5 Reasons for a Football Mum to be excited about the World Cup
How did the World Cup creep up so quickly?! It is very nearly upon us, or maybe happening by the time you read this! I do love the world cup. My boys are 10, 8 and 5 and the two older boys ADORE their football. We spend around 40 hours per week at training, games or travelling to games. Dylan plays for Cambridge United U11 Academy and Stevenage U11 District Team. Josh plays for Cambridge United U9 Shadow Academy and Letchworth Eagles grassroots. Poor Jack, my 5-year-old, logistically we can’t manage three children in three different places, so he just comes with us and watches (or plays on his tablet)
So, football, the joys of a World Cup. Why do I love it so much?
1) The Memories
I have amazing memories of watching World Cups over the years. 1990 was the first big one I engaged with, Lineker, Gazza and David Platt. The passion of those games holds wonderful memories. And the team did well, they even got to the semi-finals. I was thirteen so wasn’t quite at the drinking stage, but we would watch it as a family. My dad crying, whilst watching, reading the newspaper and listening to the radio at the same time.
1994 was in USA and England failed to qualify, whoops. The Graham Taylor years, he didn’t do too well. And he upset Lineker, one of my favourite players and now presenters😉I must do a quick mention of the Euros in 1996. I was at university during this tournament and I remember very clearly watching all the game in the Bishops bar at Brunel. Beer and cider was £1 a pint until the first goal was scored! Shearer was the star of this tournament and they made it though to the semi-final.
1998 saw the start of the Beckham years, oh how I adore Beckham. And still do, what a talent, what a beautiful man (and let’s ignore any infidelity claims). Erikkson took over for a big chunk of the 2000s and took England to Korea and reached the last 8. Beckham again triumphed, along with Rio Ferdinand (another player whom I adore, particularly his work where he has shared his innermost thoughts and feelings on the death of his wife).
From then on England lost their way a bit. I have just read through the history on Wikipedia, but I started to get bored so I’m not going to write about it. BUT for the 2018 World Cup GO England. Have passion, play like the wind.
2) The Stickers
My boys have collected the stickers since 2012, Dylan was 5 at that point so was just about able to stick stickers in the book. I always used to collect stickers when I was a child, and the boys wanted to do it as well. This year the Panini stickers have moved on, in expense and volume!
I did a little bit of Mrs Mummypenny work for Panini a couple of months back and they very kindly sent over a sticker book and 50 packets of stickers. The boys then spent around 5 hours sorting into numerical order and sticking into the book. There are maybe 800 stickers to collect and the packets of stickers are 80p for 5. You can see how the costs mount up especially with doubles and triples.
Ok hands up who has children who will be doing the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ sticker album from @PaniniUKOfficial? My boys have done them for years – collecting the Euro and World Cup stickers. We’ve kindly been given a head start with an album and a few packets of stickers from Panini and have made a good start! I’d like to think it’s educational, learning about the different countries and names of the football players. Plus #swapsies with the other children is good fun and a great lesson in negotiating! #GotGotNeed #FIFAWorldCup #PaniniStickers #ad
However, I have a money saving strategy. Swops. There are a few ways to use your swops cleverly to get the stickers you need. Obviously firstly, you swop with your friends. And mums, yes, we all did this last Euros and World Cup, we list on Facebook the numbers we need and do swopsies with each other via Facebook. Yep, we do, and we love it.
John Lewis offers swopsies for free. Just pop along to the toy department and get stickers you need in exchange for your swops. You can also do swopsies on eBay. And finally, when you get to that magic point of needing just 50 or less stickers, you can order them from Panini.
3) The Music
My FAVOURITE tracks over the years are World in Motion by New Order, 100% the best football song ever. Of course, Three Lions, by Lightning Seed, Badiel and Skinner, was a classic, although that was for the Euros. Um, I am struggling to think of any others? I liked World in Motion so much I even paid for a downloaded version to play at our wedding.
Yes, there is a huge educational benefit to the World Cup. The boys and I learn about all the countries taking part. We learn the names of the players (I cherry pick the good-looking ones, Giroud anyone?). Jack tells what numbers they have on their back. We trawl through the sticker album and find the players with the longest names, the wildest hair or the best shiny sticker.
5) The Passion of Supporting Your Country
We do love an England game, cheering on our team. Believing that they can conquer the world and live the dream winning the World Cup. I 100% think that if you believe something strongly enough it will happen. Just imagine what could happen it EVERY person in the country and all the newspapers and TV channels all believed we could win. We would. 100%. Enough of attacking players for a decision about a tattoo or not singing the anthem or wearing the wrong hairstyle or promoting the wrong product.
Let them play (like the wind) and win this World Cup. 2018 goes down in history.