Wednesday, 13 December 2017

1980s World Darts Championships

This week I am taking a look back at the World Darts Championships in the 1980s. A decade dominated by Eric Bristow, cigarettes and alcohol, and a ten year period that saw the sport rise and fall. There were a few dodgy number ones along the way too.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

1989: When Cloughie attacked

It really should have been Lee Chapman making the headlines after Nottingham Forest's 5-2 win over Queens Park Rangers in the Littlewoods Cup quarter final. Scoring a hat-trick by half-time, and later adding a fourth goal, Chapman had helped Nottingham Forest progress to the last four. Yet it was manager Brian Clough who would dominate the front and back pages, not only the day after, but for days to come.

Monday, 20 November 2017

1982 World Cup draw

The independent state of FIFA can be accused of a lot of things - probably best I don't expand on those for fear of legal action - but something that cannot be levelled at the governing body is that they don't know how to turn the World Cup draw into an event. Normally a very, very, very long event, that will probably last longer than England's three matches in Russia next year.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

1986-87 Ashes: Botham's Brisbane brilliance

After losing to India and New Zealand during the summer of 1986, hopes were not high for England's Ashes tour to Australia. But inspired by the brilliance of Ian Botham, an unexpected win at the Gabba laid the foundations for a wonderful winter.

Even by his standards, Ian Botham had crammed a lot into the twelve months before the start of the 1986/87 Ashes tour. A charity walk from John O'Groats to Land's End; an eventful and harrowing trip to the Caribbean; a two month ban in the English summer after he had admitted smoking cannabis; and his resignation from Somerset, after he felt betrayed at the treatment of his close friends Viv Richards and Joel Garner, who had been sacked by the county.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

89 The Film

As a 13-year-old Arsenal fan watching the 1988/89 Liverpool-Arsenal title decider at home with my dad, I think I knew at the time that nothing would ever beat the explosion of elation and joy that I experienced when Michael Thomas calmly slotted home past Bruce Grobbelaar, on May 26, 1989.

So, when I first started writing this blog a little over five years ago, I made a pact with myself; Arsenal winning the title at Anfield would be the last ever piece I compiled before hanging my keyboard up.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

1986 World Cup qualification: Northern Ireland

When the draw was made for the 1986 World Cup qualifying campaign, England manager Bobby Robson was taking nothing for granted. With two to qualify from England, Romania, Northern Ireland, Finland and Turkey, the press claimed it "easy pickings". But Robson urged caution.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

1984/85 UEFA Cup: Tottenham v Real Madrid

With Tottenham and Real Madrid going head-to-head in the 2017/18 Champions League, this week I am taking a look back to their 1985 UEFA Cup quarter final, and two particularly harrowing games for Steve Perryman.

It said a lot regarding the recent fortunes of Real Madrid that, in the eyes of many, they went into their 1985 UEFA Cup quarter final with Tottenham as underdogs. A recent run of just one win in ten matches had seen the club slip out of the race for La Liga, something not made easier by the fact that Terry Venables' Barcelona were on their way to the title. Manager Amancio Amaro was under heaps of pressure, especially with President Luis de Carlos standing down, and Ramon Mendoza expected to take his place in the summer of '85.