Friday, December 26, 2014

The Big Match - Christmas Special 1974

In the 1970s, The Big Match ran a special edition on the Sunday before Christmas where a special guest panel would present the show.

For example, in 1972, David Webb presented the show with Mike England and Alan Mullery. In 1973, it was John Hollins with Alan Ball. 1974 saw Terry Mancini host alongside Rodney Marsh and Terry Venables. Bobby Moore took the chair in 1975 with Peter Taylor and Rodney Marsh again. And in 1976 it was Elton John alongside Kevin Keegan and Mike Channon.

Here is the complete 1974 Christmas edition of The Big Match, presented by Terry Mancini - from 21 December with Chelsea v West Ham, Grimsby v Charlton and Newcastle v Leeds United.

(Thanks to FootballGaffesGalore)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's the FA Cup ... 1977

For the next few months we will be following the FA Cup of 1977 - for no other reason that it is the first cup run I remember and the first time I completed my Roy Of The Rovers FA Cup wall chart of 1977. We'll follow progress and I'll search YouTube for video clips.

The draw for the 3rd round, with games scheduled to take place on Saturday 8 January, is:

Blackpool v Derby County
Darlington v Orient
Burnley v Lincoln City
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Southampton v Chelsea
Leicester City v Aston Villa
Notts County v Arsenal
Nottingham Forest v Bristol Rovers
Northwich Victoria v Watford
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Rotherham United
Sunderland v Wrexham
Everton v Stoke City
Sheffield United v Newcastle United
Ipswich Town v Bristol City
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion
Queens Park Rangers v Shrewsbury Town
Fulham v Swindon Town
Coventry City v Millwall
West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers
Manchester United v Walsall
Hull City v Port Vale
Carlisle United v Matlock Town
Oldham Athletic v Plymouth Argyle
Wimbledon v Middlesbrough
Southend United v Chester
Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur
Halifax Town v Luton Town
Charlton Athletic v Blackburn Rovers
Leeds United v Norwich City
Hereford United v Reading
Kettering Town v Colchester United
Birmingham City v Portsmouth

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saint And Greavsie

I have never been a great fan of football preview shows, but I made an exception for Saint and Greavsie, a wonderfully light-hearted programme which broadcast on ITV at Saturday lunchtimes.

The programme commenced in 1985 at a low point in English football. Following several events of hooliganism, culminating in the Heysel Stadium disaster, English clubs were now banned from European competitions, and football fans had a lower image than ever. If you were a Saturday regular you were very quiet about it! Not only that, but many grounds remained in a shocking condition, a result of which was the Bradford fire, and the crowds were boxed in with heavy policing and high fences.

The show was presented in an American talk show style with Ian St John as the straight man presenter and Jimmy Greaves providing the comic relief. There would be previews of the day's games, some features and interviews, and a look at the previous weeks' action. It was often like listening in on two old blokes in the pub reflecting on better days.

It was a big success and lasted until 1992, when it was taken off air - the reason being that Sky had won the rights to the new FA Premier League.

Here is an example of a show from 16 December 1989, which featured Howard Kendall's return to Everton as Manchester City manager, Charlton's ground sharing at Crystal Palace, and an interview with Stephen Hendry.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Going Live - 1984-1985

In an earlier entry, I discussed the first season of live league football, 1983-1984. The second year of the two year deal again saw 14 live games, seven on each of BBC and ITV, to be screened on Fridays and Sundays respectively.
Again I must point out how strange it is that this was at the time an exciting novelty, and that it was only ten league games and four FA Cup games, which compares to 154 Premiership games and 37 FA Cup live games that we see on the box this season.
Looking at the list of game shown, for obvious reasons, the channels have selected games by the bigger teams that they think will be of interest to neutral fans. Only three games do not feature either Liverpool or Manchester United, most games feature two 'big' teams and all have one. Three of the four cup ties are selected with a potential upset in mind.
The end of the season saw an all-time low in British football. The Bradford fire disaster and then hooliganism reaching its height at Luton, Birmingham and Heysel stadium which led to the English club expulsion from Europe. In these uncertain times, a TV deal had not yet been put in place for the next season, with disastrous consequences as we will see.
Friday 31 August 1984              Chelsea 0 Everton 1 (BBC)
Friday 12 October 1984             Tottenham Hotspur 1 Liverpool 0 (BBC)
Sunday 28 October 1984           Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 2 (ITV)
Friday 2 November 1984           Manchester United 4 Arsenal 2 (BBC)
Sunday 18 November 1984       Newcastle United 0 Liverpool 2 (ITV)
Sunday 25 November 1984       Sheffield Wednesday 2 Arsenal 1 (ITV)
Friday 21 December 1984         Queens Park Rangers 0 Liverpool 2 (BBC)
Friday 4 January 1985              Leeds 0 Everton 2 (FA Cup 3rd Round) (BBC)
Sunday 27 January 1985           Liverpool 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0 (FA Cup 4th Round) (ITV)
Friday 15 February 1985           Blackburn Rovers 0 Manchester United 2 (FA Cup 5th Round) (BBC)
Sunday 10 March 1985             Barnsley 0 Liverpool 4 (FA Cup 6th Round) (ITV)
Friday 15 March 1985               West Ham United 2 Manchester United 2 (BBC)
Sunday 31 March 1985             Liverpool 0 Manchester United 1 (ITV)
Sunday 21 April 1985               Luton Town 2 Manchester United 1 (ITV)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Backpass - Issue 33 - Orient v Chelsea 1972

If you are a fan of retro football, then I can strongly recommend the excellent magazine - Backpass. Some excellent articles and features hit the spot.

One suggestion I could make would for it to come with a DVD showing some footage referred to in the magazine, but not only would this add to production costs - and the price of the mag - but there would be some rights issues.

Fortunately we have youtube and the kind people who donate to it, and it is using this which gives me the first of my links.

In Issue 33 (Christmas/New Year 2013-14) there is a feature 'Great TV Goals of the 1970s' and refers to the FA Cup 5th round match 1972 between the glamorous Chelsea side away to the less glamorous Orient over to the other side of London. Match Of The Day was there, doubtless hoping for an upset, and got one with second division Orient coming from two down to win 3-2. Orient's first by Phil Hoadley being the great TV goal referred to.

Here are some highlights from that game, unfortunately in black and white and not great quality. Note the very 70s muddy pitch. This was the lead game on Match Of The Day followed by other cup ties Cardiff 0-2 Leeds and Man Utd 0-0 Middlesbrough.

In the next round of the cup, the quarter finals, Orient again drew a big London side at home, but this time lost to Arsenal 1-0.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Goals Of The Season 4 - Alan Mullery's Volley

The Goal of the Season 1973-74 was a cracking volley from Alan Mullery for Fulham against Leicester in the FA Cup Fourth Round on Saturday 26 January 1974. The game ended 1-1 and Leicester won the reply 2-1.