World Cup Special

This letter appeared in our parish newsletter in July 2018


Dear Neighbours,

The first World Cup match I watched was England versus West Germany in Mexico in 1970.  The Mexican crowd supported the Germans who were considered the underdogs and they eventually won, rather undeservedly, 3-2. As a young boy with an English father and a German mother I was not especially committed to one team over the other but I was enthralled by the drama of an exciting match even though the quality of our black and white picture was very poor.

Since then I have found myself more emotionally drawn to the England football team rather than Germany, possibly, because like the Mexicans in 1970, I too have sympathy for the underdog.

Actually, some of most memorable World Cup moments feature underdogs.  Roger Milla was 38 years old and playing his club football on a small island in the Indian Ocean when he came to the World Cup in 1990, scored four goals as Cameroon became the first African nation to reach the quarter finals and redefined goal celebrations while he was at it.  It is an unforgettable story.

Jesus said the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  He built on a tradition in the Jewish Scriptures of stories of God supporting the underdog.  Just you wait and see; at some point in this year’s tournament, a commentator will reference David and Goliath.  In the same vein, Jesus reached out to the underdog, those on the fringes.  In this way he made it clear that nobody is excluded from God’s love.  We are all potential champions in his eyes.

So enjoy the World Cup.  Enjoy the drama.  Enjoy supporting your team.  Enjoy backing the underdog.  And don’t underestimate Panama.



Page last updated: 12th Jul 2018 12:15 PM