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 FOOTBALL ON THIS DAY.....     

September
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. 

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1st September


1st September 1892
After Everton had left Anfield for Goodison Park because of a rent increase a new club needed to be found to play at Anfield. That newly formed club – Liverpool FC – played its first-ever match on this day in 1892, beating Midland League champions Rotherham Town 7-1 in a friendly at Anfield. Around 100 turned up for that match but when Liverpool played its first competitive match – just two days later against Higher Walton in the Lancashire League – the Anfield crowd had swelled to around 200 to witness an 8-0 victory. From small beginnings….


Football On This Day – 1st September 1908

Tottenham Hotspur played their first match in the Football League, beating FA Cup holders Wolves 3-0 in front of 20,000 at White Hart Lane with Vivian Woodward scoring their first League goal.
Link - Tottenham results & table 1908/09

Football On This Day – 1st September 1996
David Beckham made his England debut in Glenn Hoddle’s first match as England manager as England defeat Moldova 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier in Chişinău.

Football On This Day – 1st September 2001
Yes, it really happened. Michael Owen scored a hat-trick as England beat Germany 5-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Munich. Really – it happened!

                          

Football On This Day – 1st September 2008
Manchester City made their best-ever signing - Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. Better known as Sheikh Mansour he bought the club from the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra, for around £200 million. And didn't things change! Later in the day that Sheikh Mansour took over - transfer deadline day - City showed how the new money would change things by paying a then British transfer record fee of £32.5 million to Real Madrid for Brazilian forward Robinho. In the years to come Sheikh Mansour's leadership - and money - turned City from regular Premier Division mid-tablers to a club who needed a bigger trophy cabinet!.

Football On This Day – 1st September 2020
Burton Park Wanderers are one of those non-league clubs most of us will never have heard of. Perhaps their only claim to fame came when Kettering Town ground-shared with them in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, when the Poppies lost their home ground in Rockingham Road in nearby Kettering. Then came the FA Cup. The tier 10 United Counties League club were accepted into the FA Cup for the first time in 2020/21 and they were drawn at home to AFC Sudbury in the Extra Preliminary Round. OK, they were only one of over 350 non-leaguers playing in the opening round but hey, they were in the world-famous FA Cup! Then came the really amazing news. Since 2017 the BBC had broadcast a live FA Cup match from each of the qualifying rounds and for the Extra Preliminary Round in 2020/21 it was the Burton Park Wanderers v AFC Sudbury match that was chosen. For a club whose record home attendance was 253 their FA Cup debut on September 1st 2020 would see them become household names. Well perhaps! But then came the bad news. The tragedy of Coronavirus affected the lives of everyone and sadly one of the Burton Park Wanderers players tested positive for the virus before the match. With the other BPW players needing to self-isolate the FA Cup match was called off and BPW lost their place in the competition as they were unable to fulfil the fixture. The tie between Maine Road and Squires Gate was broadcast live instead and sadly Burton Park Wanderers again became a club most of us had never heard of.

 
 


2nd September

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1892
The day after Liverpool had played their first match at Anfield it was the turn of Everton to play their first match at Goodison Park. Bolton Wanderers were beaten 4-2 in a friendly. The first League game at Goodison was played the following day, Everton drawing 2-2 with Nottingham Forest.

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1893
The Football League became a national competition. On Saturday September 2nd 1893 London - and in fact the south of England - witnessed its first match in the Football League. In front of 10,000 fans at the Manor Ground in Plumstead Woolwich Arsenal drew 2-2 in a Second Division match against Newcastle United. It was also Newcastle's first match in the Football League.
Link - 1893/94 Division 2 table and results.

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1908
Bob Blanthorne’s debut for Newcastle United against Bradford City lasted just ten minutes before he broke his leg. That proved to be the only time he played in the first team in his two and a half years at the club.

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1939
The record books show that Bournemouth's record League victory was a very impressive 8-0 away victory at Birmingham City in the Championship on 25th October 2014. However on Saturday September 2nd 1939 they did beat Northampton Town 10-0 in a Football League Third Division (South) fixture. But the next day war was declared on Germany and the few League matches that had been played in 1939/40 were declared void and expunged from the record books. Various reasons were offered for Northampton's heavy defeat. Unusually alcohol had been permitted on the rail journey, that 'ringers' had been fielded and simply that the Cobblers had not bothered because war was inevitable.
Link - Clubs scoring 10 or more in a League match

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1980
After First Division Southampton defeated Second Division Watford 4-0 in the League Cup Second Round first leg match at the Dell back in the 1980/81 season few gave the Hornets any chance of progressing in the competition. But on September 2nd 1980 those present at Vicarage Road witnessed one of the great come-backs in the competition. Graham Taylor's Watford led 2-0 at half time and were 5-1 up at 90 minutes to force extra time - even the one Southampton goal was a Watford og! Two more Watford goals followed and Watford won 7-1 on the night and 7-5 on aggregate. Amazing.
Link - League Cup results 1980/81
Link - it's never over...

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1981
A bizarre abandonment at Chester's Sealand Road in 1981. A League Cup First Round First Leg tie between Chester and Plymouth Argyle came to a halt when Chester 'keeper Grenville Millington collided with an upright when making a save, breaking the post and presumably not doing his own health much good either. It couldn't be fixed so the match was abandoned after 78 minutes and Plymouth were forced into another long round-trip to replay the tie a week later.
Link - abandoned matches.

Football On This Day – 2nd September 1997
West Ham United's Rio Ferdinand made the headlines, but sadly for the wrong reasons. The 18-year-old had been selected for England's squad for the World Cup qualifier against Moldova at Wembley and was widely expected to make his debut and become the youngest England player since Duncan Edwards in 1955. But a night out with the lads to celebrate that selection ended up with him being charged with drunk driving after failing a breathalyzer. On hearing about this England manager Glenn Hoddle removed him from the squad on September 2nd saying that he failed to meet the standards expected of an England player. He made his England debut against Cameroon a couple of months later and went on to win 81 full England caps. And he made a few more court appearances as well....

 
 

3rd September

Football On This Day – 3rd September 1955
Wolves were renown goalscorers in the 1950s but nobody expected the headlines they made when visiting Cardiff City in a First Division match on 3rd September 1955. Johnny Hancocks scored for Wolves in just 30 seconds and he went on to score a hat-trick as did Roy Swinbourne. Further goals from Peter Broadbent (2) and Jimmy Mullen gave Wolves a 9-1 victory at Ninian Park before 40,060 fans with those nine goals equalling the record for a top flight away score, a record that still stands to this day. Amazingly when Cardiff visited Molineux for the return fixture on December 31st the Welshmen won 2-0 - that was the first home defeat suffered by Wolves that season and at the time of that loss against Cardiff their 9-1 win in Cardiff was the only time Wolves had won away that season.
Link - Wolves results 1955/56


Football On This Day – 3rd September 2006
After Arsenal had played just one Premier League match at the Emirates Brazil played their first ‘home’ match at the ground, beating Argentina 3-0. In future years Brazil regularly played in their adopted home in North London.







Football On This Day – 3rd September 2014

England had a dismal time at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil and when they played their first match after the finals - a friendly against Norway at Wembley - the fans showed their displeasure when just 40,181 turned up. That was a new low for an England crowd at the revamped stadium - but things were as bad on television. ITV showed the game live and it was up against the Great British Bake Off on BBC. Nearly twice as many people watched the Bake Off! The newly-appointed England captain Wayne Rooney scored the only goal from the penalty spot.

 

 
 

4th September

Football On This Day – 4th September 1867
At a meeting at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield members of the Wednesday Cricket Club formed a football club to keep fit during the winter clubs. That club is now Sheffield Wednesday.
Link - Football & Cricket


Football On This Day – 4th September 1905
Chelsea played their first match at Stamford Bridge on this day in 1905. Chelsea's early history was a bit unusual. They were elected to the Football League without having kicked a football in anger and didn't play a match of any kind at home until after they had made their debut in the Football League. Their League debut was a 1-0 defeat at Stockport County on September 2nd 1905 and two days later Chelsea played their first match at Stamford Bridge, a 4-0 victory in a friendly against Liverpool. Almost exactly a century later the same two clubs were playing at the same venue in a Champions League semi-final watched live by millions worldwide on something called a television - who would have guessed that in 1905!

Football On This Day – 4th September 1976
The attendance at Craven Cottage for Second Division fixture between Fulham and Bristol Rovers was 21,127 which was well over double the number that were at their previous home League match. The reason - it was the debut of one George Best in the Fulham side. Also in the Fulham side that day were Bobby Moore and Rodney Marsh but it was Best who stole the show scoring the only goal of the match after just 71 seconds.
Link - debuts

Football On This Day – 4th September 2018
The first day back at school after the long summer break is usually one of those well-remembered days. For schoolboy Luke Matheson that was certainly the case. At the end of that first day at school he made made the trip to Spotland for the Rochdale v Bury Checkatrade Trophy match. Not to watch but he was a sub for Rochdale. After 13 minutes on he came on as sub to become Rochdale's youngest-ever player in a competitive match, aged just 15 years 336 days. He helped Rochdale to a 2-1 victory.....and was named man of the match. Some day! Mind you he had another red-letter day a little over a year later, not long after finding out his GCSE results (he got 10). He scored his first senior goal in another local derby cup-tie. This one was a Carabao League Cup match at...Manchester United,  with a 58,313 Old Trafford crowd witnessing his goal. He was back at school the next day - studying history, sociology and psychology A levels -  with some great memories I guess.

 

 
 

5th September

Football On This Day – 5th September 1936

The curious incident of Walter Pontin and the the deflated football. Chesterfield beat Burnley 4-1 in a Second Division match at Saltergate – but it really should have been 5-1. A shot from Chesterfield’s Walter Pontin had beaten the opposition goalkeeper and was about to enter the net when it burst and failed to cross the line (newspaper report below). Such is life!

                                        

Football On This Day – 5th September 1987
Gillingham made the sort of start to the new season all fans hope for - unbeaten after the first four Division 3 matches without a goal being conceded. Then they visited the Priestfield Stadium for their fifth League match against Gillingham......and lost 10-0. Amazingly in their previous home match Gillingham had beaten Southend 8-1 and in their programme notes for the Chesterfield match they had said ' you begin to wonder if the club has exhausted its quota of thrills for the season' - seemingly not!
Link - Chesterfield results 1987/88
Link - Gillingham results 1987/88
Link - Clubs scoring 10 or more in a League match

Football On This Day – 5th September 2014
After a 503 day exile Coventry City finally returned to their home ground, the Ricoh Arena. A row with their landlords had seen them move home to Northampton Town's Sixfields ground but a 68-mile round trip had seen their attendances nose-dive. The 27,306 Friday night crowd for their homecoming against Gillingham was more than ten sides the average for their League matches at Sixfields. Coventry beat Gillingham 1-0 in their first match at the Ricoh since 20th April 2013. Sadly in 2019 another fall-out with the Ricoh landlords saw them in exile again - this time at Birmingham City's St Andrews ground where they remained until 2021.

 
 

6th September


Football On This Day – 6th September 1913

Following their move from the Manor Ground in Plumstead, Arsenal – still Woolwich Arsenal at the time - played their first match at Highbury against Leicester Fosse in the Second Division. A 20,000 crowd saw Leicester’s Tommy Benfield score the first Highbury goal, George Jobey equalising for Arsenal with Arichibald Devine scoring the Arsenal winner from the penalty spot.
Link - Arsenal results and table 1913/14



Football On This Day – 6th September 1989
The day that Terry Butcher became a blood donor in the England cause. England needed a good result against closest group rivals Sweden in Stockholm to keep on course to qualify for the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy. Central defender Terry Butcher suffered a deep gash on his forehead early in the game which was stitched and bandaged up. But the Rangers defender continued to head the ball which opened up the wound and left him seriously blooded as shown in that iconic picture. But helped by his heroics England drew 0-0 - they didn't concede a goal in any if their six qualifiers - and were close to booking their place in the World Cup finals.                     

Football On This Day – 6th September 1995
England played out a 0-0 draw with Colombia in a friendly international at Wembley. Easily forgotten – well it would have been had it not been for the extrovert Colombian goalkeeper René Higuita introducing us to the scorpion kick. How on earth did he do it.....

                            

Football On This Day – 6th September 2014
The annual Non League Day has seen some bizarre and ingenious ideas to promote the non-league game and increase its attendances. On Non League Day in 2013 Anglian Combination side Bungay Town saw its attendance increase by nearly 70% when they paid their fans 5p to watch them play. A year later, on 6th September 2014, they made the headlines with another novel idea - they gave each supporter a punnet of mushrooms! It doubled their normal attendance although I doubt whether the idea will be taken up by many clubs in the Football League!
                      

 
 


7
th September

Football On This Day - 7th September 1960
This day in 1960 saw Peterborough United play their sixth match in the Football League, against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park with a mahoosive 36,478 attending. Five days later the return League match at London Road was played in front of a 21,171 crowd. Nearly 60,000 watching a new Football League side play two Division 4 matches in a week - that will surely never happen again! (Posh won both matches).
Link - Peterborough results and table 1960/61

Football On This Day - 7th September 1977
Ron Greenwood selected six players from European Champions Liverpool, plus Kevin Keegan who had recently left Anfield for Hamburg, for his first match as manager of England. But England lacked cohesion and imagination in a disappointing 0-0 draw in the friendly against Switzerland at Wembley. Liverpool's Ian Callaghan made this third appearance for England in that match - his previous match for England had been 11 years earlier in 1966!

Football On This Day – 7th September 2002
Scotland pulled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with the mighty Faroe Islands in a Euro qualifier – always worth remembering if there are any Scots you talk to about football!

 
 


8
th September

Football On This Day – 8th September 1888
The first matches in the Football League were played. The five matches played saw 23 goals scored and attracted around 25,000 spectators.
Link - all the first season results and table



Football On This Day - 8th September 1958

17-year-old Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore made his debut for West Ham United, a 3-2 First Division victory over Manchester United at Upton Park. Bobby Moore went on to make 544 League appearances for the Hammers before moving to Fulham in 1974 as well as playing 108 times for England.
Link - West Ham results and table 1958/59

                       


Football On This Day - 8th September 1990
Tragedy at Bootham Crescent when York City's David Longhurst died when playing for York against Lincoln City in a Fourth Division fixture. The 25-year-old collapsed shortly before half-time and was pronounced dead when he arrived at the local hospital. He had only played 6 times in the League for York having previously made League appearances for Halifax, Northampton and Peterborough. In his memory a new stand at the Shipton Street end of York City's ground was named after him, the official opening of the David Longhurst Stand being marked with a friendly against Leeds United in October 1991.
Link - abandoned matches

Football On This Day - 8th September 2011
Sandwiched between weekend fixtures in League 1 Notts County played a friendly on Thursday 8th September 2011. It was away.....in Italy.....against one of Europe's top teams, Juventus. Third tier Notts had been invited to Turin to play the first match at Juventus's new ground - the Juventus Stadium. History provided the reason. The historical link between the two clubs dates back to 1903 when Juventus decided to change the shirt colour they had been playing in since they were founded - pink! They asked an English team member, John Savage, for help and he in turn contacted a friend in Nottingham to send out a set of shirts to Turin. As a Notts County supporter the shirts he sent were inevitably black and white stripes and black and white remain the colours of Juventus to this day. And the result - a 1-1 draw. Well done Notts County.

Football On This Day - 8th September 2015
The day that Wayne Rooney became England's record goalscorer. His penalty in the 2-0 defeat of Switzerland in a Euro qualifier at Wembley was his 50th England goal, one more than Bobby Charlton...and the own-goals figure. But in the next days' papers his record hardly got any column inches compared with the main record breaker of that day - Her Maj had become the longest serving monarch in British history.

 
 


9
th September

Football On This Day – 9th September 1998
When goals from John Hartson and Ian Wright (2) gave West Ham a 3-0 lead within the first half an hour against Wimbledon in a Premier League match at Upton Park the destination of the points looked a formality. But it became 3-1 at half time, 3-3 with 15 minutes remaining and then Efan Ekoku scored the winner for Wimbledon in the last few minutes. 4-3 to Wimbledon - who would have believed it?

 
 


10
th September

Football On This Day – 10th September 1960
The first attempt to offer the British TV public regular live League football started – and finished – on 10th September 1960 when ITV broadcast the Saturday evening fixture between Blackpool and Bolton. In 1953 those two clubs contested a famous Cup Final but by 1960 they were both struggling in the First Division and the fixture was missing its star player – Stanley Matthews – because of injury. It was a dismal match with poor TV ratings and the following Saturday (17th) Arsenal refused permission for their match against Newcastle to be televised as did Spurs the week after that (24th) for their match against Aston Villa. As a result ITV abandoned the project and nearly a quarter of a century passed before there was another live League match on British TV – Tottenham v Nottingham Forest on 2nd October 1983.
Link - Football in the Media

Football On This Day – 10th September 1998
Those far off days when the income of football clubs was based on fans paying at the turnstiles moved even further into history on September 10th 1998. On that day Manchester United brought to us MUTV - the world’s first TV channel dedicated to a single football club. Launched with the slogan ‘Get MUTV, get closer to Manchester United’ for a monthly £4.99 subscription it promised to bring everything Manchester United to the millions of armchair Reds fans throughout the world. Originally jointly owned by Manchester United, ITV and BSkyB as the channel established itself it became wholly owned by the club and another important income stream to be exploited.

                                 

Football On This Day – 10th September 2008
An impressive display by England who won 4-1 in Croatia in a World Cup qualifier. Theo Walcott became the youngest England player to score a hat-trick with Wayne Rooney scoring the other goal. The future was bright for England - surely?

Football On This Day – 10th September 2013
Chelsea's Frank Lampard made his 100th appearance for England in a World Cup qualifier in the Ukraine. At the time he was the eighth England player to win a century of caps - the others being David Beckham, Bobby Charlton, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Bobby Moore, Peter Shilton and Billy Wright. England drew 0-0 in Ukraine and were to qualifying for the finals in Brazil. Frank Lampard went on to make 106 England appearances, the last of those being the only match he played in those Brazil finals. That was against Costa Rica which ended in another 0-0 draw - Costa Rica topped the group and England finished bottom and were on their way home!

 
 


11
th September



Football On This Day –11th September 1895

The first FA Cup trophy, known as the ‘little tin idol’ and which cost £20, was stolen from the shop window of a Birmingham boot and shoe manufacturer, William Shillcock. The cup had been lent by Cup holders Aston Villa who were later fined £25 by the FA to pay for a replacement trophy. The ‘little tin idol’ was never recovered.

 

 

 

 

Football On This Day – 11th September 2001
The world news on Tuesday 11th September 2001 was dominated by the tragedy that was unfolding in New York with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Football just didn't seem to have any importance when compared to what was happening on the other side of the Atlantic. But of course there was a debate about how football should respond to the horror. On one hand should football matches be postponed out of respect to those who had suffered so much while on the other hand should football continue in defiance to those who wanted to destroy the society we were part of. In England on the night of 9/11 the two scheduled League matches at Wrexham (v Bury) and Plymouth (v Swansea) plus 15 League Cup fixtures went ahead - as did all the other scheduled League and League Cup matches over the following days - although they were preceded by a minute's silence. A minute's silence also preceded matches played in the Champions League and UEFA Cup matches played on that Tuesday evening. Two of those matches involved English clubs in the Champions League - Arsenal lost 0-1 away to Mallorca while Liverpool drew 1-1 at Anfield against Portugal's Boavista. Liverpool were back in Europe's top competition for the first time since suffering a tragedy of their own, at Heysel in 1985. UEFA then postponed the 51 Champions League and UEFA Cup matches scheduled for Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th with the promise of compensation to all the away sides to recoup wasted  travelling expenses.

 

 
 


12th September

Football On This Day – 12th September 1885
In a Scottish Cup First Round match Dundee Harp beat Aberdeen Rovers 35-0, surely a record that would last for ever. But amazingly 20 miles away on the same day in the same competition Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36-0 to record what is still the highest score in a senior football match in Britain. And surely it is a record that will last for ever?
Link - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches

Football On This Day – 12th September 1974
A sensation at Elland Road with Leeds United sacking manager Brian Clough after just 44 days in charge. Defending League champions Leeds had taken just 4 points from their first six League matches of the new season.

Football On This Day – 12th September 1989
Liverpool had a 9-0 home League victory over Crystal Palace with 8 different players scoring the goals. Despite that scoreline Liverpool scored more goals away from home than they did at Anfield in achieving their 18th League title that season. Liverpool did the League double over Palace that season but the Londoners did record a memorable cup victory over the Merseysiders in 1989/90 - beating Liverpool 4-3 in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park to reach their first FA Cup Final.
Link - Liverpool results 1989/90

Football On This Day – 12th September 1990
The Faroe Islands had their moment of glory when they beat Austria 1-0 in their first competitive match, a Euro qualifier. The ‘home’ match was played in Sweden as the Faroes (population under 50,000) didn’t have a grass pitch to play on.

Football On This Day – 12th September 2001
Footballers behaving badly hit the headlines again. Four Chelsea players - Frank Lampard, John Terry, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jody Morris - allegedly stripped, swore and vomited in front of Americans stranded at a Heathrow hotel because of travel chaos the day after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All four were fined two weeks wages by the club although the incident was later to revisit Lampard when in 2014 when, just before he signed for NY City, a New York newspaper ran a story about the incident under the headline
'British soccer star poised to join NY team once mocked Americans after 9/11 attacks.' 
 

 
 

13th September

Football On This Day – 13th September 1997
Well, I think if someone is going to make a public announcement it's important to make sure they get the facts right! Back in 1946 when Cliff Bastin played his last match for Arsenal he had set the first-team goalscoring record for the Gunners with 178 goals to his name. Fast forward to 1997 and another Arsenal legend, Ian Wright, was getting close to breaking that record. On 13th September 1997 Wrighty was in the Arsenal line-up for the Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers having scored 177 goals for the Gunners. After 20 minutes Ian Wright scored and immediately removed his Arsenal shirt to reveal a T-shirt underneath with the message printed on it '179 Just Done It'. Except that he hadn't done it. 177 plus 1 = 178 and so he had equalled the record not beaten it! Mind you the T-shirt was on show again five minutes later when he scored a second to break that record and later increased the total to 180 when he completed a hat-trick. He increased the record total to 185 goals (128 League, 12 FA Cup, 29 League Cup, 15 European comps and 1 Charity Shield) - the record was bettered by Thierry Henry in 2005.

Football On This Day – 13th September 2006
The shirt worn by George Best when he scored six goals in Manchester United's 8-2 FA Cup victory at Northampton in February 1970 was sold at auction at Christie's for £24,000. At the same memorabilia auction two other shirts sold for more modest amounts. The top worn by Bobby Moore in his final Football League appearance (for Fulham v Blackburn in May 1977) and Eric Cantona's shirt which he wore in his last League match for Manchester United (v West Ham in May 1997) each sold for £3,600.

Football On This Day – 13th September 2017
One of those 'injuries' which the whole world soon found out about. Spanish international Marco Asensio missed Real Madrid's first Champions League match of 2017/18 because of a leg injury. He had shaved his legs - the razor was dirty - a hair follicle on his leg became infected causing a pimple - and so he couldn't pull one of his socks up. Must have been painful!
Link - injuries

                         

 

 
 

14th September

Football On This Day – 14th September 1889
The first double-figure scoreline in the Football League – the ‘Invincibles’ of Preston beat Stoke 10-0 on their way to retaining the League title.
Link - Clubs scoring 10 goals in League matches

Football On This Day - 14th September 1955
Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough ground hosted the first ever FA Cup match to be played under floodlights. Non-leaguers Kidderminster and Brierley Hill Alliance met in a Preliminary Round replay, Kidderminster winning 4-2.
Link - Floodlights

Football On This Day – 14th September 2017
Arsenal’s first European match of the 2017/18 season was always going to have an unusual feel about it. For Arsenal the previous 19 campaigns had seen them start the season in the Champions League but this time around they were in the more humble surroundings of the Europa League while Group opponents Cologne were playing their first European tie in 25 years. But what really made the tie unique was that over 20,000 Cologne fans made the trip to London – and the Cologne ticket allocation was only 2900. Large numbers of German fans bought tickets from touts causing security problems inside the Emirates as those tickets were in the Arsenal sections of the ground and many of their fans let off flares. But the major security problem concerned the thousands left outside the Emirates without tickets. There were fears that they would storm the turnstiles to gain entrance while the shear numbers of ticketless fans prevented those with tickets the chance to gain entry to the ground. A postponement was considered but the match went ahead after a one-hour delay, kicking off at 9.05. Arsenal won the match 3-1 and went on to progress to the knock-out stages – Cologne didn’t. UEFA later fined Cologne €60,000 (£53,000) for the crowd problems and ordered them to pay for the damage their fans had caused at the Emirates.
Link - Arsenal's results in Europe

 
 


15
th September

Football On This Day – 15th September 1976
Derby County were knocked out of the 1975/76 UEFA Cup by Real Madrid but in their next European tie - the First Round of the 1976/77 UEFA Cup - they were up against more modest opposition....Finn Harps from the Irish Republic. The Rams didn't manage a win in their first eight League matches of the 1976/77 season but against Harps on 15th September 1976 they made up for that. In front of a 13,353 Baseball Ground crowd Derby were 9-0 up at the break and eventually won 12-0 with goals from Kevin Hector (5), Charlie George (3), Leighton James (3) and Bruce Rioch. That was a new record score for Derby beating two 9-0 League victories recorded back in the 19th Century. Derby won the return leg 4-1 but were beaten 5-2 on aggregate by AEK Athens in the Second Round. The low point for Derby in the 1976/77 was that newspaper-style programme - should have been banned!
Link - Derby's results in European competition

                                



Football On This Day – 15th September 1982

Swansea City record their record victory, 12-0 against Sliema Wanders of Malta in the European Cup Winners Cup. Eight different Swansea players got on the scoresheet in the biggest victory by a Welsh club in a European competition.
Link (match details) - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches


 


Football On This Day – 15th September 2004
When Denis Law left Old Trafford in 1973 he held the record for goals scored for Manchester United in European competitions. He had scored 28 goals in 33 matches although sadly a knee injury had prevented him playing in the most important European tie in his career at United - the European Cup Final victory over Benfica at Wembley in 1968. Fast-forward to September 15th 2004 and going into United's first Champions League group match of the season Ruud van Nistelrooy started the match in Lyon sharing the 28 goal record with Denis Law. Manchester United were 2-0 down at the break but a van Nistelrooy double in the second half gave United a share of the points and the Dutchman a new goalscoring record. Coincidentally, like Law he set the record in his 33rd European match for United and sadly also like the Scotsman he was never a part of a United side who won a European competition. Van Nistelrooy increased the record to 38 goals in 47 European matches, a total bettered by Wayne Rooney in 2016.

 
 


16
th September

Football On This Day – 16th September 1937
There only a few thousand TV sets in the country in those days but on this day in 1937 Highbury hosted the first live TV broadcast of a football match to test the technology of the time – Arsenal playing Arsenal Reserves in a match arranged for the cameras.
Link - Football in the Media 

Football On This Day – 16th September 1959
It seems obvious but if you score a lot of goals you win prizes! Wolves found that out when they enjoyed their greatest period of success during the period when they became the only Football League side to score a century of League in each of four consecutive seasons. In a four season period starting in 1957/58 Wolves scored 422 League goals (103, 110, 106 and 103) - that's an average of 5 goals in every two matches. During that period they won the League championship twice and finished 2nd and 3rd in the other two seasons - and they won the FA Cup. Their best victory in those four seasons was 9-0 over Fulham at Molineux on 16th September 1959 - just a week after they had lost 1-3 at Craven Cottage in the first League meeting of the clubs that season! And the depth of that goalscoring talent was shown by the fact that six Wolves players scored that day - Norman Deeley (4) plus one apiece from Peter Broadbent, Eddie Clamp, Ron Flowers, Bobby Mason and Jimmy Murray.
Link - Wolves League history

Football On This Day – 16th September 1972
Jimmy Hill seemed to be football's been there, done that sort of guy. On Saturday September 16th 1972 at the Arsenal v Liverpool fixture the football personality stepped in, superman-like, to prevent the match being abandoned when he took over as a substitute linesman. The original linesman, Dennis Drewitt, suffered torn knee ligaments in the first half and was unable to continue. Those were the days before we had extra officials at each game and an announcement was made to the crowd appealing for a qualified referee to take over on the line. Up stepped Jimmy Hill who had been at the match as a spectator and the day was saved.


Football On This Day – 16th September 1992

On this day in 1992 Leeds United became the first English club to play in the Champions League but in their first match were hammered 3-0 by Stuttgart in Germany. They went on to win the return leg 4-1 to go out on away goals but the Germans had broken the rules and Leeds were re-instated and won a play-off match. But in the next round they were beaten in both legs by Rangers.
Link - Leeds United results in Europe

 

 
 


17
th September

Football On This Day – 17th September 1974
Liverpool beat Norwegians of Strømsgodset 11-0 in a European Cup Winners Cup First Round match – nine different Liverpool players scored in Liverpool's record victory.
Link (match details) - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches

Football On This Day – 17th September 1997
Newcastle United played in the Champions League for the first time in 1997/98 and after a Qualifying Round victory over Croatia Zagreb they played their first Champions League Group match on Wednesday September 17th 1997. And what a match it was with the opposition being Spanish giants Barcelona. A near capacity 35,274 St James' Park crowd witnessed a sensational performance from United's Colombian international Faustino Asprilla. An unpredictable player who nevertheless was a fans' favourite with his extravagant playing skills and elaborate goal celebrations Asprilla scored a magnificent 29 minute hat-trick to give the Toon a convincing 3-0 lead. They were to be the last goals Tino scored for Newcastle - an operation on a stomach injury was soon to keep him out of the side for two months after which it was not long before he was on his way back to his former club, Parma in Italy. Newcastle went on to beat Barcelona 3-2 but when the group was completed Newcastle were 3rd and Barcelona 4th and so neither progressed to the knock-out stages.
Link - 1997/98 Champions League Group C results and table

Football On This Day – 17th September 2007
Derby beat Newcastle in the Premier League 1-0 at Pride Park in a record-breaking season for the Rams. It was Derby’s only League win of the season, they were guaranteed a relegation place in March and finished the season with just 11 points. Ouch!
Link - Derby results & table 2007/08

Football On This Day – 17th September 2016
A first at Valley Parade at the League 1 match between Bradford City and Bristol Rovers. Referee Andy Haines took the players off the pitch for several minutes for health and safety reasons - a drone was flying over the playing area! It may have been the first time - but I've a feeling it won't be the last!

 

 
 

18th September

Football On This Day – 18th September 1990
When you think of European nights you think of big crowds, plenty of atmosphere, a special occasion. Not always so. When Dundee United visited Hafnarfjörður in Iceland for a UEFA Cup First Round tie on this day in 1990 the attendance was a mahoosive......263.

Football On This Day – 18th September 1991
Liverpool played their first match back in European competition following the tragic events at the Heysel Stadium in 1985. After a five year ban on English clubs in Europe and further one year on Liverpool alone the Merseysiders beat Finnish side Kuusysi Lahti 6-1 at Anfield in a UEFA Cup tie.
Link - Liverpool results in Europe

 

 
 

19th September

Football On This Day – 19th September 1926
The first match was played in one of the major stadiums in Europe, the San Siro in Milan. Originally solely the home of AC Milan they played a friendly against great rivals Inter Milan in the first match at the ground on 19th September 1926. Inter won with a very un-Italian scoreline – 6-3. In 1947 Inter moved in to share the ground with AC Milan while in March 1980 the stadium was officially renamed the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in honour of a former player of both Milan clubs – although it is still generally known as the San Siro. It currently has a capacity of 80,000 and has hosted matches at the 1934 and 1990 World Cup finals as well as numerous European finals.      

                           



Football On This Day – 19th September 1999

When Bobby Robson made his home debut as manager of Newcastle United things were bleak for the Magpies - only one point from their first seven Premier League matches of the season and no win at St James' Park since February. But Newcastle beat Sheffield Wednesday 8-0 with Alan Shearer scoring 5 of them - a perfect start or what!
Link - Newcastle results and table 1999/2000   
                


Football On This Day – 19th September 2007
The world of football was shocked by the news that the ‘Special One’ was leaving Chelsea. Increasing tensions between club owner Roman Abramovich and manager José Mourinho came to a head after an unimpressive start to the new season, Mourinho ending his first stint at Stamford Bridge ‘by mutual consent’. He was back at the club in 2013.

Football On This Day – 19th September 2015
The biggest news in world sport that day came from the Community Stadium in Brighton although the storyline wasn't generated by the football club who played there. Brighton & Hove's home ground was used for a couple of matches in the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup finals and in the first of those Japan played South Africa. In a result that was widely described as the biggest shock in the history of the game the minnows of Japan beat the mighty Springboks 34-32. Amazingly though the Japanese were to create another bit of World Cup history - they became the first side ever to win 3 of their 4 group matches but fail to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

 

 
 

20th September

Football On This Day – 20th September 2008

Well, if you had never come across ghost goals, phantom goals or the need for goal-line video technology you certainly would have done after the League match between Watford and Reading on 20th September 2008. In the 13th minute of the Championship fixture Watford defender John Eustace put the ball out of play for a corner when being challenged by Reading striker Noel Hunt. But despite the ball having gone out of play yards outside the goalpost and to the astonishment of everyone in the 14,761 Vicarage Road crowd linesman Nigel Bannister flagged it as a goal. Watford protested – their manager Aidy Boothroyd was sent to the stands for protesting too much - but rookie 25-year-old referee Stuart Attwell upheld the decision and a goal for Reading it was. The match ended 2-2 with that ‘goal’ going down as a John Eustace own goal. After the match there was much talk of whether Reading should have allowed Watford an unopposed equaliser. There were also suggestions that the match should have been replayed. But the rule is that the refs decision is final and so a goal it was and a goal it stayed!  

Football On This Day – 20th September 2011

When fans of Turkish side Fenerbahçe invaded the pitch in a pre-season friendly against Ukraine's Shaktar Donetsk the Istanbul club expected to be playing behind closed doors for a while as a punishment. Instead the Turkish FA ordered that a match be played with no males over the age of 12 being allowed entry. So on 20th September 2011 a crowd of 41,000 women and children were present for Fenerbahçe's League match with Manisaspor. Players from both clubs flew flowers to the fans before the match - you just can't see that happening at Millwall could you - and no crowds problems followed in the 1-1 draw.

                                         

 

 
 

21st September

Football On This Day – 21st September 1949

England were beaten for the first time on home soil by a foreign country. The Republic of Ireland won 2-0 at Everton's Goodison Park.

Football On This Day – 21st September 1983
Pat Jennings became the first Irishman to win 100 international caps when helping Northern Ireland to a 3-1 victory over Austria in a Euro qualifier in Belfast.



Football On This Day – 21st September 1985

Charlton Athletic beat Stoke 2-0 in front of an 8,858 crowd who witnessed the clubs' last match before a period of exile from their home ground, The Valley. Money problems, sadly. There were ground-shares with Crystal Palace and West Ham before Charlton finally returned home in 1992.


 



Football On This Day – 21st September 1994

Gary Lineker announced that he would be retiring from playing football after picking up a toe injury while playing for Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan and would be joining the BBC. Not a bad couple of careers for someone whose final school report read '
Must devote less of his time to sport if he wants to be a success.'

 
 

22nd September

Football On This Day – 22nd September 1971
Leeds United were once one of the top sides in Europe....honestly! When the UEFA Cup replaced the Fairs Cup at the start of the 1971/72 season UEFA invited the two clubs with the best records in the Fairs Cup to play-off for the honour of keeping the old trophy. One was Barcelona, who won the first Fairs Cup final in 1958, with the other being Leeds who had defeated Juventus to win the last Fairs Cup final in 1971. On 22nd September 1971 in front of 35,000 at the Nou Camp Leeds were beaten 2-1 by Barcelona. But hey, Leeds were good enough to be there!
Link - Leeds results 1971/72

Football On This Day – 22nd September 1984
In a first Division fixture at Loftus Road visiting Newcastle United were 4-0 up against QPR at half-time. It was 5-5 at the final whistle!
Link - famous fight backs

Football On This Day – 22nd September 2005
Jonathan Woodgate didn’t make the best of debuts for Real Madrid following his move from Newcastle – he scored an own goal and was sent off against Athletic Bilbao.
Link - debuts

23rd September

Football On This Day - 23rd September 2000
Third tier side Wycombe Wanderers got their name into the record books by reaching the FA Cup semi-final in 2000/01 but earlier in the same season they had made the headlines for another reason. Against Peterborough United at Adams Park in a Division 2 match on September 23rd 2000 Wycombe's Jamie Bates scored with the last kick of the first half. A Wycombe kick-off started the second period and seconds later, before a Peterborough player had touched the ball, Jermaine McSporran hit the Chairboys second goal. Two goals in just nine seconds of playing time without an opposition player touching the ball - unique or what!
Link - Wycombe results and table 2000/01

Football On This Day – 23rd September 2006
When Arsenal beat Sheffield United 3-0 in a Premier League match on this day in 2006 all three goalscorers shared the same birthday – 17th August. Arsenal’s William Gallas and Thierry Henry (both born in 1977) plus Sheffield United’s  Phil Jagielka (an own goal, born 1982) scored the goals.
Link - Arsenal results and table 2006/07

Football On This Day – 23rd September 2015
I'm still not sure whether this was a genuine worry or just a great publicity exercise but when ITV were due to screen a live one hour episode of Coronation Street to mark the 60th birthday of ITV they panicked when they realised that on the same night Manchester United were at home to Ipswich Town in a Carling Cup tie. With the Coronation Street studios being less than a mile away from Old Trafford they feared that crowd noise would disrupt the live broadcast. As it was, although Wayne Rooney scored for the soap opera that is Manchester United while the programme was being broadcast not a sound was heard on the soap opera that is Coronation Street. United went on to win 3-0.

 
 

24th September

Football On This Day – 24th September 1991

Arsenal paid Crystal Palace £2.5m for forward Ian Wright with many doubting the wisdom of paying a then club record fee for a player not far off his 28th birthday. But Wrighty scored a hat-trick on his Arsenal League debut and went on to score 185 goals in 288 first team appearances, a Gunners record until Thierry Henry came along.

Football On This Day – 24th September 1991
Just 2,081 turn up for the Wimbledon v Peterborough League Cup tie at Selhurst Park, the lowest ever home attendance for a top-division club in the competition. Posh won 2-1.
Link - League Cup results 1991/92

 
 


25
th September

Football On This Day – 25th September 1962
Surprise League champions Ipswich Town showed they had no fear of the European Cup when beating Floriana of Malta 10-0 at Portman Road to complete an aggregate 14-1 First Round victory. Ray Crawford scored five of the goals at Portman Road – Ipswich were knocked out by AC Milan in the next round -
Link (match details) - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches

                 

Football On This Day – 25th September 1963
Most will remember Tom Finney as a loyal one-club player but on September 25th 1963 he made his only competitive appearance for a club other than Preston - in the European Cup. Three years after playing his last Preston game George Armstrong, the manager of Northern Ireland champions Distillery, coaxed the 41-year-old Finney out of retirement to play for Distillery in their European Cup-tie against the Portuguese giants Benfica. On this day in 1963 a 19,326 Belfast crowd witnessed a memorable 3-3 draw between the sides but without Finney in the return leg Benfica ran out 5-0 winners.

 
 


26th September


Football On This Day – 26th September 1956
The first European Cup match was played on English soil. Manchester United entertained the Belgians of Anderlecht at Maine Road. In front of 40,000 fans United took the lead after only 9 minutes with a wonder goal from Tommy Taylor and went on to win.....by 10-0 (12-0 on aggregate). Dominating Europe was going to be easy....wasn't it!
Link (match details) - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches
Link - Manchester United's results and table 1956/57



Football On This Day – 26th September 1960
The first two matches in the League Cup were played – Bristol Rovers v Fulham and West Ham v Charlton – Fulham’s Maurice Cook scoring the first goal in the competition.
Link - League Cup results 1960/61





Football On This Day – 26th September 1998
The headlines were from Hillsborough where Sheffield Wednesday defeated Arsenal 1-0 in the Premier League. Wednesday's Paolo Di Canio was sent off and he then pushed ref Paul Alcock who fell to the ground in a very dramatic manner. Di Cano was later charged with misconduct - he was banned for 11 matches and fined £10,000.

 
 


27
th September




Football On This Day – 27th September 2003

Following their much-criticized move from South London Wimbledon played their first ‘home’ League match at the National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes, drawing 2-2 with Burnley. They didn’t change their name to MK Dons until the start of the 2004/05 season.
Link - Wimbledon results and table 2003/04

 

 


Football On This Day – 27th September 2016
We woke up to find England manager Sam Allardyce making front page headlines in the Daily Telegraph. In a newspaper 'sting' he had been filmed advising undercover reporters how to get around FA rules on third-party ownership of footballers, criticising his predecessor Roy Hodgson and the England players and arranging a £400,000 a year speaking engagement contract. By the end of the day by 'mutual consent' he was the ex-England manager losing his £3 million a year job after just 67 days. Mind you, with an England record of played one and won one that made him statistically the best England manager of all time!

                                  

 
 

28th September

Football On This Day – 28th September 1892
An early kick off in a First Preliminary Round FA Cup between Burton Swifts, in Division 2 of the Football League, and non-leaguers Singers of Coventry – 8 o’clock in the morning!           

Football On This Day – 28th September 2004
18-year-old Wayne Rooney made a spectacular debut for Manchester United hitting a hat-trick in United’s 6-2 Champions League victory over Fenerbahçe at Old Trafford. It was the first hat-trick Rooney had scored in his professional career. It proved the perfect start to an amazingly successful career at Old Trafford. By the time he returned to Everton in July 2017 he had broken Bobby Charlton's club goalscoring record with 253 goals in 559 first team competitive appearances and had picked up winners medals in the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, Europa League, FIFA World Club Cup as well as the Community Shield. Not bad! 

 

 
 

29th September



Football On This Day – 29th September 1971

Chelsea record the highest score by an English club in a European competition. They beat Jeunesse Hautcharage of Luxembourg 13-0 in the European Cup Winners Cup at Stamford Bridge to complete a 21-0 aggregate victory. Peter Osgood scored five on the night.
Link (match details) - Clubs scoring 10 goals in Cup matches

                    



Football On This Day – 29th September 2007
Four clubs have scored 9 goals in a Premier Division match – Manchester United (9-0 v Ipswich in 1995 and 9-0 v Southampton in 2021), Spurs (9-1 v Wigan in 2009) and Leicester (9-0 at Southampton in 2019) – but on this day in 2007 a new record was set for the most goals in a Premier League fixture when eleven goals were scored at Portsmouth in their match against Reading. The 20,102 Fratton Park crowd certainly got value for money that day - Portsmouth were 2-1 up at half time but at the final whistle it was Portsmouth 7 Reading 4. There were nine different goalscorers in the match with Portsmouth’s Benjani Mwaruwari scoring three of them, another two were own-goals and one was a penalty – with another penalty being saved. Amazing but Reading almost repeated that scoreline three months later when they lost 6-4 at Spurs.

 
 


30
th September



Football On This Day – 30th September 1961
There was a more innocent time when the most popular gamble in the country was the Football Pools and the winners often became media personalities. Most famous of those was Viv Nicholson who on September 30th 1961 with her husband won £152,319 18s 8d for a five bob (25p) bet. That was a win of over £3.5m in todays money. But she couldn't escape the media attention and within 5 years her husband had been been killed in a car crash and she was nearly skint. Years later both a book and a West End musical about her life had the same title - Spend, Spend, Spend.





Football On This Day – 30th September 1998
As the 1990's progressed there was a growing feeling that Arsenal had outgrown their historic Highbury home. In 1997 the Gunners had made a controversial - and unsuccessful - bid to buy Wembley Stadium and make it their new home but when they started their first Champions League campaign in 1998/99 Wembley did become their temporary home. With UEFA reducing the capacity of Highbury to around 35,000 for the competition - one of the lowest of clubs in the Champions League - Arsenal agreed a move to Wembley for their home fixtures in the Champions League for 1998/99 and later did the same for 1999/2000. The first of those was against Panathinaikos on 30th September 1998. Despite a 25 minute delay to kick off due to traffic problems delaying fans getting to the ground a new record Arsenal 'home' crowd of 73,455 witnessed a 2-1 victory over the Greek side. All the six group matches Arsenal played at Wembley over those two seasons attracted 70,000+ crowds with the Panathinaikos record being bettered two months later with 73,707 attending the match against Lens. But while the crowds were good the results weren't and over the two seasons Arsenal's record at Wembley was won 2, drawn 1 and lost 3. They didn't qualify for the knock-out stages in either season. Wembley then closed for a rebuild and Arsenal announced a move to a new home at Ashburton Grove.
Link - Arsenal's results in European competitions.

Football On This Day – 30th September 2006
Manchester City bad-boy Joey Barton was in the headlines again when he bared his backside to Everton fans after a 1-1 Premier League draw at Goodison. He later received a warning and a £2000 fine.

 

 

 

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