Thursday, 23 February 2017

1984/85 UEFA Cup: QPR v Partizan Belgrade

There is not much hope of Arsenal overturning their four goal deficit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but in 1984 QPR threw away the same advantage in their UEFA Cup tie with Partizan Belgrade.

The beginning of the 1980s was an exciting time for QPR supporters. Under the management of Terry Venables, the club were FA Cup finalists in 1982, won Division Two at a canter during the 1982/83 campaign, and a fifth-placed finish in their first season back in the top flight saw the team qualify for Europe. But there was trouble ahead.

Monday, 13 February 2017

1985 FA Cup Fifth round: Blackburn v Manchester United

As Manchester United prepare to visit Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round, I'm taking a look back at the same fixture from the 1985 competition. Many thanks to Mick Rathbone for his time in helping me write this piece.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

1986: The tied Test

Australia will soon be touring India to take part in a four Test series, but it is hard to imagine any of their matches being quite as dramatic and exciting as the 1986 Madras Test.

Monday, 23 January 2017

1989 FA Cup Fourth Round: Norwich City v Sutton United

Sutton United will play Leeds United in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend, and they will be hoping it goes a lot better than the last time they reached this stage of the competition in 1989.

Mention Sutton United to football fans, and many will justifiably recall that day at Gander Green Lane in January 1989, when the Conference team shocked 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry. But how many remember the following act in Sutton's FA Cup story that year, the difficult second album, if you like? If Coventry had been Sutton's successful debut in the eyes of the public, then Norwich City away was their Neither Fish Nor Flesh moment.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

1982/83: Graham Taylor and Watford


When the sad news of Graham Taylor passing away broke on January 12, naturally the tributes came flooding in. Whilst many noted that his time in charge of England was troubled, a lot column inches and html paragraphs were dominated with the successes Taylor enjoyed at club level, and in particular his glorious spells at Watford. When you see what Taylor had previously achieved at Lincoln City, and later at Aston Villa, it wasn't hard to see why England came calling in 1990.

Inevitably this blog will focus upon his heyday at Watford in the 1980s, and in particular Taylor's remarkable first season in the top flight during the 1982/83 campaign. To achieve three promotions in five years was one thing, but to then lead an inexperienced set of players to second place in Watford's debut season with the big boys was something else. Watford may have received a lot of criticism for their approach, yet for Taylor and Chairman Elton John, this was a victory for substance over style.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

1986: Jossy's Giants (Series 1)

Something a bit different this week, as I take a look back at series one of the cult BBC1 children's programme Jossy's Giants, in the form of an end of season newspaper report.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

1985 FA Cup Third round: Burton Albion v Leicester City

When Northern Premier League Burton Albion were drawn against Division One Leicester City in the 1985 FA Cup third round, on paper it appeared to be a romantic tie. The typical David v Goliath clash, the outside chance of a shock, and a day in the spotlight for the part-timers of Burton, provided all the classic ingredients required for this stage of the FA Cup. Sadly, the fixture ended up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.