Author: Paul W

Tony Ford, Football League Record-Breaker

Tony Ford made his Football League debut as a 16 year-old for his hometown club Grimsby Town in 1975. His final League appearance came 26 years later, on the 3rd November 2001, as a midfielder for Rochdale in their 2-0 Third Division victory over Torquay United at Spotland. In the intervening years Ford played for…

By Paul W November 3, 2018 2

Southampton v Sporting Lisbon, 1981

This 1981-82 UEFA Cup tie brought a familiar face back to English football, as Malcolm Allison took his Sporting Lisbon side to The Dell to face Lawrie McMenemy’s Southampton. Allison had been assistant manager of Manchester City from 1965-71, taking charge of playing matters under Joe Mercer, the club’s veteran manager. This was a highly…

By Paul W October 22, 2018 3

The Football League 1888 – Overview, Part Two

Playing kit, pitch markings and the rules of the game were all evolving, even as the world’s first professional football league came into being. Prior to the advent of the Football League, players had to buy their own kit, consisting of heavy jerseys without any ornament, ‘knickerbockers’ covering the knees, and socks. Each club was…

By Paul W October 8, 2018 0

The Football League 1888 – Opening Day

Saturday 8th September is the 130th anniversary of the very first round of Football League fixtures, in 1888. The results on the opening day were: Bolton Wanderers 3 Derby County 6; Everton 2 Accrington 1; Preston North End 5 Burnley 2; Stoke 0 West Bromwich Albion 2; Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Aston Villa 1 (Blackburn and…

By Paul W September 8, 2018 0

The Football League 1888 – Preview

Football in England grew steadily in popularity over the nineteenth century, from the public schools to the creation of a governing body, the Football Association, in 1863, and the codification of the rules. It continued to expand during the 1870s and 1880s but, while predominantly southern amateur clubs enjoyed success in the FA Cup (inaugurated…

By Paul W August 31, 2018 0

Arsenal v Bristol City, 1976

In the record-breaking summer temperatures of 1976, the Football League resumed on 21 August. Arsenal v Bristol City was one of the most intriguing fixtures on the opening day of the 1976-77 season, the Bristol club’s first game in the top division for 65 years, with manager Alan Dicks having built a successful side around…

By Paul W August 21, 2018 0

Brazil v Italy, 1982 World Cup

This classic encounter was a re-match of the 1970 final, in which Brazil, inspired by Pele in his last international, swept aside the Italians and were acclaimed as the greatest team the world had seen. That claim can still be defended today, but had the 1982 Brazilians won the trophy, it would be a close…

By Paul W July 28, 2018 0

1966 World Cup (Background and Preparations)

In August 1960, only ten years since first entering the FIFA World Cup – a competition initially dismissed by the FA, which refused invitations to enter the first three tournaments in the 1930s – England was chosen to host the 1966 World Cup Finals, ahead of Spain and West Germany. A then-record 70 nations entered…

By Paul W July 14, 2018 2