Five Questions For Cultured Football: Mark Godfrey, Editor of The Football Pink
Mark Godfrey is the founder and editor of The Football Pink, a quarterly magazine that features a diverse and wonderful collection of articles from the world of football. Purchase the most recent issue here and you can also follow The Football Pink on Twitter.
1 Best football kit ever?
Nothing like starting off with a tough one, is there? I’m going to go with the first one that popped into my head here and trust that it did so for a reason. The alternative would be for me to list any number. Therefore, I’m going with West Germany 1988–91. Great design, great team; that shirt just evokes memories that go beyond the confines of a football pitch. Others that get an honourable mention would be France 1984 and Southampton 1980–85. Oh and….
2 Favourite ground visited?
Would it be biased of me as an Evertonian to say Goodison Park? I’ve really never liked anywhere as much and I’ve been to places like Camp Nou, San Siro, old and new Wembley and to rickety old non-league grounds and everywhere in between.
For the purpose of objectivity I’m going to say Cathkin Park, the former home of defunct Scottish league club Third Lanark. If you’ve never been there or seen it, it’s now just a football field in a municipal park in Glasgow, except the remains of the terracing — complete with regularly repainted crush barriers — peek out flirtatiously from the trees and bushes that have taken hold around them. It’s around eerie place.
Standing there and imagining how it used to look with thousands of people there; the noise, the smell, the sight of the players thundering around the turf. It almost feels like the ghosts of its past are waiting in those trees to suddenly appear and play out before your eyes.
3 Greatest game witnessed?
Another difficult one, but I recall a game between Argentina and Nigeria in the 1996 Olympic final being pretty damn special. It was back and forth, end to end, all-out attack. Both sides featured some of their future stars if I remember correctly, and even though I’ve not watched the game again since, what sticks in my mind is how incredulous I was at the end of it due to the sheer excitement.
4 Best football book read?
I have to confess that I’m not really a reader. Never have been. I have a shockingly poor attention span. That’s a pretty bad admission for a supposed writer and editor, isn’t it? I do like Dominic Bliss’ book about Hungarian coach Ernő Erbstein and his life during World War 2 and his impact on Italian football. He’s synonymous with the ill-fated Grande Torino team that died in a plane crash, but his influence still lives on today without him getting much credit. Dominic’s book goes some way to rectifying that. It’s excellently written and painstakingly researched.
5 Goal or moment over which you always get emotional when you think back to it?
Blimey. It would have to be something from Italia ’90, for a few reasons. I remember that time so fondly, I don’t think my life was ever as good as that again (I’m starting to sound like the narrator from Stand By Me now). There are a plethora of England related moments obviously; Gazza’s tears, Platt’s last minute volley against Belgium. Then there was the Rijkaard/Völler spitting incident — unsavoury for sure and you probably think it’s an odd choice, but it’s just another link to that happy time, personally speaking.
However, every time I see Cameroon’s brutal but comical attempts to reduce Argentina’s Claudio Canniggia to tiny pieces in the opening game of that World Cup it always makes me smile and well up simultaneously. Aside from the personal recollections of that tournament and the summer as a whole, the rank amateurism and naivety of the Cameroon side that incredibly defeated Maradona and the World Cup holders was a joy to behold; a lead needed defending, Canniggia needed stopping: so they stopped him — eventually. It’s Keystone Cops defending topped off with the joyously ridiculous spectacle of seeing Benjamin Massing’s boot fly across the turf while Canniggia was spinning through the air like helicopter rotor blades. Special times!
Five Questions On Cultured Football is a monthly series of interviews where we ask those who write about football to talk about their favourite memories. Make sure that you don’t miss any new Cultured Football post by subscribing to our newsletter.