World Cup FACTS
Football supporters rejoice, for here comes the 2010 FIFA World Cup! Non-football supporters - tough shit. Go shopping, or something.
And what better way to mark the occasion than with a list of completely and utterly 100 per cent true FACTS about the world's favourite sporting event.
FACT: "Some people are on the pitch!" cried Kenneth Wostenholme on that day in 1966, "They think it's all over!" Amongst the people on the pitch were a youthful Prince Charles, seperated from his mother during the half-time crush for the toilets, caught up in the excitement of the hour. He is still banned from all football grounds for life for his behaviour
FACT: Who wasn't moved by the sight of Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne's tears during Italia 90? He wasn't crying over his booking which meant he would have missed the final - the sensitive young man was the victim of the first recorded "Your mum" joke. The culprit? Step forward Gary Winston Lineker.
FACT: It's now widely known that the World Cup 78 was fixed to ensure an Argentine victory. We should have noticed at the time, as the world completely failed to notice an entire troop of heavily-armed riot police in the key centre midfield role alongside Ossie Ardiles.
FACT: This year's event will be the People's World Cup, where one member of the public is picked for each nation's squad by means of a lottery, irrespective of talent. England's representative: Emile Heskey
FACT: After Brazil won the original Jules Rimet trophy outright in 1970, FIFA commissioned a new trophy based on the penis of England legend Nobby Styles
FACT: The Vatican was kicked out of the 2010 qualifying tournament, after insisting on sharing the team bath with the ball boys
FACT: The result of the 1942 World Cup final has gone unrecorded for the best part of seven decades. Historians now recognise an extra time win for the Soviet Union over Germany in a brutal encounter in Stalingrad
FACT: North Korea have been caught out by FIFA in their attempts to use one of their goalkeeper choices as an outfield player. "Not fair!" rages Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, "We always had rush goalie in our school playground". Sadly for Kim, FIFA has told him it's their ball, and he can't take it home with him.
FACT: Attractive young ladies! If a police officer comes up to you in the street and tells you that it is illegal and racist to wear your England football shirt in public and that you must remove it at once, he probably isn't a police officer, and just wants to see your tits
FACT: At last, MATHS and SCIENCE can reveal that the ball really did cross the line for that controversial third goal in the 1966 final. Hats off to Professor Harry England and his team at the Department of English Studies at the University of England, in England
BONUS FACT: Scotland's World Cup song for 2010 is "Ah, bugger it, we cannae be bothered", written and performed by The Proclaimers. England's official song is called "Oh Christ, who let Heskey on the plane?"
BONUS BONUS FACT: Should England fail in their quest for World Cup glory, manager Fabio Capello will be able to fall back on his career as a Tommy Cooper lookalike