Tuesday, 5 November 2019

1985/86: Football television blackout

Can you imagine the uproar if an announcement had been made before the 2019/20 season declaring that there would be no football coverage on our television screens? No Match of the Day, Goals on Sunday, Super Sunday, Monday Night football, and a complete ban of any goal action on news programmes. Only Soccer AM for us to watch; it sounds horrific.

Monday, 28 October 2019

1981/82 UEFA Cup: Arsenal v Winterslag

This article first appeared in issue 270 of The Gooner

The start of the 1981/82 season was not going swimmingly for Arsenal manager Terry Neill. After losing Liam Brady in the summer of 1980, Frank Stapleton was the next star to leave Highbury, his departure in August 1981 made that much harder when he chose to join Manchester United. Without adequate replacements for their star men, the Arsenal faithful were restless.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Cricket: Silk Cut Challenge for all-rounders

“I count myself extremely fortunate to have played the bulk of my international career in the company of a clutch of outstanding all-rounders,” Ian Botham wrote in Botham’s Century. “It was quite a freaky time in that respect, and the fact that Kapil, Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee were vying with each other and myself for the unofficial title of ‘the best in the world’ undoubtedly spurred us all on.”

Thursday, 3 October 2019

1989/90: Alex Ferguson's struggles continue

There are many achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson’s that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love to repeat as Manchester United manager. But mirroring the start of the 1989/90 campaign was probably low down on his list. The recent draw against Arsenal gave Manchester United their worst league start to a season in 30 years. When United gained seven points from seven matches in 1989, it seemed that Fergie time was running out.

Friday, 27 September 2019

1987 Rugby World Cup: England

Mike Weston and Martin Green were swimming against the tide as they tried to prepare England for the inaugural World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. Weston (Chairman of Selectors) and Green (coach) had started building up to the tournament a year before the event.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Book review: Tony Knowles - Heart Breaks

“He broke a million hearts on and off the table.” The words of Phoenix Club owner Brian Potter, as he opened his new Tony Knowles suite, were funny because they were true. So accurate in fact, that the title of Gareth McGinley’s new book on the snooker star of the 1980s is spot on.

Friday, 13 September 2019

1989 Ashes: An A to Z of humiliation

Failing to regain the Ashes in 2019 hurt, but nothing can compare to the 1989 series that provided an A to Z of humiliation.

They may have been billed as the worst Australian team to tour England, yet in David Boon the tourists at least had a drinker to contend with the best.  Reportedly drinking fifty-two cans of lager on the flight over, Boon had to be carried off the plane.