MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : VOX – NOVEMBER 1994

Dolores O’Riodan is the cover star as Vox celebrates it’s 50th edition.

The main features, however, were of Blur and REM. Guitarist Peter Buck comments “I Shudder to think that I might be playing in stadiums when i’m 51, like the Stones”

When Peter Buck was 51 (2007), REM were still doing stadium gigs.

This month saw the launch of a column where musicians guest review singles. The honour of the very first one went to Andy Cairns, frontman of Therapy?

To celebrate the 50th edition, Vox asked 90s popstars for their review of the 90s so far, and what they thought would be on the cover of Vox in 2000 (Vox was actually wound up before then)

Noel Gallagher’s 2000 front cover is “OASIS – WHERE ARE THEY NOW?” – the answer would be, releasing their 4th album, while his hopes for the rest of the 90s would be for a second Stone Roses album, Man City to win a trophy and The Verve to do a gig on the moon.

Only one of those events happened, and it was the most far fetched suggestion, Stone Roses releasing a second album.

The Grid, a side project of Soft Cell’s David Ball list Bryan Adams being number one as the worst global event of the 90s, while suggesting that Oasis will be on the cover of Vox in 2000, as “We’ll all be having a 90s revival by then”

Nicky Wire’s Vox cover reply is “Hopefully Vox won’t exist by then” – His hope was correct.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : 90 MINUTES – 20th AUGUST 1994

This edition of The Magazine Archive focuses on the short lived weekly magazine ’90 Minutes’

Owned by IPC, who own Shoot and World Soccer, it did seem strange that they would add a third publication to their repotoire.

Ryan Giggs adorns the cover with the main feature not of him, but of how winning the double isn’t enough for Manchester United.

The editor’s note comes courtesy of the magazine’s editor Paul Hawksbee, who now presents an afternoon show on Talksport.

The lead story that week was Billy Bonds shock departure as West Ham United manager on the eve of the new season starting.

The topical cartoon in the news section is frankly disturbing.

Aston Villa had just signed John Fashanu, who was combining his football career with presenting Gladiators. In the cartoon, Fashanu is in manager Ron Atkinson’s office, when Atkinson asks him for a favour, which turns out to be Ron Atkinson becoming a Gladiator.

In other news, Nottingham Forest manager Frank Clark has urged star striker Stan Collymore to “Settle down and find the love of a good woman”

I’m not going to make a comment on that.

With or without the love of a good woman, Collymore was Britain’s most expensive footballer 12 months later after a £8.5m transfer to Liverpool.

The much hypes article on Manchester United explains that United’s share price rises when they win and falls when they lose. Hardly earthshattering revelations.

Meanwhile, ’90 Minutes Live’ is an opinion piece where fans are interviewed on an issue outside a ground.

Supporters were interviewed outside Ibrox prior to a pre-season tournament involving Rangers, Sampdoria, Manchester United and Newcastle United about a possible British Super League.

Jamie McDonald, a 15 year old Celtic supporter helpfully informs us “I don’t like English football or English people – or Scottish people”

Match Of The Day, celebrting it’s 30th birthday that week, gets a double page spread in it’s honour looking back at it’s illustrious history.

With the Premier League season about to start, 90 Minutes predicted the league places for the season ahead.

They said Arsenal would be Champions, how wrong they were.

It did turn out to be an eventful season for Arsenal, with Paul Merson revealing drug addiction, George Graham being sacked for taking a bung, and on the pitch, they reached the European Cup Winners Cup final.

Eventual champions Blackburn Rovers were predicted to finish 4th.

Aston Villa were predicted to finish 6th and spent most of the season battling against relegation, while Nottingham Forest were predicted to finish 12th, but ended up 3rd.

They were spot on with the prediction of Ipswich Town to finish 22nd, which they did, including a 9-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

In their foreign round-up, David Ginola featured prominently, unhappy that the PSG board vetoed a move to AC Milan. A year later, he ended up at Newcastle United. Tough break.

Towards the end is possibly the worst competition prize ever, as you can Richard Keys Sky Sports jacket, which aaccompanies a piece where the former TV-AM presenter is given a makeover.

If you can remember Sky’s coverage of the early years of the Premier League, it was clear he needed one.

ONE WEEKEND IN 1994

At the end of last year, there wasn’t very much to do in Belfast, mainly due to “The Water Crisis”, and being unable to get washed enough to leave the house.

So, I sat in front of the TV, channelhopping. Something that caught my was ESPN Classic’s series “30 For 30”, of 30 original sports movies.

One of the movies I most enjoyed was one titled “17th June 1994

It was a simple concept, an edited looked at the chronological happenings of that date, a rather dramatic day in US sporting history, as OJ Simpson was chased by police looking to question him in relation to his wife’s murder, the opening match of the 1994 World Cup, as well as other dramatic happenings in the major US sports.

But it is another sporting weekend that year, which sticks in my mind, the 17th anniversary of it happens this weekend, even down to the days being the same.

On Saturday 30th April 1994, I was an 11 year old, looking forward to my last two months at primary school, going to a football match at Windsor Park, between Linfield and Glentoran.

Of course, being so young, going to a football match was a bit of a luxury not being able to drive, so I had to rely on older relatives to take me.

It all really dependent on what was happening and more often than not, there was always something else on, meaning I was unable to be taken.

But when Linfield play Glentoran, it is such a special fixture, that I would always get taken to it, no matter what else was on.

As well as bragging rights, the Gibson Cup was up for grabs in this game as Linfield started the day 3rd, level on points but behind on goal difference behind Portadown (1st) and Glenavon (2nd), who just happened to be playing each other that day.

In Lurgan, there was a winner takes all clash, but with a twist. A lot of games at the end of the season often get billed as “winner takes all”, but realistically, a draw will suit one of the two teams.

Not on this occasion, as a draw could allow Linfield to sneak in and claim the title.

I remember Richard Keys speaking on Sky’s “Football Years” series bemoaning the fact that Sky Sports have never had a last day title showdown like Anfield 1989 to broadcast. In truth, he wishes Sky had a last day title showdown like Mourneview/Windsor 1994.

My and my older brother arrived at Windsor Park, with not a cloud in the sky, a beautiful sunny day, perfect for a game of football.

Bizarrely, one of the things I can remember vividly, is that there was an ice mint company having a promotional push outside Windsor Park prior to kick-off, giving out free samples.

For whatever reason, the product they were handing out never went into public distribution.

There was a danger, we might not get in due to overcrowding, as the RUC told us when we were queuing up to get in. The female colleague of the officer relaying the information to us did helpfully point out that there was plenty of room in the North Stand.

She have have been incredibly stupid, but at least she was polite, which is what neighbourhood policing is all about.

Eventually, we got in, and headed for the terracing in The Kop.

The first-half, was non eventful, and the score from Lurgan didn’t help the atmosphere as Glenavon raced into an almost surely uncatchable 2-0 lead.

Eventually, Linfield went into a 2-0 lead, but it didn’t matter, as Glenavon still led 2-0. Suddenly, Portadown pulled it back to 2-2.

This was the magic score, the result that would give Linfield the title. A goal for Portadown or Glenavon would give them the title. What we needed was for nothing to happen for the rest of the game.

1994 was primitive in terms of communication technology. If this scenario happened today, supporters could keep up to date with the other game on their mobile internet, possibly on Twitter, following Glenavon or Portadown’s accounts, and hitting refresh every 5 seconds, in the hope that there would be a tweet saying “Full-Time, Glenavon 2-2 Portadown”

Against an awful Glentoran team, 2-0 was going to be enough, the game was over. The only match that mattered now was the one in Lurgan.

Anyone who had a radio, was now surrounded by people, eager for news of no news from Lurgan.

People who had a portable radio with speakers were the most popular, but even people listening through their headphones had people around them shouting “What’s happening” at various inter4vals.

The thing with words is, they can only tell part of a story, but you need to see the story to believe it.

As anyone who has listened to a football match can testify, when the commentator says a player crosses the half-way line, you start to fear the worst that a goal is seconds away. That’s just the way football fans are.

Eventually, the final whistle blew at Mourneview Park, it finished 2-2, and Linfield were Champions.

A week later, they beat Bangor 2-0 to win the Irish Cup.

In their infinite wisdom, the IFA decided to take the Gibson Cup to Mourneview Park. It was the only trophy they had, so Linfield fans had to wait for the trophy to arrive at Windsor Park.

The wait was too long for my brother, as I had to back home before my mum and dad started to worry. No mobile phones in them days that my brother could have just called them to say we were being late.

To give an impression of what it was like in The Kop that day, this picture, by Stuart Roy Clarke should give you just an inkling.

The following day, me and a friend went to a local park to play football, with his dad standing on the touchline, keeping us to date with the happenings at Portman Road, as Ipswich Town faced Manchester United in a Premier League game.

But suddenly, he came towards us, not with football news, but news that Ayrton Senna was dead. He’d been killed in a crash at the San Marino Grand Prix.

We’d refused to believe it at first, for two reasons. The first, was that Senna felt immortal to us.

The second, was that on the Friday, i’d come home from school and saw on Teletext news that Roland Ratzenberger had been killed in practice. Surely two drivers couldn’t be killed in the same race weekend.

But it was true. The game was abandoned there and then, and we headed back to his house to wait for the BBC News (Neither of us had Sky News)

For the record, United won 2-1 at Portman Road, meaning Blackburn had to beat Coventry in the Monday night game to keep the title race alive.

On the Bank Holiday Monday, i’d went to Newcastle with my parents, and I remember listening to the car radio, urging Coventry to win.

They did, 2-1, and United were champions for a second successive season.

Two title wins, one of them the most dramatic in British football history, and the death of a World Champion.

The Bank Holiday Weekend of April/May 1994 turned out to be one of the most dramatic series of sporting events from my youth.