The night the gods cut it fine!

As mentioned in my “Name on the Trophy” blog on 21st September, where I’d recently discovered three e-mails from 26th May 2004 from my old work e-mail address in London to my hotmail account. It was something that I had completely forgotten I’d done, but now so glad I had as it has been a fascinating read that I’d like to share with you.

The e-mails were entitled “Name on the Trophy!!! 26/05/1999 (1), (2) and (3)” and it was a load of quotes from the world of TV commentary from the day, as well as various newspaper reports from the days after the event. Below is one of those reports and I have many more to come, enjoy reading them. I certainly have.

“IF ANYONE needed glorious testimony to the truth of that tired adage “It’s not over till it’s over”, Manchester United proved it last night with the most thrilling end to a match involving English players for half a lifetime.

One-nil down after six minutes to Bayern Munich in the final of the European Cup at Barcelona, Manchester United fought on until the 90th minute, with umpteen chances blocked or deflected. The last part of their historic treble seemed dismally beyond all their efforts, and sad to say, their recently acquired status as “gods” was in jeopardy. 

In fact, despite Manchester United’s larger share of the possession, despite all David Beckham’s splendid passing and Jaap Stam’s brick-wall defence, it was Bayern who looked much more likely to score in the intervening end-to-end 84 minutes, with strikes bouncing off the post and the crossbar, and all Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke’s efforts easily turned aside and defused in the goalmouth by steadfast Bayern defenders. The truth was, if it hadn’t been for the posts, United would have been two or three down. And it always makes you feel a bit sheepish when the goalposts save the day. It doesn’t seem even demi-godlike, let alone the full Olympian malarky.
So it appeared all up for Man U. The chap with the reprieve who so often bursts in with a one-second-to-midnight message from the governor appeared to have either lost his way in the Ramblas, or got distracted by the Gaudi architecture. 

Either way, he was very late. In the 90th minute, I put my hands in front of my face and just listened to the commentator reel off the names. Even that was terrible. I wondered if I should put my thumbs in my ears as well. “Giggs,” he said. Oh God, it was the same old story; was it time to move abroad? Or kill myself? I was in Amsterdam, after all. Those canals had a certain attraction. “,” he continued, with an excited inflection. I refused to look up. These Dutch people probably have a very different speech pattern from us, which implies a goal attack where none is taking place. “!” he yelled. But I’d heard it all before, and was renouncing football for being too wearing on the nerves.”

#2 The night the gods cut it fine – THE TIMES
Lynne Truss on how the chap with the reprieve burst in at one second to midnight

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