Mighty dreams of what could have been

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - 24 - By ASHA ME­HTA

HE grew up kick­ing a foot­ball with some of the fu­ture stars of the Cameroon World Cup side in Africa.

And, if it was not for in­jury prob­lems, Mighty Simeu says he may have been lin­ing up with them on Satur­day when they faced Den­mark.

In­stead, the Cameroon-born Peter­bor­ough stu­dent was left to fol­low his team’s valiant exit from the World Cup on TV.

Mighty (29) re­mem­bers how his pas­sion for the beau­ti­ful game started when he was a child in his home town of Douala, western Cameroon.

He said: “I used to play foot­ball when I was grow­ing up. Ev­ery­one did in Cameroon. I played for a team, but I had knee and an­kle prob­lems, oth­er­wise, I might have gone on to play pro­fes­sion­ally.

“I grew up with some of the Cameroon play­ers, peo­ple like Sa­muel Eto’o and Pierre Wome and we had friends in com­mon.

“I play for fun now. I think I’m a bit too old to play for a team.”

Mighty, of Rat­cliffe Court, Wel­land, came to Peter­bor­ough four years ago to study. He is cur­rently tak­ing an ICT and busi­ness course at Peter­bor­ough Re­gional Col­lege and would like to work as a jour­nal­ist.

One of his ear­li­est World Cup mem­o­ries is watch­ing Cameroon reach the quar­ter fi­nals in 1990, be­fore be­ing beaten by Eng­land in ex­tra time.

He said: “I was very young, but I still re­mem­ber it. It was Cameroon’s best per­for­mance ever in a World Cup and peo­ple who talk about Cameroon’s chances now al­ways talk about 1990.”

But he doesn’t bear any grudges against the Three Lions for the de­feat and – af­ter Cameroon and the other African teams – he sup­ports Eng­land.

He be­lieves Cameroon were un­lucky to be the first team knocked out of the tour­na­ment, af­ter los­ing their open­ing game against Ja­pan and Satur­day’s 2-1 de­feat against Den­mark. He said: “I was very dis­ap­pointed. You ex­pect Cameroon to do well.

“It’s the first time they’ve lost their open­ing game. They played well against Den­mark but it wasn’t to be.”

And he is de­lighted that the most pres­ti­gious sport­ing con­test in the world is be­ing hosted on African soil for the first time.

“It’s great the World Cup is in Africa,” he said. “It’s part of his­tory and a dream come true for me.”

MIGHTY PROUD: Mighty Simeu, who grew up with some of Cameroon’s World Cup squad, is back­ing them to reach the fi­nal. (METP-18-06-10PF018)

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