THE FRIDAY FIVE – 9.3.2012

1. Emeli Sande – Next To Me
2. Jeff Wayne – Jubilation
3. Cast – Time Bomb
4. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
5. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know

Last week saw the BBC announce who will be the UK’s Eurovision entry. So, in honour of this, I shall present to you a Top Five Eurovision chart.

FIVE EUROVISION SONGS

1. Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine A Light
2. A Friend In London – New Tomorrow
3. Jedward – Lipstick
4. Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now
5. Bucks Fizz – Making Your Mind Up

As yesterday was International Women’s Day, I thought it was only right that this blog should commemorate it. Enjoy

FIVE SONGS WITH WOMEN’S NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. Steve Winwood – Valerie
2. Dion – Runaround Sue
3. Jon Bon Jovi – Janey Don’t You Take Your Love To Town
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Blondie – Maria

FIVE GIRL GROUP SONGS

1. Ronettes – Be My Baby
2. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
3. Girls Aloud – The Promise
4. Sugababes Soul Sound
5. The Bangles – Manic Monday

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL OR WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Rick Springfield – Jesse’s Girl
2. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
3. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
4. Frankmusic – Confusion Girl
5. Cliff Richard – Devil Woman

Not a five, but a four coming up now.

I am absolutely loving the 1977 Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC Four. There is an absolutely fantastic series of parodies of the opening credits on Youtube, courtesy of the user TVGCity

You need to watch the show to

“get” the joke. I was literally crying with laughter at acts such as Isle Of Man World Cup Squad, St Winifred’s School Caretaker, Balls and Co, and Tony Tempah.

THE LONG ROAD TO THE AMEX

In just over five months time, Brighton and Hove Albion will have a home ground for the first time since 1997 as The Amex nears completion.

I’ve always quite liked Brighton and Hove Albion, possibly because they reached the FA Cup Final in the year I was born although this fact has annoyed me in recent years when commentators say “Albion reached the FA Cup Final a long time ago” during FA Cup matches, which makes me feel old.

I remembered the departure from The Goldstone Ground mostly for how messy it was, with endless protests against the clubs board and vigilante behaviour from supporters.

I remember the protest that forced the abandonment of a match against York City in 1996, which was actually on of the lead stories on the main BBC news that night.

Youtube has news clips from this era and is well worth checking out, a fascinating look at a club’s struggle to keep up with their peers off the pitch.

The first clip, from Saint and Greavsie in 1991 is almost prophetic, as it states that a future of lower league football awaits Brighton if they are unable to find a new stadium within the next couple of years.

In 1991, Brighton were challenging for promotion to what was then the First Division, but lost in the Play-Off Final to Notts County.

The following year, they were relegated to the third tier, before relegation to the bottom division of the Football League in 1996.

In 1997, Brighton were one defeat away from Non-League football. The club recovered, and made it back to The Championship in 2002, but were immediately relegated, then promoted back, before being relegated again in 2006 to League One, where they have been since, but currently lead.

Unless there is a major collapse, the new Amex Stadium will host Championship football when it opens in August 2011.

Brighton is a city I have on places I hope to visit within the next couple of years, so I might even get to visit this stadium in the next couple of years.

So sit back, and look at the evolution of a stadium that has taken 20 years to be realised.

Hopefully one day Ards, in a similar situation to Brighton, will have something similar.

Amex Picture Gallery

Amex Website

THE BIG RYAN GIGGS YOUTUBE COMPILATION BLOG

Not that you ever need an excuse to post a blog consisting of Youtube clips of classic Ryan Giggs moments, but today marks 20 years since he made he made his Manchester United debut in a 2-0 defeat at home to Everton on 2nd March 1991.

My photography skills have managed to capture him as well, the first picture taken from a 2-0 win over Liverpool in September 1994.

The second photo, was taken with a much better quality camera, is from a 1-0 win over Roma in April 2008.

Managed to have a wee rummage through Youtube for some classic Giggs moments and clips. There’s the obiligitory clip of the goal against Arsenal in 1999.

My favourite clip is that of a Reebok advert from 1996 also starring Sting, Robbie Williams, Tom Jones, Reeves and Mortimer, Jarvis Cocker and Chris Eubank amongst others.

You can also find the classic “United Dream Team” advert from the mid 1990s, narrated by Kenneth Wolstenholme.

Enjoy

THE BIG RONALDO RETIREMENT YOUTUBE COMPILATION BLOG

Today saw the announcement of the retirement from football of Ronaldo. No doubt, when the news broke, a lot of people will have thought it was Cristiano Ronaldo, before realising, it was “The other Ronaldo”

There was once a time when Ronaldo was Ronaldo, and Cristiano Ronaldo was “The other Ronaldo”

I remember Gary Lineker stating as a pundit before Brazil’s opening match of the 1994 World Cup that Brazilian team-mates at Grampus 8 had told him Ronaldo (Then in the squad as an 18 year old) was going to be a major star.

The 1994 World Cup would come too soon for him, but by the time of the 1998 World Cup, he was the world’s biggest football star.

He burst onto the scene in the eyes of the British public during the 1996/1997 season, his only season at Barcelona.

Sir Bobby Robson was manager of Barcelona, and as a result, they featured prominently in the round-up of the rest of the football news.

To put things into perspective, the only foreign football on British TV then was the World Cup, and the European Cup Final.

When Man United went out of the European Cup group stages in 1994, ITV didn’t show another live game until the final.

That may sound strange in this age of Spanish football on Sky every week and every Champions League game live on TV.

It only added to the mystique around him. The BBC treated us to live coverage of Spartak Moscow v Inter Milan in a UEFA Cup Semi-Final on a Tuesday afternoon in 1998.

The pitch, if you could call it that, was sand, but it didn’t matter, Ronaldo single handedly destroyed them.

As with any great player, enjoy, admire, aspire.

Enjoy some Youtube clips of his finest moments.

YOOCHOOB VOLUME 3

Well, after posting up a slection of the best classic football clips and the best news coverage of historical events, this week’s Youtube round-up focuses on Irish League/Northern Ireland football related related video miscellany.

The first video is from a show called ‘Super 8 Stories’ which was broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland between 2005 and 2006.

The show is a compilation of videos filmed on Super 8 and the person who filmed it narrates the story.

One such feature was filmed by a Linfield fan during the 1960s, with unlimited access on matchday and training sessions.

Players from that era then spoke over the clips of their memories from that era, including Tommy Stewart (no relation to, and not to be confused with the current Shamrock Rovers player of the same name, who played for Linfield from 2006-2008), who sadly died soon after the show was broadcast.

It’s amazing how little the street leading up to Windsor Park has changed (For shame, I don’t actually know what it’s called)

The next clip is from ‘Sportsnight’ in 1989, a network BBC production broadcast on Wednesday nights (Like a Midweek version of Grandstand, for those who don’t know) previewing Derry City’s European Cup tie against Benfica, managed by Sven Goran Eriksson (Making his second visit to Northern Ireland as a manager, his third would prove to be memorable), who went on to reach the final that season.

Keep an eye out 2 minutes in for Felix Healy singing. I won’t spoil it, but his singing is as good as his punditry.

The next video is the greatest end to a league season in British football history, far more dramatic than Liverpool-Arsenal in 1989.

Portadown top, level on points with Glenavon and Linfield, with Portadown and Glenavon playing each other.

The ultimate winner takes all showdown, with a draw doing neither side a favour.

I was at Windsor Park that day, and it was a day i’ll never forget, the intense atmosphere, and the tension of waiting for the score from Mourneview Park.

If it happened this season, i’d have spent those agonising 6 minutes on Twitter, hitting refresh and possibly breaking my phone.

No matter how many times I watch this, I still think Portadown are going to score a last-minute winner.

With all the recent chat about Matty Burrows becoming an internet sensation, though not as sensational as the Leave Britney Alone Guy and Tron Guy, enjoy this far superior goal by Lee Feeney against Crusaders in 1998, stealing the headlines of Irish League record signing Glenn Ferguson, who made his Linfield debut that day.

Talking of spectacular goals, enjoy this compilation from a show broadcast on UTV reviewing the 94/95 Irish League season (Champions Crusaders, Cup Winners Linfield)

Prefer not to dwell too much on the Zeke Rowe in Bangor’s 5-0 win at Windsor Park. I turned down the chance to go to that match, instead going to see the Lion King, which turned out to be a good choice. Hakuna Matata.

I can vaguely remember that goal by Judas Bastard Haylock, even though I wasn’t at that match. There was a brief time in the 90s when Linfield would face Portadown as underdogs, and turn them over.

Now we face them as favourites, and turn them over.

Fucking hell, they even got Sir Stanley Matthews to choose the winner, proper footballing royalty.

The video is also notable for two things, Stephen Watson with hair, and Stephen Watson giving a shit about football.

Whatever happened to Joey Cunningham?

No Irish League Youtube compilation would be complete without this. No words are needed.

As classic Boxing Days go, 1995 takes some beating. Snow, White Ball, the stuff of legend.

The next league fixture between the two took place at Windsor Park in February. I remember this game as it was a few days after my 13th birthday, on which Take That had split up.

Linfield won the match 2-0 with two goals from Paul Millar.

Ten years exactly to the day, Paul Millar would be taking charge of his first game as Glentoran manager, and Take That would be three months into their reformation. It’s a funny old life.

One more video, a reminder of how depressing European Football has become for Irish League Clubs in recent years.

Nowadays, the likes of Dynamo Borat, Bjorksportacus and BK Morten Harket visit our shores during July, but there was once a time, when big-name and exotic opposition used to come and play our teams.

Well, Tottenham Hotspur, but it’s all relative (Talking of which, it was a game against Coleraine, in the European Cup Winners Cup)

See Also

Coleraine Specific Account

Linfield Sepcific Account 1

Linfield Specific Account 2

1997 Irish Cup Final

Glenavon v Ballymena Unied, 1992 Irish Cup Semi-Final

There’s a fucking pig on the pitch

Northern Ireland, Road to Mexico 1986 (Four parter)

England v Northern Ireland 1985

(PS: If there are any videos i’ve missed, or if you want to suggest a ‘theme’ for Yoochoob, comment on this, or via Twitter – see right hand side of homepage)

YOOCHOOB VOLUME TWO

After last week’s sackload of great football clips from history currently on Youtube, this week’s Youtube round-up concerns news coverage of historical events and how news coverage has changed during this time.

I’m a complete history geek, and not ashamed of it. One of my favourite books is ‘Chronicle Of The 20th Century’ and I love reading about historical events from the second half of the 20th Century onwards.

Youtube is a fantastic resource for such information, containing vast amounts of news coverage of many events from both American and British channels.

The most fascinating thing about this is the BBC’s shift in their breaking news policy now that they have BBC News 24.

These days, only the death of a member of the Royal Family, announcement of a General Election, a major terrorist attack in Britain or America or a British Prime Minister would merit interrupting programming on BBC1 or BBC2, because there is already a channel at people’s fingertips to provide a news service.

I remember when I was young and a major story broke, there was a brief period of ‘Dead Air’ before cutting to the newsroom. It felt very dramatic, and the tension could be quite scary.

It is perhaps because of this, that when people are watching the current 24 hour news channels and the ‘Breaking News’ caption flashes across the screen, you can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed when it isn’t a major earth-shattering event.

This first video is the BBC News coverage of the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.

I remember playing football at Cherryvale with a friend when his dad came over to break to us, having heard it on the radio.

We didn’t believe him, as Ayrton Senna felt like the sort of person who was immortal. Watching this news bulletin, it really sank home that he wasn’t.

This news report was of the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when ITV interrupted a repeat of The Chart Show to announce that she had been in a car crash. The band whose video was interrupted was Catch, who were tipped for big thins but vanished from trace, possibly because they were shite. I actually do remember them as well.

I was still at school, but two years later, I started my first ever job, lifting glasses in The Bot, and if this this had happened during this period, I probably would have been up all night watching the news coverage.

My memories of it, are of waking up that day early, not through choice, I just happened to wake up at that time, and switching it on and seeing the shock news.

That day was surreal, as all programming on BBC and ITV was suspended, with the only programming on the BBC being a pre-prepared obituary show, and a repeat of her interview with Martin Bashir.

What also was strange when channel-hopping, was that the non-news channels were running with it, having a caption urging across the bottom of the screen urging people to change to BBC1 or Sky News to keep up to date with the story.

It seemed to be the benchmark for Royal news coverage. By comparison, the coverage of the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother seemed a bit low-key.

The last major news event was the death of Michael Jackson last year. It’s a very modern phenomenon, that the news broke for me whilst I was browsing on Twitter.

Due to the varying accounts I follow, in the space of three tweets by three different news accounts, he was dead, then he was rushed to hospital, before finally being recovering after collapsing.

It was the first major news event since “Social Media” became mainstream, and such was the volume of people wanting to chat, blog and find out about it, it caused Twitter and Google to crash.

Despite the fact that i’m not really that massive a Michael Jackson, I still stayed up for most of the night to watch the coverage. I suppose it shows how major news stories grab people’s attentions.

This final clip is of Sky News coverage of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on America, as newscasters had to constantly react to and commentate on what was happening.

On that day, I was in class at Bangor Tec until 5pm, and headed straight home, had my dinner without watching the news, and didn’t actually find out about it until about 7pm/8pm that night.

If it happened today, it would have been hard to avoid such is the use of Social Media that people would have been tweeting about it and commenting on it for their Facebook profiles.

Compare it to this BBC coverage of the President Kennedy assasination where they “Hoped” to bring reaction to you. If it happened today, the coverage would be instant across varying media forms.

Sit back and enjoy the vast archive videos of how history has been shaped and reported.

9/11

CNN Coverage

American TV

NBC Coverage

ITV Coverage

Queen Mother Death

BBC2 Coverage

BBC1 Coverage

Channel Hopping (UK)

Princess Diana Death

BBC Coverage

Sky News Coverage

Lockerbie
ITN Newsflash

BBC Breakfast

BBC Newsflash

Elvis Death

American TV Coverage

John Lennon Death

ABC Coverage

BBC Coverage

Live Announcment On US TV

Hong Kong Handover

Sky News Coverage

Challenger Disaster

ABC Report

ABC Breaking News

Live CNN Coverage

Berlin Wall

ABC Coverage

BBC Coverage

Anne Diamond On Sunday

Moon Landing

CBS Coverage

ABC Coverage

Thatcher Resignation

BBC Coverage

YOOCHOOB

Football lovers on Twitter will have noticed in recent weeks, a new account by the name of RetroMBM.

It’s to launch a new football website showcasing videos from “The good ole days”, from the writers of the excellent ‘Joy Of Six‘ on The Guardian website.

I love Youtube, and what I love most is viewing old stuff, such as videos to songs i’ve only ever heard but never seen the video to, news reports of major events in the past, random idents and football matches from yesteryear.

Seeing as this site is setting up, thought i’d share some of my favourite old football videos currently on Youtube, in no specific order.

Trailer for the BBC’s coverage of the 1986 World Cup. They went to a lot of effort building a set which sort of looks like Mexico and hiring Mexican-looking actors to star in it.

ITV’s coverage of the 1982 World Cup, presented by Brian Moore with comedy from Eric Morecambe. In 2010, it was presented by Adrian Chiles with comedy (If you can call it that) from James Corden.

What the fuck went wrong with ITV in the intervening 28 years?

(You may notice Eamonn Holmes in the clip. Didn’t he look like Dimitar Berbatov when he was younger?)

A mundane friendly game from 1998, but worth watching simply for Brian Clough not taking too kindly to Nick Owen correcting him for calling Gary Pallister “McAllister”.

Now, if only someone could write a comedy show about a TV presenter and model it on Nick Owen, possibly presenting a graveyard show on Radio Norwich?

(Also, ever watch a live match from Eastern Europe these days wishing it was in the middle of the afternoon as the ground had no floodlights and with poor sound quality on the commentary? Ain’t modern technological advances shit?)

Amazing Luton Town kit, watch the reaction of the crowd behind the goal when the ball goes in.

Geekgasm alert, amazing ident. One word – GOOOOOALLLLLLACCCCHHHIIOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Robson makming Diego Maradona look like a little boy. This is why the big European nights at Old Trafford are great occasions.

THIS, is what the new Match of the Day opening credits should have looked like.

English football allowed off UEFA’s naughty step.

UK TV World Cup coverage opening credits. Bet you can remember most of them too. It’s amazing the evolution of them too.

What’s wrong with cutting together a few clips of teams involved in the tournament?

Football advertising in a more innocent age.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

RETROMBM

West Germany v Holland, Italia 90

Italia 90 ITV End Montage

Oh Pavarotti

Oh ITV4, why won’t you repeat ‘The Big Match’ anymore?

Oh David Icke

Cup Final Build-Up 1983

Cloughie, The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Oh ITV, why can’t you do football coverage like this anymore?

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Homesdale35

Mattyredman

THE SUMMER THAT ‘FOOTBALL CAME HOME’

In football, there are some teams who, when they are due to play each other, will generate excitement and anticipation amongst football fans.

England v Germany on Sunday is one such match. When you think of England and Germany, you inevitably think of 1990, of 1996, and even, of 1966.

The added spice to Sunday’s game, is how early in the competition it is. There’s nothing better in cup football, than a heavyweight clash in the early stages of the competition, between two sides who believe they can win the competition, but know they face an opponent capable of giving them an early exit.

For me, the clash between the two sides that I remember most is the European Championship Semi-Final in 1996, the 14th anniversary of which will come the day before the sides meet in Bloemfontein.

Looking back, Euro 96 was a competition and time I remember fondly. In 1996, i’d just turned 13, and had just had my first full season watching Linfield every week with my mates, and having a laugh, which I suppose you had to do, as Trevor Anderson’s bunch of expensively assembled misfits limped into mid-table obscurity.

Euro 96 was the first European Championship which had 16 teams competing in 4 groups of 4, meaning that you wouldn’t have major nations missing out like you did in the 8 team format.

There were two matches each day, with the first one kicking-off not long after four (can’t remember if it was quarter-past or half-past), meaning a quick run home from school to watch the first game, dinner, homework (I went to a school where the teachers gave you homework in June) and then watch the evening match with friends.

A combination of growing up but still being young, what felt like endless sunny days and what felt like the charts being dominated by acts like Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Space and Suede (Despite the fact that, in reality, the two biggest selling acts of 1996 were Spice Girls and Robson & Jerome) will forever have the summer of 1996, and it’s major football tournament fondly remembered in my mind.

Perhaps it is my mind playing tricks on me by remembering this event fondly? Maybe if I was 10 years older, i’d be fondly reminiscing about the 1986 World Cup? 10 years younger, and perhaps i’d be fondly remembering the 2006 World Cup?

There’s no denying that Euro 96 is an event which benefits generously from a rewriting of history. Outside of Wembley, and group games at Old Trafford and Villa Park, a lot of the games were played in half-empty stadiums.

I suppose this rewriting of history is a good example of how the English media cover international tournaments, where it’s all about England and nobody else matters, so consumed were they with what was happening in London, they didn’t even notice the empty seats in the North of the country.

With the tournament taking place during the school year, there was never any hope of me going over to this, and I really wanted to go.

Northern Ireland’s campaign was a spectacularly heroic failure, managing to finish unbeaten away from home, but out of the qualifying positions due to home defeats to Latvia, and most devastatingly, Republic of Ireland.

Despite that, me and a friend sat in front of the TV one Sunday afternoon in December 1995 for the draw, and gasped in disbelief as England and Scotland were paired together. Switzerland and Holland didn’t even get a mention as all the hype of the tournament centred around this game.

As with every international tournament, the morning of the opening game always makes me feel like an excitable child on christmas eve, counting down the hours and minutes until kick-off.

I watched the opening game of Euro 96, England v Switzerland, in the company of a half-Swiss friend, as England stuttered to a 1-1 draw against the Swiss.

Finally, the tournament was up and running and football had truly come home.

The following Saturday, was the big one, England v Scotland. Both teams were level on one point, and knew that a win would virtually guarantee qualifivation for the Quarter-Finals.

I watched it as a neutral, not really caring who won, just enjoying the fact that two British teams were going at each other, to put one over the other and retain local pride, for their fans, unaware that they were taking part in a major international competition, as ‘putting one over the other lot’ was all that mattered.

With England leading 1-0 with 15 minutes to go, Scotland win a penalty. Gary McAllister saw his shot saved by David Seaman, the resulting corner was cleared upfield, and the England counter-attack saw Paul Gascoigne make it 2-0 for England.

From having a chance to draw level, to going two goals down (or, from almost being pegged back level to going tow goals up, in the space of a minute) in the space of a minute, that’s how football can just mess with your emotions. That’s why people love it and hate it in equal measure.

Thankfully, being neither English or Scottish, I just sat and watched non-plussed.

Come Tuesday night, England were actually out-Dutching the Dutch and allowing a way back in for Scotland, as England’s 4-0 lead, combined with Scotland’s 1-0 lead over Switzerland saw Scotland in a position where they could qualify from a group stage for the first time in their history.

It was too good to be true, and it was, as a Patrick Kluivert goal for Holland swung the race for second place in their favour.

COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!!! COME ON SCOTLAND!!!!!! I screamed at the TV, wishing one of the two would score a goal that would send Scotland through. It didn’t come.

England advanced to a Quarter-Final against Spain, where they triumphed, whisper it, on a penalty shoot-out. It’s strange, that when the media bring up England’s record in a penalty shoot-out, they never mention this game.

Germany had been very German in their progress, ruthlessly disposing of Czech Republic and Russia before grinding out a draw against Italy, a result which saw the Italians eliminated at the group stage.

In that match against Russia, the Russian manager came up with a brilliant excuse for his teams underperforming, that the home crowd at each ground they played at was against them.

Against Germany at Old Trafford, he claimed that United fans came out to cheer for Germany in protest against Andrei Kanchelskis sour transfer to Everton the previous year.

For their remaining matches at Anfield, he claimed Liverpool fans were cheering for the opposition partly because Kanchelskis was an Everton player, but mainly, because he was an ex United player.

France, also faced a hostile crowd in their matches at Newcastle, by Geordies angry at local favourite David Ginola being left out of the French squad.

After beating Croatia at Old Trafford, Germany had set up a Semi-Final meeting with England at Wembley.

You can tell how big a football match is, by how many people are talking about it, especially people who don’t usually follow or talk about football. In class that day, even the teachers were talking about the game.

The tournament organisers had arranged for both Semi-Finals to take place on the same day, one in the afternoon, another in the evening.

The first Semi-Final was a non-event as far as the English media were concerned, a mere warm-up to the main event.

To be fair, the game between France and Czech Republic hardly inspired the BBC pundits, sat in Wembley three hours before kick-off.

To the BBC’s annoyance, the game at Old Trafford went to extra-time, then penalties, then sudden death penalties, which the Czechs eventually won.

From there, it was a case of well done Czech Republic, almost dismissively, as their prize was to be runners-up to England in the Euro 96 Final.

The Germans couldn’t win, could they?

In truth, it would be very ungerman if they didn’t win. They always seem to have a knack of beating host nations and media darling teams.

It’s why I have a sneaky admiration for the German football team. Supporting Man United and Linfield, you get used to supporting “The bad guys”, the team everybody loves to see lose, which would perhaps explain my admiration for Germany.

The match kicked-off with clear skies over London. As the teams walked out in daylight, they knew that by the time the match would finish and that the sun would set, and the sky turn dark. For one of them, the sun would set on Euro 96.

I watched the game with friends, with excitement, not really caring who won, but just wanting it to be a memorable occasion.

England started on the front foot, and scored within three minutes. Alan Shearer, who else.

With 80,000 roaring them on at Wembley, and millions more in front of their TV, most teams would have crumbled under the wave of England pressure. Not Germany.

It was quite ironic that the scorer of the German equaliser be Steffan Kuntz (pronounced Koontz) whose name had made him the butt of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s jokes, should score the equaliser against the team riding on a crest of a wave soundtracked by Baddiel and Skinner.

At 90 minutes, it was 1-1, cue anything between 1 and 30 minutes of extra-time. Euro 96 was the first tournament to have the ‘Golden Goal’ rule in extra-time. It was basically goal the winner. A rule, from the school playground, was now being used to decide a European Championship Semi-final.

The two Quarter-Finals that used this were dour encounters, with both teams settling for a penalty shoot-out when the final whistle blew at 90 minutes, and shut up shop for half an hour, to make sure they got to penalties, and to conserve their energy for the shoot-out.

This one was different, as both teams went for it, to try and end it there and then. Both teams tried, but were just unable to.

As Gascoigne was unable to reach out enough to divert a cross-shot into the net, it was hard not to think about how all those England fans who’d mocked Carlton Palmer were thinking, as if it was his long legs reaching out for that cross, history would have been rewritten.

As the game went to penalties, there was an inevitability about the outcome.

Despite England scoring all of their penalties, the Germans did likewise. To expect the Germans to even miss just one penalty appeared to be asking too much. When England missed, the Germans were never going to let them out of jail.

We sat in front of the TV, just drained by the 120 minutes of football we had just witnessed. It was games like that which was he we had kickabouts in the street (and sometimes climbing into a local school), dreaming that we migth play in (and win) a match of that magnitude. None of us ever did.

In school the next day, was the same as the previous day, as the football dominated the conversation. The day before it was excitement of the match ahead, today, it was analysis and reaction of the match just passed.

At the end of that week, another school year was done and dusted, and a long summer awaited.

Was 1996 the summer that football came home?

Maybe not, it was just a line in a song which caught the mood of a period in time. But, my word, what a period in time.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF ADVERTISING

You probably already know as i’ve done a very poor job of denying it, that I am a geek.

One of my geeky activities is that I love watching old videos on Youtube. Total random bollocks, but an insight into a bygone age of television.

So, I just thought i’d share with you, some of my favourite adverts from days of yore currently on Youtube.

We begin, with a Public Service Announcement based on one of my favourite TV shows of all-time as Batgirl complains to Batman about her rights in the workplace while rescuing the Dynamic Duo from a ticking bomb.

Typical woman, eh?

Always picking to most inappropriate moment to jabber on.

You can see the moment when Batman is inwardly saying to himself for her to shut the fuck up and and just deactivate the bomb.

Anyway, she’s a vigilante crimefighter, she doesn’t do it for money, so she should stop complaining. Gotta love Robin’s “Holies”, with “Breaking and entering”, “Act of congress” and “discountent” to add to his various observations during the TV show.

You may have noticed a lack of Adam West in the video, as he was too busy serving the people of Quohog.

Meanwhile, Invest NI forerunner IDB decided it would be a good idea to launch a marketing campaign urging people to work harder, which must be a bit of a bummer when relaxing at home watching TV, only to see an advert telling you to work harder.

Getting in on the public service advertising act, the RUC brought out an advertising campaign asking people to snitch on criminals.

I remember when this ad came out, and it scared the shite clean out of me.

Everytime, I hear ‘Cats In The Cradle’, either by Harry Chapin, Ugly Kid Joe or Jason Downs, all I can think of is this ad, which I suppose shows how successful it was.

Meanwhile, footballers have always been a favourite for ad men to front campaigns as Jimmy Hill demonstrates when educating the nation on road safety.

So cyclists and motorbikers had better be careful on the road, or else their untimely demise will be analysed by Jimmy Hill, as if he’s discussing wether Aston Villa’s second goal was offside on Match of the Day.

Other examples of footballers chasing the ad men’s cash include Brian Clough advertising Shredded Wheat and Saint and Greavsie advertising KFC. That’s Kentucky Fried Chicken, not Kilmarnock Football Club.

Footballers are such money grabbing whores, that they are prepared to appear in adverts before they become a footballer.

One day Jimmy, all those keepy-ups will help you become captain of West Ham United.

As a side note, isn’t “There’s nothing quite like a McDonalds” better than “Ba da ba ba ba, i’m loving it”?

Talking of celebrities appearing in adverts before they were famous, bet Billie Piper wishes she could get the lend of a Sonic Screwdriver and remove this from the nation’s consciousness

And yes, I bought that edition and love the ‘Ultimate Spice Girls Kit’

Talking of the Spice Girls, Remember their Channel Five launch?

I could just imagine the scenes in the recording studio as they try to brainstorm inspiration to write a song about a fifth terrestrial television channel.

It’s just a pity that they didn’t wait a year until 5ive were a big act in the charts. They would have been a more appropriate act to launch the channel.

Anyone who has ever seen the Mitchell and Webb parody of Sky’s football coverage will love this simpler ‘less is more’ advert for the 1986 World Cup. Certainly not as epic as their trailer for the 2008 Olympics

In 1989, Gerry Kelly voiced an advert for a UTV version of the apprentice offering young entrepreneurs a chance in starting up in business.

It’s a different world these days. If a young entrepreneur wants help setting up a business, they just shag the wife of their local MP.

Meanwhile, someone at Austin Rover though it would be a good idea to have an advertising campaign fronted by Noel Edmonds and Derek Trotter.

I don’t know why Austin Rover would want their product associated with a shifty looking, dodgy, untrustworthy wideboy …………… such as Noel Edmonds.

So, i’ll finish with this trailer for ‘Life On Mars’, where the past meets the present in a piece of TV genius