Group Matches Change

Group Matches Nick Lees

When West Germany took The Holte End

I was obviously hoping for an England win in '66, but my second team was Spain, partly because I liked their strip but mostly because I'd been to Penns Hall to catch them training and grab their autographs, and they'd been really friendly - I was particularly in awe of Inter Milan's Luis Suarez who'd been the World's most expensive footballer a few years before.

So when I took my 14-year old self to Villa Park in July to watch them play West Germany as part of a 51,000 crowd, imagine my chagrin when I discovered I was on The Holte completely surrounded by Germans!

I was obviously used to being in there on my own, but surrounded by Villa fans supporting my team. Now my schoolboy German was being tested by thousands of flag-waving, airhorn-blowing, HERAUS!-bellowing supporters of the other team. All very strange. Fortunately they were extremely friendly and happy to help me to a position where I could see the action.

Sadly Suarez was injured and didn't play, and although Spain took the lead (much to the annoyance of my boisterous new Holtender chums) they were very much second best to West Germany with wingers Held and Emmerich, captain Seeler and particularly a 20-year old Franz Beckenbauer running them ragged, and they eventually ran out winners 2-1 despite of Spain's goalie Iribar having a great game.

Nick Lees

Memory added on February 24, 2016

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