The playground in the flats was our Wembley. Despite being on a slope and surrounded by uneven fences, it would often play host to 15-a-side matches which looked more like an uprising in the Middle East than a game of football. Trying to recreate the flicks and turns we'd seen on Nike adverts in little more than a car parking space was hard enough, never mind having a dozen kids surrounding you all trying to kick your legs away at once. So one day we invented Four Goals.
The rules were simple: only four players on at a time, with each designated a side of the playground in which there was a goal, usually marked by steel railings. You were allowed only two touches to score against someone else. The closer you got to them the better your chances, but you'd risk leaving your own 'net' open for someone to slot in if you missed. Once you were scored against, someone else took your place. Continue until it gets dark and you can't see the ball anymore.
The point of me telling you this is because, like so many other kids up and down the country, we were forging lifelong relationships with football through the concrete and steel of our surroundings. Playing football as a young kid in the UK is your first chance at self expression, no doubt about it, and to me, that's as important to the game as the World Cup. In fact, Nike have just made a video with The Rig Out celebrating the culture of street football, which you can watch below.