#MyfirstWorldCup – your memories of past tournaments
The excitement is building: fridges and cupboards are being stocked up, pubs are being decorated with flags and bunting, while half the nation is no doubt trying to negotiate an early release on Monday afternoon ahead of England’s opening match against Tunisia.
Oh, and Three Lions, World in Motion and Nessun Dorma are about to be dragged out of their two-year exile from the nation’s radio waves.
It’s the summer of the major tournament. Or, more excitingly, a World Cup summer!
To get us all in the mood for this year’s tournament in Russia, which starts on Thursday, BBC Sport asked you to recall your earliest World Cup memories using #myfirstworldcup on social media.
Cue a wonderful trip down memory lane, involving classroom viewings, classic memorabilia and various England defeats…
Many of you remember the television being wheeled into your school classrooms during the hazy summer of 1998, when the World Cup was held in France:
Adam Page: Watching England v Tunisia at our school assembly, TV kept zoning out, requiring a few smacks on the side of the box and a teacher describing what was probably happening while the screen was black. Luckily we got it working in time for Alan Shearer’s goal!
Tom Millen: Our headteacher set up a telly in the school hall so we could watch England v Tunisia. Scholes scored a wonder goal, and I had no bills or responsibilities to worry about. My main focus was completing my sticker book. Tricky because I had about 15 Darren Andertons.
David Newell: England v Tunisia, France 1998. I was 10. Watched in the junior school hall at Silcoates School. We were allowed to sit on the tables.
Sitting on the tables?! The 90s were indeed lawless times. No doubt 2018 health and safety regulations in schools deprives today’s youth of that extravagance.
For some of you, it was a particular item of memorabilia that prompted your warm fuzzy memories.
What this discussion has demonstrated, is no matter the generation, everyone has an early World Cup memory, all of which give us a beautifully nostalgic snapshot of the era in which they took place.
Alan: England 1-2 Hungary in Chile 1962. Had to wait until next day to get the result! I kept all the results on a Daily Express wallchart. We limped through group stages and lost to Brazil in the quarter-finals, Not much change there, then.
Jeff Holme: In 1970 I remember switching on our new 17-inch colour TV, which was still a novelty from black and white. There was a match on, and I don’t know if it was live or highlights but the Brazilian names have stayed with me into my 50s; Gerson, Rivelino, Tostao, Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto and, of course, Pele. For the final we were on holiday in Tenby, Wales in a remote farmhouse and the landlady let us watch the final on her black and white TV, but that didn’t stop the Brazilians from being for me the best team ever. When a World Cup comes along it’s a little bit like Christmas coming when you’re a kid!
Netza Jack: Espana ’82 – The World Cup that featured my favourite player of all time – Socrates – and the greatest team to never win a World Cup – Brazil 1982. The best memory from that World Cup was my dad throwing a shoe at the TV when Brazil lost to Italy. We had no TV for two weeks.
Cam Chapman: 2002 – Got to watch England games either at home before school or in the school hall. Will forever remember Ronaldinho’s free kick sailing over David Seaman. I was heartbroken, but what a player he was.
For some, the more recent World Cups provided some great memories…
And some not-so-great memories:
Theo Hunt: My first World Cup was watching England v USA in 2010. I missed Steven Gerrard’s goal, then happened to be paying attention for *that* Robert Green moment.
Liam: My first World Cup was when I was seven years old and my dad took me to the pub to watch England v USA in 2010. I can remember the horror of Rob Green’s mistake and everyone’s reaction.
For many youngsters, Russia 2018 will be their first World Cup.
Their memories may be more about Jesse Lingard’s Instagram posts than watching on black and white TVs, but let’s hope the new generation of football fans are at least treated to some similar memorable moments.