You know there’s a major tournament when there are football themed adverts on our TV screens.

These adverts usually feature Geoff Hurst, living off something he did 46 years ago. I’m yet to see a football cash-in advert featuring Martin Peters. He scored in the 1966 World Cup Final too you know.

The most high profile one is for Mars, featuring a scenario where England face Holland in a penalty shoot-out.

In it, England’s goalkeeper gets injured, and a supporter lives the dream, coming in to take his place and be a hero, but it raises a few questions and points that need answering.


If a goalkeeper gets injured, they can’t bring on a substitute. What happens now is that an outfield player would have to go into nets.


It may be dreamlike for a supporter to come in from the stand to play, but sadly, the rules of foootball deny it. Only players named in the matchday squad can play. Unless of course, he was named in England’s squad, but was moonlighting as a paramedic, which is not beyond reason.


Our hero jumps on the pitch wearing an England top and jeans. Sadly, FIFA do not allow the wearing of jeans in a professional football match. They may allow tights and under armour, but jeans are strictly forbidden.

Also, he is wearing a watch. This is not allowed under FIFA’s rules, like ear-rings, on health and safety grounds.


Holland’s goalkeeper is in the penalty are when their players take each penalty. He should be outside the box when a penalty is being taken. The referee should have ensured this was the case.

He has the power to have the kick retaken, but technically, this would be rewarding Holland for their foul play.


Only three players are seen celebrating with the goalkeeper. Where is the rest of the team?

I’m guessing they are refusing to celebrate with him in protest at his behaviour.


We only see Holland not scoring their penalties, yet don’t see any England penalties.

Are we to assume that they scored all of theirs and win 3-0?


Come on now …….. that’s just far fetched.


It was during an episode of Outnumbered last week, which i’ve recently become addicted to which started this nostalgiafest.

It was a scene when Pete challenges Jake to a game of Subbuteo, to which Jake just looks confused. Poor Jake, he never got to experience the joy of Subbuteo.

It was Christmas 1991, perhaps the greatest Christmas of all. That year, I got my first football top (Man United Adidas) , went to my first football match (Glentoran v Linfield at The Oval) and I got my first ever Subbuteo kit.

I got a pitch, but not just any old pitch, an Astropitch, which didn’t need to be ironed before a match. It came with the goalposts and ball, but not just that, a scoreboard.

From then, my mum used to check charity shops for bits and bobs, be it teams of equipment, such as a stand. Yes, I had a stand.

Mind you, this stand only had about 20 people in it. Neither my mum or dad would buy me the boxes of people (Yes, supporters were sold as accessories) required to fill it, so I had to pretend that all my Subbuteo matches were being played at The Oval.

Of course, a football stadium with only one stand looks a bit silly, so I used empty boxes to pretend that they were stands being built, as was quite common at the time as Premier League grounds were being made all seater as a result of the Taylor Report and in preparation for Euro 96.

I had various teams including Manchester United (91/92 home, 92/93 home and away), Norwich City (92/93 home), Aston Villa, Juventus, Feyenoord, West Germany, Holland, Scotland, England, Italy, Soviet Union and Wales.

There was one tragic incident when I accidentally stood on three Aston Villa players. Thankfully, quick thinking and a supply of blutac meant that they were able to resume their table football careers.

When we were playing, we could multiteam, if there were sides with similar colours. For example, Wales v Italy would become Portadown v Linfield, and so forth.

It is, of course a trivia question, but there is a UK Top 10 single which references Subbuteo in it’s lyrics. Just the one mind.

The answer of course, is ‘My Perfect Cousin’ by The Undertones. The artwork to the single is based upon this reference, where a Subbuteo player wearing a red and white striped shirt, the colours of The Undertones hometown club Derry City, with the band’s name on a pitchside advert while the crowd holds up a banner bearing the name of the song.

Of course, if there was a band doing a similar song today, it would probably go “He always beats me at Pro Evo, as he had a cheat code and I didn’t know”

They don’t know what they are missing out on.


With the news breaking tonight of the death of Henry Cooper, naturally, it would have been rude not to check out his Brut advertising campaign with Kevin Keegan on Youtube.

Amongst one of the related videos, is a series of adverts from the early 1980s for Atari game consoles fronted by Morecambe and Wise.

Until tonight, I didn’t know such a thing existed. As a graduate in Marketing and a fan of Morecambe and Wise, I am just loving this video collection.

I don’t know why, but I love adverts from the past. So simple, in terms of shooting and just get straight to the point.

Not only that, I especially love it when ads from the past get revisited as part of current campaigns, such as Coca Cola reviving their “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” advert.

So, lovers of Morecambe and Wise, and early 80s advertising sit back and enjoy an ad campaign that has more or less been ripped off almost 30 years later.


The second in a series of old magazines looks at Shoot from 10th August 1991, building up to the start of the 1991-1992 season.

They didn’t know it at the time, but English football was about to change forever, the seeds of this change would be found in the magazine.

The cover star is Dean Saunders, who recently joined Liverpool from Derby County for a (meagre by today’s standards) British record £2.9m in a joint transfer with Mark Wright, who cost £2.3m

Saunders was signed by new Liverpool manager Graeme Souness with the aim of helping Liverpool win the league title for the first time since 1990, a phrase which has been used every summer since then, but didn’t sound so bad in 1991.

The previous most expensive footballer in Britain was Gary Pallister at £2.3m, but the record changed hands on an annual basis between 1991 and 1996 with Alan Shearer, Roy Keane, Duncan Ferguson, Chris Sutton, Andy Cole and Stan Collymore all holding the record, before Alan Shearer once again broke the record with his £15m transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United in 1996.

Pages 4 and 5 had a preview of the forthcoming season in English football’s top two divisions (I’m guessing Divisions Three and Four were done the week previously, as well as Scotland) in a race horsing them, rather randomly.

They predicted that defending champions Arsenal would retain their trophy (They finished a distant 4th).

They did correctly predict that Manchester United would finish runners-up.

To their credit, they did predict that Leeds United, who won the league that season would be “In with a shout”

Of the three clubs who were promoted from Division Two, they predicted that Blackburn Rovers (No Kenny Dalglish or Jack Walker at the club at this point) and Middlesbrough would reach the play-offs but eventual champions Ipswich Town were “One paced to say the least”

An article on the following page titled “Soccer in The Dock” looks at a High Court appeal by the Football League against the FA’s plans to launch a breakaway Premier League in 1992.

As everybody knows, this breakaway league was launched in August 1992, and England is now home to the “Greatest League In The World” …….. albiet, a pop band from Sheffield.

Page 8 has a page dedicated to all the new transfers which had happened in the previous week (with a picture of Mark Wright in friendly action against Dundalk)

With two players out (including David Platt) and five players in (including Kevin Richardson, Ugo Ehiogu and Les Sealey), Aston Villa were the most active club in the transfer market, and this was featured in a double page spread later in the magazine, focusing on Villa, about to enter their first season under new manager Ron “Big Ron” Atkinson, just nine years after being European Champions.

In his second season at the club, Atkinson led Villa to 2nd in the inagural season of the Premier League, but did win the League Cup in his third season.

Atkinson didn’t get a fourth season, having found out why Doug Ellis was known as “Deadly Doug” in November 1994, just six months after the League Cup win at Wembley, Villa’s first trophy since winning the 1982 European Cup.

A youngish and relatively unknown Neil Warnock gets a double page spread, as he prepared for his first season as a top-flight manager, having led Notts County to promotion via the play-offs at Wembley.

In terms of bizarre adverts, Sondico deserve an award for getting Bryan Robson, Gary Lineker and Ian Rush to dress up as mafioso to pormote shinguards. As you do.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur took out a double page advert aimed at promoting their latest range of merchandise, including various “FA Cup Winners 1991” T-shirts.

Steve Bould appears in an advert endorsing Arrow boots with the headline “A BOULD DECISION”

In 1991, all the cool kids at school wore Steve Bould boots, except for me and my pair of Jeff Spiers Specials.

In house advertising for the following week’s publication focused on Team Tabs.

If you don’t know what Team Tabs are, you’ve never lived.

Basically, they were tabs representing each team in the top four divisions in England and top two in Scotland (No Irish League ones though, and the League Of Wales was yet to be formed) that you placed in their league position through a specially cut hole.

I was actually a reader of Match in my youth, and would have only ever bought Shoot whenever there was something free.

I would have usually bought it during the summer for Team Tabs, but after getting the clubs into their places on the first Saturday of the season, i’d usually just give up, mainly due to the thought of doing it every Saturday teatime for the next nine months.


Football lovers on Twitter will have noticed in recent weeks, a new account by the name of RetroMBM.

It’s to launch a new football website showcasing videos from “The good ole days”, from the writers of the excellent ‘Joy Of Six‘ on The Guardian website.

I love Youtube, and what I love most is viewing old stuff, such as videos to songs i’ve only ever heard but never seen the video to, news reports of major events in the past, random idents and football matches from yesteryear.

Seeing as this site is setting up, thought i’d share some of my favourite old football videos currently on Youtube, in no specific order.

Trailer for the BBC’s coverage of the 1986 World Cup. They went to a lot of effort building a set which sort of looks like Mexico and hiring Mexican-looking actors to star in it.

ITV’s coverage of the 1982 World Cup, presented by Brian Moore with comedy from Eric Morecambe. In 2010, it was presented by Adrian Chiles with comedy (If you can call it that) from James Corden.

What the fuck went wrong with ITV in the intervening 28 years?

(You may notice Eamonn Holmes in the clip. Didn’t he look like Dimitar Berbatov when he was younger?)

A mundane friendly game from 1998, but worth watching simply for Brian Clough not taking too kindly to Nick Owen correcting him for calling Gary Pallister “McAllister”.

Now, if only someone could write a comedy show about a TV presenter and model it on Nick Owen, possibly presenting a graveyard show on Radio Norwich?

(Also, ever watch a live match from Eastern Europe these days wishing it was in the middle of the afternoon as the ground had no floodlights and with poor sound quality on the commentary? Ain’t modern technological advances shit?)

Amazing Luton Town kit, watch the reaction of the crowd behind the goal when the ball goes in.

Geekgasm alert, amazing ident. One word – GOOOOOALLLLLLACCCCHHHIIOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Robson makming Diego Maradona look like a little boy. This is why the big European nights at Old Trafford are great occasions.

THIS, is what the new Match of the Day opening credits should have looked like.

English football allowed off UEFA’s naughty step.

UK TV World Cup coverage opening credits. Bet you can remember most of them too. It’s amazing the evolution of them too.

What’s wrong with cutting together a few clips of teams involved in the tournament?

Football advertising in a more innocent age.



West Germany v Holland, Italia 90

Italia 90 ITV End Montage

Oh Pavarotti

Oh ITV4, why won’t you repeat ‘The Big Match’ anymore?

Oh David Icke

Cup Final Build-Up 1983

Cloughie, The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Oh ITV, why can’t you do football coverage like this anymore?





As well as the Railway Stand at Windsor Park, the Irish League is going to be losing another familiar sight at one of it’s grounds, as today’s Sunday Life reports that the (in)famous ‘Jesus’ sign at The Oval is to be removed.

I actually remember when it was erected back in 1995 and the jokes that were made about it, ironically in BB.

I don’t know why it was put up, thought i’m guessing it’s because East Belfast is a godless hellhole.

This photo, was taken in April 2007 before a meeting of Linfield and Glentoran, as Linfield fans wait in anticipation pre kick-off.

It was a handy meeting point too when at The Oval.

I’d arranged to meet a friend there once. He phoned me to ask where, I replied under the ‘S’. He then phoned me to ask under which ‘S’ in ‘JESUS’ I should meet him under.

Bizarrely, this isn’t the only religious themed advertising at an Irish League ground, as Glenavon had one last year stating that “Life without Jesus makes no sense”, possibly in the same way that a life supporting Glenavon makes no sense.

This photo was taken in the aftermath of the 2009 League Cup Final between Portadown and Newry City.

Current redevelopment work at Mourneview Park means the billboard is no longer there.

Talking of Portadown, they too have religious advertising at their ground.

Say what you like, it’s certainly a whole world away from the generic, multinationals that reside pitchside at English Premier League grounds.


You probably already know as i’ve done a very poor job of denying it, that I am a geek.

One of my geeky activities is that I love watching old videos on Youtube. Total random bollocks, but an insight into a bygone age of television.

So, I just thought i’d share with you, some of my favourite adverts from days of yore currently on Youtube.

We begin, with a Public Service Announcement based on one of my favourite TV shows of all-time as Batgirl complains to Batman about her rights in the workplace while rescuing the Dynamic Duo from a ticking bomb.

Typical woman, eh?

Always picking to most inappropriate moment to jabber on.

You can see the moment when Batman is inwardly saying to himself for her to shut the fuck up and and just deactivate the bomb.

Anyway, she’s a vigilante crimefighter, she doesn’t do it for money, so she should stop complaining. Gotta love Robin’s “Holies”, with “Breaking and entering”, “Act of congress” and “discountent” to add to his various observations during the TV show.

You may have noticed a lack of Adam West in the video, as he was too busy serving the people of Quohog.

Meanwhile, Invest NI forerunner IDB decided it would be a good idea to launch a marketing campaign urging people to work harder, which must be a bit of a bummer when relaxing at home watching TV, only to see an advert telling you to work harder.

Getting in on the public service advertising act, the RUC brought out an advertising campaign asking people to snitch on criminals.

I remember when this ad came out, and it scared the shite clean out of me.

Everytime, I hear ‘Cats In The Cradle’, either by Harry Chapin, Ugly Kid Joe or Jason Downs, all I can think of is this ad, which I suppose shows how successful it was.

Meanwhile, footballers have always been a favourite for ad men to front campaigns as Jimmy Hill demonstrates when educating the nation on road safety.

So cyclists and motorbikers had better be careful on the road, or else their untimely demise will be analysed by Jimmy Hill, as if he’s discussing wether Aston Villa’s second goal was offside on Match of the Day.

Other examples of footballers chasing the ad men’s cash include Brian Clough advertising Shredded Wheat and Saint and Greavsie advertising KFC. That’s Kentucky Fried Chicken, not Kilmarnock Football Club.

Footballers are such money grabbing whores, that they are prepared to appear in adverts before they become a footballer.

One day Jimmy, all those keepy-ups will help you become captain of West Ham United.

As a side note, isn’t “There’s nothing quite like a McDonalds” better than “Ba da ba ba ba, i’m loving it”?

Talking of celebrities appearing in adverts before they were famous, bet Billie Piper wishes she could get the lend of a Sonic Screwdriver and remove this from the nation’s consciousness

And yes, I bought that edition and love the ‘Ultimate Spice Girls Kit’

Talking of the Spice Girls, Remember their Channel Five launch?

I could just imagine the scenes in the recording studio as they try to brainstorm inspiration to write a song about a fifth terrestrial television channel.

It’s just a pity that they didn’t wait a year until 5ive were a big act in the charts. They would have been a more appropriate act to launch the channel.

Anyone who has ever seen the Mitchell and Webb parody of Sky’s football coverage will love this simpler ‘less is more’ advert for the 1986 World Cup. Certainly not as epic as their trailer for the 2008 Olympics

In 1989, Gerry Kelly voiced an advert for a UTV version of the apprentice offering young entrepreneurs a chance in starting up in business.

It’s a different world these days. If a young entrepreneur wants help setting up a business, they just shag the wife of their local MP.

Meanwhile, someone at Austin Rover though it would be a good idea to have an advertising campaign fronted by Noel Edmonds and Derek Trotter.

I don’t know why Austin Rover would want their product associated with a shifty looking, dodgy, untrustworthy wideboy …………… such as Noel Edmonds.

So, i’ll finish with this trailer for ‘Life On Mars’, where the past meets the present in a piece of TV genius