It’s Christmas 1991, and as bizarre covers go, this is up there, as Michaela Strachan is dressed as Cinderella, accompanied by John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones dressed as ugly sisters.
Let’s face it, if there was a role that suited John Fashanu and Vinnie Jones, it was that of panto villains.
The reason for this, was that Strachan was appearing in panto at a theatre in Wimbledon, so Shoot arranged for ‘The Fash’ and ‘Vinnie’ to do a photoshoot with her.
Strachan gets to the ball (a football, of course) after her feet fits into one of Fashanu’s football boots.
Modest as ever, Fashanu declares that he is good enough to play for reigning champions Arsenal, but that he wouldn’t be keen to play under George Graham’s style of management.
All you had to do to find more laughs, as Andy Townsend declares that he is good enough to play in Siere A. 18 months later, Townsend did leave Chelsea, but not for Italy ………….. to Aston Villa.
Townsend did make a valid point asking why so few British players are prepared to move to Mainland Europe, pointing out the struggles of Chris Waddle to get picked for England while playing for France.
The draw for the 1994 World Cup Qualifiers had just taken place, and Shoot covers this.
“England look to have been given a trouble free passage to the 1994 World Cup Finals” says the feature on England’s draw. Oh dear.
There is and end of year review, with a collage of all the front covers in 1991.
Stuart Pearce is subject of a player profile. The best ever Christmas present he received was a signed photo of the Marx Brothers. Something to bear in mind in case you’re buying a Christmas present in the future.
His ideal Christmas Number One was ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers (Brilliant song, not my favourite Stranglers song, but still a brilliant song)
If he had to meet one person, it would be Hugh Cornwell, to ask him why he left the band. After one meeting with Stuart Pearce, I would imagine Hugh Cornwell would be quickly rejoining The Stranglers.
There is an advert for the following week’s edition, which comes with a free wallchart for the 1991-1992 FA and Scottish Cups.
Meanwhile, it was announced that England and Portugal were the only applicants to host Euro 96. It was also announced that the deadline for bids was put back, seemingly to allow Holland and Austria to apply. A footnote to this story was that England were favourites to host Euro 96, which could be the first European Championship to have 16 teams.
As it turned out, England hosted Euro 96, while Holland (co-hosts), Portugal and Austria (co-hosts) all hosted the next three European Championships after that.