I spent four indifferent years at Goodison, but they were great years
Martin Hodge

The Gaffta Awards
Rewarding the World Cup's Guff Kings with a 'Golden George'


Surely one of the all-time great World Cups. Not for the footie - we reckon Shamrock Rovers on speed might have made the semis - but, of course, for the guff.

Alright, the pre-tournament favourite was a little subdued - like Terry Henry and the French, Big Ron suffered his own unexpected loss of va va voom. But aside from the big amusement arcade, there were no shocks. Yes there was guff, and plenty of it.

On then with the show. As is customary at these shindigs, each gallant guff generator will be rewarded with the greatest prize in the guff game, a Golden George; a specially commissioned metaphorical trophy, crafted in the likeness of the great impresario of guff, Mr. G. Hamilton.

Beverley Hills-based guff-addict, Steve Sanders, and diner legend, Ailsa Stewart, host the ceremony.  (Kirsty Gallagher is away)

 Best Foreign Pronunciation
3. Dave Dir (ESPN)
Hats off to this fine US sawker announcer for continually referring to Sweden's midfield Gooner, as "Freddy Luxembourg."

2. Mystery Swedish TV commentator.
For labeling Ireland's keeper, "Gay Shiven."

Mr. Graham Taylor (ITV)
For his often expressed view that Blackburn's Turkish midfielder was simply "too-gay" for this World Cup lark. 

Too Gay for Cup?

 Carry On Commentating Award
4. Trevor Brooking (BBC, England-Brazil)
"Dyer just tried to sort of ride the defender there."

3. Clive Tyldesley (ITV, France-Senegal)
"Djorkaeff will be playing in Zidane's hole."

2. David Pleat (ITV, Germany-Brazil)
"That was a last gasp hand-job on the line."

George Hamilton (RTE)
For his disconcerting revelation - with seconds remaining of the final - that..."this thing just keeps on throbbing.'"

"Perhaps you should bath
 it", suggests Little.

 Radio Gaga Award
4. Chris Waddle (Five Live)
"The Swedish back four is amongst the tallest in the World Cup. Their average age is 7 foot 4"

3. Adam Pope (TeamTalk 252)
For his explanation of the South Korean speed skating celebration;
"What's he doing? The guy's lifted up one leg as if he's peeing against a tree."

2. Jonathan 'Robot Wars' Pearce (Five Live, USA-Mexico)
"And it's 2-0 to the USA. Is that a mistake? Is it a boo-boo? No, because the USA are smarter than the average bear at this World Cup!"

Neil Henderson and Chris Bergin, TeamTalk 252
For this fantastic exchange during Germany-USA:

Neil: "USA don't care about this World Cup. They think the World Cup is something you put tea in. "
Chris: "Yes, some of them don't even know their sister's name." 
Neil: "Yeah, some of them can't even read."

All of which caused host, James H Reeve, to remark at half time: "At what point of the second half, do you think the USA will recall it's ambassador to the UK?"

POST AWARDS PARTY CONTROVERSY: It has come to DangerHere's attention (via Steve Sanders) that Chris Bergin was being a little ironic here. In fact, Chris is a noted pro-Team USA sawker fan, and was chastising Henderson for his guff.
As yet, we can find no excuse for Henderson's part in this episode.

Irate Bush goes
 head-to-head with
 Henderson on Springer

 Best Act of Guff
4. Darragh Moloney (RTE)
For spotting a cunning new tactic:
"Korea are trying to score here."

3. Big Ron (ITV)
For narrowly averting a diplomatic incident:
"They've certainly grown, the Japanese. I mean grown in stature, playing-wise."

2. Jimmy Magee (RTE)
For his surprise that a Golden Boot contender should emerge so early in the tournament:
"This means Jon-Dahl Tomasson is the leading scorer in the World Cup and its only day two!".

Trevor Brooking (BBC) 
For his unique insight and tremendous local knowledge:
Gary Lineker: “Trevor Brooking is in the Sappora Bowl. What’s it like, Trevor?” 
Trevor: “Welllll...it’s a bowl shape, Gary.”

Stadium bowls over Trev

 Outstanding Achievement Award
The most prestigious award of all, this goes to the guffmonger who consistently delivered first-class guff throughout the tournament.

3. George Hamilton (RTE)
Guff track-record made him one of the pre-tournament favourites, but suffered badly from an extended metaphor drought, during which he could hardly put away a tap-in simile. Still produced some fine moments:

"Mills is England's number one left back, numerically speaking."

"A little stud problem for Steve Finnan. It's been solved...by a spanner."

"He fell down the stairs, breaking his ankle on the day of Tuesday's game. Now his team have fallen down the stairs metaphorically, losing two players."

"A couple of sombreros have been tossed from the stands. It looks like the Mexicans have thrown their hat at it."

2. Graham Taylor (ITV)
With Ron's poor form, Taylor saved the day for ITV. Though the real hero of these finals must be Graham's gantry partner, Jon Champion, who endured a month of almost non-stop guff. Some examples:

"I think what would help the Ecuadorian side is if they could get a glimpse of the possibility of scoring a goal.

Champion: (on Japanese crowd reaction) "It's only at the point of climax that there's a ripple of noise."
Taylor: "I guess everyone wouldn't be affected by that"

"I sometimes wish I'd been shot. But it never came to that...nor should it."

"Their hospitality has been fantastic and a good example to many other countries. I can't think of one..."

"What a clinical finish. That's got nothing to do with his haircut at all. That's footballing ability."

Uncle Sir Bobby Robson (ITV) 
Again, Bobby came into the tournament with something of a reputation. But his absolute dedication to the art of guff-creation throughout these finals has stunned the guff world. Rightly knighted in reward for some early performances, he refused to rest on his laurels. Fantastic effort:

On blaming Seaman:
"This country will not blame David Seaman. We're not the country we are, if we do."

On practising pens:
"In training, you cannot put one hundred thousand people behind the goal."

On Ronaldo:
"Remember, I've lived with the boy every day for a year."

On Brazil:
"There will be a game where somebody scores more than them and that might be the game that they lose."

On the beautiful game itself:
"It never surprises you, does it? And it never sometimes demoralises you."

Sir Bob gets his hands on George.

 Lifetime Achievement Award
The winner of 154 Golden George awards throughout a glorious guff career, Jimmy has just completed his 54th World Cup. Never once in that time, has his foot come off the guff pedal.

Memory man, jazz-lover, and founder of guff, we salute you.

Jimmy Magee (RTE)
The Magee World Cup guff CV extends to a dozen bound tomes and is permanently on display in the National Library.
Here are some extracts from World Cups past:

"They said it was the group of death. In the end it was very much the group of survival, particularly for those who survived."

"The symbol of peace, the pigeon!"

On a renowned diver:
"He could sell advertising on the soles of his boots."

"A CRACKEROO from Pete Beardsley!!"

"Ardiles strokes the ball like it's part of his anatomy"

And from these finals:

On the US:
"Typical of all their sports, they play physically if maybe not creatively and dolly skilful."

"The assistant referee flags. That's what he's there for - to assist the referee. In cases like this, that's a very good name for them."

"The opening ceremony is broken into three sections; prayer, communication, harmony, and sharing."

"Uruguay don't seem to have that spark of genius that all great teams should have, for instance what Richard Morales produced for their equaliser."

"Why is he kicking the perimeter fence? That didn't deny him the chance."

The one and only,
 Mr. Magee