August began for me at Wilgar Park, seeing Linfield take on Dundela in a Friendly.

The following night, was another Pre-Season Friendly, as I was on the road to see Manchester United take on Sampdoria at Lansdowne Road.

That weekend, I was travelling some more, heading to Edinburgh for a weekend away, getting some Street Art photos and taking in Edinburgh City v Montrose.

When I returned home, I was out getting some Street Art photos, the aftermath of Hit The East Festival in Eats Belfast.

The following weekend, the Irish League season started, with Linfield taking on Carrick Rangers at Windsor Park, followed by a midweek trip to Ards and a trip to Dungannon Swifts.

As soon as the final whistle blew at Stangmore Park, I was straight back to Belfast to see Amy MacDonald perform at Custom House Square.

A few days later, I was back at Custom House Square to see Blossoms warm up for Kasabian, or so I thought, as Kasabian pulled out at the last minute.

A few days after that, I was back at Custom House Square, to see Ocean Colour Scene in concert.

The following day, I headed to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballymena United.

My photo adventures for August ended by getting snaps of murals of Jimmy Cricket, Jimmy Nesbitt, Jimmy Young and Carl Cox.

Dundela v Linfield

Manchester United v Sampdoria

Manchester United v Sampdoria Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Edinburgh Street Art Photo Album

Edinburgh City v Montrose

Edinburgh City v Montrose Photo Album

East Belfast Street Art

East Belfast Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Ards v Linfield

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Amy MacDonald live at Custom House Square

Amy MacDonald live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Blossoms live at Custom House Square

Blossoms live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square

Ocean Colour Scene live at Custom House Square Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

The Three Jimmys and Carl Cox

The Three Jimmys Photo Album

Carl Cox Photo Album



A few weeks back, I headed to my first United match of the season, a nice novelty of not having too far to do so, a (relatively) short bus journey to Dublin.

This was my third visit to Lansdowne Road since it was redeveloped. My last one was the 2011 UEFA Cup Final, and my trip had two tenuous United links. I walked past Mike Phelan (in his official club suit) outside the ground, and the winning goal was scored by Radamel Falcao. Whatever happened to him?

It also meant that I would be getting to see some football in Dublin in 2017, five days later than I hoped. Oh, have I got a story for you.

The weekend before, I headed to Dublin for an overnight stay on the Friday, see some Street Art, walkabout and see some football.

The football match I planned to take in was UCD v Cabinteely. I went on UCD’s website and knew to get on the number 11 bus, which was 5 minutes away for about 20 minutes.

So, I got on the number 11 bus, and the Driver confirmed this was going to UCD.

However, when I got off, I discovered I was at DCU, a university, not a football ground. It turns out I had got on the bus in the wrong direction.

It was 7.15pm and I had no hope of reaching the 7.45pm, but there was still some footballing hope as Shamrock Rovers v Bohs kicked-off at 8pm.

I got a bus back to the City Centre and hopped on the Luas.

At 8.15pm and 4 or 5 stops away from Tallaght, I decided to admit defeat and head back to Dublin City Centre.

For future reference, i’ll just get a taxi or ask the Bus Driver five times to make sure he is absolutely sure the bus is going in the right direction.

This match represented an opportunity for me to tick Sampdoria off my 102 Club List.

For me, Sampdoria will always be Vialli, Lombardo, Vierchowod, Pagliuca, Gullit, and the iconic red, white and black stripes across that blue shirt. The current team aren’t quite in the same vintage.

The first save of the game came from David De Gea on his own goal line. From a misplaced Daley Blind backpass. It was very Phil Jones.

Sampdoria were awarded an indirect free-kick for the save, which was blocked, United went on the counter attack and Henrykh Mkhitaryan headed home from a Matteo Darmian cross.

It was one of many instances where Darmian found space out on the left hand side.

Mkhitaryan almost got a second headed goal but he was denied by Sampdoria’s keeper.

Romelu Lukaku fired just wide as he endured a frustrating evening. Thankfully, the goals have started to come in time for competitive games against Real Madrid and West Ham.

The second-half was dominated by substitutions as Antonio Valencia was the only United player to complete 90 minutes.

Ander Herrera had a goal disallowed before Sampdoria equalised when a poor clearance fell to Dennis Praet on the edge of the box.

One of those substitutes introduced, Anthony Martial, was the United player making things happen, and it was no surprise that he was involved in United’s winner, setting up Juan Mata to fire home.

Ander Herrera then tried to emulate Paul Scholes goal against Bradford as United searched for a 3rd goal that would secure the win. They didn’t need it as they were comfortable and in control at 2-1.

The match saw Nemanja Matic make his United debut in a ground he will be playing in for Serbia next month in an eventful week where he signed for United and then celebrated his birthday.

He was everywhere. When Sampdoria passed the ball forward, he was usually intercepting it.

I’ve got two trips to Old Trafford planned in 2017-2018, Bournemouth in December and Watford in May.

Hopefully, when I go to see them, United will be in a position where they have built on an encouraging pre-season, especially when I see them face Watford in May 2018.

Photo Album


Glenn Hoddle is the main cover star of Shoot, alongside a British player abroad, Graeme Souness, and a British player with aspirations of playing abroad, Luther Blissett.

As you open the magazine, there is a double page feature on Gordon Cowans, who has ambitions of going to Mexico. Not to play in the Mexican League, but the 1986 World Cup. His feature had the headline “Memo to Bobby Robson, save a World Cup place for Gordon Cowans”

He didn’t go to Mexico.

Having just rejoined Watford for AC Milan, Luther Blissett has stated that he wants to play abroad again. Before Watford fans paniced, he clarified that it was European competition for the Vicarage Road side that he was wanting to play abroad.

Staying with Watford, manager Graham Taylor had put a £2m fee on Maurice Johnston, who has handed in a transfer request.

In Scotland, Hibs and George Best were in trouble with the SFA after Best played for Hibs in Jackie McNamara’s Testimonial, but was unregistered.

Craig Johnston had missed the start of the season for Liverpool in order to be with his wife and soon to born child, his wife having insisted that the child be born in Australia.

Manchester United’s three new signings Jesper Olsen, Gordon Strachan and Alan Brazil are part of a centre page poster, as United look to win the league for the first time since 1967.

As you turn the page, there is a double page feature on Strachan, where he reveals he supports Hibs, and turned down the chance to sign for United in 1971, having already given his word to Dundee.

Staying in Scotland, new Rangers signing Cammy Fraser was introduced to life at Ibrox by manager Jock Wallace ordering to shave off his moustache.

Peter Shreeves, new manager of Tottenham Hotspur, gets a double page spread, insisting he isn’t afraid of the challenge of succeeding Keith Burkinshaw.

Shoot uses star signs to try and predict the future for footballers such as Neville Southall, Kenny Sansom, Glenn Hoddle and Andy Gray.

QPR get a full page feature, with Ian Stewart giving the lowdown on the club.

In news, Mark McGhee begins his career at Hamburg with a suspension, having been sent-off in a pre-season friendly.

Jimmy Greaves received a letter in support of a Great Britain football team. Greaves replies that he agrees with the idea, but that football shouldn’t be in the Olympics.

The highlight of this edition comes in the form of a double page photo of Trevor Francis and Graeme Souness enjoying their new life in Italy, at Sampdoria, out on a boat trip together, all oiled up and dressed in nothing but Speedos. It is an image that cannot be unseen.

Wilf Rostron of Watford tells Shoot who his favourite wingers are : Pat Nevin, John Barnes and Mark Chamberlain.

Ian Rush uses his column to declare that England can be successful by learning from Liverpool, and that Graeme Souness is better than Michel Platini, and will show it in Serie A.

Beside Rush’s column, is a full page report on the recent Charity Shield, where Everton beat Liverpool 2-0, with the headline “Revenge!”, after Liverpool had beaten Everton in the previous season’s League Cup Final.

Bryan Robson uses his column to praise attackers that have recently been on the move – Joe Jordan of Southampton and the Spurs duo of Clive Allen and John Chiedozie.

Charlie Nicholas is prominent towards the end of this issue, telling Shoot he is happy at Arsenal, then appearing in an advert for Nike alongside Glenn Hoddle and Ian Rush.


It’s the mid 90s, and Italian football can be found on Channel 4 on a Sunday afternoon. Such is the popularity, that it now has it’s own magazine. Gianfranco Zola of Parma is the main cover star, as Football Italia visits him at home.

Fabrizio Ravanelli and Alessandro Del Piero get a three page feature, described as “Juve’s Twins”, having formed a striking partnership as Juventus aim for a treble of Coppa Italia, Serie A and UEFA Cup.

Such as been Ravanelli’s form, he became the first Italian player to score five goals in a European club game, having done so against CSKA Moscow earlier that season.

“He’s a real star” says Ravanelli of his strike partner, adding “He’ll be leading Juve into the next century”

He was right, Del Piero was at Juventus, staying at the club until twelve years into the next century.

Such was the norm in the 90s was AC Milan picking up a trophy. Their latest one was the European Super Cup, won after a 2-0 aggregate win over Arsenal. This gets a double page spread.

There is a double page spread looking at the run-in to the season, and it’s all about two clubs, Juventus and Parma, aiming to win a treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.

It would end 2-1 to Juventus with Juve claiming both domestic trophies (beating Parma in the Coppa Italia final) while Parma won the UEFA Cup (beating Juventus in the final)

As Football Italia was published every three months, there was a four page look back at what had happened since the last edition was published.

Japanese clubs were rumoured to be trying to tempt Roberto Baggio away from Juventus, while Faustino Asprill was in trouble in his native Colombia after firing off a gun in public to celebrate the festivities. Another player in trouble was Walter Zenga, who has been given a driving ban for speeding.

Inter Milan are lining up a £20m double bid for Eric Cantona and Paul Ince, despite Cantona being in trouble in England for kung-fu kicking a Crystal Palace fan.

Milan’s match against Genoa is abandoned when news emerged of a Genoa fan being stabbed to death by a Milan fan. The following weekend’s games were postponed as a mark of respect.

Sampdoria manager Sven Goran Eriksson’s future is in doubt, with former Samp player Trevor Francis, in charge at Sheffield Wednesday, being linked with a return to the club as manager.

Anglo-Italian relations that month saw a Endsleigh League XI take on a Serie B select in Bari, with the English side winning 3-2.

Juventus want to sign Mario Basler while Parma have cooled their interest in Luis Figo of Sporting Lisbon.

Paul Gascoigne hopes to return from injury in April, sporting a new slim look after giving up beer.

And in more English-Italian relations, Bobby Robson sees his European Cup Winners Cup hopes dashed after FC Porto’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Sampdoria, managed by future England manager Sven Goran Eriksson. To keep up the theme, David Platt was sent-off in extra-time.

All three European competitions get a round-up, with Italian clubs in the semi-final stage of all three.

Guiseppe Bergomi gets a five page spread profiling him, now the only player from Italy’s 1982 World Cup winning squad still playing.

Alen Boksic and Julio Dely Valdes also get profiles.

In big transfer news, Paul Elliott signs for Channel 4 as a pundit, having played for Pisa in the 1980s.

Channel 4’s pundits are asked for their predictions, with Liam Brady and Joe Jordan tipping Parma, whith Graeme Souness, Ray Wilkins and Done Howe predicting Juventus.

When asked who the next British player to go to Italy will be, Brady goes with Matt Le Tissier, How suggests Alan Shearer or Stan Collymore. Souness also goes for Alan Shearer while Joe Jordan suggests Ryan Giggs. Ray Wilkins says none, that the gravy train was over.

None of those players suggested played in Serie A.

There are three pages looking at foreign players in Serie A, looking at the lack of German players.

Talking of foreigners in Serie A, the two English players playing in the league, David Platt and Paul Gascoigne get a full page profile.

Daniele Massaro gets a treble page profile, as he is now a key player in Milan’s team as his 34th birthday approaches.

In further Anglo-Italian news, the Anglo-Italian Cup gets a three page review of this season’s competition, won by Notts County, beating Ascoli in the final at Wembley.


Ipswich Town, promoted to England’s top flight for the first time since 1986, are the cover stars of Shoot, having made a good start to the season.

Lee Sharpe, hoping for a return to form after missing most of 91/92 through injury, is the subject of a Q and A, mostly covering his absence from the first team, stating that he wished to be ready for action in November.

Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup of Barcelona is advertising Patrick boots. The small print states that his brother Brian also wears Patrick boots.

After a disappointing Euro 92, Shoot assembles an expert panel to decide what England’s first choice team should be. This panel featured : Jimmy Greaves, Geoff Hurst. Kenny Sansom, Trevor Brooking. And John Fashanu.

Due to a printing error, a picture of Rob Jones appeared where Ian Wright should have been in their line-up

Turning over, Ian Wright appears in a double paged advert for Nike, with him on the right, and the left being taken up by red test saying ‘GARY WHO?’, a reference to Gary Lineker’s departure from English football.

Meanwhile, for most of Europe (some countries who failed to qualify for Euro 92, including Wales and Northern Ireland, began during the 91/92 season), the qualification campaign for the 1994 was about to start, and Shoot combines England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland games into a double page spread.

Flags, are not their strong point. Northern Ireland have the St Patrick’s Saltire, Latvia have a Soviet Latvia flag (outdated since 1990), Wales have no Dragon in their flag, and Faroe Islands have a Czechoslovia (also in the group, but played under the name of RCS during 1993) flag next to them.

England were playing Spain that week, in an international friendly, their World Cup campaign not starting until October 1992.

Ominously, England’s preview begins with a quote from Doug Ellis warning Graham Taylor that the next two years were going to be tough for him.

The reason for this was due to the number of games played by top flight English clubs, but that they were hoping to reduce the Premier League to 20 clubs within three years (The Premier League was reduced to 20 clubs for the 95/96 season)

Ellis said that Taylor’s ambition was for England’s top flight to be 18 clubs. That has yet to happen.

Shoot dedicated a page to readers letters on the recent ‘Back Pass Rule’, none of which had any sympathy for goalkeepers, now unable to pick up backpasses.

Ipswich Town were visited by Shoot to appear in a ‘Superstars’ type feature, trying to see tho has the Hardest Shot, Longest Throw, and longest Keeper’s Throw.

Neil Thompson (Hardest Shot, Longest Throw) and Craig Forrest (Keeper’s Throw) were the early leaders in the early stages of this competition.

Both players have an interesting Old Trafford connection. Both played in the Ipswich team which lost 9-0 at Old Trafford in 1995, while Thompson (Barnsley, 7-0 in 1997) and Forrest (West Ham United, 7-1 in 2000) both suffered large defeats with future employers.

Nigel Worthington is given a page to predict the results on six games over the weekend, of games involving his former clubs, and those games being televised.

Leeds United travelled to Old Trafford for Sky’s Super Sunday in a battle between the previous season’s top two, with neither side making a good start to 92/93. Worthington said it was close to call, but that Leeds were a slightly better team because they had Eric Cantona.

Little did we know happen then, that Eric Cantona would be playing at Old Trafford as a home player in just three months time.

Worthing predicted a 2-1 win for Leeds. It finished 2-0 to Manchester United.

That weekend, Football Italia launched on Channel 4, with (Des Walker’s) Sampdoria taking on (Gazza’s) Lazio. Worthington wasn’t convinced.

“I’m not sure about the introduction of televised football from Italy, and i’d rather watch Arsenal v Liverpool. I think people will soon realise that the English League is still the best”

During the 90s, Italian clubs won 3 European Cups (5 Runners-Up), 3 European Cup Winners Cups (1 Runner-Up) and 7 UEFA Cups (6 Runners-Up)

Meanwhile, Les Ferdinand gets a profile, answering questions, his favourite band are The Whispers.

A full page is given to a competition, that all the cool kids want, a VIP Day Out at Hearts ………. and a complete Hearts kit and tracksuit. All you had to do was answer three easy questions.

Over the page is another competition, which was probably a bit better, a Juventus shirt signed by David Platt, at the bottom of a double page spread where David Platt previews the forthcoming Serie A season.

Jean Pierre Papin gets a double page spread, having just joined AC Milan from Marseille.

Unfortunately, the move wasn’t as successful as people had predicted.


In this edition, it’s a special edition ahead of the 5th Round of the FA Cup, with Chelsea’s Paul Elliott the cover star.

On page 3, Gary Lineker is declared “Britain’s best striker” winning a vote against Ally McCoist by 64% to 36%

Though, as the poll didn’t include Martin McGaughey, I declare it to be flawed.

A double page spread is dedicated to asking top flight right-backs who is better, Lee Sharpe or Ryan Giggs?

The result is a draw, with Norwich City’s Welsh international Dave Philips unsurprisingly voting for his fellow countryman Giggs.

In rumours which look silly now : Blackburn Rovers want to sign Danny Wallace, Sampdoria want to sign Paul McStay, Crystal Palace want to sign Teddy Sheringham, and Torino want to sign Niall Quinn.

In actual news, unknown Frenchman Eric Cantona rejects the offer of an extended trial at Sheffield Wednesday to sign for Leeds United instead. He didn’t stay at Elland Road for very long.

There’s an exclusive interview with Thomas Berthold, whose 5 match ban for violent conduct against Wales would see him miss out on the whole of Euro 92.


This edition of The Magazine Archive focuses on the short lived weekly magazine ’90 Minutes’

Owned by IPC, who own Shoot and World Soccer, it did seem strange that they would add a third publication to their repotoire.

Ryan Giggs adorns the cover with the main feature not of him, but of how winning the double isn’t enough for Manchester United.

The editor’s note comes courtesy of the magazine’s editor Paul Hawksbee, who now presents an afternoon show on Talksport.

The lead story that week was Billy Bonds shock departure as West Ham United manager on the eve of the new season starting.

The topical cartoon in the news section is frankly disturbing.

Aston Villa had just signed John Fashanu, who was combining his football career with presenting Gladiators. In the cartoon, Fashanu is in manager Ron Atkinson’s office, when Atkinson asks him for a favour, which turns out to be Ron Atkinson becoming a Gladiator.

In other news, Nottingham Forest manager Frank Clark has urged star striker Stan Collymore to “Settle down and find the love of a good woman”

I’m not going to make a comment on that.

With or without the love of a good woman, Collymore was Britain’s most expensive footballer 12 months later after a £8.5m transfer to Liverpool.

The much hypes article on Manchester United explains that United’s share price rises when they win and falls when they lose. Hardly earthshattering revelations.

Meanwhile, ’90 Minutes Live’ is an opinion piece where fans are interviewed on an issue outside a ground.

Supporters were interviewed outside Ibrox prior to a pre-season tournament involving Rangers, Sampdoria, Manchester United and Newcastle United about a possible British Super League.

Jamie McDonald, a 15 year old Celtic supporter helpfully informs us “I don’t like English football or English people – or Scottish people”

Match Of The Day, celebrting it’s 30th birthday that week, gets a double page spread in it’s honour looking back at it’s illustrious history.

With the Premier League season about to start, 90 Minutes predicted the league places for the season ahead.

They said Arsenal would be Champions, how wrong they were.

It did turn out to be an eventful season for Arsenal, with Paul Merson revealing drug addiction, George Graham being sacked for taking a bung, and on the pitch, they reached the European Cup Winners Cup final.

Eventual champions Blackburn Rovers were predicted to finish 4th.

Aston Villa were predicted to finish 6th and spent most of the season battling against relegation, while Nottingham Forest were predicted to finish 12th, but ended up 3rd.

They were spot on with the prediction of Ipswich Town to finish 22nd, which they did, including a 9-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

In their foreign round-up, David Ginola featured prominently, unhappy that the PSG board vetoed a move to AC Milan. A year later, he ended up at Newcastle United. Tough break.

Towards the end is possibly the worst competition prize ever, as you can Richard Keys Sky Sports jacket, which aaccompanies a piece where the former TV-AM presenter is given a makeover.

If you can remember Sky’s coverage of the early years of the Premier League, it was clear he needed one.