Author: Paul W

The Football League 1888-89 – Review

The very first season of the Football League concluded 130 years ago, on the 20th April, 1889. Managed by Major William Sudell, one of the leading advocates of professional football, Preston North End were the first League title winners, going through the 1888-89 season unbeaten. They also won the 1889 FA Cup, and retained their…

By Paul W April 20, 2019 0

Burnley v Wolverhampton Wanderers, 1983

Burnley v Wolverhampton Wanderers was a clash between founder members of the Football League, whose very first meeting was on 22 September 1888. The two sides have just met for the 130th time, in the Premier League, but this match at Burnley’s Turf Moor found them in the Second Division as they fell on hard…

By Paul W April 2, 2019 0

Genoa: The British Abroad

The northern Italian port of Genoa has strong English connections. The city of Christopher Columbus, gateway to the Americas (Genoese emigrants were among the founders of Argentina’s Boca Juniors), also flies the flag of St George. Genoa Cricket & Athletic Club was set up by a group of ten expatriates in 1893 to represent England…

By Paul W March 23, 2019 0

Cardiff City v Real Madrid, 1971

Cardiff City v Real Madrid was a famous night at Ninian Park in March 1971, as the Second Division side took on the Spanish giants in the first leg of a European Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final tie. Cardiff, who knocked out French side Nantes in the previous round, had cup pedigree – their 1927 FA…

By Paul W March 10, 2019 0

Hull City v Scunthorpe United, 1983

Unthinkable today, but the BBC’s flagship highlights programme, Match of the Day, once regularly featured football from outside the top division. This snippet from February 1983 shows the cameras visiting Humberside for a Fourth Division encounter between Hull City (who commentator Tony Gubba insists on calling ‘Hull Tigers’ long before that was seriously proposed) and…

By Paul W February 23, 2019 0

John Sitton – A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

John Sitton’s autobiography is a compelling, at times painfully honest, account of life at the sharp end of the Football League, in an era completely removed from today’s multi-million-pound business. If you’re familiar with his name, it’s more than likely through the YouTube clips taken from a 1995 Channel 4 documentary on Leyton Orient, where…

By Paul W February 9, 2019 2

Denis Law and FA Cup Goalscorers

In a January 1961 FA Cup Third Round tie, Denis Law scored six goals for Manchester City against Luton Town. It would have set a record for the competition, but unfortunately the game was abandoned after 69 minutes, with City leading 6-2. Luton won the re-arranged game 3-1, though Law scored again for City. There…

By Paul W January 26, 2019 0

Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, 1979 FA Cup

Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal – this Third Round FA Cup clash at a snowy Hillsborough in January 1979 was the first of a series of five games between Division Three side Wednesday and First Division Arsenal. At the time, Cup ties were played to the death, without penalty shoot-outs. It took nine hours of football…

By Paul W January 12, 2019 0

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion, 1978

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion at the end of 1978 is regarded as one of the finest English League games of the decade. The match contained many of the characteristic elements of domestic football of the era: packed terraces, a muddy pitch, all-British line-ups and managers, no shirt sponsorship, players numbered 1-11. An ugly…

By Paul W December 29, 2018 4

AC Milan: The British Abroad

As well as creating the world’s first professional football league in England in 1888, the British were active in spreading the game around the world in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. From Sâo Paulo to St Petersburg, expatriate merchants, sailors and workers formed sporting clubs, often initially for playing cricket or rowing, but increasingly focusing on…

By Paul W December 15, 2018 0