Welcome to our new series recording football fans across the world;s first football matches. We all remember the game, if not all the details like we do our first kiss. But football is a lifelong love so this series will show the weird and wonderful games that broke our cherry.
First up is David Brooks, and his first and one of his only ever football matches.
A chilly November evening in 1965 witnessed a much anticipated fixture in north London as the exotic Samba skills of world champions Brazil headed to Highbury to take on Billy Wright’s Arsenal. Brazil were on a European Tour which acted as a useful fact finding mission with the World Cup, hosted in England of course, just eight months away.
For the Gunners faithful, the prospect of seeing undoubtedly the world’s best player in his prime was a major incentive and the matchday programmes leading up to the fixture included a full page picture of the man in question emblazoned with “The Great Pele is here on November 16”.
Unfortunately Pele’s club Santos withdrew their players in the lead up to the game, which denied the fans a glimpse of the already legendary striker, who was also supposed to be presenting a gold medallion to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on the day the fixture also marked a celebration of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme which was in its tenth year.
David Brooks – January 2011