Anorak News | Rugger Buggers

Rugger Buggers

by | 24th, November 2003

‘ONE can only imagine what the response from the papers would be if – and it is a very big ‘if’ – England ever won the football World Cup.

The boot of God

Rugby union’s appeal may not stretch much further than an England rugby shirt, but we have been so starved of sporting success in this country in recent years that victory against Australia has turned almost everyone into a rugger bugger for a few hours.

Even the Star, which until now has never knowingly led its sports coverage with a non-football story, wraps itself up in the flag of St George and starts singing Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

We measure these things in pints, and the paper tells us that beer sales increased by 25% over the weekend, with an extra seven or eight million extra pints being drunk on Saturday.

That was more than during any game in the last football World Cup except for the 1-0 defeat of Argentina.

“For that game, beer sales just went off the Richter scale,” Robert Hayward, chief of the British Beers And Pubs Association, says.

[It is a little known fact that Charles F Richter had a younger brother Gary, who while Charles was working on a scale to measure earthquakes was doing the same to measure beer consumption.]

The Sun can’t help refer to the last time England won a World Cup, with England’s hero on Saturday, Jonny Wilkinson, drawing direct comparison with 1966 hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst.

Meanwhile, the paper tells the soon-to-be-legendary story of how Wilkinson’s mother Philippa, too nervous to watch her son in action, found out the result at the fruit and veg counter at Tesco.

And the man himself, still only 24, tries to adjust to the adulation he is sure to receive when he returns to England.

“I don’t think of myself as a superstar,” he told the Sun. “I’m just a very proud member of a very proud team. That’s all that matters.”

But sports marketing expert Becky Brown said the world was Wilkinson’s oyster.

“Jonny can now command a goldmine from sponsors,” she tells the Mirror. He’ll join the top footballers at the David Beckham level.”

Jonny Wilkinson in a sarong and knickers? We can’t quite see it…’

Posted: 24th, November 2003 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink