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England 1966 with Geoff Hurst & Bobby Moore and Qatar 2022 football World Cup; 1968 Olympics, David Hemery and more sports memories from King's Lynn columnist Bar Man





Jeff Hoyle's Bar Man column

The football World Cup is almost upon us. Are you excited yet? I’m not, at least compared to some of the events in the past.

My first memory of a global sports event was the 1966 version. I was so riveted that I think I went out to play with a kid from up the street during extra time and was more concerned about picking up an overprinted ‘England Winners’ special stamp released by the post office the following week than who won.

World Cup Final, 1966, Wembley, England, 30th July, 1966 England 4 v West Germany 2, Englands captain Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy as he sits on the shoulders of his teammates, from left to right: Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks (behind), Alan Ball, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton, after the match. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images).
World Cup Final, 1966, Wembley, England, 30th July, 1966 England 4 v West Germany 2, Englands captain Bobby Moore holds aloft the Jules Rimet World Cup trophy as he sits on the shoulders of his teammates, from left to right: Jack Charlton, Nobby Stiles, Gordon Banks (behind), Alan Ball, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore, Ray Wilson, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton, after the match. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images).

After that came the 1968 Olympics. David Hemery ‘who cares who’s third?’, Bob Beamon’s endless leap and black power salutes on the podium. There are images imprinted in my mind from subsequent global events. Uwe Seeler’s goal against England, Tony Schumacher breaking Patrick Battiston’s ribs and leaving him in a coma while committing a foul that the referee surprisingly missed. Clive Sullivan’s length of the field try against Australia in the ‘72 Rugby League World Cup.

I was there in 1983 as Steve Cram won gold in the first Athletics World Championship, but more recently the great moments seem to be fewer.

Is that because there is far more sport to watch? In the last few months, we have had World Cups in Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League, Women’s Rugby Union, and T20 cricket.

David Hemery.
David Hemery.

There have been the European and World Athletic championships, Women’s European football and more besides. I guess this cornucopia of sport is good for some pubs and will give them a return for the large fees that they pay for their sports channels, but there are dark clouds on the horizon.

There are threats of strikes causing beer shortages, and who can blame the draymen or brewery workers? Gone are the times when a job paid enough to house, feed and clothe a family, and ‘taking back control’ seems to have been less successful that some hoped.

Still, we need a strategy in case the strikes happen.

1966: File photo dated July 1966 of England captain Bobby Moore, being carried by other team members as he holds aloft the World Cup Trophy after beating West Germany in the final 4-2 at Wembley in London. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
1966: File photo dated July 1966 of England captain Bobby Moore, being carried by other team members as he holds aloft the World Cup Trophy after beating West Germany in the final 4-2 at Wembley in London. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.

My intuition suggests that small breweries such as Moon Gazer or Barsham will make sure the supplies get through. Perhaps it is time to develop a taste for Jigfoot or Pintail in advance. Carbon dioxide shortages have also made the news. It seems ironic in the days when excess carbon dioxide is responsible for global climate change that a shortage caused by the halting of production of ammonia due to high energy costs at the CF Fertilisers plant on Teesside where carbon dioxide is a by-product threatens beer supplies.

There is an easy solution here. Cask conditioned bitter is usually delivered to the bar by handpump meaning we will be able to sup away while keg beer and lager drinkers look on enviously.

The lights going out could be overcome by oil lamps or candles, though I must admit that we have little time left to invent gas powered TVs.

Jeff Hoyle
Jeff Hoyle

Let’s hope the mobile phone batteries hold out. I have been in pubs in power cuts in the past and I remember arriving in one in Aberford, near York after a nightmare journey in a storm which knocked out the power.

We were booked in for the night and gasping for a beer after a five-hour journey from Lynn: "Sorry, the power is out, the pumps aren’t working." "That’s OK, we want hand pumped beer." "I can’t take your money, the till’s electric." "Put it on the room bill."

Your checklist. Get a taste for cask beer. Dig out the candles or headtorch. Charge the phone battery. Book a room. Hope for a memorable moment that doesn’t involve losing on penalties. Come on Eng-er-land!



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