My father wanted to create “a mini United Nations that really is united”, so he and my mother founded an English language school in Folkestone.
In July 1966, Dad invited all the students to watch the World Cup final on our relatively modest television. I was seven years old and had absolutely no interest in football, but was spellbound by all the cheering, stamping, waving and hugging. When England won, our German friends were disappointed of course, but the French, the Spanish and the Italians, the Iranians, the Turks and the Israelis, were thrilled because they loved England, they loved Folkestone and the School of English Studies. They had a strong bond of friendship with their teachers and their host families. It was as if their own country had won the World Cup. On that afternoon in 1966, we really were a mini United Nations.
Originally published in The Guardian, August 2016: Fond memories of watching the 1966 World Cup final in black and white