on 78 minutes, Martin Peters' smart finish put the hosts back in control and victory was within sight. In the last minute, Jack Charlton gave away a free-kick England were never able to clear and Wolfgang Weber finished to force extra time. The England players looked shaken, but their opponents never took the opportunity to capitalise; eight minutes into extra time, Geoff Hurst's shot cannoned off the crossbar and down onto the goal-line. After the referee consulted with his Russian linesman, the goal was awarded. Germany tried to press their way back into the match but began to leave bigger gaps at the back, and in the final minute Hurst lashed the ball home to make the game safe, accompanied by Kenneth Wolstenholme's famous commentary: '...some people are on the pitch ... they think it's all over. It is now!...

Codec H264, Mkv
English Comments
Chaptered End
Sound 160kps
Video Bitrate 1200
Vhs Rip 1998, 1h40, 1g3
Formatted 16/9
Pass : thewildbunch22
 Cover Scan

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