Deadlines and Darts with Dele My World Cup Diary - England's Rebirth in Russia and other Unexpected Tales

Jonathan Northcroft

How did you spend the long, hot, World Cup summer of 2018? For Jonathan Northcroft, chief football writer of The Sunday Times, it was 35 unforgettable days spent criss-crossing Russia, covering the biggest sporting event on the planet.
He reported on a new England team: young, daring and successful – both on the pitch, where they defied expectations to reach the semi-final, and off it, where they took on reporters in a darts challenge. He discovered a different Russia to the hostile state he was warned about in pre-tournament security briefings: open, friendly and football mad.
And he experienced the rush of working as a football writer at the very top of the game: meeting the players, going to the games, and battling the deadlines. This is his personal account of a month when we dropped everything to watch the best World Cup for a generation.