Friday, 23 September 2022

1982: Jocky Wilson Said

Looking back at the story behind the unexpected appearance of a Scottish darts legend on BBC One's flagship music programme.

Thursday September 30, 1982: At 7.35pm millions of people settle down in their living rooms to watch Top of the Pops, BBC One's weekly music programme that provides a shared experience up and down the country; from the parents complaining about the musical output or the clothing worn, to kids discussing the programme the next day at school.

As Yellow Pearl by Phil Lynott kicks in, the lights flash, and the records flying towards us are obliterated, the anticipation builds. Who will be presenting the show? Who will be performing? And which dancers will be able to thrust themselves towards the cameras whilst retaining a tiny bit of their dignity?

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

1980: Clive Allen's disallowed goal

There have been a few recent examples in football of poor decisions costing teams dearly. West Ham had every right to feel aggrieved after a late equaliser was chalked off against Chelsea, and although the mayhem at the end of the Juventus-Salernitana game was very entertaining, you can understand why the home team felt they were robbed of a dramatic victory.

These are cases of football officials, despite the video technology at their disposal, getting things so wrong that it makes you wonder if they are in the appropriate profession. But sometimes even the technology can fail, as Huddersfield found to their cost with the recent Hawk-Eye glitch. Maybe we just have to accept that both humans and machines are fallible.

Monday, 5 September 2022

1983/84: Liverpool v Wolves

The 1983/84 season was one to forget for Wolves. But they did manage to pull off a shock win at Anfield to provide their supporters with a rare moment of joy.

There are seasons so bad that any supporters who lived through the experience will shudder at the memories. Stoke fans who had to endure the 1984/85 horror show or Derby followers during the 2007/08 campaign deserve a badge of honour for their support during these hard times. Wolves' 1983/84 season falls into the same category.

Just six wins in a 42-match league campaign gives a clear indication of the struggles Wolves faced that season. It took 15 games for them to gain their first league win - albeit a delicious derby win at the Hawthorns - and their first home league win came just before the new year. Conceding 80 goals, losing 25 matches, and scoring 27 goals, Wolves were a mess.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

1980 European Cup quarter final: Celtic v Real Madrid

Celtic's previous European Cup match against Real Madrid in Glasgow was a glorious occasion. But for one of the goal scorers that evening there would be a tragic tale to follow.

For two great clubs trying to restore glory days in European club football, the 1979/80 European Cup had been a struggle for both Celtic and Real Madrid. The Scottish champions, managed by Billy McNeill, trailed Partizan Tirana 2-0 on aggregate in the first round before rallying to win 4-2. And they were far from convincing in a 3-2 aggregate win over Irish champions Dundalk.

Reaching their first European Cup quarter final since 1974, Celtic would take on the might of Real Madrid, yet the Spanish giants were far from the intimidating prospect of the 1960s. In fact, coach Vujadin Boskov was the latest to try and win a seventh European Cup for the club, their last success coming in 1966.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

1984/85: Aberdeen

There are places I'll remember, all my life though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain. Sometimes it is difficult to start a new blog, but for some reason the lyrics of Lennon and McCartney sprung to mind when choosing to look back at Aberdeen winning the 1984/85 Scottish Premier Division.

At the time, Aberdeen's fourth top flight title seemed to be the continuation of a new chapter in Scottish football. Never before had the championship remained out of the clutches of the Old Firm for three consecutive seasons. Between 1983 and 1985, the New Firm of Dundee United and Aberdeen had changed the footballing landscape.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

The classified football results

It doesn't take much for a media storm to brew. Take something traditional, ditch it without giving any notice, and stand back to assess the damage. Removing the classified football results from the BBC Sports Report programme at 5pm on a Saturday was always going to be a move that would set teeth gnashing up and down the country.

A few caveats: I'm not angry, just disappointed. Yes, I know I'm possibly a dinosaur who should let go of things like this. But I'm still trying to get over the loss of Teletext, so cut me some slack. Yes, I know we all have access to football scores at our fingertips now. Personally I love the fact that checking the latest scores when out and about has progressed since the 80s. But there is surely still a space for something as cherished as the classified football results.

Monday, 8 August 2022

1989/90: Aston Villa v Everton

It would prove to be a pivotal match in the 1989/90 season for both Aston Villa and Everton. A crossroads during the campaign where one team took a wrong turn and the other joined the road that led to a title race. And all of this was played out in front of a live ITV audience on the Big Match.

There was a sense of anticipation as the opening credits rolled and that classic theme tune played on Sunday November 5, 1989. Aston Villa and Everton were potential title challengers, and it was hard to disagree with co-commentator Ian St John when he predicted a score draw between two teams that looked evenly matched.