Football: What It's like to Play (Badly) at Greatest Stadium on Earth; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: What It's like to Play (Badly) at Greatest Stadium on Earth; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era


Byline: Oliver HOLT Chief Sports Writer

SEVEN YEARS of delays, controversies and farce came to an end last Saturday when a stadium that had become a national embarrassment was transformed at last into an object of pride.

Now England can gaze on a place where Wayne Rooney may grow into the best player in the world and where 40 years of hurt and winning nothing may one day come to an end.

Down on the touchline, FA chief executive Brian Barwick wore a dreamy grin as a happy rabble of journalists, actors, pop stars and ex-pros played in the first match at the stadium in front of 30,000 fans.

"It's just lovely to see people in it," Barwick said. "It has brought it alive. It's not a building project any more. It's a football stadium now.

"Even with you lot struggling to play, the atmosphere is good so imagine what it's going to be like when it's full and there are decent teams playing. And there's not a bad seat in the house."

It is impossible not to be impressed by the magnificence of the new theatre for English football where the FA Cup Final now looks certain to be played in May. It combines the vastness of the Nou Camp in Barcelona with the steep-sided grandeur and intimacy of the Bernabeu in Madrid.

Even former stars like Graeme Le Saux, John Barnes, Neville Southall and Mark Bright were awe-struck by its scale. Former England defender Le Saux had the first shot at the new Wembley and ex-Crystal Palace star Bright scored the first goal in a match between a Geoff Thomas Foundation XI and a Wembley Sponsors Allstar XI.

The inaugural tournament was won by a Soccer AM team led by presenter Tim Lovejoy and featuring former England star Luther Blissett.

There were plenty of teething problems like turnstiles opening late and catering facilities appearing overwhelmed but the whole point of Saturday's Community Day for the people of Brent was to learn lessons from the staging of an event.

I played at right back in the first and second matches for the Geoff Thomas Foundation XI and was privileged to be roasted by pop star Bryan McFadden in one and actor Ralf Little in the other.

When I say roasted, of course, I mean humiliated in a football sense. But it was hardly a day for worrying about the result on the pitch. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Football: What It's like to Play (Badly) at Greatest Stadium on Earth; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.