Monday, December 5, 2011

He was standing in the doorway lookin' like the Jack of Hearts (Bob Dylan)

Flashes from the archives (of oblivion):
  • Socrates.
  • 1982 World Cup.
  • Brazil.
  • Zico, Falcao, Oscar, Junior...Socrates.
The 1982 Brazilian World Cup team is indelibly etched into my memory banks.

I was on my second teaching section at Havelock North High School and staying with a football mad Scottish family in Hastings opposite the Freezing works. It was the winter term - really cold. I'd just got contact lenses (ah vanity - thy name is Wozza) and it was agony trying to put them in with numb hands and twelve layers of clothes on.

But the FIFA World Cup was on in Spain.

The New Zealand team (known as The All Whites) had miraculously made it through to the finals for the first time. We were in a Group 6 with Scotland, The Soviet Union and...Brazil.

We all knew we would lose all three games - our world cup had been in making the finals, but we still all watched as our team battled manfully against the superpowers of world football.

In all likelihood, a Brazilian team of three - Socrates, Falcao and Zico - would have beaten us on their own.

They were football gods. They remain football gods, Immortals.

Socrates - the Jack of Hearts!

He passed away this week aged 57, in hospital, from complications.

Remember him this way.

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