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So, you see, perhaps getting your feet wet up at "The Point" was worthwhile.
Thought your soccer story was great?thanks so much.
?Glenn Warner, associate professor of physical education at Annapolis, has coached Navy soccer for eight years, received the Coaches Association's highest award in 1954.?ED.
BANG I THERE WENT SIXPENCE
Every time I think of soccer, I think of one day in particular. It was a Saturday in April, 1945 when Scotland met England for the United Kingdom championship at Hampden Park, Glasgow. I was home on leave from the British Navy, and naturally wanted to go to the game, but tickets were as scarce as hen's teeth.
...On the Saturday I was resigned to sitting home listening to the game on the radio, but my father had other ideas. At that time he was a "Glesca bobby" ( Glasgow policeman). He had been urging me to go to Hampden Park and talk to some of the policemen at the gates. (It is quite a common thing for people who can't use their tickets to give them to a policeman to be given in turn to servicemen who show up without a ticket.) This, I thought, was a rather risky thing. If I couldn't get a ticket, I would miss half of the game on the radio before I got home, but on my arrival at Hampden, I started looking for the nearest bobby. I drew a blank on the first one, but was referred to an inspector at a different gate. I continued to elbow my way through the crowd. As I approached the inspector, two soldiers were just leaving him?with profuse thanks. My elbows worked a little faster until I reached that wonderful man. "Any more tickets?" I asked hopefully. "You're lucky, Jack. Here's my last one," he replied, handing me a ticket for the terrace. I guess it took me about a minute to gather my wits. I don't even remember thanking the man.
Inside Hampden Park was an assembly of 132,000 people?and me. The bobbies were trying to keep the aisles clear, and that was no mean feat. You see, when you go to a soccer game anywhere in Britain you stand to watch it. This brings me to an interesting little sidelight on the British soccer park. You sit in the "Stands." You stand in the "Terracing" and the "Enclosure" is out in the open.
As I passed one of these aisles a strong arm clad in blue grabbed me and pushed me down the aisle to another bobby who in turn pushed me into the crowd. Well, there I was, and I could see the field where the pregame activities were taking place. Before I could take further stock of my surroundings, a face with a loud tartan tammie on top asked me, "Who are you for, Jack?" " Scotland!" I replied, and without further ado I was treated to a little refreshment.
The game started, and what a game it was. One which I will never forget. The Scots were the underdogs, but each man played the game of his life. It was the first international game in which two brothers played. " Tiger" Shaw at right fullback, brother Davie at left fullback for Scotland.
Many times during the game, the long fingers of the English giant goalie Frank Swift were the only things that kept a Scot forward from scoring, and many times the entire city of Glasgow and surrounding districts resounded to the famous "Hampden Roar"?without the benefit of cheerleaders. It was a ding-dong, scoreless battle until two minutes from the end. Scotland was awarded a free kick just inside their own half of the field. Jackie Husband's long looping kick dropped the ball at the feet of left-winger Billy Liddel who in turn crossed it over the goal mouth. Up rose Swift, but the ball sailed over his outstretched hands onto the head of right-winger Willie Waddell. Willie nodded it down and center forward "Wee" Jimmy Delaney flew through the air, right foot outstretched, and the ball sailed into the net. Scotland, 1; England, 0?and that's how it ended. What a game. What a day. No one heard the final whistle, not even the players. Finally the referee had to pick up the ball and run off the field with it.