It’s 1986, and Tony Woodcock, in dispute with his club Arsenal, is the cover star of Shoot, as the 1985-1986 season reaches it’s final straight.
Bryan Robson, having just scored his 18th international goal at the age of 29, gives an interview where he declares that he wishes to break Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record for England (49, a record which stands to this day)
Robson fell short (by a bit) after retiring in 1991 with 26 goals.
He did acknowledge that Gary Lineker had a more realistic chance of being England’s all time top goalscorer. Lineker retired on 48 goals, just 1 short.
Trevor Brooking gets a double page spread to give his analysis of the five title challengers (Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and West Ham United) and predicts that Everton will win the title. Liverpool ended up winning the title.
The letters prediction page predicts that Derby County, then in the Third Division, could be back in the First Division within two years. This was based on ambitious signings by manager Arthur Cox, who had made a bid for Nottingham Forest striker Nigel Clough.
Derby were promoted to the top flight in 1987, and Nigel Clough did join the club ……… as manager in 2009.
Jim Leighton is the subject of a player profile, where he revealed that he supports Rangers, and worked in a Dole Office before becoming a footballer, and that his favourite bands are Queen and U2.
The countdown to the World Cup is on, and includes an interview with Rachid Harkouk, a Londoner of Algerian descent playing for Notts County, looking to break into Algeria’s squad.
Pat Jennings, nearing the end of his career, gets a page of tributes from former team-mates such as Pat Rice and Bill Nicholson.
Jennings ended his career later that year, playing his last game in June, on his 41st birthday against Brazil in the World Cup.
Talking of Northern Ireland, Ron Soldi from Wollongong writes to Jimmy Greaves to ask why Northern Ireland don’t include George Best.
Despite being 40 when the tournament starts, and not played a competitive match in 2 years (for Tobermore United), Jimmy Greaves agrees with the letter writer.
The big game of the weekend in Scotland, Celtic v Dundee United, gets a full page profile. Celtic won the league that season on Goal Difference, with Dundee United finishing third.
On the back cover, there is a poster of Norman Whiteside, Sammy McIlroy and Billy Hamilton celebrating a goal, with the headline ‘MEXICO MEN’, as the World Cup gets closer.