Wednesday, 18 January 2017

1982/83: Graham Taylor and Watford


When the sad news of Graham Taylor passing away broke on January 12, naturally the tributes came flooding in. Whilst many noted that his time in charge of England was troubled, a lot column inches and html paragraphs were dominated with the successes Taylor enjoyed at club level, and in particular his glorious spells at Watford. When you see what Taylor had previously achieved at Lincoln City, and later at Aston Villa, it wasn't hard to see why England came calling in 1990.

Inevitably this blog will focus upon his heyday at Watford in the 1980s, and in particular Taylor's remarkable first season in the top flight during the 1982/83 campaign. To achieve three promotions in five years was one thing, but to then lead an inexperienced set of players to second place in Watford's debut season with the big boys was something else. Watford may have received a lot of criticism for their approach, yet for Taylor and Chairman Elton John, this was a victory for substance over style.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

1986: Jossy's Giants (Series 1)

Something a bit different this week, as I take a look back at series one of the cult BBC1 children's programme Jossy's Giants, in the form of an end of season newspaper report.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

1985 FA Cup Third round: Burton Albion v Leicester City

When Northern Premier League Burton Albion were drawn against Division One Leicester City in the 1985 FA Cup third round, on paper it appeared to be a romantic tie. The typical David v Goliath clash, the outside chance of a shock, and a day in the spotlight for the part-timers of Burton, provided all the classic ingredients required for this stage of the FA Cup. Sadly, the fixture ended up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

1988: Mercantile Credit Centenary Trophy

This article first appeared in issue 262 of The Gooner

There have been a number of awful football competitions organised throughout the history of the sport, from the Anglo-Scottish Cup to the Zenith Data Systems, taking in such delights as the Texaco Cup, ScreenSport Super Cup, and Watney Cup along the way. Fortunately my club, Arsenal, have managed to steer clear of most of these, but in 1988 the club qualified for a cup competition that was organised by the Football League 100 years of the governing body.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Great sports photos of the 1980s (Part I)

Something slightly different for my final blog before Christmas, as I take a look back at some great sporting photos of the 1980s. This may be something I come back to in the future, so any suggestions for Part II are very welcome.

Please note: I have stated the photo source where this has been possible.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

1980s sporting retirements

Nico Rosberg recently made the shock decision to retire from Formula One after winning the World Championship title. So this week I am taking a look back at some sporting retirements of the 1980s, including an England rugby union captain forced to quit the sport, a triple blow for the Australian cricket team, and a future England manager saying his goodbyes before leaving the scene Anneka Rice style.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

SPOTY: Unlucky losers in the 1980s

There were many great winners of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award in the 1980s, but also a few sporting figures who never had their names engraved on the shields housed on the famous old trophy.

This week I am taking a look back at some of the unlucky SPOTY losers, including a couple of snooker stars, a Grand Slam winning captain, and a golden boot winner who would probably be a cert for the SPOTY trophy in the current age.