French fans celebrate reaching World Cup final
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Former Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall prompted a moment of nostalgia on Thursday as he posted on Twitter that he had caught up with Jamie, the teenage goalkeeper that went viral in a clip from Michael Owen Soccer Skills show in 1999. After Owen’s stunning goal for England against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, he began teaching budding players through his programme, but it was most fondly remembered for Southall’s sarcastic comment to the ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid man.
The former Wales stopper was tasked with coaching young goalkeepers, including Jamie, as they attempted to keep Owen – at the peak of his powers – at bay. Owen was two years away from winning the Ballon d’Or at the time, but did not take it easy on the teenage goalkeepers as he rounded Jamie and laughed as he put the ball into an empty net.
Owen then nutmegged Jamie to score, before his next couple of attempts were thwarted. Owen later then put an effort under the goalkeeper and then turned and celebrated, shouting “get in there” before Southall responded bluntly: “Well done, he’s 13.”
The conversation has been viewed millions of times online as Southall’s phrase has become iconic, and the Welshman met up with Jamie once more 23 years later as he posted a photo of the two of them together. “Look who I bumped into today,” Southall tweeted. “‘Well done, he’s 13’ It’s Jamie from the Michael Owen Soccer Skills video.”
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Fans were jubilant at the surprise reunion, but many did admit that it made them feel old. One wrote: “My goodness me, I feel ancient!” and many responded by amending Southall’s quote: “Well done, he’s 36,” several responded.
Jamie, who is now into his thirties, received many well-wishes from fans. One sent a message to him: “ace! That was one of the funniest comments ever – good man Nev. Hope Jamie’s doing well too!”
Jamie has in recent years spoken about his experience trying to stop Owen from scoring. “Being the goalkeeper on a programme headlined by a striker wasn’t exactly ideal for me,” Jamie said in 2016.
“It was made clear that it wouldn’t make good filming if the goalkeeper was saving all the shots taken by the other kids after they had been coached by Michael.”
A year later he admitted he hoped there would be a reunion episode however, which many fans believe Southall was hinting at with his tweet. “I would 100 per cent love to film it again, with a pair of gloves that actually fit and me being able to touch the crossbar,” Jamie said in 2017. “Hopefully there’d be a better outcome…”
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