Anyone else finding that?
Well, I have a story for you, but it’s not going to be the usual patter promoting a new book … but it is a real story … and if you read until the end there is something for everybody to be part of if they so wish.
We need to go back a long way here to understand the true beginnings of this story. It all began when a few official representatives got together in a pub one evening in October 1863; all the discussions that had gone before finally culminated in the official putting together of something that many of us now call beautiful … while others don’t see it that way. there are so many other things that have got in the way.
One day 63 years later, police on horses were called to clear the way for the huge sporting event to take place at what has now become its home in this country. That was in 1926. It was quite incredible what had grown from those small acorns many years earlier.
It would be another 40 years before that place could really claim fame, that happened on July 30th 1966, and that is where the first chapter of my story ends.
The second chapter begins 4 years later, and I tell you now, for those who are with me so far, this is really nothing to do with the beautiful game. Football is just the backdrop to and English culture, whether you feel it or not. It’s always there in the background.
I feel it … I am passionate about the sport. I feel it too when our Rugby team plays. Rugby is part of football; they split over a century and a half ago … did you know?
One day at Rugby school a chap called William Webb Ellis decided to pick the ball up in a game of football and run with it. Although at the time he was rebuked for doing so, his actions gained respect. He had made a point and the point was well taken. Rugby was born. English sport has been born out of individuals taking risks and being allowed and able to express themselves.
I said that the second chapter of my story began in 1970. Every story has a beginning, then usually there is thrown a problem for the protagonist to solve.
In the late 1960s as a small boy who became very gripped by the game of football. I collected the stickers, and actually it was probably the first time I ever slipped into a childhood trait of being completely dishonest. I would do anything to get my hands on that extra packet of footy stickers. I remember one day my Dad noticing I seemed to have loads of them and asking where I had got the money from. I said friends bought them for me. In the end I got away with it. But, one night in June 1970 it all went wrong when England, the current world champions at the time lost to Germany in the quarter finals of the world cup, and from that moment on, things have never been quite the same.
I see football as a back drop to our social lives whether you are a fan of the game or not, it plays a part in the life of every British person because someone you know will be passionate about it even if you are not.
So the second chapter is a long trawl through the 1970s, my teenage years. I loved the game and followed it intently. For me, it began to blossom when the team I supported started to flurry and actually, over a couple of years came close to winning the First Division title! Sadly though, this chapter ends without me getting the prize hoped for, and without the England team even getting to play at a World Cup Finals tournament! Every cloud has a silver lining though and that team from my East Anglian roots did manage to win the FA cup.
Chapter 3 of this story is really quite long. I would probably break it down into about 3 chapters if I was writing a book but things never seem coherent when the middle of a book seems too prolonged. This is a long trawl that goes on and on with no real change. I will edit out all the boring bits by just stating that for the best part of four decades, the way our national football team played was rarely exciting, and certainly never breathtaking. It wasn’t even particularly risky either. It became a reflection of so many other things about society at the time:
Then came what I would call chapter 4. In 1996 we came so close to going all the way, reaching the semi-final and going out on penalties again … to the Germans!. Since then it has been a story of never quite having all the pieces if the jigsaw when you need them. There always seems to be a reason why … people have the answers, they’ve seen it all before, they say we’re going to throw it away, but I know we can play … we still believe.
The big question is why? Or, indeed, why not?
Anything is possible.
Chapter 5 is really what has happened in the last 3 years, in the world and in our beautiful game. 3 years ago The England team made a semifinal, the first in two decades.
We have learned living through the current pandemic that life has changed us all. Things are never going to be quite the same. There are so many positives, and one of them is a freshness of attitude towards how we approach things. Some people have achieved some incredible things, others have just sat, waited and tried to get through. Some have sailed through the last few months while others have experienced much sadness, lost loved ones or at least found time to be very tough. Myself, I have been quite lucky and I haven’t done too badly; I picked on something I was already doing then threw my heart and soul into it to nurture and grow it. I suppose really, it isn’t all luck. If you believe, if you are passionate, then good things will come to you, or at least happen around you and you will feel good about life.
This new approach, the freshness I speak of is happening in our national game right now.
We are enter the final chapter of my story. This will at least be a conclusion to all that has gone before. The last couple of weeks has shown us what a bit of belief can do … then one night in Rome, we were strong, we had grown, and now, since Wednesday evening we can look forward to the final, which will end of our story for now at least.
Stories don’t always have the ending you want, but I think this one is going to have a positive outcome whatever the result of what is the biggest football match to involve this country for over half a century.
We are all part of something huge here … if we want to be … win or lose!
It is an incredibly uplifting achievement that England have got to a major Final and that Wembley is once again going to see huge drama. We can win, of course we can, but we should still be celebrating the moment even if we don’t take the trophy home. Football has come home … nearly … and if it doesn’t happen completely this time … we’ll be back with real belief, because everything about the characters in the final chapter of this story have shown us so.
So, why am I bothering to tell you all this?
Well, I wanted to put things in perspective so that people realise what a big deal this is for English sport and for all involved, so teaming up with another family member we have decided to do something special to celebrate this huge event … win or lose … it still needs celebrating.
So what we have done is made available something quite unique and special. We are in the process of adding the finishing touches to a pair of original art posters that we have been working on to celebrate England’s achievements this summer.
There will be other people doing this but we aim to be the first to release these high quality limited edition prints.
There will be a run of 100 of each, and the allocated number will be marked on the print. The artwork for these posters has been done through our two collaborative businesses:
Back in The Day and Goymour Illustrations.
We are not giving these away they are of real value and will be of exceptional quality printed on our top of the range professional fine art printer. The price will start at a discount for the early takers … then we will need to raise it to full price.
Producing something of this quality is an expensive process but the product is unique and will last forever. The inks used to print are of the highest quality - guaranteed not to fade for hundreds of years!
This is a once only chance to get yourself something truly unique and special to remember the event by. It will be a talking point for years to come …
So how can you become an owner of one of these?
Well, you just need to go and place your order.
You will then receive a personal message from one of us within an hour or two confirming that you have secured your print. Your print will be posted out with 48 hours of the final whistle on Sunday and we will keep you informed all the way.
Of course, the finished artwork will reflect the result, but win or lose, we think England’s achievements thus far are worth celebrating.
And , to make it even sweeter we arc adding some free gifts …
When you place your order we will respond by sending you some free digital files form both Goymour illustrations and Back in the Day.
There are two unique styles of poster using our original artwork. Each one will only be sold 100 times.
this is a one-off opportunity to secure something unique at a low cost.
From Monday the price will gradually increase.
You can get these prints right now …or you can wait … or you can miss out.
The beauty of choice.
Whatever you decide, enjoy the moment, even if you’re not a huge football fan, don’t let it pass you by. This is huge deal for many around you.
We just want to make it as memorable as possible.
Come on England. We ca do it.