MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 29.5.1999

David May, David Beckham, Teddy Sheringham, and the FA Cup are the cover stars of Match, as Manchester United have just won the double, a third in six years, but there’s more to come.

Unfortunately, printing deadlines mean that only a preview, rather than a review, of the European Cup Final against Bayern Munich can appear in the magazine.

In the news section, there’s a random story of a West Ham celebrity fan having a kickabout at West Ham’s training group with Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand ……. Tamzin Outhwaite from Eastenders.

Meanwhile, Alan Thompson predicts big things for Aston Villa in 1999-2000, despite their 1998-1999 title challenge falling apart after Christmas. They finished 6th in 2000, like in 1999, but did reach the FA Cup Final.

Peter Beagrie, having just helped Bradford into the Premier League, is interviewed for a feature called “My First …..” where he reveals his first concert was Diana Ross at the NEC in Birmingham, his first film was Jaws, and his first kit was QPR.

The FA Cup Final, where Manchester United beat Newcastle United 2-0, gets a five page round-up, mostly pictures, with quotes, with a page dedicated to a mimute by minute report of the game.

The rest of the magazine is dubbed “Champions Special”, dedicated to teams that have won their league. First up, is Rangers, and a double page interview with Andrei Kanchelskis ahead of the Scottish Cup Final between Rangers and Celtic.

Meanwhile, Sunderland (Division One) Fulham (Division Two) Brentford (Division Three) and Cheltenham (Conference) all get full page reviews of their title winning seasons.

Meanwhile, there is a five page preview of the European Cup Final, focusing on an interview with Ryan Giggs, while Yorke and Cole get a joint interview as well.

Bayern Munich get a full page, written by Steffan Effenberg, listing five reasons why they would win, that they were underdogs, well prepared, good at penalties, under no pressure, and most importantly, United had Roy Keane missing.

It was a bit laughable of Bayern Munich to pretend they were underdogs considering they actually won their group (though both games were draws) ahead of United.

There is a centre page poster for the game, where fans can fill in blank spaces with the team line-ups and goalscorers.

Manchester’s other team, City, also had a big match that week, as they headed to Wembley for the Division Two Play-Off Final, and Match does a double page interview with Nicky Weaver.

But it’s not all about Champions, as Dennis Bergkamp looks back at Arsenal’s season, where they missed out on the title by a point.

Gareth Southgate is interviewed about Aston Villa’s New Year collapse (They were top of the league at Christmas) and heaps praise on youngsters in their team such as Gareth Barry, Lee Hendrie and Darius Vassell.

In the letters page, a West Bromwich Albion fan worries that his side might lose top goalscorer Lee Hughes. He left for Coventry in a big money move in 2001, before returning to Albion, before being sacked by the club after being sentence to prison for causing death by dangerous driving.

In other letters, a young Wigan Athletic fan suggests that the town’s football team are in the process of becoming more high profile than it’s rugby team.

This week, is also one of the very first weeks where you contribute to Match’s letters page via e-mail. Modern technology.

Meanwhile, you could do a quiz on Aston Villa right-back Steve Watson, if you wanted.

Talking of quizzes, Karl-Heinz Reidle took on Gianfranco Zola in a football quiz, with Zola winning 9 (out of 10) to 8.

It was Karl-Heinz Reidle’s inability to answer who got promoted from Division Three that cost him.

FOOTBALL IN 2014

So, Thursday afternoon will see me attend my last football match of 2013. Once that is over, i’ll be looking back at the year, looking at the stats, and oddities witnessed, and choosing my Top 5 games been to.

But this blog, isn’t about looking back, it’s about looking forward. So here, are my football wishes for 2014.

Obviously, I want United and Linfield to win as many trophies as possible, and Northern Ireland to make a winning start to their Euro 2016 campaign.

But what else will I wish for in 2014?

LINFIELD

Getting way too far ahead of myself, having a pre-season wishlist of Stranraer away. Would also love an away game against Dundela, haven’t been there for a while.

I’d love to visit the recently redeveloped Clandeboye Park for a Linfield game. Hopefully an Irish Cup Quarter-Final, a pre-season friendly, or Ards avoiding relegation and Linfield visiting in 2014-2015.

Bangor, unfortunately, haven’t applied for a Premiership licence. Of the clubs who can get promoted, I hope either Carrick Rangers and Institute go up, preferrably Carrick.

An early match to look forward to in 2014 is Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint on January 4th. Always love visiting new grounds.

Talking of new(ish) grounds, i’m looking forward to seeing the results of the Windsor Park Redevelopment. I’m hoping this blog will become a photo diary for the Redevelopment process.

EDINBURGH

Every August I go to Edinburgh, primarily for the festival, but I like to catch a football match when i’m over. The last two years have taken me to Easter Road, so i’m guessing i’m due a trip to Tynecastle.

I get the feeling it’s an absolute cert that it’ll be Hearts v Rangers on the weekend i’m there, meaning trying to get a ticket will be difficult.

Even if the fixture list sends me to Easter Road, i’m hoping to visit Tynecastle to get a look at the plaque, unveiled earlier this year, dedicated to the Hearts players who died in World War I.

When i’m in Edinburgh, i’m hoping that this will be the year I go and see The Spartans, hopefully by then they’ll be in SFL3.

CARDIFF

Undecided about this one as yet, but i’m tempted to visit Cardiff in August for the European Super Cup Final, regardless of who is in it, hoping to pick up a ticket when i’m over.

As well as visiting a new ground, it would be my first visit to Cardiff since the Wales v Northern Ireland World Cup Qualifier in 2004. It was such a great trip. Wish I had a camera in order to have taken some photos of it.

While i’m there (the match is on a Friday night) i’m tempted to go to Bristol on the Saturday to do the Street Art Tour, then go and see whichever of City or Rovers is at home that day.

MANCHESTER UNITED

As far as the rest of the 2013-2014 season is concerned, i’m hoping to get over to Old Trafford for another game this season (I’ve already been to the Crystal Palace game in September)

Hoping to go the Olympiakos game in March. Haven’t confirmed anything yet, but hoping I can get sorted to go to this game in the coming weeks.

NORTHERN IRELAND

The first big event for Northern Ireland in 2014 will come off the pitch, with the Euro 2016 draw. I’m actually hoping to go to Euro 2016, regardless if Northern Ireland qualify, basing myself in Paris and hopefully visiting Lens and/or Lille.

Anyway, here’s my hopes for the draw. I’d love us to draw England, but with the game at Wembley to be in March 2015. I’ve already been to New Wembley, but i’d love to go there for a Northern Ireland match.

I’d love us to drawn in the same group as Gibraltar, and to play them at home in the first game of the group.

It would be Gibraltar’s first competitive international, and it would be nice to go to a historic game.

As a bonus, would it be too much to ask for the August international date to be used for a friendly against Scotland at Easter Road?

LONDON

Heading to London for a short break in February, and hoping to take in a game while i’m there. Of the games taking place that weekend, Leyton Orient v Peterborough on the Saturday looks the most tempting, though Brentford v Crawley Town is my back-up game.

Spurs are at home to Everton on the Sunday and tempted by that. Had a look for tickets online last night and they are 58 quid. Not sure if adding Everton to my UEFA 100 Club is worth that. Think I might stick with Leyton Orient.

When I was looking forward to 2012, I didn’t imagine i’d be watching Northern Ireland playing in Amsterdam.

When I was looking forward to 2013, I didn’t imagine i’d be going to a Scottish Cup Semi-Final.

In life, like in football, you never know what’s going to happen next. Here’s to more football watching in 2014. Hopefully, I might enjoy some of it.