I often tell people that western nations are sedated with sport and soap operas, while major prophetic events are happening largely unnoticed. One man wrote to me asking if I thought that watching sport was wrong. Not at all. It’s keeping things in perspective that matters. We have to put Christ first in our lives, but enjoying a game of football is fine as long as it doesn’t turn into a pseudo religion. Today I will be watching England versus Germany in the World Cup, but only after Pat and I return from church. That’s the right order. And no, England flags will not adorn our vehicle.
The time for real patriotism was when Gordon Brown was giving our sovereignty away..... Now I’ll tell you a funny story: my small role when England won the World Cup, in 1966. As a young reporter, one of my jobs then was to ghost write a column for a well known footballer, a member of the England squad. I was in the England team hotel with the players just prior to the World Cup Final. I may have been the only reporter who got in – I saw no others. The hotel staff served up the players with some plates of sandwiches.
We all sat round a table, looking at the food: goalkeeper Gordon Banks, the Charlton brothers, captain Bobby Moore, soon to be match winner Geoff Hurst, my favourite goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves, and so on. Now the players were nervous and not hungry. I, on the other hand, was not nervous and very hungry (the newspaper I worked for then was not big on expenses.) So I ate the players' food. Thus, free of any problems of sandwiches in the system, the team went out and played a great game, winning the World Cup. I too was very happy- although I didn’t get a ticket for the live game. But I later got a good column.