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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
North Koreans relive spirit of 1966
North Korea caused the World Cup upset of 1966 by beating Italy
North Korea in action against Portugal in 1966
The heroes of the North Korean giant killing team of 1966 returned to the Teesside scene of their greatest glory on Wednesday.

The Koreans made a huge impression in the region when they caused the upset of the World Cup by beating mighty Italy 1-0 at Middlesbrough.

The seven surviving members of the team visited the site where Pak Do Ik scored the famous goal, which is now part of a housing estate following the demolition of the Ayresome Park ground.

On Wednesday they looked round the site, called in at the home of lifelong Boro fan Rob Nichols, and met the mayors of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington, and Hartlepool.

'Tremendous goal'

Mr Nichols' father, Neville, who was at the famous game, said: "Everyone had gone along to the game in 1966 to see a class Italian team, with Rivera and other big names.

"The game was turned on its head just before half-time when Pak Do Ik scored a tremendous goal.

"The whole place erupted, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

"From then on we adopted them, and we still talk about them."

On Friday the North Korean team will be guests of honour at a sportsman's dinner at Middlesbrough FC's new Riverside Stadium.

Quarter final

They will also visit the football club's training ground near Darlington.

On Saturday they will be introduced on the pitch before the Middlesbrough v Leeds United league fixture.

The supporters at Middlesbrough took the team to their hearts, and many followed them on to the quarter final clash at Everton.

The Koreans lost that match 5-3 to Portugal after leading 3-0.

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Neville Nichols
"We adopted the North Korean team"

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See also:

24 Jun 02 | South Korea
19 Jun 02 | Other News
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