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Group Matches Malcolm Hall

I was aged 6 at the time of the World Cup in 1966 and was too young to remember a great deal of detail from the competition. It did, however see the start my interest in football and from 1966 onwards, my memories of major matches, competitions and cup finals is pretty vivid. I still remember the England players jigging around the pitch at the end of the Final and finding it difficult to understand that the players also had clubs that they played for other than the National side.

My most vivid memory of the tournament however, was from the First Round matches. My Father was a keen football fan and a member of the Lancaster Salvation Army band. A group of bandsmen had managed to get a quota of match tickets to see the Group Match between Portugal and Hungary at Old Trafford. It seemed really exciting to me as a 6 year old, having not at that time seen any professional match. However the match was on a Wednesday night, which was Band Practice night. There was a split between those who thought it was their duty to attend the practice and those who saw the match as a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a World Cup Match. There were bitter discussions but suffice to say that my Dad went to the match and told me all about Eusebio and the brilliant Portuguese team. The rift in the Band quickly healed, my fanaticism was ignited and my Dad never again went to a match without me in tow. He remained a Salvationist and Bandmaster for the rest of his life but his staunch faith was almost matched by his interest in sport.

Memory added on May 22, 2016

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