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The World Cup and all that

Many English flags are flying in Devon as the World Cup heats up. There may be finer times to fly the flag, but we'll take what we can get.

Brother Roger is 'sick to death' of all sporting events. He likes playing football, not following the game. In particular he's not taken with football's expensive players, though admittedly they play the game pretty well and are being followed with adulation. Of course, if they fail to win, they will be roundly slagged off, as Roger shrewdly observed, while sitting under a sun hat with his paper.

In 1966, the World Cup attracted the attention of an estimated one-in-five persons in the world, suggesting that a burst of economic activity could be generated simply by calling off the Cup. However, as Alastair Reid wrote in the New Yorker all those decades ago, the 1966 match had sporting perfection. It's happy reading for any historians of the game whose 'womb' is the United Kingdom.

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