Kev Lawrence

The man be­hind the mic

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update -

It has the ca­pac­ity to cre­ate a mood so deliri­ously happy that ev­ery­one skips to work in the morn­ing

cel­e­brated. Street par­ties erupted and car horns blared in and around Flet­ton and Stan­ground. Hun­dreds of peo­ple called Pep and An­to­nio danced on the bon­nets of their cars. Mean­while, great moun­tains of pasta and pizza were whipped up and scoffed deep into the night, washed down with fine wine and Ital­ian lager. Yes I was a bit jeal­ous, but I was also happy to party with my Ital­ian bud­dies, who were crazed with joy.

And that’s what foot­ball can bring to a coun­try. It has the ca­pac­ity to cre­ate a mood so deliri­ously happy that ev­ery­one skips to work in the morn­ing.

I read that 28 per cent of all women will ac­tively seek to avoid any­thing to do with the world cup. Non­sense. My wife’s not into footie at all nor­mally, but when Eng­land play, she’s buzzing about it. She has even bought a flag for her car, and a cheap su­per­mar­ket CD of foot­ball songs to play in the car for the kids. (Warn­ing – not the orig­i­nal artists).

Four years ago I took up res­i­dence on our couch for a month, but this time round a far more at­trac­tive al­ter­na­tive has pre­sented it­self. The Sports Lounge in Peter­bor­ough is or­gan­is­ing street par­ties for the first two Eng­land games. King Street will be closed off and a gi­ant 5 me­ter square LED screen will go up, so fans can come along and watch the games in an at­mos­phere tonnes bet­ter than sit­ting at home. I know that with all they have planned, it will be a FULL ON street car­ni­val. My

heart starts beat­ing faster at the very thought of it. OK it’s only foot­ball, but when Eng­land play in a game that re­ally means some­thing, and es­pe­cially dur­ing a World Cup, all of a sud­den noth­ing else mat­ters. Fin­ger­nails are bit­ten, phones go un-an­swered, and the dog and kids I’m afraid also com­pletely ig­nored, as for 90 min­utes I find my­self in a trance. I try not to scream and shout too loudly, but ask any foot­ball fan, this is very dif­fi­cult.

Most men can place their ex­act where­abouts dur­ing any ma­jor tour­na­ment in­volv­ing Eng­land. Al­though de­spite our dreams and hopes, our be­lief and faith even, we never ever seem to win. This guts me.

I was born one year af­ter the great Sir Bobby Moore lifted that gleam­ing Jules Rimet tro­phy at Wem­b­ley in July 1966, and I just won­der if this year, some­how, is go­ing to be our year once again. Our man­ager ap­pears very calm and in­tel­li­gent. Wayne Rooney can scare the pants off any de­fender. And erm, well, some­one has to win.

Flimsy ev­i­dence for a half baked view I know, but noth­ing will stop me from hav­ing the pas­sion. I re­call Italy’s dra­matic penalty shoot-out vic­tory four years ago, and will never for­get how bril­liantly they

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