Sunday, 23 October 2016

Lawrie McMenemy at Sunderland

Jimmy Tarbuck joked that the Titanic and Lawrie McMenemy had one thing in common - both should never have left Southampton. After a turbulent time at Sunderland, McMenemy probably agreed.

It looked like a marriage made in heaven. A sleeping giant in the North East of England, combined with a manager who had achieved great things at his previous club. In July 1985, a Messiah rode into Sunderland promising to bring the good times back, to restore some pride to an area that definitely needed a boost.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

1980s: League Cup Fourth Round shocks

Three years ago I wrote about some League Cup Third Round memories from the 1980s.  So it is probably about time that I moved on to the Fourth Round of the competition. 

This time I am taking a look at some shocks from this stage of the League Cup, including a double dose of despair for Arsenal, the rise of Watford and Oxford, and a rare defeat for Everton in an otherwise fantastic season.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

1986: Hockey World Cup

Hockey was hardly a popular sport in UK during the 1980s, but for a couple of weeks in October 1986, all this changed.

I have to admit that the sport of hockey had not registered much on my radar during my formative years. There were the occasional matches played at Wembley on ITV's World of Sport, but these were of little interest to me. Generally, the sport was perceived very much as a jolly pastime, a female activity lumped into the same category as netball, and certainly not part of PE at my local school.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

1980: Clive Allen and Arsenal

This article first appeared in issue 260 of The Gooner

It was a transfer that appeared to make sense at the time. After the gruelling and heart breaking 70-match season in 1979/80, it was clear that Arsenal needed reinforcements if they wanted to progress to the next level, and it was essential that the money earned from their cup runs should be invested in the squad. With the impending departure of Liam Brady, Arsenal fans were in need of some positives, so the signing of Clive Allen at least provided a glimmer of hope.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

1980s: Goalkeeping gaffs

Claudio Bravo made a much publicised error on his recent Man City debut, but I'm not sure if his cock up matched any of the following goalkeeping bloopers from the 1980s.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

1980s: Ryder Cup moments

There are 28 points up for grabs in a Ryder Cup, so this week I thought I would take a look back at the same number of talking points related to the event in the 1980s. A decade that would see the contest begin to evolve into what we witness today; Jacklin and Seve steering the European juggernaut; Concorde; Irish heroes; a tie; and a putt that a certain American probably wishes that everyone would forget.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

1984/85: Stoke City

The Holocaust Season; three words that will send a chill down the spine of any Stoke City fans who are old enough to remember the 1984/85 First Division campaign. A record breaking season so bad that it would take 21 years for Stoke's exploits to be beaten, and a year so stressful that Stoke's manager and chairman paid a heavy price; the latter the heaviest price of all.