Hector Castro was a legendary figure in Uruguay. Sadly, at the age of 13 he accidentally amputated his right arm while using an electric saw, hence the nickname.
At the 1930 World Cup, Hector was brought into the squad to replace the ill-stricken Peregrino Anselmo in the opening game of the first ever World Cup tournament, and what a tournament he had!
Castro scored Uruguay's first World Cup goal, and indeed the first goal ever scored in World Cup history, in an opening game 1-0 victory against Peru. In fact the two goals Castro scored in the tournament proved to be of vital importance to his country and, if the stories are true, he also snubbed a bride before the final which little did he know would secure his and Uruguay's place in football folklore.
The Argentineans had gone ahead at half-time leading by two goals to one, while Uruguay went in pursuit of an equalising goal. Jose Pedro Cea stepped up to score the leveller in the 57th minute. It was 2-2 in the capital. 68,000 people look on inside the stadium while armed guards outside prepared for a domestic siege between the rival fans. The clock read 89 minutes; the home side lead Argentina by 3 goals to 2 through a Santos Iriarte goal. Suddenly Uruguay break away and Hector Castro fires the ball into the roof of the net to score the decisive fourth goal.
Castro's second goal in the competition clinched the first ever World Cup final victory in Montevideo.
El Manco Divino also won an Olympic gold medal in 1928 and would lift eight league titles for Nacional as a player and coach. Sadly, Hector never played in another World Cup tournament, Uruguay snubbed the 1934 finals in Italy and by the time the 1950 finals came around Hector had retired from international football*. El Divino Manco played 25 times for Uruguay and scored 20 goals. Not bad for a guy with one arm whom many might suggest doesn't have a place on a football field. Disability never stood in his way and nor should it.
So there you have it, the World Cup final match winner with a disability.
*Uruguay also snubbed the World Cup finals in France 1938 but they won the tournament once more in Brazil in 1950.
The story goes that one day a little boy came home from school with a small bird cradled in his hands. The sister of the younger brother, who's legs were bent and his spine deforemed said:
"It's just like you, it flies around a lot but it's no good for anything - it's a Garrincha."
It was doctors who told Manuel Francisco de Santos that he would never walk unaided. And they weren't far wrong; for garrincha never walked, he flew!
It's easy to say that although Pelé may be more well-known, Garrincha was loved was more than the famous number 10 ever will be.
Pelé never played much of the World Cup in 1952, after suffering an injury in the second game. But with Pelé gone, Garrincha stepped up; scoring four goals and producing incedible performances on the wing, as Brazil defended their status as the world's best footballing outfit.
Garrincha played the majority of his professional career for the Brazilian team Botafogo. At Brazil's national stadium, the Maracanã, the home team room is known as "Garrincha". In the nations capital Brasília, the Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha is named after him.
Garrincha was the joy of the Brazilian people. The Anjo de Pernas Tortas, English translation the 'angel with bent legs', they called him. He entertained audiences with his flair. Innocent and original, Garrincha played for fun; he played to amuse and the fans realised that.
Alegria do Povo, the People's Joy. That was Garrincha.
"In Uruguay they'd have killed me if we won, and in Italy they'd have killed me if I lost."
Luis Felipe Monti is the only player to have appeared in two World Cup Finals representing different nations. Monti played as an attacking centre half. As part of the old Metodo system he would mark the opposing centre half when his team was defending, but would be the main play maker when his team were attacking due to his creativity and passing technique. He was nicknamed "doblo ancho", English translation 'double wide, not for his stature but because of his extensive coverage of the pitch.
At the 1930 World Cup Final, Monti's Argentina were up by two goals to nil at half time. Yet their dynamic midfielder was in tears. As he left the pitch for the break Monti was approached by two rather dodgy characters; they threatened "If you win, we will kill your Mother and Sister."
It was clear to all spectating the game that Monti was a shadow of himself in the second half. The official report notes an injury to his thigh but everyone knows that the death threats took their toll. So much so that Uruguay won the game 4-2, becoming the first nation to win the World Cup and on home soil too.
Four years passed and Monti, now a Juventus player, had been granted full Italian citizenship. As such, this gifted midfielder would be part of the World Cup winning Italian XI that would triumph 2-1 against Uruguay. Perhaps Monti gained some sweet revenge after the victory.
World Cup success brought Monti untold fame. He remains to this day to be the only footballer to appear in the World Cup Final for different nations. Oddly, he lifted the Copa America with Argentina in 1927, and 7 years later he lifted the Jules Rimet trophy with the Azzurri.
Madness! Good old Monti getting justice over Uruguayan crime lords.
"Skinny little black boy", these are the words Pelé used to describe himself prior to his international debut for Seleção at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.
1958 would be the year in which Pelé's genius was introduced to the world. Prior to the campaign the 17 year old Pelé averaged a goal a game at Brazilian side Santos. Remarkable when you know that he was also injured; suffering from a knee injury, Pelé rigorously applied a boiling hot cloth to it in order to alleviate the pain.
Interestingly, he sparsely made the final cut. Even his team mate and Brazilian legend Garincha was unfavoured. The two players who would epitomise Brazilian football barely scrapped past selection and were left sitting on the bench for the first two group games.
Both players missed the opening game against Austria, which Brazil won 3-0. A scoreless draw against England meant Brazil had to beat the USSR to reach the knockout stages. Brazil coach Vicente Feola made the three changes that would alter the course of Brazilian, and world, football forever. having been xcluded from the squad in the opening games; Zito, Garrincha and Pelé were given a start against the USSR,
French football legend, Gabrial Hanot, described the opening 3-minutes of the game as the "greatest three minutes of football". In the first Garrincha bamboozled the defence and struck the crossbar, in the second Pelé hit the crossbar and in the third Didi cut the ball inside, sending three opponents for a hot dog and played a lovely outside of the foot pass to Vavá who fired the ball past Lev Yashin. Vavá scored again in the 74th minute, to win the game 2-0.
The youngest player to play at the World Cup, at the age of 17, was a crucial part of a winning formula that would define football for generations.
Their next opponents Wales offered up a tough test. Though this will always be the game in which Pelé would become an icon. Brazil overcame Waled by a goal to nil. Pelé was the scorer; with his back to goal he chested the ball onto his right foot, flicked the ball around his defender and prodded it into the bottom corner. His Brazilian team mates piled on top of him; celebrating inside the Welsh goal.
In the semi-final Brazil took the lead when Vavá opened the scoring with a half-volley controlled on the chest. Just Fontaine equalised for France taking the ball round the keeper and placing the ball high into the net. When Fontaine levelled the scoring the young Pelé grabbed the ball, darted back to the centre circle and screamed at his team mates: "Let's get started".
Didi scored a peach from outside the box; a shot that sailed into the top right corner. While the 'skinny little black boy' scored a second half hat-trick to seal a 5-2 victory and passage to the World Cup final, in a tournament where he wasn't really meant to feature.
The 1958 World Cup Final as the first to be broadcast live on television. Following Brazil's 5-2 victory over host's Sweden in the Final, Pelé blacked out and had to be revived by his team mates.
Brazil had won their first World Cup, a mere 7 years after the the 'skinny little black boy' had stolen peanuts from a warehouse in a desperate, unsuccessful, attempt to swap them for football boots.
Many regard Pelé as the greatest of all time. He went on to lift the World Cup a further two times with Brazil in 1962 and 1970; making him the only player to ever lift three World Cups. Pelé is the all-time leading goalscorer for his country with 77 goals in 92 international games.
And there you have it folks, the skinny little black boy from Brazil.
RIP Kick off at 3
This series offers tales from a time before the end of the 3pm kick off. When crowds were enormous, money wasn't a thing and loyalty was at the heart of the sport.