Wednesday, 28 May 2014

1980 Mundialito

What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first ever World Cup in Uruguay than to arrange a tournament between the six previous winners, a champion of champions event played in the very same country where the World Cup had first kicked-off all those years ago? And so the Mundialito (Little World Cup) or Copa de Oro (Gold Cup) was conceived in 1979, the celebratory tournament to be played in December 1980 and January 1981, contested between Uruguay, Italy, West Germany, Brazil, England, and Argentina.

Monday, 19 May 2014

1988 French Open Tennis

Roland Garros had been hosting the French Open championships for 60 years when the second Grand Slam event of the 1988 season began in Paris. It would be a tournament which saw the Grand Slam dream staying alive for two players, former greats falling by the wayside, a teenage invasion of the women's singles, French hopes raised and then dashed at the last, and a women's final that set records, yet one which Natasha Zvereva would probably prefer to forget.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

1986/87 FA Cup final

This piece follows on from my previous blogs on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth rounds and semi-finals of the 1986/87 FA Cup, which you can view here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

"Seven times we've won the cup, and number eight is coming up". The bold statement penned by Chas and Dave, and sung by the Tottenham squad in their number 18 hit Hot Shot Tottenham!, may have seemed cocky, but the general consensus was that it was a proclamation that would come true as Cup final day on May 16 approached.

Tottenham were heavy favourites to defeat Coventry, a club appearing in their first major final in their 104-year history. But the underdogs were used to proving the doubters wrong during their 1987 cup run. Their Go For It single was an appropriately titled anthem for all that had gone before and what was to follow.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

1980s: Sporting thrashings

There can be nothing worse than being on the end of a sporting thrashing. I should know, having once played in for a junior football team which lost a match 33-0 (we made the local paper and earned a free trip to Burger King and the local cinema to watch Home Alone, so we did get something out of it).

My embarrassment was fortunately limited, a very local affair that I have tried my best to forget. But many of the participants in the following sporting thrashings were not as lucky as me. Theirs was very much a national or international humbling, played out in front of the watching public, read about by sports fans at the time and since.