Match of the Noughties: 2009 – Manchester City 4 Sunderland 3

December 26, 2009

DURING the course of my journalistic career, I have twice been interviewed in my back yard by Scandinavian television stations. In both cases, the catalyst was Manchester City, that great curiosity of English football. Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2008 – Derby 2 Sheffield United 1

December 24, 2009

THERE’S an episode of the Garry Shandling-a-like early 90s Channel Four sitcom Sean’s Show in which the Sean Hughes character, going through one of his various existential crises, is comforted by his friend Tony.

“Don’t worry, Sean,” Tony says, cheerfully. “Nothing lasts forever. Apart from Saturday’s Brookside omnibus.” Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2007 – England 2 Croatia 3

December 18, 2009

THE evening started with Daily Mail sports columnist Jeff Powell rescuing my passport, and just got more surreal from there. Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2006 – Switzerland 0 Ukraine 0 (Ukraine win 3-0 on penalties)

December 16, 2009

“YOU can’t be English,” said the young German woman, spotting me with a bottle of cola. “You’re not drinking beer, and you haven’t taken your top off.” Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2005 – KPMG v Npower (score unknown)

December 14, 2009

I WENT on my first corporate jolly at the age of 10 – which, if nothing else, demonstrates what a precocious child I was. Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2003 – Newcastle 2 Manchester United 6

December 10, 2009

THE speculation surrounding David Beckham’s departure from Manchester United had been building for weeks. On an extraordinary afternoon at St James’ Park in April 2003, United began to look as if they could cope without him. Read the rest of this entry »


Match of the Noughties: 2002 – Luton 0 Macclesfield 0

December 8, 2009

HOW attractive does a female stranger (or a male one, if you prefer men) have to be before she (or he) can describe in vivid detail the violent bits in American Psycho without freaking you out? I had plenty of time to ponder that question during the most nightmarish journey home from a football match I have ever had. Read the rest of this entry »