Tuesday, 21 March 2017

1980s: Phoenix from the Flames

As an Arsenal fan who doesn't like international breaks - although I'm starting to see the appeal of them - I thought I'd try and cheer myself up this week. So I've delved back into the Fantasy Football archives, and taken a look at some Phoenix from the Flames clips based on footballing moments of the 1980s.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

1986 Cheltenham Gold Cup: Dawn Run

With the 2017 Cheltenham Festival about to begin, a look back at the Gold Cup in 1986, as Irish mare Dawn Run makes history.

Dawn Run had already confirmed her place in the pantheon of great race horses as the Cheltenham Festival neared in 1986. The only horse to have ever won the English, Irish and French Champion Hurdle treble (in 1984), owner Charmian Hill had long set her sights on Cheltenham Gold Cup glory, with the chance for the Paddy Mullins trained horse to create history, and become the first winner of both the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. But there would be many hurdles to clear before Dawn Run's date with destiny on March 13, 1986.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

1983: England v Scotland (Rugby Union)

Scotland's record at Twickenham left a lot to be desired, but in 1983 they were able to take advantage of a mentally fragile England.

Michael Jackson was number one in the hit parade with Billie Jean; Britain was slowly getting used to waking up to breakfast television; the press were extremely excited that Prince William had two new teeth; and Arthur Scargill's call for a miners' strike was rejected by NUM members. March 1983, seems a million years ago. To any die hard Scottish rugby union fans that yearn for success at Twickenham, this date, from a different age, represents the last time their country won at England's headquarters.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

1984/85 UEFA Cup: QPR v Partizan Belgrade

There is not much hope of Arsenal overturning their four goal deficit against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but in 1984 QPR threw away the same advantage in their UEFA Cup tie with Partizan Belgrade.

The beginning of the 1980s was an exciting time for QPR supporters. Under the management of Terry Venables, the club were FA Cup finalists in 1982, won Division Two at a canter during the 1982/83 campaign, and a fifth-placed finish in their first season back in the top flight saw the team qualify for Europe. But there was trouble ahead.

Monday, 13 February 2017

1985 FA Cup Fifth round: Blackburn v Manchester United

As Manchester United prepare to visit Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup fifth round, I'm taking a look back at the same fixture from the 1985 competition. Many thanks to Mick Rathbone for his time in helping me write this piece.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

1986: The tied Test

Australia will soon be touring India to take part in a four Test series, but it is hard to imagine any of their matches being quite as dramatic and exciting as the 1986 Madras Test.

Monday, 23 January 2017

1989 FA Cup Fourth Round: Norwich City v Sutton United

Sutton United will play Leeds United in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend, and they will be hoping it goes a lot better than the last time they reached this stage of the competition in 1989.

Mention Sutton United to football fans, and many will justifiably recall that day at Gander Green Lane in January 1989, when the Conference team shocked 1987 FA Cup winners Coventry. But how many remember the following act in Sutton's FA Cup story that year, the difficult second album, if you like? If Coventry had been Sutton's successful debut in the eyes of the public, then Norwich City away was their Neither Fish Nor Flesh moment.