Sunday, 15 June 2014

1966 and All That ...

Some of the best stories in family history are passed down from person to person... until the chain breaks and then if it isn't written down somewhere, the story is lost.
As it's Fathers' Day and there seems to be some football on in Brazil, it gives me the perfect excuse to tell the tale of "My Dad and the World Cup Tickets".

Dad was a Spurs fan. But he would watch any football going really, so when someone offered him two tickets to the World Cup at Wembley in 1966, there was no way he was going to refuse them. These weren't just any old tickets either - they were books of tickets which got you into each of the ten matches played at Wembley during the competition - including the Final. He paid £60 for the pair. *

Mum was not pleased. This was the equivalent of over 3 months mortgage payments and more than Dad earned in a month as an engineer. They had a baby (me) and another on the way. 

Dad sold the two Final tickets for the same £60 he had paid for the whole book of tickets. And yes, he did go to all of the other matches. And yes, he did cry when England beat Portugal in the semi-finals (the Portuguese family he was sitting next to were crying for other reasons).

Dad bought me a World Cup Willy mascot who I kept through childhood when lots of toys fell by the wayside, followed me to college and then everywhere I've lived since. He still looks marvellous even if he does leak sawdust every so often. Nearly fifty years on, World Cup Willy is still waiting for another England win.

* Dad himself paid way over the odds for the tickets, as the match tickets sold singly cost 7 shillings and 6 pence, with tickets to the Final costing 10 shillings standing going up to £3 15 shillings for the best seats)

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