Achtung, achtung

Nobby NosferatuIt’s a face that only a mother could love, or if like me you’re a Man United fan who saw him play, or better still an England fan on that Saturday of 31st July 1966 when he became immortal.

For the uninitiated, I should explain that the toothless wonder on the left is Nobby Stiles who these days they’d call a ‘holding midfielder’, loosely translated a player who kicks other players and keeps the passes simple.

I saw Norbert Peter Stiles play many times from my regular spot in the Stretford End at Manchester United, but despite my undeniable partisan support, he will be best remembered for his part in that 1966 World Cup Final which I wrote about a week or so ago.

Then I imagined what it was that the French commentator had said on that historic moment, and yet it never occurred to me what it was that the Germans heard through their radio and tv sets. Now I know better having heard it played on the Danny Baker Show.

Below is the German commentary of the third goal, with interruptions from Mr Baker, and the first world is ‘Stiles’ followed by the wonderfully Teutonic ‘Achtung, achtung’ and, after a long pause as the referee consults the linesman, the conclusion that it is ‘bitter’ which I doubt is the German for please.

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To complete the set as it were, next is the German commentary on the fourth goal. Not exactly ‘they think it’s all over’ but not far off. As you play the clip, here is the translation:

This game is not finished yet, not yet. On and on says referee Dienst… Hurst… Goal! Goal! 4-2 in the 120th minute. The game is over. England is the football World Cup Champions 1966.

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Don’t you feel better for hearing that? It makes that moment from fifty years ago seem complete somehow.

And a lad from Collyhurst helped make it happen. But how did Nobby lose his teeth? He wouldn’t say apparently. The saddest part of his story is that he had to sell his World Cup medal in 2010 to provide financial support for his family. A far cry from the overpaid and over-hyped players of today.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

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