Here, in this end-to-end collection of thoroughly entertaining true stories, are tales so amusing, bizarre, shocking and utterly ludicrous that even the most seasoned fan will be left chanting for more. These are the games where global superstars trip over their laces at just the wrong moment, while complete unknowns become heroes at the nod of a head, and an over-excited witch doctor runs on to 'water the pitch' just as the fat lady is about to sing. So if 90 minutes plus extra time and penalties is just the sort of entertainment you like, "The World Cup's Strangest Moments" is guaranteed to score - unlike singer Diana Ross, whose supreme penalty-miss at USA '94 has never been bettered. Along with a supporting cast of dodgy refs, eccentric mascots, manic managers and a dog who saved the Football Association's blushes, there are shameful fixes, outrageous cheats, bespectacled strikers, gangland disputes, tragic hairstyles, and the most unpronounceable team of all time. Not to mention the odd assassination attempt and the minnows who didn't quite make the finals after losing 31-0.
Discover the answers to all the burning questions in World Cup history: Why was an England captain arrested by Colombian police? Which team stole a bus? Where did the Mexican Wave really start? How does a trainer knock himself out treating an injured player? Was a defender really shot for scoring an own goal? Who stole Geoff Hurst's ball? Do robots have good vision? And who was the fan who cycled over 4,000 miles to see his beloved team? Oddball characters and crazy incidents come thicker and faster than free-kicks in a Latin American derby - meet the man who played in two countries on the same day, the deceased official appointed by FIFA, the fan who committed suicide to help his team, and the England mascot who tried to prevent World War Two by running round the deck of an ocean liner. Discover the worst national side in history, how an Irish computer predicted a World Cup winner, which television pundits turned the airwaves blue, and how England's hopes melted away after David Beckham's face appeared on a jaffa cake. Why do the German's taunt the Dutch with cheesy insults? How did a firework cause a Brazilian woman to bare all? And why was World Cup Willie so endowed?
All this and much more is revealed in "The World Cup's Strangest Moments", a marvellously entertaining and humorous collection of over 100 weird and wonderful stories from the amazing history of 'The Greatest Show On Earth'.
Peter Seddon is the author of three books on football, including 'Football Talk' (ISBN 1861056834). He also wrote 'Tennis's Strangest Matches' (ISBN 1861053797) in Robson's Strangest series. He lives in Derby.