vale Johan

I watched the Netherlands v Sweden World Cup game live in 1974.
The Guardian has a delightful account of the game here.
The game contains a transformational moment. If you blinked during the live coverage you missed it.

I was twenty-two at the time I saw this. After the game I went out into my road to practice the Cruyff drag. My road was an unmade road at the time but there were ten other families out there all trying the same move. Most of the young people were in their pyjamas at 10pm in a poorly lit road.
In contemporary terminology, the range of balls we we were using, the surface variability (stones and potholes) and our footwear (at least half the group were in bedroom slippers) stimulated our learning in a dynamic way. In those days it is just what we did … even at 10pm
I lament Johan’s death. He has been in my thoughts since that day in 1974 … it was one of those moments in my learning journey I hope I never forget. It combines real time observation with mimicry and vicarious learning. A potent mix.
I include Rob Mieremet’s picture here. This is how I remember Johan Cruyff (forever 27 years old).

Photo Credit

Johan Cruyff (Rob Mieremet, Dutch National Archives, The Hague, CC BY-SA 3.0)


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