Farmer's Journal account of the 1966 World Cup compares treatment of Pele to club GAA 4 years ago

Farmer's Journal account of the 1966 World Cup compares treatment of Pele to club GAA

Could he do it against a gale-force wind on a Sunday afternoon along the Donegal coast?

Pele was good with a size five but he never proved his greatness with an O'Neill's or against the acid test of club GAA football.

A column from 1966 though compares the treatment of the Brazilian at the time to things you'd see down at the local Gaelic pitch when the neighbouring parish were in town.

The 1962 World Cup winners flattered to deceive in England for the biggest celebration of football on the planet.

Losses to Hungary and Portugal saw Brazil exit the tournament in the group stages and poor Pele, despite scoring his country's first goal of the campaign against Bulgaria, had to deal with red target dots all over his body. We can't remember who won the whole thing in the end.

A fascinating snippet from The Irish Farmer's Journal from 50 years ago really offers an intriguing insight to the feelings around the time.

"I was dismayed at the general lack of sportsmanship on the field," it reads. "The way to stop Pele for example, was very obviously, to kick the two legs from under him.

"This sort of thing is bad enough in club level GAA matches, it is bad anywhere but among world class professional players it is intolerable.

"An atmosphere has developed wherin the only good thing a team do is win."

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And there we were led to believe that modern-day football is the problem. Don't tell Joe Brolly that the good old days weren't so rosy after all.

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