Monday, 27 April 2020

1985: Steve Davis and the black ball final

So much has been written about that 1985 World Snooker Championship that it is tricky to find a different angle (pardon the pun). Dennis Taylor, the popular player from Northern Ireland winning the title for the first time, on the final black in the final frame, 18.5 million people watching on BBC2 as the clock ticked over to 12.23am. An iconic moment in the sport.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

World Snooker Championships musical montages

It seems a bit of a cliché to say that we were blessed with characters in snooker during the 1980s, but this is an inescapable fact. The heyday of the sport certainly provided ample material for a few memorable musical montages when it came to the World Championships.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Marathon seasons: Ipswich Town 1980/81

Marathon football seasons often end in sweat and tears. Arsenal (1980) and Dundee United (1987) are just two examples of campaigns that promised so much but ultimately delivered nothing in terms of trophies. But sometimes the long drawn out story does have a happy ending.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

1981: The underarm incident

As the third one day match of the World Series finals drew to a conclusion, the crowd of 52,990 inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground may have been excused for wondering what was going off out there. One thing was clear. The two teams involved were evenly matched; tied at 1-1 in the best of five series, the latest Australia and New Zealand contest was going down to the wire.

With three overs remaining, Australia looked well set. New Zealand, requiring 32 to surpass Australia’s 235/4 total, had potential match winners in Richard Hadlee and Ian Smith, yet with Dennis Lillee bowling the penultimate over, the wise money was on the hosts.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Golden goals: Raddy Antic (1983)

News broke earlier in the week about the sad death of Raddy Antic. The mere mention of the name brings a smile to the faces of Luton fans, and causes Manchester City supporters to break out in a cold sweat.

Winning the Yugoslav title with Partizan in 1976, Radomir “Raddy” Antic would play for both Fenerbahce and Real Zaragoza before arriving in Bedfordshire in 1980 to ply his trade in the English Second Division with Luton Town. One moment in particular would see Antic leave an indelible mark on the English game.

Monday, 6 April 2020

1989: Arsenal - Zenith Data Systems Challenge

This article first appeared in issue 280 of The Gooner. The campaign to Save the Gooner continues.

Until George Graham arrived at the club, Arsenal had spent a large part of the 1980s avoiding trophies. But like London buses, one brought many. Some, like the 1987 Littlewoods Cup and the unforgettable League title in 1989, will forever be etched into the history books of the club. Others less so.

Previously I have written about Arsenal claiming the Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy, a tournament involving the top eight Division One clubs from the 1987/88 Division One season that saw Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-1 in the final at Villa Park. After the miracle at Anfield in 1989 further trophy opportunities awaited.