The World Cup

The World Cupcame to my house – there could not have been more fuss for a Royal visit.

Uri holding the world cup

It arrived in its own limousine, with a motorcade of security men and journalists that snaked in an

awesome black convoy down my drive. I half expected to see secret service men, jogging alongside.

My task was to energise the cup psychically, filling it full of good luck for the England team. And as I lifted the cumbersome bronze lady holding the earth, I sensed an echo of the dreams and triumphs of the men who had brandished it in moments of absolute victory, in stadiums around the globe, down the decades.

Men like Dino Zoff, Franz Beckenbauer and of course Bobby Moore have imprinted their energy on this footballing icon. And I deeply believe that, with the Mindpower of England’s fans behind the team, David Beckham will be the next hero to hold the World Cup aloft.

I called it an icon, but perhaps Holy Relic would be closer to the truth. The eagerness of my friends and family to touch the cup, even simply to sit before it and stare, was awe-inspiring. It was as though the bones of a great prophet or a saint had been brought to my sitting-room in this casket.

Three brothers, each of them players for a different League team, happened to be at my house for tea. When they heard the cup was coming, they insisted on staying to see it. And hold it, and be photographed with it and, I suspect, each to fantasise as he lifted it that he was England’s captain, and this was the climactic moment of victory in the World Cup,

After all, I know that is what was running through my head!

People often say football is a religion. And what is a religion, but a set of spiritual beliefs truly held in your heart? When I saw how my friends revered the Cup, and I saw how this simple object possessed the power to lift men’s ambitions and renew their hope, I realised that football is more than a game. It is a piece of God.


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