Sunday, 18 September 2016

1980: Clive Allen and Arsenal

This article first appeared in issue 260 of The Gooner

It was a transfer that appeared to make sense at the time. After the gruelling and heart breaking 70-match season in 1979/80, it was clear that Arsenal needed reinforcements if they wanted to progress to the next level, and it was essential that the money earned from their cup runs should be invested in the squad. With the impending departure of Liam Brady, Arsenal fans were in need of some positives, so the signing of Clive Allen at least provided a glimmer of hope.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

1980s: Goalkeeping gaffs

Claudio Bravo made a much publicised error on his recent Man City debut, but I'm not sure if his cock up matched any of the following goalkeeping bloopers from the 1980s.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

1980s: Ryder Cup moments

There are 28 points up for grabs in a Ryder Cup, so this week I thought I would take a look back at the same number of talking points related to the event in the 1980s. A decade that would see the contest begin to evolve into what we witness today; Jacklin and Seve steering the European juggernaut; Concorde; Irish heroes; a tie; and a putt that a certain American probably wishes that everyone would forget.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

1984/85: Stoke City

The Holocaust Season; three words that will send a chill down the spine of any Stoke City fans who are old enough to remember the 1984/85 First Division campaign. A record breaking season so bad that it would take 21 years for Stoke's exploits to be beaten, and a year so stressful that Stoke's manager and chairman paid a heavy price; the latter the heaviest price of all.

Friday, 22 July 2016

1989 US PGA: Mike Reid

The 1989 US PGA Championship was going so well for Mike Reid, but with just three holes to go things started to go downhill fast.

Golf, perhaps more than any other sport, has seen its fair share of famous collapses. Indeed, if sport is often played in the head, then it can come as no surprise that many a golfer has succumbed to the pressures of trying to close out a major during the inward half of the final round. The list is long and exhaustive: Adam Scott (2012 Open); Jordan Spieth (2016 US Masters); Rory McIlroy (2011 US Masters); Jean van de Velde (1999 Open); Arnold Palmer (1966 US Open); T.C. Chen (1985 US Open). These are just a few examples of someone getting a severe case of the final round heebie-jeebies.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Olympic Collision: The Story of Mary Decker and Zola Budd

August 10, 1984: after 1,700 metres of the women's 3,000m Olympic final, four runners are out in front. We didn't know it at the time, but we were just seconds away from one of the most memorable moments of the 1984 Summer Olympics, indeed of the whole sporting decade.

A race that had been so eagerly anticipated appeared to be living up to the hype. Yet for two of the athletes involved, there would be no fairy tale ending, more like a nightmare. It is a story that needs to be told and, luckily for a sports addict like me, it has. This unfortunate coming together has been brilliantly covered in Kyle Keiderling's new book: Olympic Collision - The story of Mary Decker and Zola Budd.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

1980s Open Championships

This week I am taking a look back on the Open Championships of the 1980s. A decade that was initially dominated by Tom Watson, saw Britain enjoy success, involved the joy of Seve, and witnessed record attendances, and high and low scores. Plus a few dodgy number ones....