Politics and Sport: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

In 1966, England achieved, for many, the zenith of their sporting achievements. They had climbed the mountain of world football and had come to the top above the greats of S. America and Europe. The small group of working class lads, including one who had started out working as a cleaner on the railways, had achieved a high-water mark that looks impossible to be reached again.

Politicians have always been known to associate themselves with sporting heroes. An endorsement from a sporting icon is worth thousands of votes and so how much more valuable would it be if a whole team capable of winning the World Cup said vote for X?

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Rugby Recalled

The team of the 1974/75 season

Everyone passing threescore and ten becomes more interested in the past. What twenty-year-old would look back? At that age, the world is one’s oyster and life is there to be grabbed with both hands and shaken like a rag doll.

With the passing years, things change, memories weaken, joints stiffen, arteries clog, each breath exchanges less oxygen than the breath before and despatches become more important than hatches or matches.

The problem with old age is that you run out of friends. Grab every opportunity, I say, to relive old memories, laugh at former errors and drink to absent friends with current ones. Today, we have silent still photos to prod our minds and pique the memory. We can recall ‘with advantage’ in a way that may well be denied tomorrow’s children with their videos and audio.

We all have particular associations which will last with us; school, university, regiment, sports club, etc. Before Facebook wiped the earth with its American power and rich functionality, Friends Reunited proved to be a popular platform for reminiscence. We can find so many friends on the Internet but there’s no substitute from meeting up in person.

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