THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
4 December 2009 ~


England's 2018 bidding team are in South Africa for the World Cup draw, networking like desperados. David Beckham has been shuttled around, signing shirts, shaking hands and saying the right things about members of FIFA's executive committee, such as Jack Warner of Trinidad, previously the biggest critic of England's bid. Warner was fined £1 million – most of which remains unpaid – by FIFA for reselling 2006 World Cup tickets. Trinidad's players, meanwhile, are still in dispute with their FA about bonuses owed to them from the 2006 tournament. But he has made a big impression on England's figurehead. "He is direct," says David. "Straight to the point. There is no messing about and you know where you stand with him." Of course you do.

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Badge of the week
It's nice to have a motto under the badge. It doesn't kill you to add a few words of Latin or French to the design – it adds instant gravitas and also gives lone strikers something to read while they're waiting for service from midfield. However, this motto is surely ill-chosen. The literal translation of the French is "The Game Before All". Now, if this were how people actually lived their lives our world would be in chaos. Imagine, for example, that the working day did not begin until 11am, after all employees had played two games of Twister or at least read dully through the rules of last Christmas's discarded word game. Where would we be then? We would be living in a country mired in debt, whose citizens could draw a recognisable hovercraft with their left hand but be unable to name any of the shadow cabinet. "Irresponsible" is the word that comes to mind. It's a good enough motto for clowns and students, but not for proper people with houses. Cameron Carter

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from Chris Lewis
"In the Q&A on his official website, Darius Vassell empathises with those on average wages."

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Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Sheffield Wednesday home, 1987-89
The 1987-89 "pinstripe" shirt is not regarded with fond memories by most Wednesday supporters. The break from the traditional broader stripe did not go down well and many associate the kit with cult anti-hero striker Colin West. He was signed from Glasgow Rangers for £150,000 at the start of 1987-88 and stayed for two years, in part prompting a famous question at the club AGM to manager Howard Wilkinson: "Let's face facts Howard, tha's bought some sh*t."

Pinstripes had been used once before, in 1890-91, after which the club adopted the broad stripes that have remained in vogue virtually ever since. The only exceptions were the final year of wartime competition in 1945-46 when blue and white hoops were used as the club were unable to obtain striped shirts, and between 1965 and 1972 when Wednesday wore a solid blue shirt with white sleeves. Notable sponsors in recent years include Chupa Chups in 2002-03 which triggered many a pub quiz question about Wednesday's link to Salvador Dalí, designer of the lollipop's wrapper. Jon Hockley

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

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from Kevin Forbes
"This except from the Wikipedia entry on the ScreenSport Super Cup may even be true.".



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Newspaper websites are full of mistakes caused by deadline pressures. Most are swiftly corrected – but not before they have been spotted. Exhibit A, from the Sunday Express: Darren Bent playing for a team in red and white stripes. Exhibit B: a Daily Star report on Blackburn's Carling Cup win over Chelsea that claims the result was the other way around.



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WSC Trivia ~ No 84
James Waterson, who has an article in our new issue, is the first WSC contributor to appear on University Challenge. He will be in the Jesus College, Oxford team in next Monday's programme. James says: "One of the curses of the month-long gaps between filming blocks for this series was imagining what questions might turn up in the next round. The dream of Paxman starting 'Famous for being the most bloody cold football ground in Britain...', me buzzing in, shouting out 'Spotland!' and receiving the adulation of my peers." Football questions occasionally turn up on the programme but we're not in favour of it being a specialist subject on Mastermind – someone did Brazil's record at the World Cup last year and got ridiculously easy questions.

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Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Park Doo Ik & Yang Seung Kook, North Korea FHER Mundial de Fútbol 1966
In today's World Cup draw North Korea will be one of the teams that everyone else will hope to be up against. That was the case in 1966 too. The Koreans were expected to be a pushover for Italy in their final group match at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough on June 19, 1966. After all they had been comprehensively outmuscled in losing their first game 3-0 to the USSR, although they then drew 1-1 with Chile. Instead, they produced one of biggest upsets in World Cup finals history, winning 1-0 with a goal from 24-year-old midfielder Park Doo Ik (whose surname is often wrongly rendered as "Pak"). The spot from which he struck his shot is marked by a bronze cast of a football boot on what is now someone's front lawn.

Striker Yang Seung Kook put North Korea three up after 25 minutes against Portugal in the quarter-final but they went on to lose 5-3. The Koreans withdrew from the qualifiers for the 1970 World Cup after being drawn against Israel, a country they didn't recognise and made little impact in international football until the 2010 qualification series. Park Doo Ik became a dentist while Yang Seung Kook was the manager of a cigarette factory whose football team he coached.

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