More TV Memories – World Cup Heroes And Villains.

World Cup Heroes And Villains (ITV, 1994)

As people begin to eagerly anticipate the start of yet another World Cup (?), I thought that I would take a look at another football-themed show. World Cup Heroes And Villains seemingly turned up out of nowhere one Sunday afternoon (and I think that this was only shown in the LWT region). The host was Bob Mills, who is definitely someone who I am familiar with.

I was once in the studio audience for a TV show that he hosted, and he also went on to host the late-night football show There’s Only One Brian Moore. With the home location, his wry observations, and the way that he constantly fiddled around with his video recorder, it could be said that this was just about an edition of his comedy show In Bed With MeDinner in all but name.

This was shown before the 1994 World Cup in the USA, and Bob was in something of a state of despair, as none of the home nations had qualified, and he was still upset about England’s embarrassing defeat to the Netherlands where the dream died (“he’s gonna flick one!” etc). They had all missed out on the biggest sporting event on the planet. He decided to look back at some of the most heroic and villainous moments that have happened at the World Cup over the years.

But rather than choose the more famous players and moments, he took the chance to celebrate some of the more unsung heroes and their contributions. He decided to start with the 1966 tournament, although this was presumably because very little footage still exists from the earliest days, going back to the 30s. This of course would be England’s triumph, but there was a look at other moments too.

These included the Zairean player who didn’t seem to know the rules, the German goalkeeper who nearly decapitated a player and didn’t even get a yellow card, and a goalpost that denied what would’ve been a memorable goal. There were also some brief memories from some of the players who took part. The final tournament shown was 1990, which gave Bob the chance to reflect on the horror of penalty shoot-outs.

This was definitely an amusing look back at sporting history. After determining who goes into his Hall Of Fame, as well as the Hall Of Shame, he tried to remain enthusiastic throughout all of this, and he hoped that there would be better times to come for the England team. Who knows, maybe they may even qualify and get as far as the second round again one day.


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