Match of the Day

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

Cook Islands Quest 100 (Quest #4)

  • Friday Sept. 21st 2012

  • Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific Ocean

TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)

  • Friday Oct. 5th to Sunday Oct. 7th 2012

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Over the years I've played many sports but at the age of three I received one of the greatest gifts a child could have: A soccer ball. I have vivid memories of building goal posts made out of pieces of aluminum tubing we found in the local dump. My friends Patrick, Vernon and myself carted this stuff back to my house and we tapped the sections together. Then we found some garden netting and draped it over the back. Voila, a goal was made. Many an evening was spent kicking the ball around. Afternoon turned to evening and out would come the flash lights.

My next memory is going to watch my local soccer team Plymouth Argyle. The city of Plymouth was only 20 miles from where I lived but at the age of 11 taking the bus the Home Park, Argyles ground, was a big adventure. Most times it was raining and the highlight was having a hot cup of tea and a Cornish pasty at half time. The biggest game I ever watched was when the Brazilian champions, Santos, came to town. Over 37,000 watched as Pele took the pitch. It was an amazing game in which incredibly Plymouth won 3-2. I only found out later that Santos had threatened not to come out on to the field for the second half unless their appearance fee was increased.

I kept playing through my teens, in Camborne, Cornwall and into my early twenties, in Kimberley, BC and Pine Point, NWT. Then I stopped. I took a thirty year break until last week when I put my boots back on.

The reason I pulled out these mouldy soccer shoes and polished them up again is that in early October, I will be participating in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest game of 5-a-side soccer. This event will be the fifth Quest in my "Quests for Kids" initiative. I'm trying to complete 10 Quests in 5 years, raising $1m for Right To Play and help 20,000 kids. So far I have Guinness World Records in netball and lacrosse but it's going to be great to play a game that I'm familiar with.

I headed out a week ago and played for over an hour with members of the Cochrane Rangers men's rec league. We finished the evening with a pick up game against the women's team. Just like many years ago, it was getting dark by the time we wrapped up. Some things never change.

Quote of the Day

"Though we live in trying times, we're the ones who have to try. Though we know that time has wings, we're the ones who have to fly."

Neil Peart

The original program from the Plymouth vs Santos game, March 14th, 1973.

Pele

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