Monday, 25 May 2020

1980 European Cup final: Nottingham Forest v Hamburg

“You win something once and people say it is all down to luck,” Brian Clough said after Nottingham Forest had successfully defended the European Cup on May 28, 1980. “You win it twice and it shuts the buggers up.”

Winning the 1979 European Cup was hardly a fluke. Defeating Liverpool and Cologne on their way to the final in Munich, Nottingham Forest could not be accused of having things easy. Admittedly, Malmo were not the most testing of opponents in the final. But a year on, Forest’s opponents in the final at the Bernabeu could not be dismissed so lightly.

Monday, 18 May 2020

1980 European Cup semi-final: Nottingham Forest v Ajax

With the comeback win over Dynamo Berlin complete, Nottingham Forest joined Real Madrid, Hamburg and Ajax in the draw for the European Cup semi-finals. When Brian Clough’s team were drawn to face the Dutch champions, assistant manager Peter Taylor did little to hide his delight.

“Frankly, we could not have had a better draw,” Taylor admitted. “It suits us fine, especially as we know more about Ajax than the other two clubs. I’ve been over to Holland watching players recently and consequently already know a good deal about them.”

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

1980 European Cup Winners' Cup final: Arsenal v Valencia

As Arsenal’s players trudged from the Wembley pitch after losing the FA Cup final to Second Division West Ham, an inescapable fact hung in the air like a bad smell; despite all their efforts during their gruelling 67-match season, there was now a strong possibility that Arsenal would end the season potless.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

1980 European Cup quarter final: Nottingham Forest v Dynamo Berlin

Brian Clough memorably led Nottingham Forest to European Cup glory in 1979. During a turbulent March 1980, it looked as if their defence of the trophy was over.

The first half of March 1980 was a testing time for Nottingham Forest. Defeat to a Bolton team that had previously won just one league match was Forest’s 11th loss in Division One, but it would be two defeats in cup competitions that the club had won during the previous campaign that caused the press vultures to circle.

Monday, 27 April 2020

1985: Steve Davis and the black ball final

So much has been written about that 1985 World Snooker Championship that it is tricky to find a different angle (pardon the pun). Dennis Taylor, the popular player from Northern Ireland winning the title for the first time, on the final black in the final frame, 18.5 million people watching on BBC2 as the clock ticked over to 12.23am. An iconic moment in the sport.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

World Snooker Championships musical montages

It seems a bit of a cliché to say that we were blessed with characters in snooker during the 1980s, but this is an inescapable fact. The heyday of the sport certainly provided ample material for a few memorable musical montages when it came to the World Championships.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Marathon seasons: Ipswich Town 1980/81

Marathon football seasons often end in sweat and tears. Arsenal (1980) and Dundee United (1987) are just two examples of campaigns that promised so much but ultimately delivered nothing in terms of trophies. But sometimes the long drawn out story does have a happy ending.