Football Magazines: A Collaborative Project

Introducing a collaborative series between the 1888 Letter and Soccer Nostalgia, exploring the experiences of football magazine readers. We will be posting contributions from fans worldwide on both blogs, over the coming months. Soccer Nostalgia (@sp1873): When one becomes a serious Soccer (Football) fan, the next step in the evolution is to read about it…

By Paul W August 31, 2019 2

Manchester City v Oldham Athletic, 1988

Manchester City today are multiple Premier League winners, a hugely successful global brand and very, very wealthy. It’s hard to imagine them competing against their impoverished neighbours Oldham Athletic, currently languishing in the fifth tier of English football, the National League – let alone struggling to beat them. Yet a look at their head-to-head record…

By Paul W August 24, 2019 2

France in the 1980s: The British Abroad

The 1980s saw a number of high-profile transfers of players from the Football League to the wealthier Italian and Spanish sides, a trend which gathered pace when English clubs were banned from European competition after the Heysel Stadium tragedy of 1985. Among these were Liam Brady, Joe Jordan, Trevor Francis, Graeme Souness, Ray Wilkins, Steve…

By Paul W August 10, 2019 0

The Days of Cricketing Footballers

On the eve of the 2019 Ashes series, I look back at the days of cricketing footballers, today a rare breed but a phenomenon which enjoyed a ‘golden age’ from the late nineteenth century. The giant of Victorian cricket, Dr W.G. Grace, was also a keen footballer who appeared for the Wanderers; Grace later became…

By Paul W July 31, 2019 2

Football in North America: The Background

Football in North America, or soccer as our trans-Atlantic cousins prefer to call it, has a longer history than many people imagine. Canada and the USA contested the first international fixture outside the British Isles, at Newark, New Jersey, in 1885, where a group of British expatriates had established the American Football Association, the world’s…

By Paul W July 20, 2019 2

England v Uruguay, 1966 World Cup

After the excitement of the preparations and build-up, the 1966 World Cup Finals kicked off at 7.30 p.m. on Monday 11 July 1966 at Wembley. After the low-key opening ceremony, described as “colourful but simple”, the Finals were officially declared open by the Queen. Hosts England took on Uruguay, twice winners of the tournament, in…

By Paul W July 11, 2019 1

South America: The British Abroad (An Introduction)

The British had extensive banking and business interests in South America, as elsewhere in the world, by the second half of the 19th century. They were heavily involved in developing the rail network, which took them to every corner of the Continent. There they established institutions including schools, social and sporting clubs for the expatriate…

By Paul W June 29, 2019 0

Belgium v USSR, 1986 World Cup

Belgium v USSR was a seven-goal thriller in the Second Round of the 1986 World Cup, played at León’s Nou Camp stadium, Mexico. The nations had met at the previous World Cup in the second group stage in a much more cautious encounter, edged 1-0 by the Soviets at Barcelona’s Nou Camp in July 1982…

By Paul W June 15, 2019 2

ConIFA World Cup 2018 Review

The ConIFA World Cup 2018 took place in the UK last summer, a 16-team tournament held for minorities, unrecognised states, stateless peoples and regions unaffiliated with FIFA. 3,000 people attended the final on the 9th June, which saw Kárpátalja beat Northern Cyprus on penalties after a goalless draw at Enfield Town FC’s Queen Elizabeth II…

By Paul W June 1, 2019 0

Trevor Brooking and One-Club Men

On May 14, 1984, Trevor Brooking played his final game for West Ham United, the club he represented for his entire Football League career. Signed as an apprentice by manager Ron Greenwood on the recommendation of legendary scout Wally St Pier, he made his debut in August 1967 and ended up with a total of…

By Paul W May 14, 2019 0