When, in the 67th minute of the 1966/67 FA Cup Final, Frank Saul scored Tottenham's second (and ultimately winning) goal, having lived in Balham and spending several Saturdays at Stamford Bridge with my father, I decided then and there that Chelsea were rubbish and that a new football team to support was in order.
In 1967 (when I was ten) there wasn’t the proliferation of football games on the TV as there are nowadays. A consequence of which, the next game on the telly helping my quest to find another team to support, wasn’t until over a month later. The European Cup Winners Cup Final of 1966/67 was played at night in Nuremberg (wherever that was). The teams contesting the final were Glasgow Rangers (vaguely heard of them) and Bayern Munich (just as vague as Nuremberg – these were the days before The World at War was screened every hour on The History Channel).
I was (and still am to my knowledge) an only child. My parents were particularly strict about bed time. Fortuitously my dad was a keen football fan (he’d continued his unswerving loyalty to the Blues) and allowed me to stay up late. 0-0 after ninety minutes meant extra time. So there was a God and he clearly liked football (and ten year-olds with parents adhering to strict bedtime rules).
In the 109th minute (it was nearly getting light the next day it was SOOO late) Franz “Bulle” Roth headed home the eventual winner. He was my new hero, Bayern Munich, were my new team. The 1966/67 football season came to an end without anymore forced trips to Stamford Bridge and I was the proud fan of a team of winners. It’s called glory-seeking these days.
After a spell of a few months (when I witnessed Kent County Cricket Club win the Gillette Cup) watching cricket, the 1967/68 football season started. I’d watch the Big Match avidly (Match of the Day was on far too late) every Sunday. After a few months (I was quite a tolerant ten year-old) I wondered why my team, Bayern Munich – a team of winners and holders of the European Cup Winners Cup – weren’t featuring at all on a Sunday afternoon. Wolverhampton Wanderers were – not only a silly name, but also not European champions – and they played in orange!
At secondary school when we started our O-Level Geography lessons about the Rhine-rift valley I realised just why FC Bayern München didn’t feature too much on English TV on a Sunday afternoon. Probably also why Franz Beckenbauer never appeared on Songs of Praise either?
So, fan since 1967, season ticket holder (didn’t get enough pocket money to fund trips to Bavaria in my teenage years) since 1999 (not a good year for the mighty Reds) and I do believe we’re in another European cup final this May! Auf geht’s Bayern (where is the nearest chemist?)