Sunday, 21 May 2017

1980s: FA Cup final tackles

Thankfully some FA Cup final traditions remain, but it is probably just as well that tackles like the ones discussed below are no longer part of the game.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Athletics: Women's track world records

Paula Radcliffe expressed anger at the recent announcement by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) that world records set before 2005 were going to be erased from history. Many feel sorry for Radcliffe and others, but for the records that have stood in women's individual track events since the 1980s, there will be less sympathy.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

1987: Players Championship

Jeff Sluman looked set to win the 1987 Players Championship in a play-off against Sandy Lyle, before a drunk spectator plunged into the sporting hall of shame.

It should have been a moment in the spotlight for Jeff Sluman. After seven years as a professional, the 29-year-old stood over a putt on the notorious 17th hole at Sawgrass to claim not just his first tournament on the PGA Tour, but the prestigious Players Championship, an event that despite being relatively new, had such a strong field that some had already dubbed it as the fifth major.

Monday, 8 May 2017

1982/83: Brighton and Hove Albion

After gaining promotion under Alan Mullery in 1978/79, Brighton and Hove Albion had managed to keep their heads above water for the first two years of their life in Division One. After a difficult start to their first season, the club eventually finished in 16th. A great escape in 1980/81 saw the team win their last four games to stay up, although this was followed by the shock resignation of Mullery, after a row with chairman Mike Bamber regarding the transfer of Mark Lawrenson and proposed adjustments to his coaching staff.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Ayrton Senna: The Last Night

I'll let you into a little secret. The moment I pick up a sporting biography I immediately turn to the photo sections of the book. From a young age I loved nothing more than analysing the minutest detail of every picture, picking out the expressions of the athletes involved, and assessing the mental state of the protagonists and spectators.

Therefore, when I was asked to review Ayrton Senna: The Last Night, I jumped at the chance. A photographic portrait of the great man's career, the book, edited by Giorgio Terruzzi, contains over 150 images taken by Ercole Colombo, covering Senna's journey from Formula Three to his three Formula One world championships, and, as the book title indicates, the tragic events of Imola 1994.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Five years of That 1980s Sports Blog

Time flies when you're having fun. I can't believe that it is five years since I published my first blog on sport in the 1980s - an opportunity to vent my spleen regarding Arsenal's loss to York City in 1985 - and in that time I've managed to rattle off 214 more pieces.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

1986/87: Division Four relegation battle

Lincoln City are on the verge of a return to the Football League, but thirty years ago they were not so lucky.

When the Football League announced a series of structural reforms in the game during April 1986, one particular innovation appeared to be long overdue. Out went the antiquated re-election system that would decide whether a club remained in Division Four, the days of the "old boys network" thankfully at an end. In came automatic promotion and relegation between the Fourth Division and the GM Vauxhall Conference, with the champions of the latter replacing the team finishing rock bottom in the Football League.