Monday, 14 September 2009

Archie Gemmill Magic

I remember Argentina '78 like it was yesterday. That ill-fated World Cup campaign when Ally MacLeod tipped his Scotland team to win the tournament and the nation believed him.

I was 9 years old at the time and it made quite an impression on me. That 3-1 defeat by Peru when we were taken apart by Cubillas, the dismal 1-1 draw with Iran, one of our star players Willie Johnston caught using performance enhancing drugs, only one game to go against 1974 runners-up Holland, who we had to beat by 3 clear goals, and it looked like the dream was well and truly over. But wee Archie Gemmill had other ideas. Having put us 2-1 up from the penalty spot Gemmill picked up the ball just outside the penalty box, jinxed past 3 flying Dutchmen and with his left foot, chipped the ball over the goalie to score one of the greatest world cup goals in history. It wasn't enough to save Scotlands world cup hopes though, and the team were on the next plane home.

The Gemmill goal was re-enacted all over the country by various 9 year olds often wearing wellies (the Brazilian kids used to learn to play football on the beaches in their bare feet, the Scottish kids played on the road in wellies) and the lesson that we might be down but we've all got some Archie Gemmill magic was learnt.

So, if you happen to be passing the 24 hour race in Fitz park in Keswick as part of the Commonwealth Championships on Thursday/Friday this week and you see a wee man in a Scotland shirt (no wellies), extracting the last ounces of magic from his legs, jinking past a few Englishmen, maybe to snatch some last minute glory, then you'll know it's the Archie Gemmill magic at work.


Fiona Rennie said...

Hang on tae that magic Richie, I remember watching that goal and loupin' aboot like a daftie and I don't even like football!

Chris Carver said...

I remember watching that great goal against the Dutch. Note that it wasn't against the English. I know we're not brilliant at football but we wouldn't let Scotland get away with a goal like that.

I hope your sojourn to the Alps in August has left you very fatigued ...

Only joking - have a good race in Keswick. See you there.

Anonymous said...

Great memory Richie. Classic vintage inspirational TV footage quite rightly shown many times since...but probably no near as much as aw that 66 stuff...

The magic dust which blows occassionally into our lives will waft you round Keswick melting the tarmac so best leave the wellies aff.

Good luck and I hope you have another crackin run and your Golden Gemmill moment.

Also Good Luck to all the Carnegies. I hope you achieve your goals and enjoy a fantastic experience.

Bob Allison.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff Richie - I think we've got our battle cry now - "REMEMBER ARCHIE!!!" - but can we forget all about Alan Rough's perm?

Subversive Runner said...

Quality clip, Richie mate. Even if it is of the Sweaty Socks!!

Good luck in Keswick, mate.

Dave W

John Kynaston said...

Even as an Englishman I really enjoyed that goal!

All the best for Keswick. I'd love to be there but will be supporting you from a distance.

Have a great race and show some of that Gemmill magic.


Keith Hughes said...

one man about to create history !! Stirring stuff !! Go hard !!

Brian Mc said...

Punters ahoy! All the best with Keswick Mr Cunningham.

lesleyh said...

Hope you find your own piece of magic at Keswick Richie.