THE TWITTER LIST 2015

Hello and welcome to The Twitter List for 2015. It’s the 4th successive year i’ve done such a thing. The concept is simple, it’s a breakdown of people and organisations I think are worth following on Twitter, but from a Northern Ireland perspective.

Not everybody on the list is from Northern Ireland, or even reside there, but most do.

This list was ‘inspired’ by The Independent doing a Twitter List in 2012, but most of them were of no interest to me. Instead of waiting for a Northern Ireland version, I decided to do my own one. So here, is the list ……

LOCAL MUSIC

There are plenty of promoters involved in bringing concerts to Belfast. These include @davidhullpromo @magillpromoni @aei_2011 @rollinspromo @aikenpromotions @mcd_productions @noelmchale

Some of those work on an All Ireland basis, so are worth following if you fancy a road trip.

Of course, for actually buying CDs (yes, they exist) and DVDs, as well as instore events @headbelfast @hmvbelfast

For news and reviews @alcoholirony @chordblossom @acrosstheline

Belfast’s two big events are on Twitter. Expect their accounts to get busier over the coming months @tennentsvital @belsonicbelfast

Not a music festival, but it does feature some music, and talking about music, taking place in Bangor every September @aspectsfestival

In terms of journalists, there is of course, the legend that is @stu_bailie

Two concert venues worth following for news, and set times (so you can make you plans for that night) @odysseyarena @limelightni

If you enjoy live music, you might want to know where to get a ticket. You could always try @ticketmasterire

PHOTOGRAPHY

Many photographers use Twitter to showcase their work. The best of which isn’t with us any more, as it is an account set up by his relatives, keeping his work alive. @photosallan is a fascinating archive of Belfast photos from the 1970s onwards, of the work of press photographer Allan McCullough.

On a UK wide basis, @gettysport @stuart_photoafc @tomjenkinspix and @bluemcardle are worth following, especially if you like football.

If you love football photography, you should follow @homesoffootball

If you like your football photography to be of an Irish League variety, you should follow @cwood_95 and @darrangilpin

Press photographers worth folowing include @photomcq @kscott_04 and @snappercherry

Other photographers worth following include @emgornall and @azoraphoto

MARKETING/PR

Northern Ireland’s Marketing community is well represented on Twitter, with many organisations and people present on Twitter, often tweeting on behalf of their clients, including @rlagroup @dcpstrategicom @naked_pr @pmlgroupni @image_zoo @mcgilliemediapr @asg_pr @powerpeopleni @rumourmill_pr @grainnemcgarvey @jagocomms @acupoflee @hamillbosket @rnncomms @avbbrand @joannemcneill1 @thetomorrowlab @cipr_ni @ardmoreadv @informcomms @mammothbelfast @massivepr @chrislove1 @baxter_pr @mcenewsfeed @wearebluecuve @morrowcomms @freshwaterniroi @lkcomms @avbgroup @nlbothwell @aikenpr @lighthouseni @duffyrafferty @smartscomm @sineaddoyle @jprnewswire @cathy_martin @john_meg

For UK wide industry news, follow @marketinguk and @prweeknews

IRISH LEAGUE

Irish League football keeps growing and growing on Twitter. Journalists worth following include @garethhanna11 @ge_lurganmail (as the name suggests, works for the Lurgan Mail, obviously focusing on Glenavon) @mclarkeshow @egrantcameron @taggartjoel @liam_beckett @grahamluneybt @ourlogie @garethfullerton @markjmcintosh @laurejames @nialfoster @holtchris (and covering Yorkshire as a bonus)

Blogs and media outlets which cover Irish League football worth following include @sundaylifesport @nifootballdaily @bbcsportni @utvsport @thesocialclubni

Official accounts covering domestic football in Northern Ireland include @officialnifl @officialirishfa

If you like your news Linfield based an unofficial, follow @southstandsays and @linfield_fc

Official accounts of top flight clubs – @ballinamallard @ballymenaunited @cliftonvillefc @colerainefc @crusadersfc @dgnswifts @institute_fc @glenavon_fc @glentoran @officialblues @portadownfc @thepointfc

Challenging for promotion to the top flight – @ardsfc1900 @bangorfc @carrickrangers

Also worth following, working for Carrick Rangers – @bobocrfc

@vauxhallni is a account dedicated to the Narthern Ireland national team, run by their sponsors

PUBLIC SERVICES

Many Public Services in Northern Ireland are now on Twitter, and using it as a way of getting information to the public.

Government run Twitter accounts include @pressofficedrd @nidirect @niopressoffice @niexecutive

Other public body Twitter accounts worth following include @investni @consumercouncil @librariesni @hscboard @publichealthni

UK wide public accounts worth following include @ukcivilservice @guardianpublic

Police information (unmanned, so won’t reply if you tweet it) @psnibelfast

For travel and weather – @bbcnitravel @metofficeni

FUN

Twitter is mostly about fun, and there are plenty of accounts which bring you nothing but fun.

If you want to know about flags – @flagfacts

If you want to pitch TV ideas for shows starring footballers – @footballtvshows

Irish based satire – @whispersltd

UK based satire – @newsthump

A celebration of music artwork gone bad. Or good – @badalbumcovers

Remember, the customer is always right – @callprobs

Portraits of footballers, done on post-it notes @postitplayers

The adventures of Alan Curbishley trying to get another job in football management – @alansavailable

A guy called Jim who will paint anything you want. Anything. @jimllpaintit

A daily dose of Peep Show @peepshowqotd

A daily does of The Simpsons @simpsonsqotd

Internet comment boards. They attract the strangest people. @bestofthemail@mufc_facebook @rawk_meltdown

For the moments when life resembles Alan Partridge @accidentalp

Public Transport shenanigans @sleepycommuters @translinkpr

Seen a football shirt? Call @shirtspotter

For 90s nostalgia, follow @we_luv_the_90s

FOOTBALL

Each year, football gets bigger on Twitter, with more accounts to follow.

@groundtastic is the account of a magazine dedicated to football grounds, posting old pictures of football grounds from yesteryear

With qualification to Euro 2016 to be decided this year, @euroqualifiers is the official Twitter account of the competition.

@ronaldkoeman is rather entertaining, one of the few Premier League managers on Twitter, good for train and plane pictures going to and from matches.

If you want to know if there is a game on TV soon, follow @footieontv

For news, @skysportsnewshq is worth a follow.

Journalists worth following include @janineself @jacquioatley @samuelluckhurst @danielharris @marcwebber @brynlaw @stumathiesonmen @patmurphybbc @_manishbhasin @tim_vickery @robbopalmer @andymitten @dtguardian @blogdroed @sarahmufc93

If you like Spanish football, worth following is @english_as @ligabbva_eng @revistadelaliga

If you like old and retro football pictures @theskystrikers @scotsfootycards

Also worth following, is @footy40yearsago – tweeting football from 40 years ago, as live

Official governing bodies to follow @fifacom @uefaeuro

A club (Everton) PR person worth following is @efc_helenmayo

If you want to see football moments recreated in classic video game form – @8bitfootball

Bloggers worth following include @yicetor @unitedite @mirkobolesan @beardedgenius @seidodge

Going to London and want to see a game? @ldnfootyguide will give you the lowdown

A magazine account worth following, looking at the off-field issues of the game is @fcbusiness

The final is coming up soon, so you should probably follow @capitalone_cup

Another Twitter account of an English club competition that might interest you – @premierleague

Or possibly, @football_league

For latest news from League Of Ireland football, @sseairtricitylg

Official competition accounts of the two European club competitions @europaleague @championsleague

If you like to mock bad punditry – @howalanseesit @footballcliches

And if you want to complain about your team always being on last on Match Of The Day – @bbcmotd

For Man United related GIFs @beautifullyred

NORTHERN IRELAND MEDIA

Northern Ireland’s media is well represented on Twitter

Newspaper/Magazine accounts worth following include @beltel_business @irish_news @thesun_ni @nitravelnews @thesundaylife

TV news accounts to follow include @bbcnewsline @utvlivetonight @utvnews

TV continuity accounts to follow – @utvonair @@bbconeni

Journalists worth following include @skydavidblevins @alexkane221b @collettasmith @taramillstv @nevinfarrell @jolong03 @bigivanlitte @_chrisjones_ @sarahgirvin @markmcfadden @jamie_utv @kenreid_utv @citybeatsara @mlchealth @markdevenport @rblackbt @kimkellykk

@electionni covers election related news. It might get a bit busy this year.

If you enjoy random stories from the courts, your should follow @nevinfarrell

NATIONAL MEDIA

There are also media outlets and journalists outside Northern Ireland worth following.

Especially worth following, is @suttonnick for posting front and back pages from national newspapers late at night.

He is complimented by accounts looking at the media such as @ukpapers and @themediatweets

For TV news, follow @telegraph_tv and @radiotimes

Journalists worth following include @michaellcrick @chrisskuddersky @simon_price01 @eve_barlow @prodnose

JOBS

We all need one, and there are plenty of Twitter accounts to help you get or find one.

If you want to see the latest job listings in the UK Civil Service – @ukcsjobs

For advice on jobhunting – @guardiancareers @concisecv

Reruitment Agencies operating in Northern Ireland – @premiereni @corvus_jobs @brightwaterni @kennedyrec @diamondjobs @graftonrec @abacusjobs @lynnrecruitment

For jobs listings in Northern Ireland – @qubjobs @coolfmjobs @niwork @nijobfinder @recruitni @nijobscom

BELFAST

There are quite a few accounts worth following for events/news in Belfast.

@belfastbookfest is the official account of the Belfast Book Festival, unsurprisingly. It usually takes place in June.

Another event account worth following is @cqaf

@ulsterrugby for all the latest news from Ravenhill.

@culturenightbel is one of the highlights of the year in Belfast. It usually takes place in the middle Friday in September.

If you want to know what Belfast folk are Tweeting about, follow @trendsbelfast

@extramuralactiv is a good account to follow for Street Art/Murals in Belfast.

If you want to go to a show at the BBC, @bbcaudiencetix and @bbcnievents are the accounts to follow.

NI JOURNALISTS/WRITERS ABROAD

There are plenty of Northern Ireland journalists living and working far afield. Ones to follow are @nornironknight @sarahrainey4 @billneelynbc @skysportspaulg @skyorla @ianwoods @jenofcroths @kellyallen01

…….. AND FINALLY

I hope you enjoyed that, and discovered some new accounts worth following. It would be rude not to do some self promotion, you can follow me on @andrewastewart

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2014

So, my football watching is over for 2014. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 54

Goals Seen : 164

Red Cards : 17 (includes Rhys Marshall getting sent-off after the final whistle, but not Gary Hamilton being sent-off as a substitute before he entered the field)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 1 (Robin Van Persie, Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Teams Seen : 37

Accrington Stanley (1st time), AIK Solna (1st time), Ards, B36 Torshavn, Ballinamallard United, Ballyclare Comrades (1st time), Ballymena United, Bangor, Bray Wanderers (1st time), Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Cowdenbeath (1st time), Crusaders, Drogheda United, Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Exeter City (1st time), Faroe Islands, Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders, Heart Of Midlothian, Hibernian, Hull City (1st time), Institute, Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Olympiacos (1st time), Peterborough United (1st time), Portadown, Real Madrid, Sevilla (1st time), Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town,

Stadiums Visited : 19

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Cardiff City Stadium (1st time), Carlisle Grounds (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Crown Ground (1st time), Drumahoe (1st time), Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tynecastle, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park

Competitions : 15

County Antrim Shield, European Championship, European Cup, European Super Cup (1st time), FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Football League Two (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, Irish League Championship, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Championship (1st time), Steel and Sons Cup, UEFA Cup

Curiousities :

No real curiosities this year. There were two twins on opposing sides, but i’d already seen it. Other than that, a player setting up a goal with no boots. It was a poor year for curiousities.

UEFA 100 Club : Everton, Sevilla (now at 32 clubs)

FOOTBALL IN 2015

Another year of football watching is over, and it’s all about looking forward to 2015. But what, realistically, are my hopes for 2015?

Well, these are my football watching hopes for 2015.

LINFIELD

Well, stating the obvious, I obviously want Linfield to win the Irish League and the Irish Cup.

This season’s Irish Cup draw has already given a treat in the form of an away game against Tobermore United – another new ground to visit.

In terms of pre-season, it’s the usual wishlist of Dundela, PSNI or Stranraer away. Seeing as we invited Cowdenbeath over for a friendly in the summer of 2014, would it be too much to ask for them to return the favour in the summer of 2015?

In terms of promotion, i’m hoping Carrick Rangers go up as i’ve never been there. So again, a new ground to visit. If there is to be another team promoted, hopefully it will be Ards or Bangor, with an away game early in the season on a sunny day.

Of course, there is also the ongoing redevelopment work at Windsor Park. It is expected for this to be completed by November.

Obviously, i’d be getting use of the South Stand, but hopefully, i’ll get an opportunity to sit in the Railway Stand just to see what it’s like. I’m guessing it might have to be used for a Linfield match before it is passed for a Northern Ireland match, in the same way Wembley had to stage an underage international with a restricted attendance before being allowed to host full events.

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Obviously, i’m hoping for Linfield to be in the European Cup, but i’m hoping that the other Irish League sides get fallen giants who are part of the 101 Club, that I can tick off my list.

The closest an Irish League side got in 2014 was when Crusaders got duffed by a Swedish team who went on to play Torino.

Seeing as Glenavon are best mates with PSV Eindhoven, if they want to invite them over for a friendly, that would be great.

MANCHESTER UNITED

I’m hoping to get to Old Trafford before the end of the season. I’ve nothing booked yet, but i’m eyeing either Tottenham in March or Arsenal in May.

Hopefully, there’s be European Cup football returning in September 2015. I might be tempted to a there and back group game. Just have to wait until the 2015-2016 fixture list comes out.

NORTHERN IRELAND

I’m planning to be at four Northern Ireland games in 2015 – the home games against Finland, Romania, Hungary and Greece. I bought a Block Booking for the first time ever for this campaign. The downside is, i’m going to go to hell for attending the Finland game, which is on a Sunday night.

Tempted by the Scotland friendly in March. Haven’t booked anything yet, but a quick there and back for an away friendly is very tempting.

EURO 2016

Whatever the fate of Northern Ireland’s qualification campaign, i’m planning to be in France in the summer of 2016. The reason i’m posting it with reference to 2015 is, the flights will probably go on sale in August/September 2015, and i’m planning to be straight in with my booking. The plan is to go out for the first four days of the tournament and be based in Paris, with two games there, one in Lille (one hour away) and Lens (one hour away)

BIRMINGHAM

Toying with the idea of heading to Birmingham in September for the Rugby World Cup, as Australia and South Africa play on successive days at Villa Park. If I was to do this, i’d be planning to try and take in a football match taking place in the city (if feasible) at either Birmingham City or Walsall. Nothing definite in this idea though.

BARCELONA

Going to Barcelona for a weekend in February. Espanyol are at home to Valencia that weekend, so i’m hoping to take in that match. I’m also looking at lower league sides in the area to try and catch more than one game. The most likely bet is CE Europa, who play in Spain’s 4th tier. Frustratingly, Barcelona B (in Spain’s second tier) are away that weekend, to Real Zaragoza, a 101 Club member.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND

I don’t plan to go to a League Of Ireland game every year, but there’s usually something that takes me to Dublin, so I end up taking in a game. If I do end up taking in a game in Dublin, hopefully, it will be UCD, as the Bellefield Bowl is the only football ground in Dublin I haven’t been to.

SCOTLAND

As well as the previously mentioned international i’m tempted by, i’m planning to head to Edinburgh in August for the festival. Obviously, there’ll be Hibs and Hearts, but i’m hoping they’ll be at home on a Sunday, leaving the Saturday free to see Spartans or Edinburgh City, hopefully by now promoted to League Two (4th tier)

Of the two, Edinburgh City look the most likely. The downside is, they play at an athletics stadium.

MOROCCO

One place i’m definitely not visiting in 2015 is Morocco. I was tempted as they were the host of the 2015 African Cup Of Nations. It turned out I made the right decision by not making plans, as they were stripped of hosting rights, which were given to Equatorial Guinea, which is a bit harder to get to.

2014 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October was mostly spent at Windsor Park, with four Linfield matches and a Northern Ireland match. There was other stuff too.

The first Saturday of the month saw me see Linfield take on Ballymena United at Windsor Park. As the month wore on, the frequent visits to Windsor Park allowed me the chance to document the ongoing redevelopment, from the still unfamiliar surroundings of the North Stand.

The following Saturday, it was Windsor Park again, but for an international between Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands. Unlike club games, I was in The Kop. This view allowed me to get some final photos of the South Stand at Windsor Park, as it entered it’s final days before complete demolition.

Two days after Northern Ireland’s win, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Institute, which kicked-off late due to a power failure at the ground.

The next day, I went to see George Ezra in concert, at Winds ….. I jest, The Limelight.

Back to Windsor Park on the final two Saurdays of the month, to see Linfield take on Crusaders and Cliftonville, with some Street Art on North Street (missed out from Culture Night, the previous month) and Duke Of York

Linfield v Ballymena United

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands Photo Album

Linfield v Institute

George Ezra Live At The Limelight

George Ezra Live At The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

North Street Art Extra/Duke Of York

North Street Art Extra/Duke Of York Photo Album

Linfield v Crusaders

PHOTO OF THE SEASON 2013-2014

So, another football season is over, time to look back. It’s taken in four countries and various stadiums, teams and levels. There was a lot of pictures, so here are my favourites. Feel free to vote for yours :

FUGLAFJORDUR

Taken just after the final whistle of Linfield’s match with Fuglafjordur as fans applauded, the composition and framing just works for me which is why I love the photo.

SKODA

Taken before Linfield’s match with Skoda Xanthi, again, the composition and the light works for me, as supporters walk to The Kop, ready for the 90 (well, in this match, it was 120) minutes that await.

JEFFREY

Like the other two, it’s all about the composition, as David Jeffrey observes the action during a pre-season match against Derriaghy CC

RICHMOND

Taken during my trip to Dublin, I took in a St Patrick’s Athletic game. The colours just make this photo for me, as is the fact you came see a rainbow over the stadium.

CAMERAS

Taken during the Northern Ireland v Portugal match, the two cameras, focused on the action in sync does it for me, alongside the composition of the players, so small in comparison with their surroundings.

BRISBANE ROAD

I’m a sucker for arty pics of football stadiums. I took this during a trip to London, when I took in a match at Leyton Orient.

THE OVAL

Linfield fans looking on, under the floodlights, as their side has a free-kick against Glentoran at The Oval.

ROONEY

Manchester United fans looking on as Wayne Rooney prepares to take a free-kick against Olympiacos.

SEAVIEW

Linfield fans looking one at a match at Seaview. Seaview is always good for photos.

BLUE

Arty one, take of seats in the South Stand at Linfield’s last game at Windsor Park before redevelopment, which the South Stand will be one of the main areas getting redeveloped.

CLARKE

Taken on the last day of the league season, love the composition, especially of the two players, one with the ball, and one trying to win the ball back,

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2013-2014

Barring something amazing, my matchgoing 2013-2014 season is over, time for a statistical analysis.

There were no curiousities to report. Went to some games, saw some goals, visited some new grounds. Standard stuff.

Matches Attended : 47

Goals Seen : 139

Red Cards : 23

Hat-Tricks : 2

Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)
Robin Van Persie (Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 2

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Ards, Glenavon 2-5 Linfield)

Countries Seen Matches In : 4

England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 31

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Crusaders, Crystal Palace (1st time) Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Peterborough United (1st time) Portadown, Portugal, Russia (1st time) Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 18

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park,

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – SEPTEMBER

September began for me with the World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal. Everything looked set for a Northern Ireland win, until Ronaldo turned on his magic, aided by playing against nine men.

The next day, it was back to Irish League action, as I made my first visit to Dixon Park, to see Linfield take on Ards.

The following weekend, I was Old Trafford bound. A trip with a difference, as it was my first visit with David Moyes as United manager, for the game against Crystal Palace.

There was much hype in the build-up about a Belgian on the bench about to make his first appearance for United at Old Trafford. Little did we know, it would be another Belgian on the bench that day we would be falling in love with over the season.

Seven days later, I was on my travels again, to Fermanagh, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard, getting some nice shots on a sunny day, and watching Linfield win.

To end the month, it was back to Windsor Park for the first time in three weeks, to see Linfield take on Coleraine, which was won by Linfield with an injury time goal.

The sunny days might have been ending, but the football season was in full swing. Time to look forward to the Winter months.

Northern Ireland v Portugal

Northern Ireland v Portugal Photo Album

Ards v Linfield

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Photo Album

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Linfield v Coleraine

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

August was when the season properly started. For me, it included matches in three different countries.

My first match of the month was at Richmond Park, to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Drogheda United. I was in Dublin that weekend, so thought i’d take in a game.

My original choice was Bray Wanderers v Boehmians, but they moved it from the original date, and I wasn’t able to go to it.

The match at Richmond Park, was the same score as my previous visit in 2010 ………. 0-0. I should probably be banned from attending matches there.

The following weekend, it was Shamrock Park, to see Linfield and Portadown draw 1-1. The Irish League season, was finally up and running.

Three days later, was a match that should have been played the previous season, the re-arranged World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Russia.

That weekend, I was in Edinburgh, primarily for the festival, but I always like to take in a game while i’m there.

The SPL Fixture Computer gave me Easter Road for a second successive year, the visitors this time being Dundee United.

My final match of the month saw bottom placed Linfield take on Glentoran, in a 0-0 draw. That is not how I imagined August would end.

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Russia

Northern Ireland v Russia Photo Album

Hibernian v Dundee United

Hibernian v Dundee United Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 14.7.1979

Match action from England’s recent visit to Sweden is the cover of Shoot, as they try to fill in the gap durign the pre-season of 1979.

In news, Brian Clough has drawn praise from pundits in the Soviet Union after Nottingham Forest’s European Cup win, and Northern Ireland have announced a tour of Australia for the summer of 1980.

Pierce O’Leary of Shamrock Rovers was linked with a move to Coventry City, potentially, the first League Of Ireland player to move to an English club for a six figure fee. Staying in Dublin, Pele was a surprise visitor to Dublin for the friendly between Republic of Ireland and Argentina.

Distillery were facing expulsion from the Irish League if they couldn’t have a new ground by the start of the 1980-1981 season.

And finally, Coventry City became the first Football League team to visit the Faroe Islands, beating a local team 6-0.

The volume of British players in the US meant the NASL got a page of coverage, the lead story being that George Best had went missing for a week.

Gordon McQueen, writing a column, expresses his concern that the games between England and Scotland could be banned due to crowd violence, expressing his anger at a Scottish fan who invaded the pitch with his side 1-0 up, causing a delay. England went on to win the game 3-1.

McQueen also spoke about an 18 year old called Diego Maradona, who faced Scotland and was described by McQueen as “Another Pele in the making”, but was disappointed at the lack of TV coverage of the game, due to a dispute with the BBC.

In letters, a Shrewsbury Town fan complains about the lack of acknowledgement given to boss Graham Turner for his success at the club. A reader from Perth wrote in to complain about the BBC being biased towards Rangers.

A young manager starting out in the game is 32 year old Howard Kendall, and his appointment at Blackburn Rovers gets 2/3 of a page coverage.

RC Strasbourg get a full page profile, with a team poster on the other side.

To fill up space with no football, we get a full page of footballers on holiday, including a picture of Phil Neal throwing Phil Thompson into a swimming pool.

Part 8 of Shoot’s review of the 1978-1979 season reveals that Barcelona want Bobby Robson to be their manager. It only took 17 years for them to get him.

Derek Johnstone’s Scottish football column is accompanied by a picture of him playing video games with his wife.

Wigan Athletic, having just completed their first season as a league club, feature in an article asking if they will “Do a Wimbledon” – Wimbledon (promoted to the Football League in 1977) got promoted in their second season.

Wigan did indeed “Do a Wimbledon” in terms that they reached the top flight (in 27 years compared to Wimbledon’s 9) and won the FA Cup (took them 35 years compared to Wimbledon’s 11)

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 18.4.1981

John Wark, in action with Nottingham Forest’s Stuart Gray, is the cover star of Shoot, previewing cup Semi-Finals in both England and Scotland, as title chasing Ipswich Town face Manchester City at Villa Park.

The editorial, calls for a change in the structure of English football, claiming there are too many games (there were 42 games in England’s top flight that season) as the national team is struggling as a result of players being too tired.

Shoot previews both FA Cup Semi-Finals, making the bold prediction that the final will be Wolves v Ipswich. The final, was Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City. They also predict that it would be an Old Firm Scottish Cup Final. They were half right, as it was Rangers v Dundee United.

Andy Gray has a column in this edition, focusing on Scotland’s recent World Cup Qualifier against Northern Ireland (which finished 1-1), complaining about the defending for Northern Ireland’s goal, and stating that Scotland were confident of getting a good result in the return game in Belfast (It finished 0-0)

He states that Scotland were happy with two wins and two draws, but had expected the two wins to be at home rather than away.

He also previews the FA Cup Semi-Finals, unsurprisingly predicting his Wolves team would beat Spurs, and that Ipswich would beat Man City. He’s got a future in the punditry game, that boy.

In news, Arsenal are battling with Inter Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Hamburg for Michel Platini, set to leave St Etienne at the end of the season, and TV Commentator Martin Tyler has a book about the history of the FA Cup Final ahead of this year’s game, the 100th FA Cup Final.

For just £1.60 plus P and P, you could have a framed portrait of the 1981 Aston Villa team. To be fair, they did win the league that season.

There is a double page poster of all four FA Cup Quarter-Finals, and the goals which decided them.

Derek Johnstone and Danny McGrain take it in turns to do a Scottish football column for Shoot, and it was Johnstone’s turn, hoping for an Old Firm Scottish Cup Final, so that Rangers could get the chance to avenge their defeat to Celtic in the 1980 final.

There is then a double page poster of the Home Nations (England in a friendly v Spain, Scotland v Northern Ireland and Turkey v Wales World Cup Qualfiers) and Republic of Ireland (v Belgium) internationals. Shoot describes Wales as “The best placed Home Nation to reach the finals”

As it turned out, Wales were the only home nation not to reach the 1982 World Cup finals.

Rotheram United, battling for promotion to the Second Division, get a full page profile, focusing on the success of their young manager, Ian Porterfield, with a team poster overleaf.

After 14 years without the league title, there wasn’t much cheer for Manchester United supporters in 1981, but they did win one trophy that year …….. Shoot’s Best Programme of all England’s top flight clubs.

In 1981, a copy of United Review cost 20p, had 24 pages and only 1 page of adverts.

Meanwhile, Shoot does a feature on promising youngsters at West Bromwich Albion dubbed “Atkinson’s Angels” featuring Remi Moses and Bryan Robson. Within six months, Robson, Moses and Atkinson would all have left Albion for Manchester United.

On the back page, there is a profile of Brighton star Steve Foster, pictured with trademark headband, where he reveals his favourite singers are Paul McCartney, George Benson and Dennis Waterman.