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Rovers’ World Cup Countdown – 1962

11 June 2014

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Bryan Douglas was Rovers’ sole representative at the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

England finished second in Group 4 following a 2-1 defeat to Hungary, 3-1 victory over Argentina and goalless draw with Bulgaria.

The Three Lions met eventual champions Brazil in the knockout stage, where they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat. 

“We had a warm-up game against Peru, who we beat 4-0 and we qualified for the second phase, but unfortunately our second phase opponents were Brazil,” said Dougie.

“At half-time, we were drawing 1-1 and we thought we had a chance, but we got beat 3-1. Their second goal was a free-kick and Ron Springett, who was in goal, had contact lenses and he was quite good at anything that was in and around the box, but anything outside the box he was a bit suspect, and it hit his chest, flew up and they scored from the rebound.

“Once they got the third goal, which was scored by Garrincha, which was a 20-yard bang, we couldn’t get the ball off them and that was the end of that.

“But at that World Cup in 1962, the accommodation was in a mining village up a big mountain and to travel to the games, we used to come down on a little log-track railway to the ground and I think more people watch Accrington Stanley than watched our internationals there! 

“It wasn’t like it is now and all we had was a bowling alley, where three or four little lads used to put the skittles back, to keep us entertained, and a table-tennis table. So it was much different than it is now, but having said that I was delighted at the time and I’m still delighted now that I took part in it.”

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