Today was a pretty non-descript day, pretty bad in some respects. I got up at a quarter to nine – Robert and Dad were already up, and it was quite refreshing to see the sun was shining. Mum got up shortly after me and I lounged about waiting for the Sunday Times to arrive. In the meantime, I gave Dad his Father’s Day present – he seemed quite pleased with it, but he bemoaned the fact that he is now quickly running out of space for books.
Robert went at about half ten. He is coming up again in mid-July with Andrew, so it won’t be too long before I see him again. He has been coming up to Easterby fairly regularly now since about March, sorting out various hassles about moving house.
The newspaper came at about eleven, and I played some of Robert’s records while reading it. Dad went out to get some petrol and then rang Nanna B. up to see if she wanted a run out. She at first declined but then rang back a few minutes later saying she had changed her mind.
I decided to stay home and Mum and Dad went to get Nanna B. and then on for a run.
I spent most of the afternoon playing records (Hatfield and the North’s “Rotter’s Club,” UK, and The Enid), and messing around with my leagues. I’m currently working through Division Two, and the second division promotion places are between Derby County, Spurs, Bristol City, Stoke City and Sunderland.
Mum, Dad and Nanna B. came home at about fourish (Robert rang at half-three to say he’d arrived safely), and we had tea. I persuaded Mum to let us have it in the front room, because at seven fifteen on ITV was England v Italy live from Rome.
The match was really important from both England’s and Italy’s point of view. A win for either would virtually ensure a place in the final, and England were desperate to show the World that we are a force once more in international soccer. Because of Thursday’s riots in Turin, the 80, 000+ crowd was really anti-British and England got a pretty hostile reception.
I haven’t been as tense since last football season, because Italy really turned on the pressure and had loads of missed chances. They were playing dirtily, felling every England player possible, but they still looked the better side in attack. England had a few good chances but the first half remained goalless. Nanna B. was really into the game (she’s quite a soccer fanatic) although Mum was bored out of her mind and Dad was criticising England’s slow play. Compared to Nanna P., Nanna B. is really much more in touch somehow with me – she can crack jokes and is much more entertaining than Nanna P.
The second half started with intense Italian pressure and it continued right through the half. I was really tense; sweat was pouring off me like water from a tap. England finally cracked about 12 minutes from time and Italy won 1-0.
I was really bloody sickened off, and that familiar old feeling of defeat from last season returned. We’re definitely out of the final now, and with Spain losing 2-1 to Belgium in the other group two match, England are joint bottom of the group. Our only hope is for Italy to beat Belgium and for England to thrash Spain about 4-0.
I came to bed at twenty to ten so fed up was I and I’m writing this while lying on my bed listening to Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile.” I don’t feel so down now – there’s always the 1982 World Cup to look forward to!