June 2014

The 55th Anniversary of the Greatest Shock in World Cup History

SPECIAL OFFER to celebrate the 55thAnniversary of the Greatest Shock in World Cup History

19thJuly 2021 marks the 55thanniversary of the North Korean national football team pulling off what has been accurately described as‘the greatest shock in World Cup history’ by beating perennial powerhouse Italy 1-0 in the group stage of the 8thWorld Cup, a match that took place at Ayresome Park football stadium in Middlesbrough, UK. To celebrate the anniversary of this match Koryo Studio and VMS Productions have uploaded a re-mastered version of the award winning (Royal Television Society winner ‘Best Sports Documentary’)

film The Game of Their Lives– a documentary telling the story of the team’s remarkable journey from Pyongyang to England, and on to their place in footballing history.

Game of Their Lives

We are offering the chance to buy a limited edition (55 prints of each image only) of the following two photographs which were part of the material from the making of our documentary in 2002: Pak Sung Jin, who kept the team in the competition by scoring against Chile in the last minute and Pak Do Ik,scorer of the goal that forever scarred Italian football – so much so that if there is a disaster in Italian football they refer to it as an ‘un altro Corea’ (another Korea).


The images are printed on Matt paper size 33.7 x 27.8 cms with 2 cms framing border. Individual photographs 89 euros sealed with Koryo Studio stamp and certificate of authenticity. Postage is 20 euros worldwide.

Game of Their Lives 3

PHOTOGRAPH: Pak Sung Jin taken from the cover of the DPRK periodical ‘Fatherland’ (October 1966). (size 33.7 x 28.6 including 2 cms white border printed on hahnemühle matt paper)

I was Number 8 in the 1966 World Cup. My name is Pak Sung Jin. I started playing when I was young. A football team played next to my house. This inspired me to play.

Pak Sung Jin

Pak Sung Jin was very fit and had especially strong legs. He tied elastic string round them and stretched his legs. He did this every day, a thousand times each leg.

Elastic String

Game of Their Lives 3

PHOTOGRAPH: Pak Do Ik (size 33.7 x 27.8 cms including 2 cms whitte border printed on hahnemühle matt paper)

Right after the war, I worked in a print factory as a labourer. While I was labouring, I started playing football. In 1957, I was selected to play for the Pyongyang team. That was when I turned professional. I was already 20 years old. In 1959, I was selected for the National Squad

Football Is Not Only About Winning

The English people took us to their hearts and vice versa. I learned that football is not only about the winning. Wherever we go playing football can improve diplomatic relations and promote peace.

(Pak Do Ik, quoted in ‘A State of Mind’ 2002)

The Goal

“North Korea have taken the lead. Italy a goal down to North Korea Who ever would have believed it. They are absolutely overwhelmed. And who would be anywhere else tonight in this World Cup Competition but here at Ayresome Park. Extraordinary things afoot. And this stadium has never heard support like this for years and years”.

(Frank Bough, BBC announcer)

They’ve won!

And Ayresome Park in uproar. And they’ve won. Good heavens, they’ve won. North Korea have beaten Italy. What is going on here? They are delighted. This is fantastic. And North Korea will be in the quarter finals. And the crowd rising to them. And they are in tears. They are weeping tears of joy.

(Frank Bough, BBC announcer)

A beautifully illustrated 8-minute story of the team and of their return to Middlesbrough in 2002, thirty five years after their footballing adventures, can be found here:


The police were there to make sure no-one came onto the pitch. This showed how much the English people loved us especially those from Middlesbrough. It still remains a riddle to me the people of Middlesbrough supported us all the way through. I still don’t know the reason why.

Prints are available for sale. Please enquire with us about availability.