Story by Sarah Mobbs

We are back! So first of all, a very warm welcome to readers old and new! I’m going to be kicking of my return to XI, with something somewhat unusual – if you’re a returning reader you’ll know what to expect, if you’re new, well, I hope you enjoy. I’m trying to dig deep here, for something to give us real hope that, with the 2014 World Cup upon us, our boys in white may once again shine, and finally be able to add that second star to their kits!

We all know 1966 was a miracle year. The year of England’s first, and to date, only, World Cup win. Every four years since then, fans true, and those only really interested in big tournaments such as this, have hoped and dreamed of a repeat, for England to finally recreate their World Cup glory. But never have we had such luck. Sadly, in recent years we seem to have resigned ourselves to early stage knock-outs and heart wrenching disappointment (unless of course, you’ve put your money on someone else anyway). But, could 2014 finally, after an agonising wait of 48 years, be it?

“Yeah right!” I hear you all cry. “As if!” “In those conditions, no way, it’s just got to be a South American team to win it! A team more acclimatised to the heat! Maybe even a home win for Brazil!” But wait.

There was more to 1966 than the England World Cup win that could help us regain a little faith, really get behind Roy’s Boys, and show them the support they are going to need if they have any hopes whatsoever of progressing this year.

1966 and 2014 actually have had a couple of similarities when it comes to football (I’ll get to the silly stuff later). This year, we’ve already seen the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull. It was pretty special. A shame for Hull, but, being a Gunner, I can’t feel too sorry for them! (I am also possibly a little biased with my use of the word “special”.) Arsenal came back from a point where, if Hull had continued as they started, you would have already expected the game to be over. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on who you were supporting, this was not to be, and Arsenal came back from 2-0 down to win the FA Cup. But did you know that the last time the FA Cup was won from 2-0 down was in 1966?

This year, we also saw Real Madrid win the UEFA Champions League. Of course, it is probably not so much of a surprise to know that they also won, what was then the European Cup, back in 1966. As ten time champions and three time runners up, they are the most successful team in the Champions League. It’s slightly encouraging though, is it not, to think that these few things could be the fateful indicators that 2014 could be our year to shine once more?

Football occurrences aside, 1966 saw Austria win the Eurovision song contest, and no-one (unless they live under a very large rock at the bottom of a very deep pond) could have missed this year’s winner, who, surprise surprise was Austrian. Also, looking to the Chinese Zodiac, we see that 1966 and 2014 were / are the Year of the Horse. Not that this means a great deal to me, or many of our readers! But it does show another similarity between the two years.

Finally, although this may be verging on the edge of silly (the phrase “clutching at straws” springs to mind) we cannot forget that our beloved Queen Elizabeth II was ruling in 1966 and is still going strong today, meaning that our National Anthem will again be sung “God Save the Queen.”

We have much to hope for, and it would seem that we also, perhaps, have fate on our side. Keep hoping, there’s still time for all of our dreams to come true. And if you see a shooting star, add a little bit more luck, make a wish. You never know, it may just end up on those white shirts before next year!!


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