FOOTBALL ON THIS DAY.....    
March
     
 

 

 

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 March over the years.

Index
January  February  March
April  May  June  July
August  September  October
November 
December

   
     

MARCH Day by Day........

1st March

 

Football On This Day – 1st March 1980
Everton legend Dixie Dean died at his spiritual home Goodison Park when attending an Everton v Liverpool fixture. He was the most prolific scorer in Everton’s history – 383 goals in 433 appearances including 37 hat-tricks while his 60 League goals in the 1927/28 season is an all-time League record. He only played 16 times for England – but scored 18 goals.
Link - Dixie Dean's 60 goals in 1927/28


Football On This Day – 1st March 2014
The Hull City v Newcastle United Premier League match at the KC Stadium hit the headlines when a touchline spat saw Newcastle manager Alan Pardew headbutt Hull midfielder David Meyler. The incident also hit the pocket of Pardew who was fined £100,000 by the Magpies with the FA taking another £60,000 as well banning him for seven matches.
 

2nd March
 

Football On This Day – 2nd March 1963
The arctic weather that hit the country during the 1962/63 season decimated football up and down the country with Yorkshire being particularly hit. Third Division Halifax Town hadn’t played at home since December 15th when they decided to cash in on the conditions and on March 2nd 1963 opened their Shay ground – as an ice-skating rink! A thaw soon followed.

Football On This Day – 2nd March 2013
On this day in March 2013 Southampton met Queens Park Rangers in a Premier League match at St Mary’s. Amazingly both managers - Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton and Harry Redknapp of QPR – celebrated their birthdays that day.
 

3rd March
  Football On This Day – 3rd March 1983
Bristol Rovers manager Bobby Gould fined himself £200 for the comments he made to the referee in the defeat at Bradford City the previous month. Not surprisingly that method of discipline hasn't caught on!
4th March
 



Football On This Day – 4th March 1995

A 43,804 Old Trafford crowd witnessed Manchester United thrash Ipswich Town 9-0 which is still the highest score in the Premier League. Andy Cole scored 5, Mark Hughes a couple with one each from Roy Keane and Paul Ince. 
Link - Manchester United results 1994/95

 

Football On This Day – 4th March 2009
Three-times FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo made his competitive debut for Brazilian side Corinthians as a sub after thirteen months out of the game following surgery for a career-threatening knee injury. He survived the 20 minutes he played against Itumbiara without a problem only to end up with a badly bruised and swollen right eye after being hit by a microphone when an after-match media scrum surrounded him while attempting to get an interview.
Link - injuries

 

5th March
 

 


Football On This Day – 5th March 1938
The record attendance at White Hart Lane was set – 75,038 for an FA Cup 6th Round tie between Tottenham and Sunderland. A Raich Carter goal gave cup holders Sunderland a 1-0 victory. 
Link - FA Cup results 1937/38


 

6th March
  Football On This Day – 6th March 1962
Accrington Stanley resigned from the Football League. With debts approaching £60,000 and unable to find even £400 to pay the electricity, gas, water and telephone bills the Lancashire club sent a resignation letter to the Football League. They changed their mind several days later but by then it was too late and the 33 League matches they had played that season were void and for the next 44 years Accrington was without a Football League club.
Link - Accrington Stanley results 1961/62

Football On This Day – 6th March 1963
Leeds United beat Stoke City 3-1 in an FA Cup Third Round tie - the first match Leeds had won in the competition since they beat Bradford PA 2-0 in a Fourth Round tie in February 1952.
 

7th March
 

Football On This Day – 7th March 1959
Plenty of goals at Home Park. In the first 20 minutes Plymouth Argyle took a 3-0 lead over Mansfield in a Division 3 fixture. Mansfield pulled back to 3-3 but in the final 20 minutes the Pilgrims scored five more to win 8-3. Plymouth became the first Division 3 champions in 1958/59.

Football On This Day – 7th March 2000
The ‘Forgotten Five’ finally got their recognition. Alan Ball, George Cohen, Roger Hunt, Nobby Stiles and Ray Wilson became the last of England’s World Cup winners to be honoured when they received their MBEs from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
 

8th March
 

Football On This Day – 8th March 1974
West Ham transfer-listed Bobby Moore who said he wanted to find a new club and a fresh challenge. Manager Ron Greenwood said ‘Grateful is hardly the word for what he has done for the club and football.’ The following week he moved to Fulham where he finished his League playing career.
 

9th March
 

Football On This Day – 9th March 1946
The peace that followed the end of the Second World War saw a boom in attendances up and down the country. At Bolton's Burnden Park ground on March 9th 1946 65,419 were officially present to see Stanley Matthews and his Stoke City side play Bolton for a place in the semi-finals of the competition. Unofficially probably 85,000 got into the ground and in circumstances that had many similarities to what would happen at Hillsborough 43 years later tragically 33 fans died in the crush with many more suffering serious injuries. Amazingly, after a short break, the match was played to a finish. The result seems unimportant.

Football On This Day – 9th March 1974
The 6th Round FA Cup tie between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest kept on hitting the headlines. In the first match at St James' Park on 9th March 1974 Forest were awarded a controversial second half penalty which saw the Magpie's Pat Howard being sent off for protesting the decision. George Lyall scored from the spot to give Forest a 3-1 lead at which point the crowd invaded the pitch forcing ref Gordon Kew to take the players off for an 8 minute break. When play resumed 10-man Newcastle scored three times to win the tie 4-3 and reach the semi-finals. Forest appealed against the result and an FA commission annulled the result and ordered that the match be replayed at a neutral venue. Newcastle weren't too happy, as you might expect, and not just because of the need for a replay.  Joe Harvey, their manager said: 'Diabolical - if the result doesn't stand how can the sending off and booking still stand?' Forest weren't totally overjoyed either as they wanted the re-arranged match to be played at the City Ground but a neutral venue it was with Goodison Park hosting the re-arranged match - and a further replay - before Newcastle again got their place in the semi-final draw.

 

Football On This Day – 9th March 1994
Terry Venables had a successful first match as England manager, David Platt scoring the goal in England’s 1-0 friendly win over Denmark at Wembley. Darren Anderton, Graeme le Saux and Matt le Tisser were all given their England debuts in the match.


 

10th March
 



Football On This Day – 10th March 1971

Cardiff City recorded one of their greatest victories when a Brian Clark headed goal saw the Bluebirds beat Real Madrid 1-0 before a near-50,000 crowd at Ninian Park in the ECWC quarter-final 1st leg. Sadly Cardiff lost the return leg 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu and Real went on to reach the final where they lost to Chelsea.


 

11th March
 

 

Football On This Day – 11th March 1972
Jack Charlton made his 600th League appearance for Leeds United and after 12 minutes scored the only goal of the First Division match against Coventry City played in front of a crowd of 43,154 at Elland Road. A loyal one-club man he retired the following season after making a club record 629 League appearances for Leeds.


 

12th March
 

Football On This Day – 12th March 1900
Arsenal – then Woolwich Arsenal – beat Loughborough 12-0 in a Division 2 match to record what is still their record League victory. Just three seasons earlier Loughborough had inflicted on Arsenal their record League defeat – 8-0 – but since then the Leicestershire side had suffered severe financial problems and were about to drop out of the League.
Link - all Arsenal's results and tables since joining the Football League
Link - all Loughborough's results and tables in the Football League

Football On This Day – 12th March 1973
Pelé had started to hit the world headlines back in 1958 but it wasn't until 12th March 1973 that he finally played in London for the only time in his career. Fulham hosted a friendly against his club side, Santos, with the 21,464 crowd being Fulham's highest gate of the season, more than doubling their average Second Division attendances at Craven Cottage in 1972/73. Pelé scored from the penalty spot for Santos but goals from Alan Pinkney and Steve Earle gave Fulham a memorable 2-1 win although the occasion was spoilt when after the match the Brazilians accused Fulham of fiddling the gate receipts.

Football On This Day – 12th March 1997
Frustrated by the opposition to their attempts to improve their Highbury home Arsenal made a surprise £120million bid to buy Wembley Stadium. The FA were not amused believing that a club-owned Wembley would hinder their strong bid - well what they thought was a strong bid - to bring the 2006 World Cup finals to England. Arsenal eventually went to Ashburton Grove and the 2006 World Cup finals were hosted by Germany although the Gunners did play 6 home Champions League matches at Wembley Stadium in 1998 and 1999.
 

13th March
 

Football On This Day – 13th March 1899
A unique League match which lasted just 11 minutes. After the Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa First Division match played in November 1898 was abandoned after 79 minutes the League decreed that just the remaining 11 minutes be played rather than starting the match from scratch. This they did four months later, on this day in 1899, when Sheffield Wednesday started the match leading 3-1 and finished it 4-1 winners.
Link - Abandoned matches
 

14th March
 



Football On This Day – 14th March 1973

A capacity crowd of nearly 38,000 were packed into Home Park for a friendly between Third Division Plymouth and mighty Santos of Brazil who included Pele in their line-up. But a last minute problem almost saw the match called off. 
Link - full story and Plymouth results 1972/73


 

Football On This Day – 14th March 2007
An FA Youth Cup attendance record was set at the Emirates when 38,187 were present for first leg of the semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United, Arsenal won 1-0. Just up the road at White Hart Lane North London rivals Spurs were in action in a UEFA Cup Round of the Last 16 match at the same time - and were watched by a crowd of over 4000 fewer people!
Link - FA Youth Cup finals
 

15th March
 


Football On This Day – 15th March 1947

New Brighton manager Neil McBain had a few team selections problems for the Division 3 (North) match against Hartlepools on this day in 1947. The former centre-half had to play himself as goalkeeper for his one and only League appearance for the club – at the age of 51 years 4 months!
Link - debuts
Link - New Brighton results and tables in the Football League
 

16th March
  Football On This Day – 16th March 2002
The WBA v Sheffield United First Division match saw a unique abandonment in the Football League history. Sendings off and injuries saw United reduced to 6 players, one fewer than the minimum, so the match was abandoned. WBA were leading 3-0 at the time and that scoreline was allowed to stand as the result.

Link - full story
 
17th March
 



Football On This Day – 17th March 1996

Port Vale miss out on European glory at Wembley. Seems likely an unlikely statement but on this day in 1996 Port Vale did indeed play a European final at Wembley…in the Anglo-Italian Cup! They were beaten 5-2 by Genoa and the scoreline didn’t reflect the superiority of the Serie B side. Just 12,683 turned up at Wembley for what was the last match ever played in the competition.
 

18th March
 

Football On This Day – 18th March 2010
Fulham pulled off an amazing comeback against Juventus in the Europea League. Down 4-1 on aggregate they fight back to win 5-4 and go on to reach the final where they lost to Atletico Madrid. 
Link - full story
Link - Fulham results 2009/10


 

19th March

Football On This Day – 19th March 1932
Stanley Matthews made his debut for Stoke City at Bury in a 2nd Division match. He played his last League matches 33 years later.
 

20th March
 

Football On This Day – 20th March 1966
Just four months before it was due to be presented to the World Cup winners at Wembley the World Cup trophy was stolen while on display at the Westminster Central Hall. Fearing it wouldn’t be recovered the FA secretly arranged for a replica to be made but a week later, after a massive police hunt The Jules Rimet trophy was found – under a hedge in South London by a dog named Pickles!

Football On This Day – 20th March 1976
Aston Villa's Chris Nichol became only the second player to score two goals for each side in a League match - he scored all 4 goals in Villa's 2-2 First Division draw against Leicester City at Filbert Street. Sam Wynne of Oldham Athletic was the only other League player ever to do that - against Manchester United in October 1923.

Football On This Day – 20th March 1988
Liverpool finished the season as League champions but their dream of an unbeaten season in the League ended on this day in 1988 after being unbeaten in their first 29 League matches of the season. The team that beat them, inevitably I guess....Everton!
Link - Liverpool results and table 1987/88
 

21st March
 

Football On This Day – 21st March 1992
Chelsea’s Vinnie Jones was booked after just 3 seconds for a foul on Sheffield United’s Dane Whitehouse in a First Division match at Stamford Bridge. He later said of the incident "I must have been too high, too wild, too strong or too early, because, after three seconds, I could hardly have been too bloody late!”
Link - Chelsea results 1991/92

Football On This Day – 21st March 2009
Fergie was always good for a headline. A Manchester United defeat was usually followed by an excuse a reasonable explanation - a dodgy ref, a poor pitch, the colour of their shirts to name but a few. But one of the more bizarre followed a 2-0 Premier Division defeat at Fulham on 21st March 2009 - the Craven Cottage dressing rooms were too small! He said the FA should have rules for the size of dressing rooms and implied Fulham should be demoted because they beat United because their dressing rooms were too small. Two years later United won 5-0 at Fulham in the Premier League - and dressing rooms were exactly the same size!

 

22nd March
 

Football On This Day – 22nd March 1889
Sheffield United were formed at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield, by the President of the Sheffield Cricket Club, Sir Charles Clegg. Just six days before their formation Bramall Lane hosted an FA Cup semi-final between Preston and WBA when a crowd of 22,688 paid gate receipts of £558 – the cricket club saw that regular football at the ground would provide an important additional source of income. In future years football became the main sport at the ground with Yorkshire playing their last match there in August 1973. The picture shows clearly the change of use of Bramall Lane with a new football stand taking the place of the old cricket pavilion.
Link - football and cricket
Link - FA Cup results 1888/89

 



Football On This Day – 22nd March 1949
When in January 1949 Carlisle United player-manager Ivor Broadis transferred himself to Sunderland it hit the headlines – he was only 26 at the time and the £18,000 fee was a huge amount in those days. Less newsworthy was the appointment of his replacement at Brunton Park. But on 22nd March 1949 Bill Shankly accepted the offer of becoming Carlisle’ new manager - his first managerial appointment in a career that would eventually see him lead Liverpool to becoming the top European club of the time.

23rd March
 

Football On This Day – 23rd March 1951
Referee Arthur Blythe abandoned the Newport County v Norwich City Division 3 (South) match when the home side were leading 5-1. So incensed were the crowd that he had to be smuggled out of the ground disguised as an ambulanceman.
Link - full story in abandoned matches
 

24th March
 

Football On This Day – 24th March 1965
In their first season in Europe on this day in 1965 Liverpool finally got past their Second Round opponents, Cologne. After a postponed match, two 0-0 draws in the home and away legs and then a 2-2 draw in a replay in Rotterdam Liverpool finally won the tie. No, not with a penalty shoot-out …on the toss of a coin!
Link - Liverpool results 1964/65
Link - Liverpool results in Europe

Football On This Day – 24th March 2007
England Under 21s met their Italian counterparts in the first match at the new Wembley Stadium in front of a 55,700 crowd. Giampaolo Pazzini scored the first goal after just 29 seconds and went on to score a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw. England’s goals came from David Bentley, Wayne Routledge and Matt Derbyshire.


 

25th March
 

 

Football On This Day – 25th March 1939
What is still a record crowd for Old Trafford was set on this day when 76,962 were present at the FA Cup semi-final between Wolves and Grimsby. Wolves won 5-0
Link - FA Cup results 1938/39







Football On This Day – 25th March 1980
Ian Botham was best known as a cricketer but on this day in 1980 he made his debut as a footballer for Scunthorpe United, coming on as a sub in the Division 4 match at Bournemouth. He couldn't be described as a footballing legend at the Old Show Ground - he didn't make his starting debut for another 2 years (and that a 7-2 home defeat by Wigan) and in all played for Scunthorpe in 11 League matches and an FA Cup tie. And of course with a record like that was awarded a benefit match....against Manchester United.
Link - Football & Cricket

26th March
 

Football on This Day – 26th March 2008
David Beckham won his 100th England cap in a 1-0 friendly defeat in France. He was the fifth England centurion after Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton.


 

27th March
 

Football On This Day – 27th March 1999
Kevin Keegan managed England for the first time and saw his side defeat Poland 3-1 in a Euro 2000 qualifier at Wembley. Keegan told Paul Scholes to go out against Poland and 'drop hand grenades' and he responded with 3 goals, his only hat-trick for England.

Football On This Day – 27th March 2004
A League match - Chesterfield 4-4 Grimsby with the attendance 4,444. What were the odds of that happening!
 

28th March
 


Football On This Day – 28th March 2001

Seven Manchester United players were in the England team that faced Albania in Tirana in a World Cup qualifier. Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, David Beckham Paul Scholes and Andy Cole were in the starting line-up with second half subs Wes Brown and Teddy Sheringham taking the number to seven. That equalled the record of seven Arsenal players in the England team in the 1934 friendly against Italy played at Highbury.
 

29th March
 

Football On This Day - 29th March 1924
Billy Meredith played his last match for Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final against Newcastle and at 49 years and 245 days of age was the oldest player ever to play for Manchester City and the oldest to play in the FA Cup. He was also the oldest person to play for Manchester United and, when 45, the oldest to play for Wales.
Link - FA Cup results 1923/24

Football On This Day - 29th March 2000
Wales played their first match at the magnificent Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, attracting a then record Wales home crowd of 65,614. Nathan Blake became the first Welshman to score in the stadium – sadly an own goal! – and although Ryan Giggs scored for Wales visitors Finland spoiled the party with a 2-1 victory.

Football On This Day - 29th March 2008
Derby County’s 2-2 draw with Fulham guaranteed The Rams a Premier League relegation place, the earliest a club had suffered Premier League relegation. It was a dismal season for Derby with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle in September being their only League victory in 38 attempts.
Link - Derby County results 2007/08
 

30th March
 

Football On This Day – 30th March 1982
Fourth Division Sheffield United recorded their best home League attendance of the season – 24,593 in the 1-1 draw against Bradford City. Their average home League crowd was 14,891. Exactly three years later – on March 30 1985 – Fourth Division Halifax Town recorded their lowest home League crowd of the season – 890 in the 1-0 defeat against Torquay. Their average home League attendance for the season was 1,381.
 

31st March
 

Football On This Day – 31st March 1928
A date every Scot will know. The ‘Wembley Wizards’ of Scotland defeated England 5-1 in only the second international match played at Wembley. Enough said.

Football On This Day – 31st March 1961
The highest 4th tier attendance in England - 37,774 - were present at Sehurst Park for a Good Friday Fourth Division promotion clash between Crystal Palace and Millwall. Millwall won the match 2-0 but Palace went on to win promotion.
 

     

 

Did You Know.....
..an abandoned match allowed a player to play for both sides in the same fixture. Full details of this and other unusual abandonments click on...


Did You Know?