By Carol Hinz
Editorial Director, Millbrook Press
Did you know that the 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in less than a month? Did you know that this year it’s being held in South Africa?
If you aren’t quite ready for the World Cup, don’t worry. You still have a little time before it begins on June 11 to brush up on your soccer knowledge. The prescription: take one copy of Goal! The Fire and Fury of Soccer’s Greatest Moment and call me in the morning. Okay, don’t call me. But do call a soccer fan in your life to share your newfound knowledge. I’ll confess that I’m no soccer expert. What I enjoy about Goal! is that it contains enough basic information that a soccer novice like me can follow it, while also containing enough substance that a soccer fanatic would still enjoy it and pick up some new info. The book covers soccer’s history and highlights great goals, great goal scorers (both male and female), and World Cup goal-scoring records. However, my favorite chapter covers the weirdest, wildest goals in soccer history. Here’s just one tidbit from that chapter.
Not every strange goal takes place at the top levels of soccer. In fact, one of the wildest occurred during a youth league game in England in the 1990s. A 13-year-old boy named Danny Worthington took a shot from 25 yards and then quickly turned away in disgust. He thought he had booted the ball too high. When he turned back, he was amazed to see the ball in the goal—and a stunned seagull on the field trying to regain its wits. Worthington’s shot had struck the bird in the head, and the ball ricocheted past the keeper. The referee allowed the goal, and the seagull flew off unhurt.
So to the World Cup players out there: good luck, and keep an eye out for rogue seagulls!