Santa Claus of North Pole United in the cover star of Shoot, as the first Christmas of the 1980s approaches.

Except, that it’s not Santa Claus, it’s a footballer dressed up as him. All will be revealed on page 2.

Out mystery Santa is someone who enjoys dressing up in red and white, Tony Woodcock of Arsenal.

Shoot gets in the Christmas spirit by suggesting presents for various football personalities, with a razor for bearded Aston Villa player Dennis Mortimer, while Watford chairman Elton John is suggested a piano with a TV screen so that he can watch Watford matches while he is on tour. I’m not sure that has actually been invented. I might just try and copyright that.

Shoot reviews the first-half of the English league season, with Liverpool and Aston Villa level on points at the top, with Liverpool looking to become the first team since the 1930s to win 3 titles in a row, while Aston Villa are looking for their first title in 71 years.

Eamonn McCabe, Sports Photographer Of The Year, gets a double page spread showing his favourite photos from 1980, while there is a competition to win a camera.

Ray Clemence uses his column to look back at the year, with the high of Liverpool winning the league and a low of England’s group exit at the European Championship.

There is a double page photo collage of Wales and England’s recent World Cup Qualifiers, with the headline “Spain – Here We Come”.

Wales didn’t make it to Spain, and England just about qualified.

Liverpool’s reserve team gets a full page feature, asking four of their players – Ian Rush, Howard Gayle, Steve Ogrizovic and Richard Money – what it’s like to play for Liverpool’s reserves.

Liverpool’s title rivals Aston Villa are featured on the next page, looking at their “Dunfermline connection”, as two players from the Fife town, Allan Evans and Ken McNaught, playing their part in Villa’s title bid.

In news, Graham Gooch is training with West Ham to keep himself fit during Cricket’s off-season.

Shoot does a feature on “Forgotten Heroes”, the players who are struggling to get first team action in 1980.

Dundee get a team poster while Phil Neal gets a player profile. His favourite music is Michael Jackson, Gerry Rafferty and ELO.

There is a joint interview with Peter McCloy (Rangers) and Pat Bonner (Celtic) about what it’s like to play in goal for an Old Firm team.

Staying in Scotland, Gordon McQueen uses his column to look back at 1980, and reveals that a clairvoyant that a great 1981 has been predicted for him.

Aston Villa travel to Brighton over Christmas, and John Gregory of Brighton, a former Villa player, tells Shoot that the club deserves success.

In South America, Uruguay were hosting a tournament to celebrate 50 years since the first World Cup, involving all former winners. England declined the option as it would have involved postponing league games over Christmas. Meanwhile, Shoot does a joint interview with Diego Maradona and Alfredo Di Stefano.

Clive Allen uses his column to state that he is looking forward to Crystal Palace’s trip to Southampton, mainly for the opportunity to meet Kevin Keegan.

John Chiedozie of Leyton Orient is profiled, with his manager describing his as “England’s best winger”

Unfortunately for Ron Greenwood, he was already declared himself for Nigeria.

Andy Gray writes in his column about how injuries have benefitted Wolves, as it has presented first-team opportunities to some of their promising youngsters.

Manchester United get featured, with Shoot focusing on the fanaticism of their fans, suggesting that girls born in Manchester are likely to be called Louise (after Lou Macari) or Samantha (after Sammy McIlroy)

Shoot does a double page spread on players they predict to be “England’s Superstars Of The 1980s”, listing players such as Craig Johnston, Gary Shaw, Steve McMahon, Remi Moses, Sammy Lee, Gary Mabbutt, Peter Beardsley and Adrian Heath to make an impact in the upcoming decade.

There is a photo compilation of the biggest footballing moments of 1980, while there is a calendar for 1981.

With 18 months to go, the countdown to the 1982 World Cup is already underway, with Spanish clubs spending a combined £50m modernising their stadiums to host games, with Shoot giving a club by club breakdown.

Peter Shilton uses his column to champion Terry Butcher’s cause for a place in the England team, and reveals he’s always been a fan of Tottenham due to the way they played football in the 60s.

Derek Johnston’s column recalls Andy Cameron’s stand-up routine at the Player Of The Year Awards where he made fun of players of every club, including his beloved Rangers.

There is also a feature on managers such as Dave Sexton, Brian Clough, Ron Saunders and Lawrie McMenemy who have all went on to bigger things despite experiencing the sack early in their career.



Allan Hunter and Mick Mills of Ipswich Town, dressed in their respective national kits, are the cover stars of this edition of Shoot. That can only mean one thing, England are playing Northern Ireland. It’s not a Home International game, but on a continent wide scale, a European Championsip Qualifier at Windsor Park.

Mills and Hunter get a joint interview in Shoot’s preview.

Shoot do a feature on soldiers in Belfast who’ll be guarding the England team.

The feature reveals that, despite a lot of them being football fanatics, they’re not allowed to attend Irish League games when in civilian clothes due to security fears.

As well as England and Northern Ireland, there are also previews of Republic Of Ireland, Wales and Scotland’s European Championship Qualifiers.

Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson expressed his frustration at a League Cup defeat away to Arbroath. Fortunately for them, a comfortable first leg win saw them go through.

As well as winning the European Cup on the field, Nottingham Forest were celebrating after being voted European Team Of The Year by France Football magazine.

Wolves get a profile by Shoot, with the headline “Wolves Are Biting Again”, and so it briefly proved, as they won the League Cup that season. The rest of the decade wasn’t as good for Wolves.

In Northern Ireland, Portadown defender Herbie Pearson fears his career could be over, while QPR saw off competition from Manchester United and Everton to sign Northern Ireland Schoolboy international Alan McDonald, while Bobby Carlisle has signed for Newry Town, who have ambitions of joining Northern Ireland’s top flight.

Gordon McQueen uses his column to describe Scotland’s European Championship Qualifier against Austria as “Win or bust”

The draw for the 1982 World Cup is coming up soon, and Shoot previews this and how it will be decided, as this is the first 24 team World Cup. Shoot writes that there is a possibility of two UK teams being paired together, and so it proved, when Scotland and Northern Ireland were paired in the same group.

In ads, Phil Neal is advertising Gola.

Derek Johnstone uses his column to deny he had a punch-up with Scotland manager Ally McLeod.

Meanwhile, teenage defender Tommy Caton is juggling playing for Manchester City with his studies. He is interviewed by Shoot and says he is yet to face his biggest footballing examination, a match against Joe Jordan.


Match action from England’s recent visit to Sweden is the cover of Shoot, as they try to fill in the gap during 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)