The World Cup is bent – and I did it, says Uri

31st March 1998

Manchester Evening News

PSYCHIC Uri Geller, the Israeli spoonbender, has experienced some spectacular things in life, but the Diary is aghasthappy at his latest claim.

“I’ve bent the World Cup,” Uri told me during the Waterstones Literary Lunch at the Ramada Hotel, Manchester, yesterday.

After I watched him bend some cutlery belonging to M.E.N. photographer Chris Loufte, Uri explained that, at the request of some football execs in England, he recently had soccer’s premier trophy at his home in Henley, close to the Thames, to “energise” it, and bring luck to England during the competition.

“I can’t reveal to you who brought the trophy to my home, but it came with about 10 bodyguards,” says Uri, who managed to slip away and spend some time alone with the cup in his dining room.

“It has a very thick base, and I was amazed when, without me doing anything, it started to bend. If you look at it closely, you can see that it now leans very slightly to the left, but there’s no serious damage.”

Uri, after finding worldwide fame in the seventies with demonstrations of his amazing abilities, has turned his talents to writing. His new thriller, Ella, published by Headline, has already caught the attention of film-maker Ridley Scott.

Meanwhile, back to the subject of soccer, I wondered if Uri, who once had take-over talks with Oldham Athletic, could psych up First Division strugglers Manchester City to help them avoid the drop.

“If the manager wants to get in touch, I’d happily help him out,” said Uri. I reckon Joe Royle and the lads might want to focus their efforts on more conventional methods …



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