Memories of the greatest sporting tournament on the planet

spain 1982 keegan

I’ve been practicing design for over 16 years, but I’ve been a football fan for far longer. Longer than I can remember. As a toddler, I was plonked in front of the TV by my dad for Liverpool’s win in Rome in 1977 and 78 and by the time they won it in 1981 I was a fully fledged football fan.

My first memories of the World Cup were Spain 1982. I remember how vivid the colour was on the TV. Spain’s red shirts and blue shorts (and they we’re proper shorts back then). My uncle Mike was in Spain on holiday at the time and he brought back an official World Cup leather belt, well I was seven, so I needed a belt. It was probably my first belt too. The England kit was a classic and still is. It was one of the first kits in international football that started to introduce graphics, so it really stuck in my mind, as did that miss by Keegan. I bet he still has visions of that going in.

I think memories define the World Cup and even mark points in our lives every four years.

USA 1994. It was a hot summer in the north of England. My mates parents went abroad on holiday and he stayed at home, so a bunch of us naturally piled in and lived through the World Cup in his house for three weeks. The Brazil team that won was incredible in my mind, Romario and Bebeto up front, Dunga in the midfield. It was great to watch, especially with a comfy armchair, copious beers on the go and no parents. This was my first real experience of uninterupted back-to-back World Cup football.

Korea Japan 2002. I was doing work placements in Manchester and looking for a design job in London. I went to meet a company that was working on the branding for the World Cup. I met the guy who designed the FIFA logo and he was working on the logo for the Korea Japan World Cup. It got me really excited about doing design for the sport I love. Seeing the football stuff struck a chord with me that stayed with me ever since. When the World Cup started I saw it in a different way because of all the branding everywhere and the first-hand connection I’d had with it, even in a small way. The same designers did the Germany 2006 branding too.

South Africa 2010. Firstly, I remember this, not just because of all the great football, but because the tournament was used by the media to highlight issues in South Africa. With their many billions, FIFA were compelled to tell the world that they would create a ‘legacy’ for South Africa to help economically and socially. I think we are still waiting to see that eight years on. That’s the politics done. So this year, me and my flat-mate Kev spent the whole summer on the roof terrace where we we’re living in southeast London. Both freelancers, we pretended we had nothing to do and put a TV out on the roof. It was so bright, we had to cut up a cardboard box for a sun screen hood so we could see the matches on TV. Beers in hand, we watched it all play out on the roof, happy days.

The World Cup is rich with moments. I can’t wait for Russia 2018 to give us more. I’m freelance, so I’ll not be getting much done over the next six weeks. There’s no room for food in the fridge, beers are in.

I’ve created a set of 30 limited edition postcards that depict classic memories.
You can buy a copy here: PlayerType Postcards


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