Some of those of you following the development of the archive may have seen the section devoted to matches between Germany and England – a sub-project that is still ongoing on account of my writing detailed reports on each match.
For more recent matches this task is easy – I’d just consult my DVD archive that runs back to 1986 and watch the match again; for older games however I have had to rely on books and random articles sourced from across the Internet. As general guides I have used David Downing’s excellent The Best of Enemies: England v Germany, a Century of Football Rivalry and Uli Hesse’s Tor!: The Story of German Football, but in not wanting to do a Teddy zu Guttenberg I have scored and scratched around the Web in search of archive footage so I can actually watch the games myself so that I can write the reports from my own perspective.
In many cases I have stumbled across some excellent highlights of past matches – the British Pathé website for the really early ones and YouTube for games from the seventies and eighties – but even after that still felt that there was more scope for improvement. It was a spark of good fortune then that a very short YouTube clip from the 1972 European Championship match in Berlin led me to rarefooty.com, a small specialist operation run by fellows who are clearly far bigger football geeks than I can ever hope to be. Yes, if you had a vague recollection of the 1962 World Cup qualifier between France and Bulgaria with the original French commentary, this was the place to go.
I sadly say “was”, as the site no longer exists.
I ordered DVDs of six matches – the two 1972 Euro qualifiers, the 1978 encounter in München, the stalemate in Madrid at Spain ’82, the friendly at Wembley in 1982, and the 1985 meeting in Mexico; with my having every minute of every game from 1987 onwards it only leaves the 1975 Wembley friendly to fill the gap in what would be a forty year history of this great footballing fixture. (Hopefully, the guys at rarefooty.com will get hold of this one).
With luck I should be getting this new material sometime this week, and am looking forward to spending much of my accrued annual leave writing the reviews which hopefully will provide an addition to the somewhat small collection of existing works and Hugh McIlvanney’s excellent articles which can still be found on the Web.
To supplement the match reports I will be including photographs of my collection of match programmes, many of which are accompanied by match tickets. The collection goes back to the first postwar match between the two sides at Wembley 1954, and with the exception of the 1956 friendly in Berlin is complete. I last saw a 1956 programme got for just under a hundred pounds on eBay, so if anyone can help me out… You know where to find me!