Tuesday, 31 March 2020

1982: The Ashton Gate Eight

As the coronavirus continues to have an impact on the world economy, the relationship between sport and money has come under the spotlight recently. On the one hand, there was the news of Juventus players agreeing to take a pay cut during the crisis; conversely, it was also reported that nine players at Swiss club Sion were sacked for refusing to do follow suit.

Some may argue that the Juventus players were in a financially sound position when push came to shove, and that the players of Sion were not quite so comfortable. Yet when it comes to making career and financial sacrifices, surely nothing can match the story of the Ashton Gate Eight in 1982.

Friday, 27 March 2020

1987 FA Cup final: As it happened

Preamble

Good afternoon. What are we in for today? Will Coventry end their 104-year trophy drought and put their name on the FA Cup for the first time. Or will Chas and Dave be proved right? Seven times Tottenham have won the cup, and is number eight coming up? The bookies certainly think so, with Tottenham at 4/9 and Coventry 7/4.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Marathon seasons: Arsenal 1979/80

Looking back at Arsenal's marathon 1979/80 season; 70 matches, triumph and despair, fixture congestion, fatigue, and desolation.

May 12, 1979: as Graham Rix prepares to strike the ball, Arsenal’s season hangs in the balance. Playing their 59th match in nine months, the team are in danger of falling at the last, with nothing to show for all their efforts. Rix pulls his left foot back.

Fast forward 368 days. May 14, 1980: as Graham Rix prepares to strike the ball, he finds himself in an even more precarious situation. Playing their 68th match in nine months, the team are in danger of heaping more pain upon despair, a heavy sprinkling of salt into their gaping wound. Rix pulls his left foot back.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Football songs of the 1980s: Part 1

We all remember the classic football songs of the 1980s, those that made the top ten in the UK charts and are constantly mentioned when discussing the best and worst in this genre. But what about the lesser known tunes that may be lurking under the surface?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

1984: Chelsea's Robert Isaac is stabbed

Sheffield United's Oli McBurnie recently made headlines when he was caught making obscene gestures during Swansea's visit to South Wales rivals Cardiff City. The former Swansea player was reminded of his responsibilities by both the FA and club manager Chris Wilder, and although his attendance did raise a few eyebrows, it was quite refreshing to see a football player with an obvious connection to one of the clubs he represented in the past.

Heavy security surrounding the South Wales derby meant that McBurnie and his fellow Swansea supporters would have been shipped in and out of the Welsh capital, reducing the chances of trouble between the rival sets of fans. The experience for McBurnie would have been a whole lot different in the distant past.

Monday, 13 January 2020

1980 FA Cup final: Willie Young


We’ve all seen that tackle. As Atletico Madrid’s Alvaro Morata raced through on goal with five minutes of extra-time remaining in the Spanish Super Cup final, Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde knew what he had to do. Football constantly changes. But there is always room for classic shithousery.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Whatever happened to the FA Cup third round?

No one likes an old codger drivelling on about the good old days. But you don’t always get what you want in life. Wallowing in nostalgia was a big motivator behind me starting this blog in 2012, so strap yourself in for full-on rant from a grumpy old man.

I’m the same every January. Less than thrilled at the prospect of another year at the grindstone, I always struggle getting myself up and running in the new year. But my mood is hardly helped when FA Cup third round weekend arrives.