MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 23.5.1987

Keith Houchen and Dave Bennett of Coventry City are the cover stars as Match reviews the 1987 FA Cup Final. Both players, holding aloft the trophy, were the two Coventry players to score. The winner came via Gary Mabbutt own goal.

The headline “Coventry’s Extra Specials” makes reference to the fact the game went to extra-time, as well as one of Coventry’s biggest exports of the 1980s, the band The Specials.

That match at Wembley gets a double page report as you open the magazine.

Derby County get a double page spread as they have returned to England’s top flight for the first time since 1980, the club having fallen into decline, being relegated to Division Three in 1985, just ten years after being League Champions in 1985.

England are playing Scotland in the annual fixture, which gets a double page spread.

Scarborough have made history by becoming the first club to win promotion to the Football League, and they get a double page spread.

Also celebrating promotion in 1987 were Portsmouth, who get a double page spread, having narrowly missed out in 1985 and 1986.

It’s not just about promotion, Match also looks at players who helped their club avoid relegation – Paul Goddard of Newcastle and Dean Saunders of Oxford.

In foreign news, Trevor Francis scores a title winning goal in Italy, as his goal for Atalanta against Inter Milan wins the title for Napoli.

There is a full page profile of Torquay United and Tottenham Hotspur.

In news, Manchester United have started using a computerised fitness testing programme called Body Talk.

Also getting a full page profile are Everton having just won the league.

Scotland isn’t left out, with posters of cup winners St Mirren and champions Rangers.

Staying in Scotland, Celtic are planning a summer spending spree after agreeing a sponsorship deal with CR Smith.

Scottish striker Joe Jordan gets a profile, as he prepares to play for Bristol City in a second successive Freight Rover Trophy Final, against Mansfield Town.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 22.12.1984

It’s Christmas 1984, and Match gets in the festive mood, with a cartoon of Bryan Robson as Santa, and Kerry Dixon, Glenn Hoddle, Ian Rush and Mark Hateley as choirboys with their uniforms in their respective club kits, while Mo Johnston is a schoolboy meeting Santa.

A double page feature asks a series of stars what their ideal Christmas would be. John O’Neill of Leicester City’s ideal Christmas is Midnight Mass, take delivery of BMW 635, take Felicity Kendall out for a spin, then head to Switzerland for a holiday. Steve McMahon also wanted to be on holiday in Switzerland.

John Barnes would like a holiday to Jamaica for Christmas, while Kevin Ratcliffe wants a Snooker table.

One person who has want they want for Christmas is Trevor Francis. Based in Italy with Sampdoria, he was planning to take advantage of Italy’s mid season break to go back to England over the holiday period, and wanting to watch a Division One game on Boxing Day.

Peter Brackley, commentator with ITV’s ‘The Big Match’ is interviewed where he reveals he supports Brighton, and that former Albion player Mark Lawrenson is “The most complete player in the country”

He also won a talent competition at Butlins when he was younger for doing impersonations.

Match gives a double page spread to a recent FA Cup 2nd Round tie between Bristol City and Bristol Rovers, which Rovers won 3-1, in front of a crowd of 20,000 – more than double any FA Cup crowd that day.

In the middle of the magazine, you could get a centre page poster of Gordon Strachan.

Clive Allen gets a Q and A. Kenny Dalglish is his favourite Football League player, while Michel Platini is his favourite foriegn player, and includes David O’Leary and Mark Lawrenson in his British XI. He also dislikes smoking and bad drivers.

Ever wondered who Clive Allen’s favourite pop star is? Christopher Cross.

In League tables, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal were seperated at the top of Division One by two points. Liverpool were 8th, 9 points off the top.

Brian McClair of Celtic got a poster, his reward for being Nike’s man of the month. Interestingly, 1984-1985 was the first season and English club wore Nike. Sunderland, since you ask.

The foreign news feature reports that Giorgio Chinaglia is planning a comeback at the age of 38, while Steve Archibald is in goalscoring for for Barcelona, and Fortuna Dusseldorf have asked their players to take a wage cut.

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.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 25th JULY 1992

We are now in the summer of 1992 as Ray Houghton, soon to be sold to Aston Villa is the cover star of Match.

The page 3 star of this episode has long, flowing black hair …….. Darren Peacock.

Darren Peacock is being honoured as the player of the 1991/1992 season based on the average ratings in Match Facts with an average rating of 7.51 from 38 games.

Bizarrely, the clubs who finished in the Top Three that season (Leeds United, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday) didn’t have a player in the Top Ten.

A readers poll gives readers the chance to nominate their two centre-backs in England’s team for the 1994 World cup finals.

Options include : Des Walker, Mark Wright, Martin Keown, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Tony Adams, Paul Elliott, Chris Fairclough, Steve Sedgeley, Carlton Palmer, Keith Curle, Darren Peacock, Alan Kernaghan and Nicky Tanner.

Bit of a pity that England failed to qualify.

Incidentally, alan Kernaghan did get to play in the 1994 World Cup …….. for the Republic Of Ireland.

In rumours that look a bit silly now : Arsenal want to sign Geoff Thomas and Keith Curle, Chelsea want to do a swap deal with Manchester United for Andy Townsend, Everton want to sign Duncan Ferguson from Dundee United (well, they did, but from Rangers two years later)

In actual news, Bristol City sign unknown Arsenal forward Andrew Cole for £500,000. Two and a half years later, he is Britain’s most expensive footballer.