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United Kingdom's Fort William FC Finally Wins A Match

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Fort William is a small town in the western Scottish Highlands. It's got breathtaking scenery and the ugliest soccer in Britain.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Fort William Football Club had not won in nearly two years. That's 73 matches in total. Iain Ferguson is a local journalist who's covered the team since 1996.

IAIN FERGUSON: In fact, last season was an all-time low when they were beaten, I think, 15 or 14-0 by one of the teams, which is really quite a lot in football terms.

CORNISH: Actually, that score was 16-0, but the low point in a season full of them was when Fort William was penalized nine points in the standings for using ineligible players.

SHAPIRO: To explain, in a league where you get three points for a win and one point for a draw, Fort William finished with negative seven points.

CORNISH: So the worst soccer team in Britain shocked pretty much everyone when it finally won a match last night. Iain Ferguson says even the fans were stunned Fort William took the lead.

FERGUSON: Fort William, in the match last night, drew first blood. In a remarkably short period of time - in only a few minutes, they were one ahead, which I think took absolutely everybody by surprise because there was, first of all, a stunned silence. And then everyone realized what happened and all started cheering.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECODING)

UNIDENTIFIED FANS: (Cheering, unintelligible).

SHAPIRO: The Fort William fans kept on cheering as their team beat Nairn County 5-2.

CORNISH: After the match, the scene inside the locker room was joyous insanity.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SOCCER PLAYERS: (Chanting, unintelligible).

SHAPIRO: Fort William may still be the worst soccer team in Britain, but maybe it won't take them another 73 matches to win again. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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