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 August over the years.

January  February  March
April  May  June  July
August  September  October


August Day by Day........

1st August


Football On This Day – 1st August 1996
Women’s football finally found its place in world football with the final of the first Olympic women’s football tournament - hosts USA beat China 2-1 in front of 76,489 to take gold.

2nd August

Football On This Day – 2nd August 1999
‘Le Sulk’ was on his way from Highbury, Nicolas Anelka moving to Real Madrid in return for Davor Šuker and around £20m. But Arsenal’s big transfer news was to come the following day…..

Football On This Day – 2nd August 2014
Despite a poor 2013/14 Manchester United helped set a new record on a pre-season tour of the USA at the start of the 2014/15 season. The crowd of 109,318 for their match against Real Madrid at the Michigan Stadium (nicknamed the Big House) was the record for a football match – sorry, ‘soccer’ match – in the United States….and United won 3-1. The previous record was 101,799 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena when France beat Brazil to take gold in the 1984 Olympic final.


3rd August

Football On This Day – 3rd August 1999
Thierry Henry joins Arsenal from Juventus for £11m – Arsène Wenger’s best Arsenal signing?

4th August

Football On This Day – 4th August 1938
Welsh International Bryn Jones joined Arsenal from Wolves for a fee of a little over £13,000. It was a British record fee at the time but only got a brief mention in the national papers - a far cry from the column inches given to the moves of Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo!

Football On This Day – 4th August 2010

An unusual pre-season friendly was played at Goodison Park - Everton v Everton. In 1909 a group of teenagers in Chile formed a football club and named it Everton after our Everton who had toured South America that year. As a delayed part of their centenary celebrations they made a pilgrimage to Liverpool to play a unique match against their namesakes. The English Everton beat the Chilean Everton 2-0 to win the Brotherhood Cup in a match that was shown live on TV in Chile.


5th August

Football On This Day – 5th August 1970
The penalty shoot-out arrived in English football. The Hull City v Manchester United pre-season Watney Cup semi-final ended 1-1 at the end of extra time and so for the first time it was the turn of penalties. George Best became the first player to score in a penalty shoot-out and Denis Law the first to miss one – but Manchester United won 4-3.
Link - The Watney Cup


6th August

Football On This Day – 6th August 1977
After having made 472 League appearances for them Spurs let 32-year-old goalkeeper Pat Jennings move to rivals Arsenal for £45,000 believing his best years were behind him. Over the next 8 years he made another 237 League appearances for the Gunners!

7th August

Football On This Day – 7th August 1968
While most of us were still preoccupied with bucket and spades Leeds were on their way to winning their first European competition. Leeds entertained Ferencváros of Hungary in the first leg of the 1967/68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final held over to the beginning of the 1968/69 season and played on this day in 1968. Mick Jones scored the only goal of the match and with the second leg in September finishing goalless the trophy went to Leeds United.
Link - Leeds United results in Europe

Football On This Day – 7th August 1978
To celebrate their centenary Manchester United played Real Madrid on this day in 1978. Sammy McIlroy and Jimmy Greenhoff scored two apiece as the Spaniards were beaten 4-0 in front of a 49,397 Old Trafford crowd. The only United player in the team who had played in the European Cup final ten years earlier - goalkeeper Alex Stepney - made a penalty save early in the second half.

8th August


Football On This Day – 8th August 1987
To help celebrate the centenary season of the Football League a Football League XI beat a Rest of the World team 3-0 at Wembley.



Football On This Day – 8th August 1992
A Wembley hat-trick for Eric Cantona, his three goals helping Leeds to a 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the Charity Shield.



Football On This Day – 8th August 2006
The 500,000th goal in the history of the Football League was scored by Huddersfield Town’s Gary Taylor-Fletcher in the Huddersfield v Rotherham League 1 match.

Football On This Day – 8th August 2009
To lose at home in your first League match of the season is bad enough but to lose 1-7 at home against traditionally ‘junior’ neighbours is a disaster as Norwich City found in their opening League 1 fixture of the 2009/10 season against Colchester United at Carrow Road. Norwich manager Bryan Gunn lost his job within a week and was replaced by Colchester manager Paul Lambert with Norwich later winning the return match at Colchester 5-0 and taking the League 1 title. It’s funny old game!

Football On This Day – 8th August 2015
The 'Special One' lost something of his magic in 2015/16, starting on the opening day of the Premier League season. With minutes remaining of their match against Swansea an injury to Eden Hazard saw the Chelsea medical staff rush onto the Stamford Bridge pitch to treat him. Nothing unusual in that you might say but
José Mourinho saw things differently. The reigning champions were holding on to a 2-2 scoreline, were down to 10 men because of a red card and with only minutes remaining would be temproarily down to 9 players as the rules meant that Hazard would have to leave the pitch after receiving treatment. He was unhappy with his medics, calling them naive. A clash of personalities followed resulting in the first team doctor leaving the club, an FA inquiry and threatened legal proceedings with every move being followed with great interest by the press. I don't want to be sexist but perhaps part of the reason was that Dr Carneiro, Dr Eva Carneiro that is, was a not a too unattractive woman which saw the press print plenty of pictures of the doctor with every strory-line. Perhaps that cheapened a serious story and it's something of course that I totally disapprove of!
Full Story - injuries


9th August

Football On This Day – 9th August 1996
Plymouth Argyle signed 38-year-old goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar on a 12 month contract despite the Zimbabwe international facing court proceedings for match fixing. Argyle’s manager Neil Warnock said ‘I realise he has got problems but what matters most is what he does on the pitch.’ He played in 36 of Plymouth’s 46 Second Division matches in 1996/97 and was later cleared of match fixing.

Football On This Day – 9th August 1997
Macclesfield Town made their debut in the Football League, defeating Torquay United 2-1 at the Moss Rose ground.
Link - a full history of Macclesfield in the Football League



10th August

Football On This Day –
10th August 1974
The Charity Shield match between Leeds and Liverpool was the first to be played at Wembley and the first to be decided on penalties but it is best remembered for the sending off of Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan.

Football On This Day – 10th August 1977
Liverpool signed Kevin Keegan’s replacement at Anfield – Kenny Dalglish. The Scot was bought from Celtic for £440,000 and became a Liverpool legend.

Football On This Day – 10th August 2003
Football finally arrived at the City of Manchester Stadium – Eastlands – after its conversation from the stadium that staged the 2002 Commonweath Games. Manchester City’s first match was a friendly against Barcelona with Nicolas Anelka scoring the first goal at the ground in City’s 2-1 victory.


11th August

Football On This Day – 11th August 1991
At Matt Busby’s Testimonial match George Best appeared alongside Nobby Stiles, Bill Foulkes and Pat Crerard in a 7-a-side match between ex Manchester United and City stars which ended 3-3. In the main match Manchester United drew 1-1 with Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland side – 33,412 were at Old Trafford to pay tribute to Sir Matt.

Football On This Day – 11th August 1991
The most bizarre postponement? The Worthington Cup (League Cup) tie between Torquay and Portsmouth scheduled for Wednesday August 11th 1999 was called off because of...a total eclipse of the sun! No the problem wasn't that everything was going to go dark but the police deciding that they didn't have the manpower to police both the match and the influx of visitors expected in the area to witness the eclipse. The eclipse couldn't be put off - so the match was!
Link - postponed matches

12th August

Football On This Day – 12th August 1976
Fulham announced that they had signed George Best and Rodney Marsh. With Bobby Moore already at Craven Cottage the dream was surely one of promotion. The reality – they were almost relegated, finishing just one point outside the Second Division relegation zone.

Football On This Day – 12th August 1978
League champions Nottingham Forest beat FA Cup holders Ipswich Town 5-0 which was to be the highest winning margin in a Wembley Charity Shield match.

Football On This Day – 12th August 1995
On the opening day of the new League season two goalkeepers scored goals – Chris MacKenzie (for Hereford v Barnet) from an 80-yard downfield punt and Roger Freestone (for Swansea v Shrewsbury)  from the penalty spot.

Football On This Day – 12th August 1996
After the shortest reign of any Highbury boss – just 47 matches – Arsenal sack manager Bruce Rioch. Johan Cruyff was the favourite to replace him but instead in September Arsenal would appoint an unknown Frenchman, Arsène Wenger.

13th August

Football On This Day – 13th August 1997
It was a proud day for Derby County when they staged the first Premier League match at their new Pride Park ground. The match against Wimbledon was abandoned in the second half when the floodlights failed!
Link - abandoned matches



Football On This Day – 13th August 2004
Anfield legend Michael Owen moved from Liverpool to Real Madrid. He had a poor time in Madrid while, ironically, Liverpool won the Champions League for the first time at the end of the first season without him!

Football On This Day – 13th August 2016
Leicester City started the 2015/16 season as 5000-1 Premier League title no-hopers. By December 2015 Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was so sure that his former club wouldn't finish top that he tweeted that he would 'do the first MOTD of next season in just my undies' if Leicester did win the title. So, the major downside of Leicester's title success was that Lineker kept his promise on the first Saturday of the new Premier League season. I believe there was some debate whether his shorts could be classed as undies but me....well I just changed channels!

14th August

Football On This Day – 14th August 1971
After moving from Scunthorpe United in May Kevin Keegan made his League debut for Liverpool on the opening day of the 1971/72 First Division season, scoring after 12 minutes of the 3-1 win against Nottingham Forest at Anfield.

Football On This Day – 14th August 1980
One of the more unusual fixtures was staged at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground - a cricket match! Essex borrowed the ground - and importantly the floodlights - to host the first senior day-night match played in England with the West Indies providing the opposition in front of a crowd of 11,073. An artificial pitch was laid but a football pitch is not the ideal shape for cricket. Being long and thin it was an easy matter to hit sixes to the short boundaries - Graham Gooch hit a century in just 77 minutes and in one 18-minutes spell Viv Richards scored 53 runs.
Link - football and cricket


15th August

Football On This Day – 15th August 1973
When Wolverhampton Sunday League side Oxbarn decided on a pre-season jaunt to Germany in August 1973 they wrote to the mayor of Mainz asking him to arrange a friendly against a club of similar standing to them. A match was arranged but something got lost in translation and believing the visiting club was Wolverhamption Wanderers the friendly was arranged against a local German League club. The Oxbarn side realised something was wrong when they saw the stadium they were to play in and the crowd that were there. They lost 21-0.

Football On This Day – 15th August 1992
The first matches in the Premier League were played on this day with Brian Deane scoring the first goal after 5 minutes, for Sheffield United against eventual champions Manchester United.

Football On This Day – 15th August 2006
What might have been. West Ham’s Dean Ashton was picked to make his England debut against Greece in Steve McLaren first match as England but on this day in 2006, the day before the match, he broke his ankle in training and missed the rest of the season. He eventually played one match for England, playing the first half against Trinidad in 2008, but the following year he announced his retirement, aged just 26, because of the long-term problems associated with the ankle injury.


16th August
  Football On This Day – 16th August 1890
The first matches were played in the Scottish League with four matches played, Cambuslang hammering Vale of Leven 8-2 in one of them.

Football On This Day – 16th August 1980
They say that more dreams are shattered after the first match of the season than at any other time. Bristol Rovers didn't do too badly in their first Division 2 match of the 1980/81 season, drawing 1-1 with Orient (no Leyton in their name in those days!). Their problems started that evening though when a fire caught hold in the south stand of their Eastville ground, destroying the stand which housed the club offices and changing rooms. They were forced to play their next five matches on 'enemy' territory - Bristol City's Ashton Gate - and their season then went from bad to worse. They finished bottom and were relegated along with Bristol City who finished one place above them.
Link - Bristol Rovers results 1980/81

Football On This Day – 16th August 2006
Steve McClaren took charge of his first match as England manager, dropping David Beckham for the friendly against European champions Greece at Old Trafford which England won 4-0.

17th August

Football On This Day – 17th August 1964
Liverpool won 5-0 away to KR Reykjavik in a European Cup Preliminary Round tie - Liverpool's first match in a European competition. Those were the days before clubs chartered aircraft for away European ties and they had a long-winded journey to Iceland. They flew from Liverpool to London, then from London to Prestwick in Scotland. Having a few hours to spare manager Bill Shankly put the players on a bus to show them the area he grew up in - and that included a visit to the Butlins holiday camp! And then more excitement with a flight from Prestwick to Iceland.

Football On This Day – 17th August 1996
On the opening day of the Premier League season a 21-year-old player by the name of David Beckham hit the headlines when he scored for Manchester United with a lob over Wimbledon goalkeeper Neil Sullivan which was hit from the half-way line. Two weeks later he made his England debut.

18th August

Football On This Day – 18th August 1979
After 11 League matches at the end of the 1978/79 season without letting in a goal Reading and their goalkeeper Steve Death conceded the first goal in 1103 minutes of League football in the opening day Division 3 2-2 draw with Brentford at Elm Park. Ironically it was an own-goal from Reading defender Stewart Henderson.
Links - Reading results 1978/79 & 1979/80


Football On This Day – 18th August 1987
Liverpool’s first home match of the season – against Charlton – was postponed after the collapse of a Victorian sewer under the Kop. Their next two scheduled home matches suffered the same fate but it didn’t cause Liverpool much of a problem – they were unbeaten in their first 29 League matches of the season and comfortably won the League championship.
Link - Liverpool results & League table 1987/88

19th August

Football On This Day – 19th August 1975
In the second League match of the season Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney became so animated when shouting at his own defenders that he dislocated his jaw and had to be taken to hospital!
Link - Footballing injuries

Football On This Day – 19th August 1982
Newcastle United sign 31-year-old Kevin Keegan from Southampton for £100,000 and a reported £5000 a week wages.

Football On This Day – 19th August 1995
After watching Manchester United lose their opening-day Premier League fixture 3-1 at Aston Villa Match of the Day commentator Alan Hansen was critical of United and famously said ‘you’ll never win anything with kids’. The kids included David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville and they went on to win a League and Cup double that season!

Football On This Day – 19th August 2005
Chelsea finally confirm the purchase of Michael Essien from Lyon for around £24.5m, a record amount for Chelsea at the time. Value for money?

20th August

Football On This Day – 20th August 1960
John Trollope made his Football League debut for Swindon Town in a 1-1 draw with Halifax Town. He went on to make 770 League appearances for Swindon, still the most any player has made for a single club.

Football On This Day – 20th August 1971
Manchester United played a home Liverpool's Anfield ground! Crowds problems had seen the FA close Old Trafford for the first two League matches of the 1971/72 season so on 20th August 1971 United played their first home First Division fixture of the season against Arsenal at Anfield. A 27,649 crowd saw Arsenal beaten 3-1. Three days later they completed their punishment with a home match at Stoke City's Victoria ground where a 23,148 crowd saw another 3-1 win, against WBA.

Link - Manchester United's results and table 1971/72

21st August

Football On This Day – 21st August 1965
In the Bolton v Charlton Second Division match Charlton goalkeeper Mike Rose was injured after 11 minutes and left the pitch. Full back John Hewie took his place in goal and Keith Peacock came on as substitute – the first sub in the Football League. At the time each club was only allowed one sub a match and then only to replace an injured player.

Football On This Day – 21st August 1978
Jock Stein becomes manager of Leeds United, but moved on just six weeks later when he became the Scotland manager.

Football On This Day – 21st August 1996
Alan Shearer made his home Premier League debut for Newcastle against Wimbledon on this day in 1996 – and of course scored. His late goal sealed a 2-0 Newcastle victory and he took the first step to achieving legend status at St James' Park. 

22nd August

Football On This Day – 22nd August 1964
Match of the Day made its debut on the TV screens. Only the highlights of one match was shown in those days and the BBC 2 audience for the first of those – Liverpool v Arsenal – was believed to be little more than the attendance at the match itself.

Football On This Day – 22nd August 2007
Germany were the last side to defeat England at the old Wembley stadium and on this day in 2007 they became the first country to defeat England at the new Wembley. Frank Lampard scored England’s goal.

23rd August

Football On This Day – 23rd August 1958
A few firsts at Scunthorpe's first home League match of the season, a 1-1 Second Division draw with Ipswich Town. It saw Scunny's first ever match in the second tier of the Football League, their first League match as Scunthorpe United (they had previously been Scunthorpe & Lindsay United) and - for those of you interested in ground architecture - it saw the official opening of the first cantilever stand in British football. The cantilever stand - a stand with no roof supports to block the view - was built on the cheap by a local steel company hoping to use it as a showcase for other clubs. It survived until the Old Show Ground staged its last match in May 1988 before the club moved to Glanford Park. The cantilever stand is pictured below during demolition of the old ground which was inevitably replaced by a supermarket.


Football On This Day – 23rd August 1978

The summer signings by Tottenham of Argentine World Cup stars Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa meant an eagerly-awaited home League debut for the duo. A ticker-tape welcome and 47,892 fans were at White Hart Lane on this day in 1978 to give them that welcome. But visitors Aston Villa hadn’t read the script – Villa (the Aston Villa variety) beat newly-promoted Spurs 4-1.


Football On This Day – 23rd August 1986
Hartlepool United’s Victoria ground hosted two League matches on this day in 1986. In the afternoon Hartlepool entertained Cardiff in a Division 4 match (1-1 draw, attendance 2800) while in the evening neighbours Middlesbrough – whose own Ayresome Park ground had been closed by the Official Receiver because of serious club debts – borrowed the Victoria ground for their Division 3 match against Port Vale (2-2 draw, attendance 3690).

Football On This Day – 23rd August 2015
The Major League Soccer meeting of LA  Galaxy and New York City was hyped up as the 'British Invasion', the first meeting of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the MLS. But as is often the case reality didn't match the hype - Gerrard played but Lampard didn't with Robbie Keane scoring twice in Galaxy's 5-1 thumping of NYC.


24th August

ootball On This Day – 24th August 1949
Bomb damage had seen Old Trafford closed for the first three post-war seasons with Manchester United setting up home at Manchester City's Maine Road ground. But against Bolton at the start of the 1949/50 season United came home and life at Old Trafford resumed. A crowd of 41,748 saw United beat Bolton 3-0.


Football On This Day – 24th August 1968
On August 24th 1968 The First Division fixture between Nottingham Forest and eventual champions Leeds United was halted when a fire broke out in the Main Stand at the City Ground. Although the wooden stand was destroyed in similar circumstances to what would happen  at Valley Parade 17 years later thankfully none of the 31,126 fans present at the ground that day suffered injury. The match was abandoned shortly before half time with the score at 1-1.
Link - Nottingham Forest 1968/69






25th August

Football On This Day – 25th August 1928
Arsenal (Division 1 at Sheffield Wednesday) and Chelsea (Division 2 v Swansea) became the first Football League sides to have numbers on their shirts to help identify players.

Football On This Day – 25th August 1928
The opening day of the 1928/29 League season saw Bradford City beat Rotherham United 11-1 at Valley Parade – still Bradford City’s record League win and Rotherham’s record League defeat.  

Football On This Day – 25th August 1990
Eccentric was a word often used to describe the former Everton and Wales goalkeeper Neville Southall. One of those eccentric episodes came on the opening day of the 1990/91 League season when newly-promoted Leeds had taken a 2-0 half-time lead at Goodison. Rather than return to the dressing room Southall sat in the goalmouth throughout the interval. There was speculation that he was fearful of a bollocking from manager Colin Harvey or that it was an incredible sulk but Southall later said he did it to 'clear his head'. Taking a Paracetamol would have been a cheaper option - Everton fined him a weeks' wages!

Football On This Day – 25th August 1992
Just 10 days after the Premier League had kicked off Eric Cantona became the first player to score a hat-trick in the competition. The Frenchman - then a Leeds United player - scored three times in the 5-0 defeat of Tottenham at Elland Road. Earlier in the month Cantona had scored a hat-trick for Leeds in their 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the Charity Shield at Wembley.
Link - hat-tricks

26th August

Football On This Day – 26th August 1995
It was touch and go whether Middlesbrough’s new ground would be completed in time but on this day in 1995 the Riverside Stadium hosted its first match, a 2-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea. Craig Hignett scored the first goal at the new stadium in front of a crowd of 28,286. Fans were given a vote on the name of the new stadium at the last match at the old Ayresome Park ground with the choices available being the Middlehaven Stadium, Erimus Stadium and Teesside Stadium as well as the Riverside.


Football On This Day – 26th August 1993
Despite guiding his side to a top ten place in each of his three seasons in charge Manchester City player-manager Peter Reid is sacked after City managed just a single point from their first four Premier League matches of the season.

Football On This Day – 26th August 2014
On the same day they lost 4-0 at MK Dons in the League Cup Manchester United opened their cheque book to pay out a British transfer fee record of £59.7m for Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria. United had made an abysmal start to the season under new manager Louis van Gaal and perhaps David Moyes wasn't as bad a manager at Old Trafford as he had been made out.....and didn't the internet humour have a great time!


27th August

Football On This Day – 27th August 1986
Having lost their Eastville ground to the developers Bristol Rovers played their first match at their new home – non-league Bath City’s Twerton Park. The start of their Littlewoods Cup tie against Reading was delayed 15 minutes to allow all the 3,760 crowd to get in – Reading won 2-1.

Football On This Day – 27th August 1988
Unfinished building work on the East Stand saw Tottenham’s first home League match of the season – against Coventry – postponed and delayed the League debut of a major Spurs summer signing – one Paul Gascoigne.

Football On This Day – 27th August 1988
Tony Cottee needed to impress on his debut for Everton - his £2.2 million summer move from West Ham to Goodison made him the most expensive purchase ever by a British club. He did impress - scoring after 34 seconds and completing a hat-trick in the 4-0 defeat of Newcastle United.

28th August

Football On This Day – 28th August 1982
David Seaman, one of England’s greatest goalkeepers, made his debut in the Football League. Released by the club he had supported as a boy, Leeds United, without playing for them in the League he had joined Fourth Division Peterborough United in August 1982. He first League match was at Stockport’s Edgeley Park on the opening day of the 1982/83 League season – 2,003 souls saw Stockport and Posh draw 1-1.

Football On This Day – 28th August 1994
Robbie Fowler scored what was then the quickest hat-trick scored in the Premier League, his three goals in the Liverpool v Arsenal match at Anfield being scored in just 4 minutes 33 seconds. The record lasted until Sadio Mané scored 3 in just 2 minutes 56 seconds for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015.

Football On This Day – 28th August 2007
It was a day when we all realised that the good health of footballers could never be taken for granted. It was announced that Seville player Antonio Puerta had died, three days after he had collapsed with a heart attack in a La Liga match against Getafe. Later in the day the Carling Cup match between Nottingham Forest and Leicester City was abandoned at half-time after City defender Clive Clarke suffered a heart attack in the dressing room. Thankfully he recovered although he had to retire from playing without making any further first-team appearances.
Link - abandoned matches

Football On This Day – 28th August 2011
Manchester United beat Arsenal 8-2 in a Premier League match at Old Trafford, the first time Arsenal had conceded 8 goals in a League match since 1896.


29th August

Football On This Day – 29th August 1925
After just their first League match Burnley fans knew they were in for a tough First Division season – they lost 10-0 at Aston Villa. Burnley conceded 108 League goals during the season – but weren’t relegated!

30th August

Football On This Day – 30th August 2004
Despite Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd not wishing to be known as ‘the man who shot Bambi’ on this day in 2004 he sacked manager Sir Bobby Robson. The Magpies hadn’t won any of their first four Premier League matches of the new season.

31st August

Football On This Day – 31st August 2002
UniBond Division 1 side Stocksbridge Park Steels had their moment in the national headlines when they beat Oldham Town 17-1 in an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie. The Sheffield club's Paul Jackson scored 10 goals and equalled the FA Cup record set by Chris Marron with South Shields in 1947. Ted MacDougall of Bournemouth set the record for the competition proper in 1971 with nine goals against Margate.

Football On This Day – 31st August 2004
Wayne Rooney’s view that ‘Once a blue, always a blue’ came back to haunt him when on this day in 2004 when the 18 year old moved to the reds…..of Manchester United. The blues he left behind were not too chuffed despite the promise of up to £27m entering the Goodison bank account.



Did You Know..... 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?