I idolised the dutch football team of the early 1970s.
Johan Cruyff who recently died aged 68 was the stand out star of that amazing bunch of players. But he wasn't the only superstar name in that famous 1974 team: Johnny Rep, Johan Neeskens, Rob Rensenbrink and Ruud Krol were also Holland players from that era that I worshiped.
The idea of total football appealed hugely to my romantic side and there was no better exponent that Johan Cruyff.
When his death was announced I was a tad shocked to discover that he was only ten years older than me. In 1974, following the World Cup and the Holland team's progress to the final, I was an impressionable teenager.
A ten year gap then was huge, it doesn't seem any time at all now.
The last word goes to Johan Cruyff:
“We showed the world you could enjoy being a footballer; you could laugh and have a fantastic time. I represent the era which proved that attractive football was enjoyable and successful, and good fun to play too.”
Love and rest in peace - WNP