ON THIS DAY.....
February Day by Day........
Football is a 365 day a
year game. A day by day reminder of some of the famous, record-breaking or
bizarre things that have happened in the month of September over the years.
January February March
Football On This Day - 1st February 1936
A record-equalling high scoring day in the Football League with 209 goals
being recorded in the 44 matches played. These included a 12-0 win for
Chester over York City and Chesterfield beating Crewe Alexandra 6-5 away.
In addition to Chesterfield there were 6 goals each for Coventry, Walsall,
Watford, West Brom and West Ham and six more clubs scored 5 apiece.
Link - Record goals in one day
Football On This Day - 2nd February 1929
At 38 years and
2 days of age Andy Cunningham of Newcastle United became the oldest player
ever to make his debut in the Football League, against Leicester City at
St James' Park. The former Rangers player and Scottish international later
became player-manager of the Magpies.
Football On This Day - 2nd February 1929
It's not unknown for goalkeepers to score
from penalties - Alex Stepney scored a couple in the League for Manchester
United - but its a tad unusual. Back on 2nd February 1929 Newport County
'keeper Jimmy Maidment hit the headlines when he took two penalties for
Newport in a Third Division (South) match. He scored one but missed the
other in the 4-1 victory over Torquay United. In his career total of 219
League outings for Newport he scored 3 goals, all from the penalty spot.
Link - Penalties
Football On This Day - 2nd February 1946
On this day in 1946 Arsenal's Kevin
O'Flanagan played for Northern Ireland against Scotland in Belfast. Seven
days before that he had played for Ireland against France in Dublin....at
rugby! And he was pretty good at athletics as well! A doctor, he was one
of the last amateurs to play first-team football for Arsenal - he needed
to remain an amateur sportsman to continue playing rugby union. The
'Flying Doc' made 14 League and 2 FA Cup appearances for Arsenal in 1946,
Football On This Day - 2nd February 1991
Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, the only League defeat
suffered by the Gunners on their way to the 1990/91 Premier League title.
Arsenal were without captain Tony Adams who was in prison serving a
sentence for a drink driving offence.
Link - all
Football On This Day - 2nd February 2013
Hartlepool United beat Notts County with goals from Peter Hartley and
James Poole. So that’s Hartley and Poole score for Hartlepool….
This Day - 3rd February 1954
On this day in 1954
Arsenal goalkeeper George Swindin was signed by the then non-leaguers
Peterborough United on a free transfer as their player-manager. He spent four years in charge
of Midland League Peterborough and did much to prepare them for League
membership. That came in 1960 but by then Swindin had returned to Highbury
- as Arsenal manager. Those were the days - can you imagine any of the big
clubs now dipping into non-league football to recruit their manager?
Football On This Day - 3rd February 1960
It's not always a great idea to earn a replay against a bigger side in the
FA Cup. In the 1959/60 season Crewe Alexandra drew 2-2 with Tottenham
Hotspur at Gresty Road in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Four days later
- on February 3rd 1960 - they visited White Hart Lane for the replay.
Spurs won 13-2!
- FA Cup results 1959-60
Football On This Day - 3rd February 1974
Just two weeks after the first Football League matches were played on a
Sunday Swindon Town player Jimmy Allan became the first League player to
refuse to play on a Sunday for religious reasons. He missed the Division 2
match between Swindon and Bolton at the County Ground on 3rd February 1974
and despite Swindon manager Les Allen saying that he respected the views
of the devout Christian goalkeeper Jimmy Allan found himself missing from
a few more matches after that. Prior to the Bolton fixture he was an
ever-present in the 27 League matches Swindon had played in 1973/74 while
after the Bolton fixture he was only selected for two of the next eight
Link - Sunday football
Football On This Day -
3rd February 1984
Millionaire publisher Robert Maxwell made a £10m bid for Manchester
United. It wasn't successful - £10m seems like petty cash in modern
Football On This Day - 3rd February 2007
Ever fancied sponsoring the stand of your local club - as the National
Lottery ad once went 'It could be you'. For former Tesco worker Karen
Child it proved to be her in February 2007 when a £1 lucky dip saw her win
a Lotto jackpot of £8,471,383. The cheque was presented to her a few days
later at Old Trafford but it was her local club, Chesterfield, who soon
benefited from her generosity. She sponsored the Kop end at Chesterfield's
former home at Saltergate and then the south stand at their new ground
became the Karen Child Stand. Me, I'd be grateful enough to win enough to
be able to buy a programme!
Football On This Day - 4th
Transfer fees were going mad with a new record transfer fee
being set on 4th February 1948 when Len Shackleton made the short move
from Newcastle to Sunderland. At £50 more than the previous record the
£20,050 fee was as newsworthy as the £50m fee is nowadays. His debut for
Newcastle in 1946 was probably the perfect one - he scored 6 goals for the Magpies
in their 13-0 defeat of Newport County. Later in his autobiography one of
the chapters was entitled 'What the average director knows about football'
- it was blank!
Link - Debuts
Football On This Day - 4th February 2017
When Sunderland beat Crystal Palace 4-0 at Selhurst Park in a
vital Premier League relegation encounter there was one particularly
relieved player - Sunderland's Jack Rodwell. The midfielder hadn't started
a Premier League match that ended in a victory for his side since May 7th
2013. That run had lasted 39 matches - 2 for Manchester City and then all
his first 37 League starts for Sunderland. Even then though he suffered a
disappointment against Palace - an injury saw him subbed early in the
Football On This Day - 4th February 2017
trouble with a manager getting a touchline ban is usually means that they
end up sitting with the plebs...that us us supporters!
And that can be an
uncomfortable experience as Arsène Wenger
found out when sitting with the paying spectators at
Stamford Bridge during a four-match touchline ban received at the start of
2017 for abusing a fourth official. The Arsenal manager sat next to an
Arsenal fan who was his gardener - but the Frenchman had no idea who he
was! “But I do have a
big garden..." was Wenger's get-out clause!
Football On This Day - 5th
A century or so ago massive attendances saw some serious crowd problems. A
sell-out crowd at a Manchester City v Sunderland FA Cup tie was abandoned
when spectators encroached onto the pitch. Four days later - on February
5th 1913 - the replay was staged at Roker Park and another capacity crowd
saw spectators injured, as reported in the national press (below).
Sunderland won the League title in 1912/13 but missed out on the double
when Aston Villa defeated them in the FA Cup final. The attendance for
that final, at the Crystal Palace, was a mahoosive 120,081 with only the
1923 FA Cup final ever having topped that figure for a football match in
Football On This Day - 5th
In a Fourth Round FA Cup replay Southern League Hereford United defeated
First Division Newcastle United 2-1 on a quagmire of a pitch at Edgar
Street. It was the first time in 23 years that a non-league
side had defeated a First Division side in the FA Cup. Newcastle took the
lead in the 82nd minute, against the run of play, with a goal from Malcolm
Macdonald. With only 4 minutes remaining Ronnie Radford equalised with a
spectacular 30-yard effort and during extra time Ricky George hit the
winner. Amazing. The famous 'Oh, what a goal! Radford the scorer,
quote was said by John Motson in his Match of the Day
commentary that evening. The 26-year-old Motty was in his very
early days on TV
and later credited that match as being his big break-through in TV. He
later wrote is his autobiography 'It
changed my life because my boss on Match of the Day realised I could be
trusted to commentate on a big match.'
- FA Cup results 1971/2
Football On This Day - 6th February 1958
One of the saddest days in football history - the date of the
Munich air crash. Manchester United were returning from a European Cup
match in Yugoslavia against Red Star Belgrade and the aircraft they
were travelling in made a refuelling stop in Munich. In the wintery
conditions the aircraft hit a slushy area on the runway and failed to take
off, ploughing through the fence at the end of the runway and hitting a
house. The crash claimed 23 lives - players, club staff, journalists, crew
and other passengers. A tragedy for all the victims, a tragic day that
will never be forgotten.
Football On This Day - 6th February 1961
Danny Blanchflower found footballing fame with Tottenham and Northern
Ireland but he was also very much his own man. On this day in 1961 - while
he was captaining Spurs to the first League and FA Cup double in the 20th
Century - he became the first person to turn down the invitation from
Eamonn Andrews to accept the red book and appear on TV's This Is Your
Life. He said 'I consider the programme to be an invasion of
privacy.....nobody is going to press gang me into anything.' At the
time the programme was show live forcing the BBC to screen a reserve
programme on the night.
Football On This Day - 6th February 1965
Sir Stanley Matthews made his final appearance in the League for Stoke v
Fulham at the Victoria Ground. He made made his debut for Stoke back in
1932 and had celebrated his 50th birthday days before
the Fulham match and so became the oldest player to play in the top
flight. In later years he said he regretted retiring when he did and could
have played on for another couple of years!
Football On This Day - 6th February 1988
A First Division match at Plough Lane on
this day in 1988 brought together opposing clubs Wimbledon and
Newcastle United and opposing players Paul Gascoigne and Vinnie
Jones. The clubs fought out a forgettable 0-0 draw but the meeting
of the players resulted in an iconic image that will never be
forgotten. Much has been said about the incident that must have been
reproduced a million times on everything from posters to t-shirts
but the best quote I think came from George Best - "Hard men?
Well, there was that picture of Vinnie Jones holding Gazza's
In my day we called someone who did that a poof."
Football On This Day - 6th February 1999
On the 41st anniversary of Munich, top
of the table Manchester United visited bottom of the table
Nottingham Forest in a Premier League fixture. United brought on Ole
Gunnar Solskjær as a sub in the 72nd minute with the Norwegian
scoring 4 times in a 10 minute spell to help United to a 8-1 away victory. United went on to win the
title, Forest finished bottom with the scoreline remaining a record
Premier League away win until Leicester won 9-0 at Southampton in
- 1998/99 Premier League table and all the results.
Football On This Day - 7th February 1970
George Best gave a masterclass performance when he scored 6 goals in an FA
Cup Fifth Round match at the County Ground home of Northampton Town.
Manchester United won the match 8-2. Northampton's goalkeeper, Kim Book,
later said 'not even the Berlin Wall could have stopped Best that day'
while Ray Fairfax, Bests' marker, said 'the closest I got to him was
when we shook hands after the game.'
- FA Cup results 1969/70
Football On This
Day – 8th February 2000
The day of the match that led to my favourite newspaper headline being
- mighty Celtic were beaten 3-1 at home by part-timers minnows
Inverness Caledonian Thistle in a Scottish Cup tie. In a take on the song
Mary Poppins - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - the
headline read 'Super
Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious'. In
addition to the headline the result also saw the sacking of the Celtic
manager, John Barnes, with the former England player being replaced by
Football On This Day –
8th February 2012
Two stories dominated the sporting news on this day in 2012. First of all
Fabio Capello resigned as manager of England. The FA had gone over the
Italian’s head to deprive John Terry of the England captaincy following
the controversial Anton Ferdinand incident and Capello, believing his
authority had been undermined, resigned as a result. On the same day at
Southwark Crown Court Harry Redknapp was cleared of tax evasion having
been accused of accepting secret untaxed bonus payments while manager of
Portsmouth. Inevitably the press connected the two stories believing that
‘Arry’s acquittal removed the only obstacle to him becoming the new
England manager. Well, it didn’t quite happen like that – but should it
Football On This Day –
8th February 2015
One of the more unusual managerial appointments (and there have been some
unusual ones!) - came on 8th February 2015 when Steve Harmison was
appointed boss of Ashington FC. Harmiston was a former Durham and England
fast-bowler who had played 63 times for England and had taken 226 Test
wickets. Ashington FC were in the Northern League and had a usual home
attendance of around 200. Harmison explained that it was his hometown
club, he played for them before he joined Durham and trained with them
while a Durham cricketer. But his first footballing love was Newcastle
Link - Football & Cricket
Football On This Day – 9th February 1974
It seems that Johan Cruyff was not only a great footballer but also a
persuasive husband! When his wife was expecting their third child the
story goes that he persuaded her to have a caesarean so the child could be
born early in a two-week break his club - Barcelona - had from competitive
football. That would leave him time to prepare for their next match,
against Real Madrid! So on 9th February 1974 his only son was born in
Amsterdam and was named after the patron saint of Barcelona and Catalonia,
Sant Jordi (Saint George in English). Jordi Cruyff was also to become a
Dutch international footballer with his clubs including Manchester United
and Barcelona. And the match against Real Madrid? Johan Cruyff was man of
the match in his first
El Clásico and scored a goal
in Barcelona's 5-0 win at the
Santiago Bernabéu. Not a bad
week in his life then!
Football On This Day – 9th February 1979
Trevor Francis became the first £1m British footballer when moving from
Birmingham City to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest. Cloughie insisted
that he only paid £999,999 for Francis but with add-ons the total fee was
over £1.15m. The new record fee was over double the old record set just
the previous month when David Mills moved from Middlesbrough to WBA.
Football On This Day – 9th February 1985
Forty years after the end of the conflict the Second World War saw the
postponement of a Football League match in 1985. An unexploded Second
World War bomb found near Sheffield United's Bramall Lane ground forced
the postponement of their Second Division fixture against Oldham Athletic.
After the bomb was safely disposed of the match was played 3 days later.
Link - Postponed matches
Football On This Day – 10th
Southern League Wimbledon played a ‘home’ FA Cup 4th Round replay against
League champions Leeds United at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park before a
mahoosive 45,071 crowd. After winning at First Division
Burnley in the Third Round and drawing at Elland Road in the Fourth the
non-leaguers lost by the only goal of the match – an unlucky deflection –
in the replay against Leeds. Thirteen years later Wimbledon beat Liverpool
in the FA Cup final!
- FA Cup results 1974/75
Football On This Day – 10th February 1996
a player moves from Italy's Serie A to join Grimsby Town - and pays half the
transfer fee out of his own pocket - you can imagine he would become a
fans' favourite. Sadly though the main memory of Ivano Bonetti in darkest
Lincolnshire wasn't of him on the pitch but the infamous 'chicken wings'
After a 3-2 defeat away to Luton Town
on Saturday 10th February 1996 (just a month after they had beaten Luton
7-1 in an FA Cup tie) Grimsby manager Brian Laws confronted the former Juventus player about his
lack of effort and the confrontation ended when Laws threw a plate of
chicken wings at Bonetti, breaking his cheekbone. And that certainly made
Link - Injuries
Football On This Day - 11th February 1998
At just over 18 years of age Liverpool striker Michael Owen became
England’s youngest international of the 20th Century when he made his
debut against Chile at Wembley. Chile won 2-0. Owen went on to score 40
goals in 89 England appearances, his last appearance being against France
Football On This Day – 12th February 1955
Edwards of Manchester United and England was regarded as the superstar of
his generation – but forget the wealth of the modern star player. After
playing in a local derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford on 12th
February 1955 (which City won 5-0) he was later caught by the police riding home
on his bike without lights. He was fined five bob (25p) by the courts and
two weeks wages by Manchester United for bringing their name into
disrepute. Tragically he was killed at Munich in 1958.
Football On This Day – 12th February 2003
Seventeen-year-old Wayne Rooney became the youngest English international
– a record since beaten by Theo Walcott – when he made his England debut
in the friendly against Australia at Upton Park. The first England v
Australia international played in England is perhaps best remembered as
the match in which England fielded two teams – all 11 players who started
the match were substituted at half time. Australia won the match 3-1.
Football On This Day –
13th February 1999
A unique match in the history of the FA Cup. Arsenal beat Sheffield United
2-1 in the Fifth Round at Highbury but at Arsenal’s request the match was
replayed. Just before Arsenal’s winner Sheffield United goalkeeper Alan
Kelly had kicked the ball out of play to allow an injured player to
receive treatment. Ray Parlour restarted the match with a throw-in
intended for a Sheffield United player but Arsenal’s Kanu intercepted the
ball and centred for Marc Overmars to score the winner. Kanu was making
his debut for Arsenal which was his first match in English football and
later said he was unaware of the circumstances and believed it was an
attacking move. Although no actual law had been broken an unwritten rule
had been and the match was replayed. Arsenal won that one 2-1 again,
fairly this time!
- FA Cup results 1998/99
Football On This Day
- 14th February 1931
What a contrast! In only their eleventh season as a League club
Watford reached the last 16 of the FA Cup for the first time in their
history. That 5th Round tie against Birmingham at St Andrews attracted the
highest attendance ever to watch Watford up to that date - 49,757. Just
two days later - Monday February 16th - Watford were back in League action
(Division 3 South) playing Thames at the vast 100,000+ capacity West Ham
Stadium - in front of a crowd of just 853 fans! The Hornets lost both
Link - Watford results 1930/31
Football On This Day
- 14th February 1973
Bobby Moore won his 100th England cap and Willie Ormond took
charge for the first time as Scotland’s manager in the friendly
international at Hampden Park. England came out on top with a 5-0 victory
which equalled Scotland’s worst ever home defeat.
Football On This Day - 14th February 2014
Valentine’s Day 2014 saw Premier League bottom club Fulham change
managers, René Meulensteen
being replaced by Felix Magath. Magath was the first German to manage in
the Premier League and his sides had won 3 Bundesliga titles in his native
Germany. But in England his Fulham side managed just three wins in his 19
League matches in charge before he was sacked in September after relegated
Fulham found themselves bottom of the Championship with just a single
point from their first seven League fixtures of the season. But that
dismal record isn’t what Magath was best remembered for – his main claim
for fame was the treatment he ordered when Brede Hangeland suffered a
thigh injury. He over-ruled the traditional treatment and ordered that the
club captain place a slab of cheese soaked in alcohol over the injured
Link - Injuries
Football On This Day
– 15th February 1995
England fans disgraced themselves in Dublin forcing the friendly match
between the Republic of Ireland and England at Lansdowne Road to be
abandoned. When Ireland took a 1-0 lead with a David Kelly goal in the
23rd minute a section of England ‘fans’ ripped up seats in the upper stand
and threw them onto spectators below. No further play was possible and for
only the third time an England match was abandoned.
Link - Abandoned
Football On This Day – 15th February 2003
It's rare for a footballing injury to make the front pages - but this one
was bound to! After Arsenal had beaten Manchester United 2-0 at Old
Trafford in the Third Round of the FA Cup United manager Alex Ferguson had
kicked a boot in the changing-room in frustration. Nothing newsworthy in
that - he was well remembered for his moments of anger. But the boot hit
'Golden Balls' David Beckham in the face causing a cut over his left eye
which needed stitches. Now that hit the headlines...
Football On This Day – 16th
In the days before
substitutes injured players were often expected to stay on
the pitch and do their duty. On this day in 1952, Stoke goalkeeper Dennis Herod
suffered a first half injury in a Division 1 match against Aston Villa at
Villa Park. He was patched up and sent out for the second half and asked
'to make a nuisance of himself' on the left wing. He did just that - and scored the winning goal in Stoke's
3-2 victory. His injury - a broken arm!
Link - Injuries
Football On This Day – 16th
Footballers behaving badly again hit the headlines on this day in 2000
when Leicester City were kicked out of the exclusive La Manga resort in
Spain. Leicester were taking a mid-winter break prior to their League Cup
final against Tranmere Rovers but with their players generally misbehaving
and Stan Collymore emptying the contents of a fire extinguisher over
players and guests their stay was cut short. The club got the players to
pay for the damage and fined the person they thought the ringleader –
Stan Collymore – two weeks wages. Not bad seeing that he had only been
signed by City a week earlier!
Believing that was behind them Leicester City visited La Manga again in
March 2004. This time six players were arrested and appeared in
court accussed of sexual aggression. Three of them – Paul Dickov, Keith
Gillespie and Frank Sinclair spent a week in prison before the charges
were dropped. I understand Leicester City now go to Skegness for their
Football On This Day – 17th February 1934
still a record crowd for a match at Hillsborough was set when Sheffield
Wednesday played Manchester City in an FA Cup 5th Round tie – 72,841. The
match ended 2-2 but City won the replay and went on to win the FA Cup for
the second time in their history.
- FA Cup results 1933/34
Football On This Day – 17th February 1973
In the First Division fixture at Molineux between Wolves and Newcastle
brothers Kenny and Terry Hibbitt were on opposing sides - Kenny scored for
Wolves and Terry equalised for Newcastle in the 1-1 draw.
Football On This Day – 17th February 2018
Players were literally quaking in their boots
on this Saturday afternoon in South Wales. The worst earthquake to hit the
country in ten years - it had a 4.4 magnitude - was felt between Liverpool
and Devon but it had its epicentre in South Wales. It saw the referee in
the Welsh League match between Port Talbot and Taff's Well stop play for a
spell in the first half, surely a unique experience for all concerned!
Football On This Day – 18th February 1931
Dixie Dean's two goals in the 5-2 Second Division victory over Barnsley at
Goodison meant that he had scored in 12 consecutive Football League matches. The run had
started on December 6th and in those 12 matches Dean had scored 23 times
to help Everton to some amazing victories which included a 9-1 home win
over Plymouth and a 7-0 victory at Charlton. Dixie Dean scored 39 of
Everton's club record 121 League goals that season (plus another 9 in the
FA Cup) which saw them finish as champions in their first season in
Division 2. Three seasons earlier he had set a goalscoring record
that stands to this day when scoring 60 League goals in a season.
Link - All
Everton's results since 1888/89.
Link - Goals
and their Goalscorers.
Football On This Day – 18th February 1987
England visited Madrid and beat Spain 4-2. Gary Lineker scored all four
England goals and manager Bobby Robson - who was celebrating his 54th
birthday - gave Tony Adams his international debut.
Those were the days!
Football On This Day – 18th February 2017
A Guinness world record was set at the Rochdale v Charlton Athletic League
1 fixture - Derby fan Ed Wood reclaimed the record for attending matches
at all the League grounds in England in the shortest time. He had started
his quest at the League 1 match between Bristol Rovers and Oxford United
on August 14th 2016 and 189 days later at Spotland had visited the 93
League grounds – that’s the 92 Premier and Football League grounds plus
the Shielfied Park home of Berwick Rangers, the Scottish League side who
had their home in England. The original record of 264 days was set by
Mike Jones and Bob Wilson in the 1968-69 season (no Sunday matches in
those days), Ed Wood reduced that to 243 days in 1991/92 before Ken Ferris
lowered it to 237 days in the 1994/95 season.
To reclaim that record Ed had taken a six-month unpaid holiday from Lloyds
Bank and he raised money for Prostate Cancer UK during his travels. The new record
is virtually a match every two days on average and on four occasions Ed
attending two matches in a day - can the record be beaten?
Football On This Day – 19th February 1910
On Saturday 19 February 1910 Old Trafford staged its first match when
Manchester United met Liverpool in a First Division match. Not that it was
called Old Trafford in those days but the ‘United Football Ground’ which
just hasn’t got the same ring about it has it! Originally planned as a
100,000 capacity stadium by the time it was built the capacity of the vast
terraces had been reduced to 80,000 with about 45,000 present at that
match against Liverpool. United’s Sandy Turnbull scored the first goal at
the new ground but visitors Liverpool spoiled the party, winning 4-3.
- All Manchester United's results and tables
Football On This Day – 19th February 2008
The day before they were due to play AC Milan in the Champions League the
main talking point in the Arsenal camp seemed to be why their goalkeeper,
Manuel Almunia, had been special permission to go home at lunch-times to
see his wife. The Daily Mail reported that she thought that the
house was haunted and didn't like being left alone in it. The house was
built on the site of a former psychiatric hospital and she claimed to have
seen a ghost - a monk carrying a candle - by their bed. The following day
Arsenal - without Almunia - drew 0-0 with defending champions AC Milan at
the Emirates but a couple of weeks later - with Almunia - they became the
first English club to beat AC Milan in the San Siro to earn a
quarter-final tie with Liverpool.
Link - Arsenal results 2007/08
Football On This Day - 20th February 1922
On Monday February 20th 1922 Bill Poyntz of Leeds United got married in
the morning and later in the day scored a hat-trick at Elland Road in the
3-0 Second Division victory over Leicester City. Nine days before he had
become the first Leeds player to be sent off in a League fixture. An
eventful few days!
Football On This Day
– 20th February 1926
Only one club scored more goals than the 4 Crystal Palace scored in the
5th Round of the FA Cup on this day in 1925/26. Sadly for Palace that was the club
they were playing that day – Manchester City – who scored 11 in the match
at Maine Road. 11-4, now that’s a result!
- FA Cup results 1925/26
Football On This Day – 20th February 2017
Sutton United played Arsenal in the 5th Round of the FA Cup amazingly the
main talking point was about a photograph….of a bloke eating a pie! The
gentleman in question, the 46-year-old 23-stone Wayne Shaw, was probably
no stranger to the eating of pies but the photograph was taken during the
match while he sat on the subs bench – he was the Sutton substitute
goalkeeper! The story soon became less humorous when it was claimed that
it was a publicity stunt for a bookmaker and that bets had been made that
he would be photographed eating a pie during the match. The FA launched an
investigation, Shaw resigned from Sutton the day after the match and was
offered a pie-tasting job as Morrison’s supermarket – oh, and Sutton put
up a good display in a 2-0 defeat with the Gunners going on to win the FA
Cup for a record 13th time.
- FA Cup results 2016/17
Football On this Day – 21st February 1972
A Third Division side staging a friendly on a
cold Monday night in February doesn't sound the sort of match that would
excite the imagination does it. But 54,437 turned up at Villa Park to see
a friendly between Aston Villa and Brazilian side Santos...for perhaps
more accurately to see Pele play! And the Brazil legend didn't disappoint
putting on a dazzling display for the Villa faithful although it was Edu
who scored the Santos goal in their 2-1 defeat.
Football On this Day – 21st February 1995
Arsenal sacked manager George Graham after a
Premier League investigation had found that he had taken a £425,000 ‘bung’
from agent Rune Hauge when arranging the transfer of two players to
Arsenal, John Jensen and Pal Lyderson, who were both clients of Hauge.
Later that day under caretaker manager Stewart Houston Arsenal beat
Nottingham Forest 1-0, their first home League win since October.
Football On this Day – 21st February 2009
It was literally men against boys in the
Conference fixture between Weymouth and Rushden & Diamonds. A financial
crisis forced Weymouth to field a youth team and the Diamonds ran out 9-0
winners. That was the record defeat for Weymouth, the record victory for
Rushden & Diamonds and equalled the biggest thumping in Conference
history. Weymouth played 14 more Conference matches that season after the
Rushden defeat picking up only one point and scoring just 4 goals (one of
those an og!). They were duly relegated but survived their financial
problems although ironically it was the Diamonds who soon went bust. A
financial crisis of their own saw them expelled from the Conference
in June 2011 and a month later they went bust.
Rushden & Diamonds in the Football League.
Football On This Day - 22nd February 1991
’King Kenny’ abdicated at Anfield. Kenny
Dalglish resigning at Liverpool was the shock news of the day – if not the
season. He had first joined Liverpool in 1977 when Bob Paisley paid a
British record transfer fee of
£440,000 to Celtic for him and had become player-manager in 1985, just
before the Heysel tragedy. During his career at Liverpool the club had won
practically everything many times over but it seems that the stress of the
job finally took its toll on the Scot.
Football On This Day –
22nd February 2003
Leicester fans had an unusual decision to make during half-time in the
match against Wimbledon on Saturday 22nd February 2003 - the name of their
club! Until 1919 the club had been known as Leicester Fosse and they were
considering reverting to that name. But the fans were given the final say
- each was given a card showing a C for City on one side and an F for
Fosse on the other. In a show of cards at half-time the Cs won by a
mile...and Leicester City they remained.
Football On This Day - 23rd
Just five months before England met West Germany in the World
Cup final the two countries met in a friendly at Wembley. Manager Alf
Ramsey obviously had a good idea what his best team was as nine of
the players who were to become World Cup winners were in the starting
line-up in that match, Geoff Hurst winning his first cap. The two players
who started in the match on this day in 1966 who didn't play in
July were Keith Newton and Norman Hunter who were replaced in the World
Cup final team by Ray Wilson and Martin Peters. Nobby Stiles scored the
only goal of the match, the only goal he scored in his England career.
Football On This Day - 23rd February 1983
Football often seems like a TV soap opera but on February 23rd
1983 the two did seem to merge into one. It was a big night at Old
Trafford where Manchester United entertained Arsenal in a League Cup
semi-final with Wembley just 90 minutes away. It was also a big night for
Manchester’s TV soap opera – Coronation Street – which attracted its
biggest viewership of the year for an episode which was another north v
south encounter. How would Deirdre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) sort out her
tangled love-life? Would she choose the northerner – her husband Ken – or
the Cockney boyfriend – Mike Baldwin? One of the biggest cheers of the
night at Old Trafford came when it was announced that she had chosen Ken.
That was 1-0 to the north which became 2-0 when Manchester United won
through to the Wembley final. All was well north of the Watford Gap!
Football On This
Day – 23rd February 2017
After managing unfashionable 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City to the
Premier League title in 2015/16 you would have thought that Claudio
Ranieri would have had a job at Leicester for life – but he was sacked
just 9 months later! Apart from leading Leicester to the title he had
increased expectations at the King Power Stadium and in February 2017 with
defending champions Leicester hovering just above the relegation area and
with no league win or even league goal since December pressure on him
grew. On February 23rd, just two weeks after the City owners had offered
him their ‘unwavering support’ and despite club vice-chairman
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (some Scrabble score there) describing him as
‘the most successful Leicester City manager of all time’, Ranieri
was sacked. The decision was widely condemned with Gary Lineker describing
it as ‘inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad’. Rumours
were rife that Ranieri had ‘lost’ the dressing room and that certainly
looked the case when the same players won their first six matches for new
manager Craig Shakespeare – a winning run they didn’t even manage in the
title-winning season. Leicester finished safely in a mid-table position
and they were ordinary again!
Football On This Day - 24th February 1951
In the Southend v Swindon Division 3 (South) fixture played on
this day in 1951 away side Swindon took a 2-0 lead and must have been
hoping for a win. At the end of 90 minutes those hopes had been shattered
- they had lost 8-2!
Football On This Day - 24th February 2004
Bournemouth's James Hayter scored the quickest hat-trick in
Football League on Tuesday February 24th 2004 in a 6-0 Division 2 victory
over Wrexham at Dean Court. Brought on as a substitute with only six
minutes remaining he scored a hat-trick in just 2 minutes 20 seconds. His
parents and brother were at the match but 10 minutes before the final
whistle and with no sign that James would make an appearance they left
early to catch a ferry back to their home in the Isle of Wight and so
missed the history-making achievement.
Link - hat-tricks
Football On This Day - 25th February 1967
An FA Amateur Cup 4th Round match between Highgate United and
Enfield ended in tragedy. A bolt of lightning hit the centre of the pitch
knocking over several players and tragically one of those, the Highgate
centre-half Tony Allden, died in hospital the following day from his
Link - full story, abandoned matches
Football On This Day - 25th February 2016
All the footballing headlines that day centred on 18-year-old
Marcus Rashford of Manchester United who made his first-team debut for the
Reds against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League. He only got into
the side because team-mate Anthony Martial injured himself in the
pre-match warm-up but proceeded to score 2 goals in United's 5-1 victory.
He became the youngest United player to score a goal in European
competition, breaking the record which George Best had set over 50 years
earlier. The headlines stayed with him when three days later he scored
twice more In Manchester United's 3-2 Premier League defeat of Arsenal and
set another record. This time he became the youngest ever Manchester
United player to score a goal on his League debut. An eventful three days!
Link - debuts
Link - Manchester United results 2015/16
Football On This Day – 26th February 1999
On February 26th 1999 Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was caught by
police driving his BMW on the hard shoulder of the M602 near Manchester.
Wrong but not particularly newsworthy - well not particularly newsworthy
until the matter went to court in October and Sir Alex gave his defence! He said that
he was rushing to get to a toilet! Bury Magistrates Court was told
that he was suffering from acute gastroenteritis and severe diarrhoea and
needed the toilet so drove on the hard shoulder to get past a traffic jam.
He had been too embarrassed to explain to the police the reason at the
time so explaining to the Court, and the world, what the two options were on
that day, must have been a tad difficult. He was let off!
Link - Crime and Punishment
Football On This Day – 26th February 2010
With debts of around £70m
Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to enter administration
and so later suffered a 9 point deduction. Pompey played in the 2010 FA Cup
final as a Premier League club but after a succession of owners and two
more points deductions because of financial problems by 2013 they were in
Link - points deductions
Football On This Day – 27th February 1963
Alf Ramsey took charge of England for the first time, away to France in a
European Nations Cup tie. England lost 5-2 with just two of the team that
were to win the World Cup in 1966 – Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton.
On This Day – 27th February 1978
The top clubs can win the FA Cup by playing just 6 matches over 6 rounds.
That’s not the case for non-league clubs! Back in the 1977/78 season
Northern League Blyth Spartans became only the third non-league club to
reach the 5th round (last 16) of the competition since the Second World
War with doubtless their dreams not being of Wembley but of playing a top side,
away from home. They had started their FA Cup campaign that season in the first
qualifying round played on September 17th with their last match coming
over 5 months later, on 27th February, which was their 11th fixture in the
competition over 9 rounds. They were cruelly robbed of a dream tie with
the 5th Round draw being Blyth away to the winners of a replay between
their near neighbours Newcastle United and Wrexham - with the Welshmen
winning. But Blyth drew at Wrexham and the home replay was switched to St
James’ Park. An amazing crowd of 42,167 witnessed the match and despite
being beaten 2-1 and missing out on a home 6th Round tie against Arsenal
what amazing memories they had. That’s what is called the magic of the FA
On This Day – 28th February 2005
comes to football controversies few would have expected TV chef Delia
Smith to be at the centre of one, but at the centre of one she was on this
day in 2005. The majority shareholder of Norwich City grabbed a microphone
during the interval of the Premier League match between the Canaries and
Manchester City and to drum up a bit of vocal support for the home side
had this to say. ‘A message for the best football supporters
in the world. We need a twelfth man here. Where are you? Where are you?
Let's be having you. Come on." Was she drunk? Was it an
undignified outburst or a genuine plea from a loyal supporter? The papers
were full of it. Sadly though the words didn’t inspire the Canaries –
the only goal after the break proved to be the winner for Manchester City
and Norwich were relegated at the end of the season.
Link - Norwich City results 2004/05
Football On This Day – 29th February 1964
In only their second season in the Football League Oxford United became
the first Fourth Division side to play in the 6th Round - the
quarter-finals - of the FA Cup. They were beaten 2-1 at their Manor Ground
home by Preston North End. Second Division Preston enjoyed their own bit
of FA Cup glory in 1963/64 going on to reach the final where they were
beaten 3-2 by West Ham at Wembley.
- 1963/64 FA Cup results
Football On This Day – 29th February 1972
Three stories from that day show how much the buying power of money has
changed over the years. Arsenal's FA Cup tie against Derby at Highbury
that night saw ticket touts make a killing - selling £1 seat tickets
for £20! Manchester United paid a club record fee of £125,000 to
Aberdeen to sign future club captain Martin Buchan - do any of their
players earn less than that in a week now? And on the same night Fulham
played Benfica in the official opening of the Riverside stand at Craven
Cottage. The stand cost £334,000 to build - you can pay that to add a
conservatory to the back of a house in London nowadays!
Football On This Day – 29th February 2004
Middlesbrough had to wait until Leap Year Day in 2004 to win their first
major national competition - the Carling Cup (League Cup). Against Bolton
in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff Middlesbrough took
a two goal lead inside the first seven minutes (Joseph-Désiré
Job and Boudewijn Zenden the scorers) before Bolton pulled one back
through Kevin Davies to leave The Boro 2-1 winners.