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Mullery's World Cup memories

Posted on 8 June 2010  - 12:00

The memories will come flooding back for our former captain Alan Mullery when the World Cup kicks off in South Africa on Friday.

Mullery's World Cup memories

The memories will come flooding back for our former captain Alan Mullery when the World Cup kicks off in South Africa on Friday.

‘Mullers' was a key figure in England's 1970 challenge in Mexico as they looked to defend the trophy with a talented squad that was expected to go all the way.

Our legendary midfielder was in there with Spurs team-mate Martin Peters in a highly-experienced group, led by another ex-Tottenham man, Sir Alf Ramsey. He included nine players who had tasted World Cup glory four years earlier - and Alan recalls that their preparation had been thorough.

"We were out in South America four weeks before the tournament began to get used to the conditions," he recalls in an interview in the current issue of hotspur magazine. "That preparation was essential because the conditions (intense heat at altitude) were staggering.

"We were the reigning world champions and we fancied ourselves no matter who we were up against," he adds.

England's group opponents were Brazil, Romania and Czechoslovakia, with Mullery doing a marvellous marking job on the great Pele as they lost 1-0 to Brazil but won their other two games by that same score.

Mullery recalls: "Pele told me...that England were the only team Brazil feared. We were unlucky to lose...and that gives you an idea of how close we pushed them in that game."

The quarter-final draw saw England paired with West Germany - a repeat of the 1966 Wembley final. Both Mullery and Peters scored but England were down and out after a 3-2 injury time defeat in what proved to be an epic encounter.

"To this day I'm probably asked more about that game than any other I've played in," adds Alan. "It was an amazing match to have been part of and even England supporters who weren't born then know all about the history of the clash."

Read the full story in the June issue of hotspur magazine - essential reading for all Spurs fans.

Click below to buy your copy online...