Welcome to a new series of The Magazine Archive. Apologies that there hasn’t been one for a while.
Got a full set of 1986 editions of World Soccer at a fair in May, but wanted to get some music magazines as I didn’t want it to be all football.
Was in Manchester recently and picked up some old editions of Q, so here we go.
The first one of this new series is the December 1986 edition of World Soccer, looking back at an eventful year of football, which had a World Cup that summer.
The front cover features Diego Maradona being carried aloft while carrying the World Cup trophy, as photographers try to get a picture.
It reminded of a feature in Four Four Two ten years ago title “100 Greatest Football Pictures”, and 6 or 7 of them were of Maradona. As was written in the feature, it appears no dull pictures of Maradona exist.
Page 3 focused on the World Soccer awards with Diego Maradona, unsurprisingly, winning Footballer Of The Year, with Igor Belanov second.
Pat Jennings was 20th, possibly getting sentimental votes as he retired that year, with his final game taking place in the World Cup Finals, against Brazil ……. on his 41st birthday.
Guy Thys won Manager Of The Year award for leading Belgium to the World Cup Semi-Finals, beating competition from Valeri Lobanovsky and Kenny Dalglish.
The previous year’s winner was 15th ……….. Terry Venables.
Argentina narrowly beat European Cup Winners Cup winner Dynamo Kiev to win the Team Of The Year award which was previously held by Everton.
Despite winning a 5th successive Irish League title in 1986, Linfield were disgracefully not in the Top 20.
The magazine features a double page interview with Diego Maradona, who explains that he grew a beard earlier in the year because his sister wondered what he looked like with a beard.
The other World Cup Final in 1986, the club version got a double page spread, with the writers casting Steau Bucharest in the role of underdogs against River Plate, which turned out to be correct.
The main story in English football got a double page spread as Ron Atkinson was sacked as Manchester United and replace by Aberdeen’s Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson was given a contract until 1990 and a brief to win the title, something which United hadn’t done for 19 years, and given their start to the 1986-1987 season, the wait would extend until 21 years at least.
“United aren’t the only victims of this unpredictable season. Below them are three other once famous and mighty clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle United”
Ironic, that those four clubs now sit at the top of English football when Ferguson celebrated his 25th anniversary in charge of United.
Meanwhile, bizarrely, police entered the pitch at Fratton Park to tell off two players for swearing at the ref.
Meanwhile, in Glasgow, an Old Firm derby match “ended in mayhem” as Celtic have seven players booked and Mo Johnston sent-off in a Skol Cup final defeat to Rangers.
Celtic manager Davie Hay was so angry after the game, he suggested that Celtic should apply to join England’s top flight.
Meanwhile, ten games into the 1986-1987 had Glentoran and Larne joint top, with Portadown second bottom.
That month, Portadown appointed Ronnie McFall as manager, and their fortunes went on an upward trajectory.