Lions’ fans in tears over World Cup loss but not in Shoalhaven

FOOTY TRAGICS: Four members of Nowra’s own ‘Table of Knowledge’ (from left) Mick Taylor, Jimmy Barr, Kenny McLean and Geoff Whatmore.
FOOTY TRAGICS: Four members of Nowra’s own ‘Table of Knowledge’ (from left) Mick Taylor, Jimmy Barr, Kenny McLean and Geoff Whatmore.

If you walk down Junction Street, Nowra most mornings and into local coffee shop Junction 91, you’ll see group of what we could call “elder statesmen”.

They sit at the same table, just to the right as you enter the shop - in fact the table is reserved for them.

They refer to themselves as the “Table of Knowledge”.

Each morning they meet, catch up, have a cup of coffee and discuss what's going on around the world – especially the news.

They often try to solve all world’s problems or at least have suggestions.

But invariably the conversation always comes back to football - not soccer - football [“give it it’s rightful name lad!”]

And over the past couple of weeks that conversation has been even more heightened with the World Cup - and of course England’s thrilling run into the finals.

Ken McLean, Jimmy Barr, Mick Taylor, Tom McDonald and Geoff Whatmore have been meeting together each morning for years, some for as many as 25 years.

Most have a background from “the Old Country”.

Kenny from Chelmsford, Essex, Jimmy’s from Scotland, where Mick also has links, while Geoff is from Yorkshire.

They have all been watching the World Cup with intense interest, in fact Jimmy proudly boasts he’s watched every game.

They have all watched the Three Lions’ campaign, however surprisingly other than Jimmy and Geoff, none took the Poms to win the World Cup.

Jimmy also picked Croatia along with England and Geoff also nominated Brazil, Kenny was on Belgium and Mick, France.

Like many English fans, Jimmy and Geoff dared to dream - 2018 could be the year they bring home the World Cup.

As the wins mounted and the Lions progressed further and further into the tournament ‘it’s coming home’ became the catch-cry.

Unfortunately that evaporated - instead it’s ‘going to someone else’s home’ after England went down to Croatia 2-1 in extra time in Thursday morning’s semi-final.

“They [England] didn’t deserve to win,” Jimmy said.

“The better team won - England lacked a playmaker.”

Geoff agreed, “I turned it off with five to go in extra-time, I knew after Croatia scored that goal it was over,” he said.

“It’s disappointing, but the better team won. They were more enthusiastic.”

As for the final between Croatia and France the opinions are divided with France maybe just getting the nod.