Watching Brazil beat Italy 4-2 tonight brought back some very happy memories for me. I was just 17 and it was the summer holidays. I’d been working for weeks at the bakery and had a little bit of money saved and John McCann, who was my best mate then, and I went for a lads few days away to Troutbeck up in the Lake District. Not only did John have a tent but he also possessed the coolest Mini in the area. He was also pretty good at footie and too good looking for his own good as my nan described him. Whatever nan thought, it still meant that meeting girls was a lot easier with John as wing man.
That was the aim of the trip even though on reflection it does sound like an episode of the Inbetweeners. And, to be fair, given that John had the looks, the car and the canvas I’m pretty sure he would have considered himself lead fighter pilot on this particular mission. The thing was it was the time of the World Cup In Mexico and we had headed away the day of the Final itself. We arrived at the campsite late afternoon, got the tent erected and had already spotted a number of tents filled with clusters of attractive girls. This had the makings of a trip to remember.
It was as it turned out. But the thing was we went to the bar early to get in the mood when what should come on the tv but the final match between Brazil and Italy. The prospect of a great footie match or girls; talk about the horns of a dilemma. We had a couple more beers and decided to watch just the first half perhaps. But it turned out to be not a very good match; it actually was the greatest 90 minutes of football I’d ever seen played. It had everything and two players stood out; Pele, of course, who scored one and made two others the last of which, scored by Carlos Alberto, still remains my favourite goal ever. The other guy was Gerson a chunky balding guy who sort of looked like Rod Steiger but with the sweetest left foot I’ve ever known. He just ran the midfield and Italy were chock full of great midfielders. If you’ve never seen the match check out this video of the game’s highlights:
It still takes my breath away. I remember being pretty ’emotional’ by the time the match ended and I don’t remember Goose McCann and I being too successful at our own attempts at singing You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling to the ladeez later that night. But it didn’t matter we were still purring over having witnessed 90 minutes of the beautiful game as it should be played. There’d be time for beautiful girls…..but that’s another story.
However as a conclusion to this posting I’ve just remembered who it is that reminds me of Gerson. It’s been bugging me for ages and now I recall – it’s the guy in the Southern Comfort ad who walks along the beach in his speedos holding in his slightly chunky tummy as he approaches a group of young attractive people. Just watch him dip his shoulder as he passes the pretty girl – priceless. If you can think of an ad that’s better than this at capturing the essence of lost youth but still feeling good about yourself, then you’d better tell me. Enjoy….