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Side project: Ground Tweet

Ground Tweet application

Ground Tweet - a twitter football application

In conjunction with we have been working on a little application that is just a little bit of fun for people to play around with. GroundTweet shows you what football ground your followers would fill (or your tweets, if they were people).

Whether you use your own or someone else’s twitter account, have a go:

Bootiful Game – Ground Tweet

You can also read a more thorough description of the application on Bootiful Game.

Hakuna Matata #12: Italy-France ’98 – Di Biagio and the trembling crossbar

On 3rd July 1998 in Stade de France in Saint Denis, the first World Cup ’98 quarter final was played between the hosts, France, and Italy. It was an encounter that would be ultimately be remembered for the Luigi Di Biagio penalty that smashed against the bar to end Italy’s campaign.

World Cup '98 Di Biagio v Barthez

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Hakuna Matata #11: Our Father – Sampdoria v Arsenal 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup semi final

By Sean-Paul Reilly

I remember being 8 years old, and sitting in front of the telly: I remember looking at the crucifix on the wall, and my brother sitting next to me. I vaguely remember the game itself, but most of all, I remember my dad watching.

David Seaman saves Lombardo's spot kick to win the tie

David Seaman saves Lombardo's spot kick to win the tie

He was an Arsenal fan, which meant I was an Arsenal fan too, despite the best efforts of my aunt, a Spurs season ticket holder (Boo! hiss!). Arsenal were playing the 2nd leg of a cup winners cup semi-final against Sampdoria, and the tie was heading towards penalties – I had even been allowed to stay up late such was the importance of the occasion.

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The Only Way is Ivory

What happens when you take an average Essex Sunday league team, give them a bit of professional coaching and a bit of inspiration from Ray Wilkins? Well, the people at Nivea decided to find out – The Football Express was kindly invited along to find out how the project is coming along.

‘The Great Football Experiment’: Nivea’s idea is a simple one in principal: after a competition, one lucky team won the right to receive coaching from qualified FA coaches, some spanking new equipment and the advice of some experts in the game – including Ray Wilkins.

Ivory FC and their mentor, Ray Wilkins

That team were Ivory FC – representatives of a Billericay nightspot and a somewhat run-of-the-mill Sunday league playing in a local Essex division (not even the top tier of their district). So, after a gruelling pre-season regime and the continued training from experienced heads, how are they getting along?
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Hakuna Matata #10: Peter Shilton and the cult of the replica

By Matt McMahon

Italia ’90 is the first World Cup I can remember, I watched a lot of the football and I remember being allowed to stay up late for the England games, I completed my World Cup wall chart immaculately, detailing every scorer and completing all the group tables.

Shilton's experience provided solidity to England at Italia '90

Shilton's experience provided solidity to England at Italia '90

Unfortunately being only 9 years old it’s the extra peripheral stuff I remember more clearly. Our school ran a competition to design a World Cup poster. I didn’t win, I have never won anything to do with art, I’m not blessed in that department, but I remember a selection of the best ones being in the corridors for the entire build up and throughout the world cup. This should be introduced in my office during major sporting events, I plan to pin up an Olympic planner in my office next summer so everyone can stand around it and plan their evening’s TV viewing.
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Hakuna Matata #9: The magic of the cup

By Adam Bate

Childhood memories are a powerful thing. Until the age of nine I kept a scrapbook outlining the events of each game I attended. I can remember every one of those early matches and I recently wrote a detailed account of my first ever game for The Ball Is Round.

Dave Beasant saves a John Aldridge penalty in the 1988 FA Cup Final

Dave Beasant saves a John Aldridge penalty in the 1988 FA Cup Final

But both the beauty and the problem of being a football fan is that – unless you’re David Mellor or Tim Lovejoy – it means regularly returning to the same venue. Again. And again. And again. The action becomes blurred, seasons blend into one and before you know it you’ve spent a decade watching Dele Adebola ripping your perennially feeble defence to shreds.

Perhaps this is why my earliest recollections of falling in love with this game centre on the FA Cup Final. I sense I’ve already lost the teenagers among you but you’ll have to trust me – it was a big deal. What’s more, I can tell you where I was for every final of my formative years as a fan.
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Hakuna Matata #8: When the Champions League was for Champions

Another fine entry in our Hakuna Matata series. The Football Express’ own Matthew Campbell harks back to the infancy of the Champions League.

As a poor young boy without Sky, my opportunities for catching a live game were somewhat limited to the odd domestic cup tie and The Sunday Match: just about enough to keep me going, but not exactly hitting the heights and showing the cream of top talent I yearned to see (although it was a fantastic novelty to see my football coach David Holdsworth on the telly on a Sunday afternoon). But in the 94-95 season I became aware of this thing called the “Champions League”.

A young Ajax side captured the 1994-5 Champions League trophy, as well as the imagination of millions watching

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