My flight to Brazil was due to depart at 22.15, and the first game of the tournament kicked off at 21.00, just as I arrived at the departure gate. There was a mixture of nationalities present with the majority being from England and Japan.
When Croatia scored, people quickly realised the implications. Unhappy people in Brasil means a greater chance of strikes, and just now that would lead to chaos.
As is customary I normally let others board the plane first. I wasn't about to change that this evening. We had already had a final boarding call, but still people were watching the game. An announcement was made saying this was the last final call, and people reluctantly moved. When Neymar equalised the cheer from the handful left watching led to the boarding queue, returning to the screen. Fed up with this staff rounded everyone up and left the police to watch the game in peace.
On the plane I was sat between Tomahiko, from Ibaraki, Japan and C.J. (you'll guess his second name) Bond from Harrow, England.
My initial greeting of hajimemashite, shocked my new Japanese friend, he didn't expect that and he was even more surprised when I explained that I had been to his home town, not only for the World Cup but to see his team Kashima Antlers coached by Zico win the league some years ago.
Tomahiko is studying in Dublin for his football coaching badge, and would one day like to coach in Europe.
He would be going to Japan's first game in Recife and watching two other games in the completion.
On my other side C.J. wasted no time in telling me he was supporting England as he has since 1990. It transpired that he has been busy over the last 4 years promoting worldcupbuster.com.
A campaign to raise money for Cancer research, due to this I was prepared to listen (and now to help promote).
The central character Buster is an English pitbull terrier, who stars in a You Tube video with lots of well known celebrities, (C.J. can be seen with Ian Wright towards the end.)
England haven't had a mascot for some time, and C.J.'s dream is to have people recognise Buster and do the dance, (I take it by now you've seen the video!) which is to the tune of Tom Hark.
C.J. has used his connections and his ability to talk for England to make all this happen. With his dogged determination I am sure he will help raise a lot of money for a worthwhile charity.
As we went through customs, we were picked out.... as brothers! C. J hair slicked back, former dancer and me.
What I forgot to tell you was that C.J.'s luggage consisted of a forty foot flag packed in a dog's head!
Anyway we managed to get the dog's head through customs so no doubt you will see Buster in Brazil.
© Ross Clegg & Soccerphile.com