Tues July VI
England are out! They only drew with Spain so W. Germ. Go through. Groans all around A.V. Room when Keegen heads wide from 3 yds.
Went to squash 7pm. Lost 1-9, 1-9, 2-9 to John Beanland and 9-11, 9-11 to Matthew gardner.
Watched lunar eclipse
To elaborate upon the football for a moment, England needed to beat the host nation, Spain, at least 2-0 in order to make their first World Cup semi-final since 1966. In their squad they had two ageing starts of the English game, Kevin Keegan (shocking mis-spelling in this entry which I had never noticed before) and Trevor Brooking, for whom this would be their first and last World Cup. Both had missed England’s previous four games with injury but came on in the 64th minute of this game with the match tied 0-0.
With mere minutes to go, Keegan missed a very easy chance to put England ahead, and that was what led to the groans.
Squash, I am happy to admit, is a game that I have never been that much good at. I could win the occasional game by making use of my unusually long reach and by applying some of the tennis coaching I’d had when I was younger, but it was a long time before I learned what a tactical game it was and how to win points by putting the ball where my opponent could not reach it rather than just trying to blast the ball back past them. In time, especially when I was playing every week as a sixth form student, I developed an evil drop shot which could leave opponents grasping, but one shot isn’t enough to win games and I’ve still lost ten times as many games as I have won.
For all of this, it is the lunar eclipse which remains my best memory of this day, standing in the garden and watching the shadow of the sun slowly obscure the face of the moon. Fortunately it was not raining at that moment. As if my magic it began to do so shortly afterwards.