ON THIS DAY.....
MAY 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 January over the years.
May June July
Football On This Day – 1st May 1970
This was the date when one of the more unusual ground attendance records
was set - 14,000 at Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium in a friendly
against Chelsea. The match was arranged as part of Ian Hutchinson's
transfer between the clubs and marked the opening of the Abbey Stadium
floodlights - but end of season fixture congestion caused
a few problems. On Wednesday 29th April Chelsea were due to play Leeds in
the FA Cup final replay, on the Thursday United were in Southern
action, Friday was the day of the friendly between the clubs and on
Saturday United were in Southern League action again - and United had to
win both their Southern League matches to guarantee retaining their
Southern League title. Chelsea beat Leeds in the Cup Final on Wednesday
and Cambridge United beat Worcester City 3-0 on Thursday. On Friday the
record 14,000 crowd saw a near full-strength Chelsea side take a 1-0 half
time lead but in the second half Cambridge United rested their players and
the Chelsea reserve side provided the opposition to the Chelsea first
team. Cambridge United/Chelsea
reserves won the match 4-3. On Saturday, before a 5,298 Abbey Stadium
crowd Cambridge United beat Margate 2-0 to pip Yeovil Town by a point to
win the Southern League Premier Division title. On Saturday 30th May
Cambridge United were elected to the Football League - now that's got to
be a perfect month in the life of any club!
Football On This Day – 1st May 1974
With the World Cup Finals in West Germany just a few weeks away - and
England not part of it - the FA sacked Alf Ramsey as England manager.
Appointed in 1963 he had managed England in 113 internationals of which
they had won 69 and drawn 17 with his most notable achievement of course
being the World Cup win in 1966. But failure to qualify for the finals of
the Euros in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974 resulted in his downfall. With
England due to play seven internationals in a little more than a month
Coventry City manager Joe Mercer took temporary charge of the national
team (3 wins, 3 draws and a defeat against Scotland) before Don Revie left
Leeds United to become England boss in July 1974.
Football On This Day – 1st May 1980
The Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup semi-final was finally decided – in the
fourth match! In those pre-penalty-shootout days a 12th minute
Brian Talbot goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Coventry’s Highfield Road
ground in the 3rd replay – the only time an FA Cup semi-final
was played at that ground.
- FA Cup results 1979/80
Football On This Day – 2nd May 1953
In one of the most memorable FA Cup Finals Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers
4-3 at Wembley. It was know as the ‘Matthews Final’ as a 38-year-old
Stanley Matthews at last won a club honour after previously being on the
losing side in two FA Cup Finals - but it was close with Bolton being 3-1
up with less than 25 minutes remaining. The 'Mortensen Final' would have
been a more appropriate title though with Matthews' team-mate Stan
Mortensen scoring hat-trick. It was only the third hat-trick in an FA Cup
Final - the first at Wembley with the other two coming in the finals of
1890 and 1894.
- FA Cup results 1952/53
Football On This Day – 2nd May 2016
Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2 – Spurs let a two-goal lead slip in the
Premier League match with the dropped points seeing Leicester City crowned
as Premier Division champions. Yes, unfashionable Leicester, 5000-1
outsiders at the start of the season, are League champions for the first
time in their history. They went on to finish the season 10 points clear
of second-placed Arsenal although that margin isn’t really a true
reflection of the title race. Leicester and Spurs were neck and neck going
into the final few matches but while the Foxes were unbeaten in their last
12 matches Spurs didn’t manage a win in their last four, a run which saw
them pipped to the runners-up up spot by their great rivals Arsenal.
Leicester’s success was widely seen as the most unlikely triumph in the
history of team sport but just nine months later the architect of that
triumph – manager Claudio Ranieri – had been sacked. Such is life!
Football On This Day – 3rd May 1924
The 1923/24 season was the closest the
Welsh have got to winning the League Championship. Saturday May 3rd saw
the last matches of the season being played and at the top of the First
Division table Cardiff led Huddersfield by a point. But on that last day
Huddersfield defeated Nottingham Forest 3-0 and
Cardiff drew at Birmingham 0-0 after leading scorer Len Davies missed a
penalty. Both clubs had 57 points and under present rules Cardiff would have won the title
on goal difference (and then goals scored) but in the days of goal average the title went to Huddersfield by two-hundredths
of a goal! Even if their points totals remained the same had Cardiff
scored one more goal during the season - or Huddersfield had conceded one
more - the title would have been Cardiff's. So that missed penalty cost
the Welsh a League title!
1923/24 First Division table
Football On This Day – 3rd May 1980
Goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar scored the only goal in his League career –
from the penalty spot for Crewe Alexandra against York City in Division 4.
On This Day – 3rd
Morton 10-2 in the Scottish Championship. It was the first double figure
score in the Scottish League since Rangers beat Raith Rovers 10-2 on 16th
Football On This Day – 4th May 1929
Cardiff City played their last match of the 1928/29 campaign - a 1-1 draw
with Blackburn Rovers - to finish the season with the best defensive record in
the First Division. But that achievement didn't see them challenging for
the title - in fact they finished bottom and were relegated to the Second
Division! Despite winning their first home match of the season 7-0 -
against Burnley - Cardiff also finished with the worst goalscoring record
in the division and that saw them relegated.
Link - Cardiff City results and table 1928/29
Football On This Day – 4th May 1935
It was definitely a game of two halves
at Exeter City's last Division 3 (South) fixture in the 1934/35 season.
The score at St James Park against Aldershot was 0-0 at half-time - at
full time it was Exeter 8 Aldershot 1.
Football On This Day – 4th May 1935
Now this was a memorable debut! After being a consistent scorer for the
Accrington Stanley reserve side centre-forward Allan Duckworth was given
his first team debut in Accrington's last match of the 1934/35 season, a
Division 3 (North) match at Barrow. He scored after 4 minutes and that
goal helped Accrington to a victory which saved them from finishing in the
re-election area. But he was also carried off after 20 minutes with a knee
injury and four months later having not recovered from that injury - and
having also suffered a badly dislocated shoulder - he retired from the
game. Those 20 minutes proved to be the only League football he ever
Link - Debuts
Football On This Day – 4th May 1949
Italian football was in mourning
following the Superga tragedy. The aeroplane carrying AC Torino back from
playing a friendly in Lisbon against Benfica crashed into the Basilica of
Superga near Turin in bad weather, killing all 31 on board. Among the dead
were 18 Torino players - including most of the Italian national team - as
well as their English manager Leslie Lievesley. The crash left Torino with
just one senior player -
who missed the trip due to injury - and so for
the final four league matches of the season Torino fielded their youth
team. As a mark of respect their opponents in those four matches also
fielded their youth sides - Torino won them all to confirm their fifth
Italian championship in a row.
Football On This Day – 4th May 1966
Goalkeeper Peter Shilton made his Football League debut for Leicester
City against Everton at Filbert Street. He kept a clean sheet in the 3-0
First Division victory and went on to play 1005 League matches in the
League and 125 times for England, both records.
Football On This Day – 4th May 1976
First Division fixture between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool saw a
dramatic conclusion to the League season which was suitably marked by the
Wolves programme cover. The match, on the last evening of the season, saw
Wolves needing a win to have any chance of overtaking near neighbours
Birmingham City (who also played that evening) and keep their place in the
First Division. Liverpool were a point behind top-placed QPR (who had
finished their season) and needed the two points to guarantee them the
League title. A 48,900 Molineux crowd saw Wolves leading 1-0 with 15
minutes left - but Liverpool won 3-1. Liverpool were the champs, Wolves
1975/76 First Division table
Football On This Day – 4th May 2013
The total mis-match that was the Scottish League Division 3 in 2012/13 was
well shown by the attendances in the last round of League matches on May
4th. There were 386 spectators at Annan, 745 at Clyde, 786 at Elgin, 462
at Queens Park and 50,048 at Ibrox for the Rangers v Berwick match.
Rangers had been demoted from the Premier League after financial problems
in the previous season had seen them enter administration. The Scottish
giants took the title by a mile, finishing 24 points ahead of runners-up
Peterhead and although the 50,048 was their best League gate of the season
(will that ever be bettered in Division 3?) only once did a League
attendance at Ibrox drop below 40,000.
Football On This Day – 5th May 1928
Everton’s Dixie Dean scored a hat-trick against Arsenal to bring his
League goals total for the season to 60 – still a record. Including FA Cup
and representative matches his total for the season was an amazing 82
Dixie Dean's League goals 1927/28
Football On This Day –
5th May 1951
League first. Alex and David Herd became the first father and son to play
together in the Football League – for Stockport County against Hartlepools
United in Division 3 (North).
Football On This Day –
5th May 1956
the most famous footballing injury of them all. At the 1956 FA Cup final
between Manchester City and Birmingham City Bert Trautmann, the Manchester
City 'keeper, was injured when making a save. He was treated for several
minutes on the Wembley pitch but with no substitutes in those days, he
played on to help his side record a 3-1 win. Three days later it was found
that he had broken his neck when making the save! His surgeon was blunt in his assessment
of the injury - 'You should be dead' he
told the player. But Trautmann always denied that it was a brave act, 'If
I had known I had broken my neck, I would have been off like a shot.'
Link - Footballing Injuries
Football On This Day –
5th May 1966
lowest-ever League crowd at Highbury – just 4,554 – saw Arsenal defeated
3-0 by Leeds.
Football On This Day –
5th May 1969
tragedy at York City's Bootham Crescent in their last Fourth Division
match of the season, against Halifax Town. Referee Roy Harper collapsed on
the pitch shortly after kick off and died of a heart attack. I think it
amazing that the match wasn't called off out of respect but instead one of
the other officials took over and the match was played to the finish.
On This Day – 5th May 1979
Norwich finished the season with a 1-1 First Division draw against
Nottingham Forest at Carrow Road. It was their 23rd League draw of the
season - a record for a 42-match League season.
Norwich City results 1978/79
This Day – 6th May 1961
Tottenham beat Leicester 2-0 in the FA Cup Final to become the first club
since Aston Villa in 1896/97 to win a League and FA Cup double. Among
their ranks that day were Bill Brown, Danny Blanchflower, Dave Mackay,
Cliff Jones and John White who helped Spurs become the dominant force of
the time. And Jimmy Greaves had yet to arrive at White Hart Lane! The
final was Leicester's 10th FA Cup tie of the season and it was part of a
disappointing run that saw them lose in all the four FA Cup finals they
played in in the 25 years since football had resumed after the Second
Link - FA Cup results 1960/61
Links - 1960/61 results -
This Day – 6th May 1978
red-hot favourites to beat FA Cup final debutants Ipswich Town in the 1978
final at Wembley. The Suffolk side had been beaten 6-1 by Aston Villa in
the League a week previously but the underdogs hit the posts three times
in the final before Roger Osborne scored the only goal of the match for
Ipswich in the 77th minute. That was his last action in the match - he
immediately fainted and had to be substituted!
FA Cup results 1977/78
Links - 1977/78 results -
Football On This
Day – 6th May 2018
Wolves were clear champions but the battle for the second automatic
promotion spot from the Championship in 2017/18 went to the last match of
the season. Fulham had to pick up more points than Cardiff on the last
day, May 6th - Cardiff drew 0-0 at home to Reading while Fulham -
defending a 23-match unbeaten League run dating back to December
2017....lost at Birmingham! Cardiff's promotion saw their manager Neil
Warnock set an impressive new record - it was the eighth time he had
managed a club to promotion, a record covering 7 different clubs. He
started off by managing Scarborough to promotion from the Conference to
the Football League in 1986/87 followed by promotions with Notts County
(twice), Huddersfield, Plymouth, Sheffield United and QPR before his
latest success at Cardiff. And for the record Cardiff set a major new
Football League first during the season. In consecutive matches in
February and March they beat Bristol City, Barnsley, Birmingham, Brentford
and Burton to become the first side ever to beat five clubs starting with
the letter 'B' in consecutive League matches. Hey - every record is
Football On This Day –
7th May 1921
Old Trafford staged 2 matches on this day in 1921. Following the Manchester
United v Derby County fixture Stockport County, whose Edgeley Park ground
had been closed as a punishment for crowd problems, played Leicester City.
Only 13 paid to watch the Stockport match although several thousand others
stayed on from the Manchester United match to watch the Stockport game for
Football On This Day – 7th May 2006
Spurs needed win their last match of the season to make sure of getting
the fourth Champions League spot – instead they are beaten by West
Ham and food poisoning with Arsenal pipping them to that Champions League
place. A dodgy meal of lasagne the night before the match is thought to
have caused the problem but to be fair to the West Ham fans they were
prepared to be helpful.....
Football On This Day – 8th May 1993
Brian Clough took charge of his Nottingham Forest side for the last time
in a Premier League match at Ipswich Town. His managerial career saw him
win League titles and European Cups but it ended on a low with Forest
losing at Ipswich to finish bottom of the Premier League in its debut
Link - Nottingham Forest results 1992/93 & Clough last match
Football On This Day – 8th May 1999
Going into the last match of the season Carlisle United were favourites to
fill the one relegation spot from the League to the Conference, they were
a point behind Scarborough. Going into the last seconds of the season
Carlisle were near certainties to go down. Scarborough's match had just
finished - they had got a point - while Carlisle were level with Plymouth
at Brunton Park, and so they needed a win to stay up. With seconds left
Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass went upfield for a Carlisle corner - and
scored the winning goal to keep Carlisle in the Football League. Jimmy
Glass was on loan from Swindon at the time, he only ever played 3 times
for Carlisle and yet scored one of the most important goals in the clubs'
history - not bad for a goalkeeper!
Football On This Day – 9th May 1951
England played their first international against foreign opposition at
Wembley, beating Argentina 2-1 in front of 99,000 fans. Since 1924 England had only played
Scotland at Wembley.
Football On This Day – 9th May 1961
A week after Ian St John joined Liverpool from Motherwell for a club
record fee (a mahoosive £37,500!) the Scottish international made his
debut for the Reds. Although Liverpool lost the Liverpool Senior Cup final
3-4 against Everton at Goodison Park St John scored all 3 Liverpool goals
in front of an amazing 51,669 crowd.
Football On This Day – 10th May 1995
A lob from
45 yards out on the right touchline by former Tottenham player Nayim beat
David Seaman in the last minute of extra time and gave Real Zaragoza a 2-1
victory over holders Arsenal in the final of the European Cup Winners Cup
played at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Football On This Day – 10th May 2008
May 2008 Rochdale striker Lee Thorpe could only watch his team-mates
from the sidelines when they played their League 2 play-off final against
Stockport at Wembley, Rochdale's first-ever match at Wembley. He had broken his arm in three places a couple
of weeks earlier. He did it in an arm-wrestling contest with team-mate
Rene Howe on the coach to the semi-final against Darlington! Striker Chris
Dagnall was seemingly full of sympathy when he later described the
incident. 'Everybody on the bus heard the snap, it was that loud.'
Football On This Day – 11th May 1979
Surprising, despite having scored less goals than relegated Sheffield
United, going into their last match of the season Crystal Palace had
everything to play for. They were fourth in the Second Division table but
the top three sides who were in the promotion spots had all completed
their League fixtures - Palace were catching up after a poor season of
weather-related postponements. A win for the Terry Venables managed Palace
on that Friday night would see them finish top and deny great rivals
Brighton the championship, a draw would see them miss out on the title but
still win promotion to the top flight while a defeat would see them in the
Second Division for another season. What is still a record Selhurst Park
crowd of 51,482 witnessed a goalless first half against Burnley before
goals from Ian Walsh and David Swindlehurst in the last quarter of an hour
gave the Londoners a 2-0 victory and the Second Division title.
Link - Crystal Palace results 1978/79 and table
This Day – 11th May 1985
Tragedy strikes at the Bradford City v Lincoln City match at Valley Parade
when a discarded match starts a fire in the wooden Main Stand. It was soon
engulfed in flames which left 56 dead and over 250 injured.
Football On This Day – 12th May 2007
Stevenage Borough captain Ronnie Henry became the first player to climb
the 107 steps to the Royal Box of the new Wembley to collect a trophy –
the old stadium had 39 steps. A 53,262 crowd saw Stevenage Borough beat
Kidderminster Harriers 3-2 to lift the FA Trophy. Seven days later the
crowd increased to 89,826 for the first FA Cup final at the rebuilt
stadium when Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0.
Football On This Day – 13th May 1984
testimonial match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and his former
club, Celtic, attracted a crowd of 40,140 which included over 15,000
Celtic fans. Macari played one half for each side. The £85,000 receipts
were the record at the time for a testimonial match in Britain.
Football On This Day – 13th May 1997
their final match at Roker Park. Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0 in a
friendly fixture with John Mullin scoring the last goal at the famous old
ground. Liverpool had been the visitors for the first match at Roker Park,
99 years earlier on 10th September 1898, for a First Division fixture
which the home side had also won 1-0.
Football On This Day – 13th May 2018
Following on from the exploits of Bobby and Jackie a third Charlton
brother - Tommy - made his England footballing debut....at the age of 72.
A Rotherham player - well a player for Mature Millers in Rotherham - Tommy
made his debut for the England Over 60's side in the first ever Walking
Football international. The match against Italy was won 3-1 by England
which was played at Brighton's Amex Stadium. Tommy certainly had the look
of Bobby about him but he didn't manage a goal on his debut although he
had two good attempts during the fixture.
On This Day – 14th May 1931
I was asked a
while ago if it was right that players started exchanging shirts after a
match so that they could sell them on ebay to earn a few extra pounds. I'm
sure a few do but the practice started before the days of the computer,
back in May 1931 after a France v England international in Paris. It was
the seventh time the countries had met and England had won all the
previous six, usually by a big margin. But on 14th May 1931 things were
different and France recorded - for them anyway - an historic 5-2 victory.
So pleased were the French that they asked if they could have the England
shirts to keep to commemorate the win, their request was granted and a
tradition was started.
This Day – 14th May 1980
their 68th competitive match of the season (they would play a record 70)
Arsenal met Valencia in the first European final to be decided on
penalties. Liam Brady and Graham Rix missed their kicks with Valencia
winning the penalty shoot-out 5-4 at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium to take
the European Cup Winners Cup.
Football On This Day – 14th May 1988
years previously Wimbledon had been a non-league side but on this day in
1988 they caused a major shock by beating Liverpool in the FA Cup final,
Lawrie Sanchez scoring the only goal of the match to deny the Merseysiders
a League and FA Cup double. Wimbledon's skipper Dave Beasant became the
first goalkeeper to save an FA Cup final penalty at Wembley (against John
Football On This Day – 14th May 2017
Tottenham Hotspur played their 1993rd and last League match at their old
White Hart Lane ground, their home since 1899. Spurs were moving to
Wembley for the 2017/18 season to allow their old ground to be demolished
and their new ground to be completed. They marked the occasion with a 2-1
victory over Manchester United to equal a club record of 14 consecutive
home League wins. But it was perhaps their last two away matches of the
season that made more headlines. On May 18th Harry Kane scored 4 in the
6-1 win at reigning champions Leicester and three days after that Kane
scored three more in their 7-1 victory at Hull, their record away League
win. Those goals saw Kane win the Golden Boot award for the top Premier
League goalscorer for the second season in a row while the points won saw
Spurs finish second, their best League finish since 1963 and perhaps more
importantly for the first time since 1994/95 they finished the season
higher in the League than north London rivals Arsenal.
Football On This Day – 14th May 2017
Two front page stories
in the Sunday newspapers ended any doubt – if there had ever been any
doubt that is – that footballers just earn far too much money! According
to The Sun when Coleen and the kids were away for a few days Wayne
Rooney made a late night visit to a Manchester casino and proceeded
to lose £500,000 in a couple of hours playing roulette and blackjack. But
hey, his earnings were £300k a week! His former teammate David Beckham was
a tad more sensible with his cash although the anniversary present The
Star said he was buying for his missus, Victoria, did seem a tad over
the top – a £7 million Caribbean island.
Football On This Day – 15th May 1963
Spurs became the first British club to win a European competition when
they hammered Atletico Madrid 5-1 in the final of the European Cup
Winners’ Cup played in Rotterdam.
Football On This Day – 15th May 2016
The most embarrassing postponement of all time? A 75,000 crowd was
assembling at Old Trafford for what should have been Manchester United's
last Premier League match of the 2015/16 season, against Bournemouth. Then
a 'suspect device' was found in one of the toilets, the ground was
evacuated, the match was called-off and a controlled explosion was carried
It was later found that the 'suspect
device' was a dummy bomb which had been used in a security training
exercise at Old Trafford and which had unknowingly been left at the ground
by mistake. No-one had discovered the very realistic-looking pipe-bomb (as
pictured) until just before scheduled kick off - and then nobody was
taking any chances. Two days later United beat Bournemouth 3-1 in the
Football On This Day – 16th May 1988
Just two days after winning the FA Cup the Wimbledon's 'Crazy Gang' hit
the headlines again. In a testimonial for one of their cup-winning team,
Alan Cork, most of the players 'mooned' at half time. It saw Wimbledon
being charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute - the club
were fined £5000 and each of the players involved £750.
Football On This Day – 16th May 1999
West Ham United set a new world record! Each fan who attended West Ham's
last Premier Division match of the 1998/99 season, against Middlesbrough,
at Upton Park on Sunday May 16th 1999 was given a bubble-blowing pot by
kit supplier Fila and
23,680 of them blew bubbles for 1 minute to get into the
of World Records.
Football On This Day – 16th May 2015
The quickest-ever hat-trick in the
Premier League was scored by Southampton's Sadio Mané on Saturday May 16th
2015. His three goals were scored in 2 minutes 56 seconds in the 6-1
defeat of Aston Villa at St Mary's. The Senegal international's 176 second
record beat the previous best which had stood for nearly 21 years - Robbie
Fowler had scored all of Liverpool's goals in their 3-0 victory over
Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday August 28th 1994 in four minutes 33 seconds.
Link - hat-tricks
Football On This Day – 17th May 1997
Middlesbrough ended a disappointing season with a 2-0 FA Cup final defeat
against Chelsea. Chelsea's first goal came from Roberto Di Matteo after
just 42 seconds which at the time was the quickest FA Cup final goal -
since beaten by Louis Saha for Everton in 2009 (25 seconds). Chelsea's
victory saw their manager, Ruud Gullit, become the first foreign manager
to lead his team to an FA Cup triumph - now we wonder when there will be
another winning team with an English manager! Apart from being
beaten in their first FA Cup final the 1996/97 season had also seen
Middlesbrough beaten in their first League Cup final (by Leicester) - and
they suffered relegation from the Premier League!
Link - Middlesbrough results & table 1996/97
This Day – 18th May 1970
Moore and Bobby Charlton went shopping in Columbia on May 18th 1970 during
an England pre-World Cup tour a diplomatic incident followed. Bobby Moore
was accused of stealing a bracelet and a week later was charged with theft
and placed under house arrest. The case was later dropped and Moore was
able to take his place in the England team in the Mexico finals.
Football On This Day – 18th May 1991
Gascoigne was carried off - and many say should have been sent off – with
a torn cruciate ligament after a wild tackle on Forest’s Gary Charles at
the Spurs v Nottingham Forest FA Cup Final. Was he ever the same player
again? Spurs won 2-1 to deny Brian Clough success in his only FA Cup
On This Day – 19th May 2001
The word most often used to describe Southampton's former home at the Dell
was 'cramped' and a cramped capacity crowd of 15,252 saw a dramatic and
memorable end to their 103 years at the ground. In the last competitive
match at the Dell Arsenal were the visitors for a Premier League fixture
with the Gunners twice taking the lead. Hassan Kachloul equalised twice
for the Saints before 32-year-old Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier came
on as a sub and scored an 89th minute winner. Amazing! A week later
Southampton entertained Brighton in a friendly for the very last match at
the ground - Brighton United had been Southampton's first opponents at the
Dell on 3rd September 1898.
Football On This Day – 19th May 2013
years as manager Alex Ferguson took charge of Manchester United
for the last time in the League. He saw his side let in 5 goals at WBA –
they drew 5-5, the first time that scoreline had been recorded in the
Football On This Day – 20th May 1962
Bobby Moore made his England debut and Jimmy Greaves scored a hat-trick in
England’s 4-0 friendly victory in Peru.
Football On This Day – 21st May 1966
An unusual fixture at Highbury. A young apprentice by the name of Charlie
George was one of those who helped turn Arsenal's former home into a
boxing arena. The occasion was a World Heavyweight title bout between
Henry Cooper and defending champ Muhammad Ali. Over 40,000 were present to
witness Our 'Enery suffer a sixth round defeat with a badly cut eye.
Football On This
Day – 21st May 1983
1982/83 season was a disappointing one for Brighton. Their first stint as
a top flight club (it lasted 4 seasons) came to an end when they finished
rock bottom of the old First Division. But they did reach their first ever
FA Cup final and on May 21st 1983 they had the chance of making history by
becoming the first relegated club to win the competition....and they so
nearly did it. With just seconds of extra time left against Manchester
United Brighton's Gordon Smith looked certain to score and Peter Jones'
BBC radio commentary of the moment passed into history - 'And Smith
must score....and he hasn't scored. And Bailey has saved it'
final whistle then went confirming the 2-2 draw and five days later the
replay at Wembley ended with Brighton being thumped 4-0. That Gordon Smith
miss and Peter Jones' words will forever be with us and they were even
remembered in the name of a Brighton fanzine (which is no longer with us).
Link - Brighton results 1982/83
Football On This Day – 21st May 2008
For the first all-English Champions League final the fans of Chelsea and
Manchester United had to make the long journey to Moscow. It was also a
late night - it was 7.45pm kick off for the British TV viewer but in Moscow it was
10.45pm and with the match going to extra time and penalties the cup
didn't get presented until the early hours. It was presented to Manchester
United who won 6-5 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1.
kick off times
Football On This Day – 22nd May 1967
Ron Springett won 33 England caps - he
played in the 1962 World Cup finals and was a non-playing member of
England's 1966 World Cup winning squad. His brother Peter played for
England at both youth and Under 23 level although never won a full cap.
What was unusual was that both brothers were goalkeepers and what was
unique was that on 22nd May 1967 they were involved in a transfer swap.
Ron moved from Sheffield Wednesday back to his former club Queens Park
Rangers while younger brother Peter moved in the opposite direction.
Sheffield Wednesday also paid QPR £24,000 to complete the deal.
Football On This Day – 22nd May 1982
Tottenham drew 1-1
with Second Division QPR at Wembley in the FA Cup Final but Spurs were
without their Argentine player Ricky Villa who had withdrawn from the
squad because of the Falklands War. Spurs won the replay at Wembley five
Link - 1981/82 FA Cup results
Football On This Day – 23rd May 1954
lingering hopes that England were the best in the world ended in their
final warm-up match for the 1954 World Cup finals. England lost 7-1 to
Hungary in Budapest, a result which is still England’s record
Football On This Day – 24th May 1984
Venables was appointed the new manager of Barcelona on a salary reported
to be around £150,000 a year. ‘El Tel’ lasted three years in Spain.
Football On This
Day – 24th May 2000
Indoor international football arrived in Britain for the first
time when Brazil beat Wales 3-0 under a closed roof at the Millennium
Stadium in Cardiff.
Football On This Day – 24th May 2015
Steven Gerrard made his first-team debut for Liverpool on November
29th 1998 in a Premier League match against Blackburn at Anfield and on
24th May 2015 he played his 504th and last League match for the club. He
scored Liverpool's only goal at Stoke but it wasn't a memorable last game
for the Reds' legend. In fact the match saw a scoreline he hadn't
experienced in any of his previous 503 League matches for the club (and
hadn't happened in his lifetime) - a 6-1 defeat!
This Day – 25th May 1947
Portugal 10-0 in Lisbon with Stan Mortensen scoring 4 on his debut. Tommy
Lawton also scored 4, the first after just 17 seconds. I promise I haven't
made that up - England did that sort of things in those days!
Football On This Day – 25th May 1963
It normally takes clubs a full five months to win the FA Cup
but on 25th May 1963 Manchester United set a record by winning the final
just 82 days after playing their first match in the seasons' competition.
Bad weather meant that they didn't play their Third Round match until
March 4th rather than in early January and by the end of May they had
beaten Leicester City in the final. Apart from 6 FA Cup ties United also
played 17 League matches in those 82 days.
Link - Manchester United results 1962/63
Football On This
Day – 25th May 1967
Celtic beat Inter Milan 2-1 in Lisbon to become the first British club to
win the European Cup.
This Day – 25th May 2005
At half time at the Champions League final at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul AC Milan were
leading Liverpool 3-0 - Liverpool were poor and were going to get
hammered. In one of the most amazing turn-rounds though second half goals
from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso put Liverpool level.
No more goals in extra time and so it went to penalties. And yep,
Liverpool won 3-2 to complete what was genuinely The Miracle of
Link - it's never over....
Football On This Day – 26th May 1984
City’s Gary Lineker
made his England debut as a 72nd minute substitute for Tony Woodcock in
the 1-1 draw against Scotland at Hampden.
Football On This Day –
26th May 1999
United's attempt to win the Champions League for the first time looked
doomed to failure at the Nou Camp, Barcelona. They went behind against
Bayern Munich after just six minutes and that was still the score as the
final whistle approached. Then amazingly came goals from subs Teddy Sherringham
in the first minute of injury time and Ole Gunnar Solskjær a minute later
and the Champions League trophy joined the Premier League trophy and FA
Cup in the Old Trafford trophy cupboard.
Link - it's never over....
Football On This Day – 27th May 1972
Alan Ball wound up a 119,325 Hampden Park crowd by wiping his nose on a
corner flag bearing the Cross of St Andrew. England beat Scotland 1-0 –
Ball scored the goal.
Football On This Day – 27th May 1982
nowadays seem to moan if their team has to play twice in a week but back
on this day Tottenham Hotspur played their last match of a busy season, an
FA Cup final replay victory over QPR. Apart from retaining the FA Cup
Spurs finished 4th in the League and were beaten in the final of the
League Cup and semi-final of the European Cup Winners Cup. In all they
played 66 competitive matches in 1981/82 - including 4 at Wembley - with
19 of those being played in the last two months of the season alone.
Link - Spurs results in 1981/82
This Day – 28th May 1959
made his 105th and final appearance for England against USA in Los
Angeles. England scored seven second half goals in an 8-1 victory.
Football On This Day – 28th May 1960
Peterborough United were elected to the Football League. Their election
was certainly not a surprise given that they were perhaps the strongest
non-league side since WW2 but what was surprising was that Gateshead were
voted out – they were third from bottom in Division 4 in 1959/60 with no
recent record of previously needing to seek re-election.
- full Posh history in the Football League
Football On This Day – 29th May 1968
United became the first English club to win the European Cup, beating
Benfica 4-1 at Wembley.
European Cup results 1967-68
Football On This Day – 29th May 1985
Just 18 days
after the Bradford City fire disaster tragedy struck at the European Cup
final between Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels,
Belgium. Rioting fans and a collapsed wall at the decrepit stadium saw 39
fans crushed to death and over 600 injured. Despite this happening before
kick off the match took place with the authorities fearful of further
violence if it was called off. The result of the match was an irrelevance.
Football On This Day – 29th May 2015
seven years to the day after Benfica had played Manchester United in the
European Cup final the Portuguese side were up against another Manchester
side, this time the opposition being FC United of Manchester. They were
the protest club founded in 2005 by supporters of Manchester United
following the unpopular takeover of their club by the American Malcolm
Glazier. The match was to mark the official opening of their new
Broadhurst Park ground, a 4,232 crowd witnessing a 1-0 victory for the
Benfica reserve side. So how long is it going to be before they celebrate
their first match in the Football League?
This Day – 30th May 1979
Cloughie leads unfashionable Nottingham Forest to a European Cup Final
victory over Malmo in Munich. An amazing achievement – one which Forest
repeated the following year.
Football On This Day – 30th May 2006
Aged 17 years and 75 days Theo Walcott became the youngest England
international in the 3-1 victory over Hungary at Old Trafford. Another
debut was given to the robotic dance celebration of Peter Crouch after he
had scored England’s third goal.
This Day – 31st May 1893
League decided to increase the size of the Second Division by 4 to 16
clubs for the start of the 1893/94 season. Newcastle United and Rotherham
Town were elected at the League AGM but it was decided to advertise for
clubs to fill the other two places. Applications were soon received from
Doncaster Rovers, Liverpool, Loughborough, Middlesbrough Ironopolis and
Woolwich Arsenal. On this day in 1893 the Football League announced that
they had decided that Liverpool and Arsenal should fill the remaining two
places. In the case of Arsenal it was perhaps a brave decision. Apart from
the FA Cup, their 1892/3 fixture list consisted entirely of friendlies and
as the first southern side in the Football League every other club in the
division would be hit with extra travelling costs.
Arsenal results 1892/93
Football On This Day – 31st May 1961
Football may be the major attraction to Wembley but over the years the
famous stadium has hosted some weird and wonderful events, perhaps the
most weird being back in 1961. A 150-foot tower was built at one end of
the ground and then on May 31st (one session) and June 1st (two sessions)
some 50 tons of ice was crushed into artificial snow each session and
spread to a depth of 6 inches on the bottom slope of the tower. And then
the paying spectators watched ski-jumping. Really!
Football On This
Day – 31st May 1980
Brighton’s Peter Ward made his England debut as an 85th minute sub against
Australia in Sydney – he never played for England again!