December 30 is a special day for me as a journalist.

It marks the 20th anniversary of my first ever published article.

The piece, which I’ve scanned here, appeared in the Mexico City News. I got my start there as an editor in November 1990 after meeting two of the paper’s editors at a party.

(More on the history of the Mexico City News at this not very good wikipedia page.)

I asked if I could write a story and this was the result, a look back on that year’s World Cup, at which I’d seen Scotland make their customary agonizing exit at the first round stage.

When I look back on the piece I recall writing it by hand, and a colleague laughing at me for not using the computer. (I was even less computer literate then than now).

I remember the oldest lady on the staff, the lovely Irene Sayago, giving me advice afterwards on how to round the piece out.

And I distinctly remember feeling that this was all a dream and that I would never realise my ambition of becoming a real journalist.

As it turned out, I wrote another piece in January on the birthday of Scot’s poet Robert Burns and then covered the INXS concert, which was big news at the time because back then foreign bands didn’t come to Latin America.

I then began to pen a regular column on European football, updating the weekend results. (Back then the internet didn’t exist and it was the only way for many fans to stay informed.)

In early 1992, after a year and a half at the News I moved on to UPI.

But that’s a story for another day.