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. 

Monday, 19 August 2019

1985 Ashes: Wayne Phillips

Nothing could separate the teams going into the fifth Test of the six-match 1985 Ashes series at Edgbaston. England’s win at Headingley had been countered by Australia triumphing at Lord’s, and a flat pitch at Trent Bridge, and bad weather at Old Trafford, meant that England were in desperate need of a win.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

1987 World Athletics Championships: Fatima Whitbread

Before 1986, major championships had not been kind to Fatima Whitbread. Defeated with the final javelin throw of the 1983 World Championships by Tiina Lillak, there was more heartbreak to come at the hand of British rival Tessa Sanderson. Defeats at the 1984 Olympics and 1986 Commonwealth Games led inevitably to the bridesmaid tag being mentioned ad nauseum.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

1987 Wimbledon: Boris Becker v Peter Doohan

Before 1987, the only pain Boris Becker had suffered at Wimbledon was during his third-round match against Bill Scanlon. Stretchered off court two after tearing ankle ligaments, the 16-year-old German exited the tournament in agonising circumstances.