Musical memories, Bergkamp and Clough: World Cup Classic YouTube

1) Let’s start with some TV gold. The greatest ever World Cup TV theme tune, hands down, is Silsoe’s Aztec Gold, used for Mexico ‘86 by ITV. Sorry, BBC. Decent effort that year but your entry holds nowhere near the nostalgic melancholy of its competitor. More Mexico memories: Ian St John is caught on candid camera as Scotland exit after a 0-0 draw with Uruguay; Terry Venables in a clear case of tapping up as he and Gary Lineker review the final with Lawrie McMenemy looking on for BBC; Brian Clough channels Frank Sinatra.

2) From the previous Mexico World Cup, in 1970, a presenter duo of Jimmy Hill and Brian Moore attempt to control a studio dream team of Brian Clough, Big Malcolm Allison, Derek “The Doug” Dougan and Paddy Crerand. Four years later, with Hill having gone to the BBC, Moore presides over a panel of Clough, Allison, Crerand and Bobby Moncur. It also features an uncomfortable set-piece between Sir Alf Ramsey and Helmut Schön. By 1978, the ITV team has been pared down to Moore and the twinned perms of Andy Gray and Kevin Keegan. Pushing on 12 years, the BBC’s review of Italia 90 is an hour-long joy.

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3) You want some golden moments? Greatest ever World Cup TV commentary? “Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp!” and Jack van Gelder. Having said, that this Colombian chap has a decent stab after James Rodríguez’s volley against Uruguay in 2014. Mario Götze’s winning goal with German commentary from 2014’s final is another exercise in losing it. Andrés Iniesta’s winner in 2010 is celebrated in the Soccer City press box here. And how about Diego Maradona and team-mates in the dressing room after winning in 1986?

4) Forget “World in Motion”, football songs are not supposed to be good, even allowing for Hey Duggee’s World Cup Kick Song getting the party started for Russia. As it stands, Del Amitri’s Don’t Come Home Too Soon, from 1998, is the last ever Scotland World Cup song. The same year, the Spice Girls, Echo & the Bunnymen, Space and Ocean Colour Scene teamed up for England’s effort, On Top of the World, performed here on a peak-banter TFI Friday.

5) The tournament’s official tune for France ‘98 was Ricky Martin’s The Cup of Life, featuring some excellent crowd coordination, although the view of the acclaimed music critic Martin O’Neill is as yet unpublished. Who wouldn’t want to listen to commercial house behemoth Paul Oakenfold’s remix of Yorkshire Britpop triers Embrace’s official England 2006 song, World At Your Feet? From the same year, how about one Sheffield crooner’s Is This the Way to the World Cup?, which reheats Amarillo to suggest we “go down the local, have a laugh and get all vocal”.

6) Setting off further afield and four years on, how about Dr Alban, he of It’s My Life fame and his collaboration with producer Sash! with Hello South Africa. And to close out our musical interlude, we have to call on Diana “Call Me Miss” Ross and her USA ‘94 opening ceremony performance and that penalty, as introduced by Oprah Winfrey.

Our favourites from last week’s blog

1) Twenty-five players destroyed by the original Ronaldo.

2) The bunt home run.

3) A huge, gravity-defying AFL interception.

4) Art of the first touch: Zidane vs Bergkamp.

Spotter’s badges: BostonLager, grenouilleflambee, GrahamClayton

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