Thursday, 21 September 2017

1986: Full Members' Cup

Chelsea and Manchester City are now contesting for major honours domestically and in Europe, but in 1986 things were a lot different.

English football in 1985 was constantly hitting new levels of rock bottom. Violence and decaying stadia combined to make the match day experience an often unpleasant occasion, and with deaths at Birmingham, Bradford, and Brussels in May, the sport had seemingly reached the point of no return. It was little wonder that attendances were dropping across the country, and you didn't need to be Bergerac to deduce that Margaret Thatcher and her Government would have been quite happy if the problem child faded into obscurity.

Monday, 18 September 2017

1984: County Championship drama

Essex recently won their first County Championship in 25 years. But for sheer drama, surely nothing could match their 1984 triumph.

As far as I know, no one has ever written a film based on the County Championship. But if a budding writer wanted to take a step into uncharted territory, and pen the first Hollywood blockbuster on this subject, then the person involved would do themselves a big favour by taking a look at the events of the 1984 season. A campaign running from April to September, came down to the penultimate ball of a match in Somerset, with the fate of two counties hanging in the Taunton air.

Monday, 11 September 2017

1984: Dave Bassett at Crystal Palace

Frank de Boer may have only lasted 77 days at Crystal Palace before parting company with the club. But in 1984, Dave Bassett only just managed to make it past the 77 hour mark at Selhurst Park.

Friday, 8 September 2017

April 25, 1984: Britain's night of misery

After the night of April 11, 1984, there remained a strong possibility that all three European club finals would be the exclusive property of Great Britain; an exciting prospect, especially for anyone who had taken the 50/1 odds at offer for all six British teams to progress from their semi-finals. It wasn’t meant to be, though.

The story of how six became two involves a complex web of intimidation, corruption, disgraceful behaviour, violence, bribery, and heartbreak, an evening that the Daily Express described as Britain's night of misery. Yet this mini drama series was not only restricted to 1984; years later there would be anger, disgust, and tragedy added to the plot line.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Sports videos of the 1980s

I've recently started the process of converting a number of my classic videos to DVD. So this week I'm taking a look back at some of my favourite sports videos of the 1980s. If you have any other suggestions, then please feel free to add them to the comments section.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

1989: Mick Quinn's Newcastle debut

It was hardly the welcome that Mick Quinn would have dreamed of when he signed for Newcastle in the summer of 1989. Walking through the city after agreeing terms with the club, Quinn stumbled upon a protest group called the Boardbusters, who, as their name would suggest, were not best pleased with the members of the Newcastle United boardroom. Relegated from Division One in the previous campaign, many were prepared to boycott matches at St. James' Park in order to get their views across to the directors.

Monday, 24 July 2017

1980s: Opening day League matches

A look back this week at some memorable opening day League matches of the 1980s. Including a dream start for a newly promoted team, a couple of false dawns for Manchester United, and Liverpool starting as they intended to go on.