Sheffield pensioner backing Uruguay in World Cup clash

Uruguay fan Tanya Scmoller attended the first World Cup Final, in 1930.
Uruguay fan Tanya Scmoller attended the first World Cup Final, in 1930.
Have your say

Not many people in Sheffield will be supporting Uruguay when they meet England in the football World Cup tonight,

However, one 96-year-old woman will certainly be rooting for the South Americans when the two sides meet in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Tanya Schmoller was born in Uruguay, but has lived in England for more than 65 years, having moved here in the 1940s.

The keen football fan, who arrived in Sheffield in the late Eighties and has lived in Nether Edge ever since, said: “It will be difficult for Uruguay, but it all depends on whether Luis Suarez is fit I suppose

“I’ll definitely be cheering them on though.”

Tanya is one of just a handful of people thought to be still alive from the 80,000-strong crowd that attended the first World Cup final 84 years ago in her native Uruguay.

However, she says her memories of her home country’s 4-2 win over rivals Argentina in Montevideo in 1930 are hazy.

She said: “I can’t really remember a lot about the game. It was a long time ago and I was only 12.

“I think I can recall the name of one of the Uruguay players – Scarone, if I remember correctly.

“One thing that does stick out though, is after the game people were carrying the Argentine flag around the streets in a coffin.

“Those days there weren’t too many teams competing, but it was a big deal for the country.”

It certainly was a big occasion, as Uruguay were celebrating their centenary of its first constitution in 1830.

This was a major factor in FIFA choosing the country as inaugural hosts, as well as the fact they had tasted success two years previously at the 1928 Olympics.

In total, 13 countries competed in the first tournament, some way off the 32 at this year’s extravaganza in Brazil.

Tanya, who had a successful career in publishing after arriving in England, said: “I used to play as goalkeeper when I was young and the first piece I ever knitted together was a football top.

“Nowadays, I watch what football I can.”

For the record, the victorious Uruguay team were: Enrique Ballestrero; captain José Nasazzi; Ernesto Mascheroni; José Andrade; Álvaro Gestido; Lorenzo Fernández; Héctor Scarone; Pedro Cea; Pablo Dorado; Héctor Castro; and Santos Iriarte.