From THE LOCAL (Norway):

Norway has selected a football commentator’s ecstatic outpouring of emotion and political one-upmanship as one of the most important cultural documents in the country’s history. United Nations cultural agency UNESCO and the Norwegian Arts Council jointly presented a list on Wednesday of some 60 archive holdings and historical documents that will represent Norway in UNESCO’s Memory of the World programme, a project designed to safeguard against collective global amnesia. Alongside such invaluable cultural artefacts as the constitution, original notes to an Edvard Grieg concerto and the manuscript for Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House”, Norway has chosen to submit Bjørge Lillelien’s radio coverage of Norway’s 2-1 win over sizzling hot favourites England in a World Cup qualifier in Oslo in 1981.

Lillelien launched into one of most celebrated pieces of commentary in sporting history after the referee blew the final whistle on a game the Norwegians were widely expected to lose, and lose badly.

Which translated goes something like this:

“We’re the best in the world! We’re the best in the world! We’ve beaten England 2-1 in football! It’s absolutely unbelievable! We’ve beaten England! England, birthplace of giants – Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana! We’ve beaten them all!

"Maggie Thatcher, can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher, I have a message for you: We have knocked England out of the World Cup in football. Maggie Thatcher, as they say in your language in the boxing bars round Madison Square Garden in New York: Your boys took a hell of a beating!"

You know, the Norwegian language sounds scarily German when its shouted.

Actually, I remember this well. Our footballers had just been well and truly thrashed by the plucky, Norwegian team and we were all feeling pretty humiliated. We were in serious danger of beginning to doubt our superiority over foreigners. But then we heard this and our confidence was restored. Knowing full well that no BBC commentator would ever behave so rudely but would naturally adopt a false but good mannered tone of humility after our national team had won something (for a change), our sense of superiority over all things foreign was immediately restored.

Nowadays if we need our sense of superiority on the world stage boosting we simply watch videos of US Tea Party rallies.



  1. Lacks the divine simplicity of “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!!!”

    I await our resident Viking’s take on this all-important!!1!1! matter…

  2. Oh my word, this is awesome. Esp. the “Your boys took a hell of a beating!!” bwaahahahahaha!! I guess they really took a thumpin’!

    :rolls on floor laughing: