EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 13, 2014

'Welcome to our world'

Father and son enjoying the company as fans jump on soccer bandwagon

You wouldn’t want to play soccer with John Munro and his only son, John Munro IV, especially if you’re pretty good.

“I was terrible,” said 30-year old John IV. “I was never a very good athlete. I liked playing baseball more. My dad was a pretty good coach and referee. But I’ve seen him kick a ball. He’s not very good, either.”

But if you are a fan of the sport or would like to be, you most definitely would want to follow the Munros’ lead.

They are soccer fans, real soccer fans.

Long before the recent trend around here, when soccer recently became a little cooler to watch than in previous generations, the Munros have had a love of affair with the game.

And today they’ll no doubt be watching the Germany-Argentina final (3 p.m., ABC).

“I don’t know if he suckered me into the sport or the other way around,” said dad, a North Andover resident.

It was definitely the other way around.

John III, who travelled often to Europe for business, was there on a trip to England in the “mid-1970s” when an associate asked him if he wanted to attend an FA Cup playoff game in Newcastle, which is in the northeastern part of the country. Newcastle was playing one of the Manchester teams.

He didn’t remember the team but he remembered the ending.

“There’s about a minute left in the game and Newcastle is down 1-0,” said John III. “Newcastle comes down the field and scores. The stadium is going crazy. But the referee rules ‘no goal,” saying it was offsides. So then the game continues and Newcastle moves the ball down the field again, and scores again. Again, it’s wild. But the referee rules ‘no goal’ because of offsides again.

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