Fiction By Vince
Written July 2006
I was there… I was there… I was there.
I keep on saying it, trying to ingrain it into my subconscious. As if somehow I might forget that today I was there on one of the greatest days that the nation has ever witnessed.
O.K. It may not rank up there with D-day, or the moon landings but for us today, my generation, this has got to rank as one of the best moments in history. You cannot get better than your team winning in the World Cup Final. And I can say - I was there.
Not for me the next forty years trying to recall where I was on this magnificent day. I’ll always be able to remember - I was actually there.
Now you may think it strange that an English girl like me ended up here. After all, a few weeks ago I was hardly a football fan. Oh, I knew what most girls did, that David Beckham is reason enough to follow this sport, a real superstar, but I know of him through ‘O.K!’ and ‘Hello’ rather than his football team, whatever that is. I don’t actually have a ‘team’ of my own and admit to being lost when my male friends try to impress me with their so called knowledge of the off-side rule. But now I can tell them. You can keep your side rules, I was there. On the actual day. At the actual ground.
I nearly wasn’t here. If it hadn’t been for that au-pair job in Frankfurt falling through, or the chance meeting with Helga in that café that led me to staying here in Germany this summer. Nor the fact that the ground needed additional English speaking staff for the final…So many chances to have missed it, so many chances to have failed to be here.
Now it’s getting near the end my heart is thumping so loud I reckon that I can hear it above all the din. The atmosphere here is terrific. Drums are beating, the crowd is singing, everyone chanting. We are three goals ahead and the opposition looks like it has given up. No question about who is going to win this. All you can hear are the supporters shouting out the goal-scorers names and that magical word - England.
Now it seems as if the stand above me is going to collapse, this part looks new to me I hope it stays up. I’m sure I can see those beams bending. Bending with Beckham, I reckon. I am so glad I came here. I’m so proud that I was there.
Mind you I wish I was up there. Up with the actual crowd. I’m at the World Cup final where England won and I’m all alone down here at my turnstile. It wasn’t lonely earlier when all the late-comers were hurrying through but now there’s no-one. Even Dieter has gone upstairs. Mid-way through the second-half he asked if he could go up to see what was happening; noting how I was hardly a fan so wouldn’t mind covering. I said yes, after all twenty minutes ago he wasn’t incorrect. Plus he did say that he’d come back but so far he’s a no show. I’m left alone here with no-one else to share this moment. Tens of thousands of fans above and me, down here on my own.
Still. It doesn’t change the facts.
I was there.
Author: Vince Poynter
Version 5.142 29 Jun 2018
Written July 2006 and submitted to the BBC as part of a radio script submission request
First Published: Version 2.04 in Dec 2006