Legends Game - England VS Germany


Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
This wasn't a proper game. It was just a bit of fun, in honour of the 40th anniversary of the England VS Germany World Cup Final (which, strangely enough, finished 4-2 just like 1966, but to the Germans this time.)

Each team consisted of an assortment of celebrities - musicians, actors, politicians and sportsmen for other sports.

England's team consisted of 2003 Rugby World Cup Winner Ben Cohen (whose uncle won the 1966 Football World Cup), ex-The Verve singer Richard Ashcroft, one or two celebs from British soap operas, Member of Parliament Boris Johnson (very funny man - and doesn't like the Germans), a few England Rugby League and cricketing stars, and also ex-England internationals from years ago - including John Barnes and Paul Gascoigne.

The Germans (not renowned for their humour) took the game too seriously (which was quite scary), whereas the English saw it as a bit of fun (maybe why we lost).

The most hilarious part of the game? MP Boris Johnson making a CRAZY rugby-like tackle on a German player. HILARIOUS!

The game was played at Reading's Madejski Stadium...........

Great tackle, Boris - but it's football, not rugby
By Ben Fenton
(Filed: 04/05/2006)

England 2-4 Germany

Even Boris, running around like a demented combine harvester and tackling like a prop forward, couldn't save England last night.

Member of Parliament Boris Johnson makes a thumping tackle during the Legends match at the Madejski stadium yesterday (watch it on video here -

Right scoreline: 4-2. Wrong result: Germany won. Unfortunately, the figure of Boris Johnson, riding to England's rescue in the politically charged No 10 top, was not enough as an England XI rather let the side down against the old enemy.

Sadly, by the time Boris got into battle, the Germans had already won the war.

The red-shirted Tory MP was taking part in a charity football match, a light-hearted attempt to recreate the great game of 1966, played in front of 15,000 people at the Madejski stadium in Reading.

The crowd was chanting "We want Boris" as he limbered up, waving his arms like a slightly rusty blond helicopter. The cheers grew and the cry of "Boris, Boris" became irresistible.

But the crowd's favourite sounded a note of caution when he said his preparation for the match had been entirely mental. "I haven't played since I was 18."

On he bounced, to raucous celebration. Eight minutes to go. He passed (to a German). He ran about a bit. The crowd loved him. They cheered his every move. They even told him where to stand in the offside trap.

Then he launched himself at the German No 6, Maurizio Gaudino, in a style more appropriate to Twickenham.

The sight of the mop-haired MP for Henley's head powering into his stunned opponent's groin brought a roar from the crowd.

After the final whistle, Boris, lager in hand, said: "There was no malice in my actions. I was going for the ball with my head, which I understand is a legitimate move.

"I felt an enormous sense of achievement every time I actually touched the ball."

The game of celebrities and former football stars was played in an atmosphere of much friendlier rivalry than when England beat West Germany 4-2 all those decades ago.

The match was organised to raise funds for the Red Cross and the Bobby Moore Fund, set up in memory of the England skipper, who died of cancer at the age of 51.

But after the Germans went 2-0 up after 16 minutes without breaking sweat, you got the impression that they hadn't read the script. It was meant to be fun.

The problem was the men in white were conforming to national stereotype: for a joke game, they hadn't brought enough jokers. Added to that, our stars of yesteryear were fatter than their stars of old.

In the event, it seems that Boris, an old Etonian, had played most of his football on the beach and in the park.

"To be honest, I'm a rugby player," he said. "I was always getting penalised for fouling when I played football." No change there then.

He insists that his metatarsals are in good working order but his chances of getting the call from Sven Goran Eriksson are slim.

"That was a lot of fun," said Boris. "I rather fancy doing it all over again. Do you think they will let me?"