Saturday 19th June

A relaxing start to the day was became a bit of a panic while I going through my pictures from Slovenia vs. USA – the mouse trackpad on my laptop seemed to have stopped working – just given up, and refused to do what it was told. The old ‘turn it off and turn it back on’ Windows trick did nothing, and I began to worry…as you do, when you still have at least 10 football matches potentially to feed through it.

It had behaved like this now and then in the past, more often than not when it had been rained on, so my guess was that if it had moisture in it, the first thing I would try would be to dry it out. I turned it off, and stood it on it’s side on a table for an hour whilst I went to the Mugg & Bean for breakfast with Chris, before we left for Pretoria, where the day’s match involved Cameroon and Denmark, in a game that was likely to see the losing team dumped out of the tournament.

Whenever I hear the name Cameroon, I always think of the name ‘Roger Milla’. My first memories of World Cup football come from those tapes Mum and Dad kept for Mark and I, of the extended highlights of Italia ’90, where Cameroon stunned the football world to make it to the quarter-finals, only to lose 3-2 to England. On their way there, they shocked Argentina 1-0 in their opening group match, and quickly established themselves as the surprise package of the tournament. Roger Milla became an overnight sensation, scoring 3 goals in the tournament, celebrating them all with his signature shimmy around the corner flag. Although I was only 6 or 7 years old at the time, I’ve no doubt that youngsters all over the world began celebrating their goals in the back garden, the park and the playground by ‘doing a Roger Milla’.

Alas, there was no sign of the great man in the media centre at Loftus Versfeld, and so it was left for Samuel Etoo and co. to do the business on his behalf. Or not, as the case would be…

With an army of fans in all shapes and sizes, pictures were again there for us on tap.

I bought a pair of earplugs in the morning, in preparation for the vuvuzelas that would inevitably be pummeling our ear drums for the rest of the day…and what a job they did! Well worth the £1 they cost! Although Cameroon went ahead, Denmark came back to win the game 2-1, and I was pleased to get the winning goal from veteran Dennis Rommedahl (almost blocked through a field of defenders), even if the cele wasn’t much to shout about.

The pictures went home, as did we a couple of hours later, after a much-overdue chat with Megglington Bear and the Cheshire crew (Nat, Wardy, Jack and Don, as well as Izzy, as they enjoyed an evening of games and drinks in Sandbach). We left at midnight, snacked when we got home, and hit the sack for a welcome 9 hour sleep.


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