The Cathedral City of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England

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Who the hell is Chris Hunt?

Chris Hunt is a freelance magazine editor, journalist and author. His latest book 'World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup' has just been published by Interact to accompany the BBC TV series. Over 60,000 copies have been sold of the first edition of his definitive football encyclopedia, 'The Complete Book Of Football', while the second edition will be published in the UK in 2006 by Harper Collins and in various foreign language editions around the world.

For eight years Chris Hunt was Managing Editor of Britain's biggest selling football magazine, Match, while more recently he has been the Editor of many of the special editions of rock music magazines Mojo, Q, Uncut and NME, including those on The Beatles, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Oasis, U2, Bruce Springsteen, mod and punk rock.A regular contributor to Four Four Two, Chris Hunt has also been a byline football columnist and diarist for Sport First, Football First and lad magazine Ice. He has worked as a broadcast journalist for BBC Radio 5, and has contributed to numerous magazines, including The Sportsman, Mojo, Uncut, 90 Minutes, Record Mirror and Roy Of The Rovers. His travels around Japan for the World Cup in 2002 were documented in the BBC TV programme Beckham For Breakfast.

Chris has a website: ChrisHunt.biz

Chris's Articles

Chris Hunt’s World Cup Diary: Week’s 3 & 4

Ely-based author and journalist Chris Hunt is travelling around Germany covering the 2006 World Cup. Read his daily thoughts on the tournaments here, or at ChrisHunt.biz. His book ‘World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup’ accompanies the BBC television series and is published by Interact and can be purchased on Amazon.

Saturday June 24: Day 16

Image: Chris Hunt

In Stuttgart it seems more like a Michael Schumacher victory than a win for the national football team. On the banked steps of the Schlossplatz flags are waving and horns are sounding as Germany’s workmanlike victory over Sweden is beamed on to the giant screens of the Fan Fest. The match has been played in the middle of a blisteringly hot summer afternoon but still thousands stand here to experience the collective euphoria of a football triumph. For most it surely would have been easier to watch this game at home, but these Germans are backing ‘Klinsi’ and the boys all the way. A cheer goes up as a firework shoots into the air and the match is won. But as entire families start to make their way out of the town square for home, they are caught in a bottleneck caused by a small army of riot police, each one in full body armour, their faces and identities covered by balaclavas and crash helmets. They are standing between a large group of jeering Germans and an intimidating corner of the Schlossplatz that will remain forever English, where shaven headed men old enough to know better wave their large plastic jugs of beer in the air and sings songs about the war. One simulates a machine gun and pretends to mow down the passing crowd in an imaginary hail of bullets, while others, with their arms outstretched, make as Lancaster bombers. It’s time to get out of the town centre just in case the wicker chairs start flying!

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Chris Hunt’s World Cup: Week 2

Ely-based author and journalist Chris Hunt is travelling around Germany covering the 2006 World Cup. Read his daily thoughts on the tournaments here, or at ChrisHunt.biz. His book ‘World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup’ accompanies the BBC television series and is published by Interact and can be purchased on Amazon.

Friday June 16: Day 8

An Englishman walks into a bar and says, “Have you got any Desperados?” The barkeeper shakes his head and suggests a selection of the finest locally brewed beers that the city of Cologne has to offer. “Is that German beer?” asks the England fan with disdain. He turns to his mates, “They’ve only got German beer. Is that alright?” With a reluctant sigh he turns back to the barkeeper. “Okay,” he says, “we’ll take five.”
While some England fans are using the World Cup as a cultural learning curve, the vast majority of the estimated 70,000 travelling fans get off the train at the Hauptbahnhof and head straight for the nearest Irish bar. They’re here to watch football and drink – and that’s about the long and the short of it. At the European Championships in Portugal the English came very close to drinking Lisbon dry, and although they’ve set their sights on breaking this record in 2006, they may have seriously underestimated the sheer volume of beer that is to be had in Germany. Still, they’ll give it a go. That’s another five beers please Fritz!

Image: Japanese and Brazilian Fans

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Chris Hunt’s World Cup: Week 1

Ely-based author and journalist Chris Hunt is travelling around Germany covering the 2006 World Cup. Read his daily thoughts on the tournaments here, or at ChrisHunt.biz. His book ‘World Cup Stories: The History Of The FIFA World Cup’ accompanies the BBC television series and is published by Interact and can be purchased on Amazon.

Friday June 9: Day 1

Image: Chris Hunt

Although Germany has a long and proud tradition as a major football power, at the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Cup it is apparent that many of its cultural reference points are borrowed from the English game. At least two recent official England songs have been hijacked by the Germans and transformed into a soundtrack for this tournament: in the minutes leading to the arrival of the teams onto the pitch for the first game, cover versions of ‘Altogether Now’ (England’s Euro 2004 song) and ‘Three Lions’ (Euro 96 and France 98) ring around the FIFA World Cup Stadium in Munich. They are sung in English but the latter has words adapted for the hosts.
Some 32 years after they last hosted a World Cup, the Germans are more than ready for this tournament. Even Munich airport has its own welcome for visiting football fans: a neatly wrapped World Cup-shaped brown paper parcel circles on every conveyor belt in the baggage claim hall. Maybe a nation not noted for its use of subtle irony really has finally found its sense of humour. But when the Germans sing “football’s coming home”, they really mean it. They may have kicked off the opening ceremony with 182 lederhosen-clad dancers, but this was a tongue-in-cheek reminder to the English who still chant about their “two World Wars and one World Cup” – Germany, despite all the stereotypes, is a country that has lifted the trophy three times! That’s as many times as England has lions on a shirt!

Image: World Cup 2006

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