Not long to go now until kick-off at Wembley. Back in 1990, Manchester United and Crystal Palace drew 3-3, meaning a replay was required to decide who won the cup.

That won’t happen today, as it has to be played to a finish

Printing deadlines meant Shoot could only cover the original game in this edition.

That match at Wembley got four pages of coverage, with a lot going to wether Ian Wright, who came off the bench to score twice, would be picked in the replay.

In Scotland, they didn’t go to a replay, as they used a penalty shoot-out to decide it. Aberdeen beat Celtic 9-8 in the first Scottish Cup Final decided by penalties, but Aberdeen manager Alex Smith criticising the use of a penalty shoot-out instead of a replay, even though his team won.

Luton Town’s great escape against relegation gets covered with an interview with Kingsley Black, who announces he wants to stay at Luton despite interest from Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

Shoot previews the European Cup Final, which Ruud Gullit is desperate to play in after a season blighted by injuries.

He did play in a match which finished 1-0 to AC Milan, just as predicted by Shoot.

With the World Cup coming up, Scotland face Poland in a friendly, with Shoot interviewing Stuart McCall, as he reflected on the moment he almost made a substitute appearance for England in an Under 21 international.

Leeds United are promoted back to the top flight of English football after an eight year absence, but Shoot says they should be kicked out of football altogether after crowd trouble at their final game at Bournemouth.

Ian Rush uses his column to pay tribute to Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who has just retired as a player, making a final appearance in the game against Derby.

There is a double page interview with Niall Quinn, who recently left Arsenal for Manchester City in a bid to get first-team football to ensure his place in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup squad.

In foreign news, Diego Maradona intends to stay at Napoli in an attempt to win the European Cup.

In ads, there was an advert for Esso’s World Cup coins of the England and Scotland teams.

Transfer rumours see Sampdoria want to sign Steve McMahon, Celtic want to sign Brian McClair, and Liverpool want to sign Wynton Rufer.

Previews of the forthcoming World Cup continue with United Arab Emirates, a squad who is very much disunited due to rows over money.

Dundee’s relegation from Scotland’s top flight was covered with an interview with Billy Dodds, who says he intends to stay at Dens Park.

There is another Wembley Cup Final this week, with Third Division champions Bristol Rovers taking on Tranmere Rovers in the Leyland Daf Cup Final.

Rovers were currently exiled at Twerton Park in Bath, with defender Geoff Twentyman saying the club will be the poor relations in the city until they get a new ground.

Tranmere won the match 2-1.


Later today, Alan Pardew will lead out Crystal Palace for the FA Cup Final. In 1990, he was playing for Crystal Palace, appearing on the cover of Match with current Stoke City manager Mark Hughes, then a Manchester United player, with the FA Cup sandwiched inbetween them.

As you open the magazine, Mark Bright is interviewed, urging Crystal Palace to make him a contract offer he can’t refuse, amid speculation over his future.

Across the page, Gary Pallister is interviewed, stating the the FA Cup offers a lifeline to a disappointing season for both him and United.

In traditional cup final fashion, the teams get profiled by a team-mate, Gary O’Reilly for Palace and Mike Phelan for United.

Phelan reveals that Steve Bruce is known as “Empty head” due to knowing a lot of useless facts, and Paul Ince is known as “Mr Quote” due to his love of speaking to the press.

In news, Ronnie Rosenthal states he won’t be returning to Standard Liege for the following season, with Liverpool, where he on loan, being his preferred destination.

It’s also Cup Final Day in Scotland, where Celtic face Aberdeen, and this gets a double page profile.

With the World Cup in Italy approaching, Match looks at those players with ambitions of being on the plane, and the choices Bobby Robson has to make.

Ally McCoist gets a profile, where he reveals a fondness for Brooke Shields, a fear of Spiders, and that his favourite thing about Match is photos of Ally McCoist.

In Match Facts, 18 year old Mark Bosnich made what Match described as a “reasonable” debut for Manchester United in a 0-0 draw with Wimbledon.

In their foreign round-up, Napoli win Serie A, but their star player Diego Maradona wants to leave and join Marseille.

As part of their World Cup preview, South Korea get a double page profile.

The magazine ends with a double page profile on Paul Gascoigne, as Match assesses his performance against Czechoslovakia in one of England’s warm-up games.


Today at Wembley, an expensively assembled and underachieving Manchester United side with a manager under pressure and living in the shadow of a retired Scottish legend arrive at Wembley to take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final, hoping that winning the FA Cup will be the springboard to an era of success.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before, in 1990.

As supporters sat in front of their TVs with only four channels, unless you had one of those new on the market satellie dishes, it’s possible they may have been reading Shoot’s preview, which had a split cover of Brian McClair and Ian Wright as Manchester United face Crystal Palace.

As you open the magazine, Shoot has full page profiles on central defenders set to be involved, with Andy Thorn of Palace prepared to play through the pain barrier, and Gary Pallister of United aiming to prove he won’t be a flop at United, after a British Record transfer from Middlesbrough.

In news, Celtic manager Billy McNeill is planning a clear out in the summer, while Manchester United are planning to sign Denis Irwin from Oldham Athletic, who Shoot have erroneously described as a Dubliner.

Bray Wanderers will be facing St Francis in the FAI Cup Final at Lansdowne Road, the game moved from Dalymount Park after the FAI anticipated Derry City to win their Semi-Final against Bray.

Midfielders aren’t ignored in the game at Wembley, with Shoot doing a profile of Bryan Robson and Andy Gray.

Celtic are facing Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final, and Shoot does a full page profile on Jacki Dzieckanowski, where he reveals his favourite band is Dire Straits.

Aberdeen are represented with a full page profile of Brian Irvine, who talks about his Christianity.

After scoring winning goals in the 3rd Round and Semi-Final, Mark Robins gets profiled.

In world news, Bayern Munich became the first German club to be floated on the Stock Exchange.

Austria are this week’s preview ahead of the World Cup in Italy, mostly focusing on Toni Polster.

Curiously, Shoot does a double page interview with Mark Bright and Ian Wright as they go out for a cycle.

Liam Brady gets profiled ahead of Republic Of Ireland’s friendly against Finland, but his appearance will only be symbolic, as it is a farewell in his own testimonial, having retired from international football the previous September.

It won’t stop him going to Italy, as he’ll be going to the World Cup as a pundit for RTE.

David Rocastle talks to Shoot about his frustration at injuries leading to his loss of form. The article is accompanied by a competition where you can win The Rocky Road To Success, a VHS tape profiling David Rocastle.

Liverpool’s recent title success gets profiled, with Alan Hansen claiming the club can dominate English football for the next twenty years.

The magazine ends with a double page profile of Scotland ahead of the World Cup in Italy.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 20.5.2016

1. Manic Street Preachers – Feels Like Heaven
2. Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure?
3. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
4. Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One
5. The Temper Trap – Fall Together


Was over in Manchester at the weekend for the ill fated Manchester United v Bournemouth game. While I was there, I ventured into the City Centre to get some Street Art photos, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

Naturally, I headed to the Northern Quarter, where most of the Street Art is based. This wasn’t a speculative search to see what is now there, this one had a purpose, as there was a mural of David Bowie by Akse P19 that I wanted to see.

I did see that, and some more. The next time I take a longer stay in Manchester, i’m planning to take a visit to Antwerp Mansion, a recent discovery I made.

On the Sunday morning, I headed to Old Trafford via Salford Quays along the walkway which is filled with Street Art. There was even some being done as I walked past.

You’ll see that in my next blog.

Photo Album

Manchester Street Art November 2014

Manchester Street Art May 2015

Manchester Street Art November 2015

Manchester Street Art January 2016


I Headed to Old Trafford today to see Manchester United take on AFC Bournemouth as they tried to win the 4th Place Trophy. As you now know, there was not a competitive ball kicked in anger.

I travelled over with my dad and we were due to be sat together but we made our separate ways to the stadium. I preferred to go into the City Centre on Sunday morning and make my own way to the ground, and we would meet in the ground.

I did my usual Old Trafford pre-match ritual, waking around the stalls, having a look at the stuff in Red Star Sports, before heading into Old Trafford just before 2pm for a 3pm kick-off.

I was sat in my seat, reading my programme as the teams warmed up when there was a PA announcement looking for the Head Of Safety (or some job title like that) to report to somebody. I found it a bit odd but carried on, admittedly having a look at he people around me.

It would have been around 2.40pm when stewards were evacuating people. There was no panic amongst fans were I was, all very calm and orderly. I overheard one supporter saying to their child that it was probably an alarm accidentally set off.

I was in the Family Stand, just above the players tunnel, and was evacuated to the Car Park where the Ticket Office is based, being evacuated further back to the point that I was at the bridge as you walk towards the stand.

When the stadium was evacuated, my dad wasn’t with me, so I made a quick phone call to tell him I was ok. He was trying to get into the stadium when the evacuation happened.

After that, I phoned family back home to let them know I was ok.

Thankfully, we live in a digital age, so I began checking Twitter to see what was happening. It was clear as mud.

The early indication was that kick-off would be delayed by 45 minutes.

At about 3pm, the scheduled kick-off time, stewards around me began shouting that the game was off. I headed to leave the general Old Trafford area, while checking Twitter, which had still not confirmed anything relating to the status of the game.

When I travel to Old Trafford independently, I usually stay at Salford Quays, so I know the area relatively well. It was near to where I was, so I naturally headed there.

By the time I was facing the Premier Inn, there was confirmation the game was off.

The bus I would be taking back to my hotel was parked at Trafford Hall Hotel. To get there, I would have to walk along Sir Matt Busby Way.

Unsurprisingly, that street was all one way traffic, and I was heading in the wrong direction.

I phoned my dad to tell him of this, and now my plan was to get a tram from Salford Quays to Trafford Bar.

I got the tram, albeit having to stop off at Cornbrook as it wasn’t direct, before heading to the bus back to the hotel.

There was plenty of time left in the day to go to the City Centre, it was more of a hassle given the circumstances. If I was travelling on my own, I probably would have went to the City Centre for the afternoon.

Naturally, it was disappointing for the match to be postponed. I’m not a security expert, so I have to respect the opinions of those that are.

Whenever people go to a football match, there is always a possibility that it could be postponed. I managed to spend some time in the City Centre on Saturday and Sunday, got some Street Art photos, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

I even walked past the Bournemouth team in the City Centre this morning.

Onto the football, Manchester City got the draw they needed to secure the 4th Place Trophy. The damage was done for United over the past 37 games, and most fatally on Tuesday night at West Ham.

We didn’t deserve to win at Upton Park, but being 2-1 up with so little time left, we should have had enough smartness to see the game out, especially having won there 2-1 in the FA Cup last month. That result gets even worse when you see that West Ham lost their games either side of that.

In terms of the rearranged game, all it will decide is if United finish 5th or 6th. Still, got to go out and try to win it to avoid ending the league season on a low note.

European football is confirmed, the next two games in the season will decide if United qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Cup automatically or not.

If United do reach the group stages, I would be tempted to head over on Matchday 5 or 6, especially if I can do a double header with a home Sunday match.

It’s been nearly 23 years since my first trip to Old Trafford. Today won’t put me off.

Whatever you’re opinion of Louis Van Gaal’s employment prospects (personally, I think there should be a parting of the ways as soon as the season ends), he deserves better than for his Old Trafford finale to be in a behind closed doors match.

Hopefully, he gets a nice send off at Wembley next weekend.

I haven’t had much luck with my trips to Old Trafford this season. I’ve been three times, only seen two games, and haven’t seen a United goal.

I chose this game over the Leicester game because I don’t like going away in March/April when the Irish League season reaches it’s finale at the same time. It’s easy to say I made the wrong decision in retrospect.

The postponement might be inconvenient, but as the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

In 30 days time, the 2016-2017 fixture list will be published and I’ll be plotting my next trip to Old Trafford. Hopefully, I’ll be writing about the football.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 13.5.2016

1. Chvrches – Warning Call
2. Grimes – California
3. Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz – Midnight Gold
4. Stone Roses – All For One
5. Manic Street Preachers – Together Stronger

So, this weekend, if you didn’t know already, is Eurovision. Naturally, here’s a chart of five songs to get you in the mood.

(PS : Remember to vote for Georgia and vote often)


1. Emmelie De Forest – Only Teardrops
2. Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine A Light
3. Can Bonomo – Love Me Back
4. Anna Rossinelli – In Love For A While
5. Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now


After a year away in 2015, the Irish Cup Final returned to Windsor Park. You have to go back to 2012 for the last time the trophy resided at Windsor Park, with Linfield taking on Glenavon looking to cap off a fine run of form in the calendar year if 2016 with a trophy.

There were no big shocks in the Linfield line-up. The only questions were Ross Glendinning or Gareth Deane, and Kirk Millar or Aaron Burns. Deane and Burns got the nod, with Glendinning and Millar taking their place on the bench.

Linfield began the better team and had a lot of early pressure. Their best moment came when Stephen Lowry’s goalward touch forced Johnny Tuffey into a save.

Having failed to take advantage whenever they were on top, Linfield then had to face some Glenavon pressure. Joel Cooper fired just wide, before Glenavon thought they scored after a scramble when Gareth Deane fumbled, but it was disallowed.

It was a soft decision, but the right decision. It was good defending by Jimmy Callacher to put himself in the way of the ball in order to get fouled and win the free-kick for Linfield.

Linfield’s defence was nervous. Surprising for a team that had kept clean sheets in five of their last six games, and with players who had played in big games before.

The most glaring thing, was the cheap possession conceded by clearing the ball out for throw ins when a pass back to the goalkeeper was the best option.

It seemed that Linfield players didn’t trust the wet surface and were taking that option.

Linfield were able to ride out that period of Glenavon pressure without playing well themselves.

Whenever Linfield did get an attack, it didn’t happen for them. They couldn’t get a clear run or a touch in Glenavon’s defensive third.

They didn’t help themselves with poor decision making and sloppy passing, or passing when they should have shot.

As the first-half neared it’s end, both teams looked set to go in at 0-0. It wouldn’t have been the worst scenario given how poor Linfield had played.

As injury time approached, they got a corner, one last chance to take a lead.

The corner was cleared, and the bounce beat Stephen Lowry, allowing Glenavon to clear and go on a counter attack, Linfield didn’t look comfortable defending at any point in the attack, as the ball went out wide, crossed perfectly for Kevin Braniff to fire home from close range. He couldn’t miss.

As soon as the match restarted, the half-time whistle blew. That’s how late it was.

The situation was still retrievable for Linfield. A vast improvement in the second-half was needed for that to happen.

There was an early goal in the second-half. Unfortunately, it came for Glenavon when Andy Hall scuffed the ball home. The only positive for Linfield was that there was 43 minutes left to retrieve the situation.

To do so, Linfield needed a quick goal. They didn’t get it, and didn’t look like getting it, in either open play or at set pieces, and they had a lot set pieces.

Johnny Tuffey denied Linfield that quick response when he tipped an Aaron Burns free-kick over the bar.

Kirk Millar joined the action in place of Matthew Clarke, with Ross Gaynor moving to left-back. It didn’t happen for Millar when he came on. It didn’t happen for any of Linfield’s attacking players. It didn’t help that it wasn’t a great afternoon for Linfield’s defence and midfield.

Jimmy Callacher headed over from a corner as Linfield chased that goal to launch a comeback. With each passing minute, it looked more and more unlikely. The goal by Hall had changed the dynamic of the game. It’s a lot easier to make a comeback from 0-1 than 0-2.

In the back of their minds, Linfield supporters knew today wasn’t going to be their day. They weren’t admitting it though as they cheered their team to try and get the goal to launch a comeback.

Callacher was soon departing the action as he was substituted for Niall Quinn as Linfield went to 3-5-2. Personally, I would have went with Stephen Fallon for that substitution.

It looked like Andrew Waterworth was going to fire home from a corner, but his effort went over.

Kevin Braniff looked set to make it 3-0 whenever he raced clear, but he put it wide when he was through on goal. It was a let-off for Linfield as it would have killed the game. With time running out, Linfield only had a small hope, but it was better than no hope.

Paul Smyth, as in most games, was Linfield’s most lively attacking outlet, but couldn’t get a goal his play deserved.

Glenavon saw the game out and ran out deserved winners. Linfield had saved their worst performance for when they needed a performance most. Glenavon got the goals at key times, and were able to shut out Linfield, and deny them the chance to even contemplate a comeback.

That’s it for me in terms of Irish League watching this season. Next for me is a trip to Old Trafford next weekend to hopefully see United win the 4th Place Trophy so dominated by Arsenal in recent seasons.

After that, Northern Ireland v Belarus at the end of the month, before a day trip to Dublin on the Bank Holiday Weekend to take in two (Shelbourne v Limerick and Bohemians v St Patrick’s Athletic) League Of Ireland games on a day trip to Dublin.

Linfield have made great strides this season, which sadly has ended on a disappointing note. No amount of optimism can compensate for that.

Linfield are heading in the right direction. Hopefully today was just an unexpected bump in the road.

Photo Album

2015 Irish Cup Final

2014 Irish Cup Final

2012 Irish Cup Final

2011 Irish Cup Final

2010 Irish Cup Final


On Friday night, I headed to Space. No doubt you’re expecting to see pictures of The Whole Of The Moon. Well, that’s the wrong band, that’s The Waterboys.

You’ve probably guessed by now that it’s the band rather than the planet, who had hits in the 90s with that song from Cold Feet and that song about Tom Jones before disappearing from view.

Well, they’re back, and popped into the Empire for a gig. It was almost a mid to late 90s night in Belfast with Kula Shaker playing The Limelight a few minutes up the road at the same time. Both having hits between 1996 and 1998 before vanishing.

I’d already got a Space ticket before the Kula Shaker gig was announced, so my decision was already made.

That was the challenge for Space, prove you’re better than Kula Shaker.

It was a surprisingly low crowd for this gig, considering they did have a few massive hits. Plenty of space (no pun intended) on the floor to move around.

Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere suffered as a result of the low turnout. Tommy Scott, lead singer, still looking like George Harrison.

They carried on, playing their hits, the singles from Tim Planet – Avenging Angels and Begin Again featuring early on. Avenging Angels is easily my favourite Space song, and it was the best song live.

Cerys Matthews made an appearance, of sorts, appearing on a screen in the background as they performed The Ballad Of Tom Jones.

As soon as they began playing their signature song Female OfThe Species, there was an outbreak of dancing on the floor, before finishing off with hits from Spiders such as Neighbourhood and You and Me vs The World.

It took a while to get going, but it wasn’t that bad a gig in the end.

I would have liked it if they’d played their cover of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, a standalone single from a car commercial in 1998.

Space weren’t in a mood to get out of this place, with Tommy Scott happily heading out to the floor to mingle with fans and pose for photos.

Photo Album