THE FRIDAY FIVE- 3.3.2017

1. John Hassell and the April Rainers – Intercity 125
2. Pale Waves – There’s A Honey
3. Ryan Adams – Streets Of Philidelphia
4. Blossoms – In Da Club/Carelss Whisper
5. Ray Davies – Rock N Roll Cowboys

In gig news this week, it’s all about people not coming to Belfast. The Kooks are already on a Greatest Hits tour which bypasses Belfast, but now they’ve announced a European tour with Blossoms as support. It would be brilliant if that line-up came to Belfast. That said, i’m going to see Blossoms on Wednesday night as a headliner, having already seen them support Paul Weller. Regular readers will know I think Blossoms are brilliant.

Erasure have announced a new album and tour for May which has no Belfast gig. I’m staring expectantly towards the organisers of Belfast Pride. Outdoor show, Custom House Square. You know it makes sense. Go on go on go on go on. That’s just me hoping and wishing rather than any inside info by the way.

Shed Seven are back with their first album since 2001 and are touring in December. It gets better, they have Cast as support. Guess what? No Belfast gig. Seeing as Cast have been to Belfast the last two years, i’m hoping John Power has a word in Rick Witter’s ear and rectifies this.

Ryan Adams is coming to Belfast in September. Unfortunately, it had sold out by the lunchtime of the day it went on sale. So, if you know anybody selling a spare standing ticket, get in touch.

On Monday lunchtime, I chanced my arm by going to the Venue Box Office during my final ten minutes of lunch. I was third in line, and manage to spend all ten minutes queuing. The person at the front couldn’t make their mind about about what seats they wanted for whatever show they were booking for, then proceeded to pay with a credit card that wouldn’t work.

The next person had a complaint about tickets they had recently purchased and were referred to Ticketmaster but then proceeded to argue that the problem had to be dealt with by the Venue Box Office Staff.

Seriously, how the fuck do people get out of the house and be so fucking stupid?

Also announced in the past week was the line-up for Party At The Palace in August at Linlithgow Palace. If you’re wondering where that is, it’s near Edinburgh.

Regular readers will know I go to Edinburgh every August. Very tempted to make this the weekend I head over.

FIVE SONGS BY ACTS APPEARING AT PARTY AT THE PALACE

1. Lightning Seeds – All I Want
2. Razorlight – America
3. Ash – Oh Yeah
4. Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life
5. Kaiser Chiefs – Oh My God

Finally, I spotted an article wondering whatever happened to the mythical and mystical place in music history called 3 Alveston Place. 90s kids will know what i’m talking about. You can read the article here.

This Wednesday, is International Richard Herring Being A Sneering Dick On Twitter Day. Or, if you prefer, International Women’s Day.

If it’s just another day to you, or if you’re doing something to commemorate it, enjoy yourself. Except if you’re planning on sitting in front of the computer screaming “IT’S NOVEMBER 19TH!!!!” all day. You’re a bit of a weirdo and you need help.

This blog will be commemorating it in the only way it knows, by having a series of charts of songs by and about women

FIVE SONGS BY WOMEN

1. Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular
2. Kylie Minogue – I Believe In You
3. Madonna – Rain
4. Taylor Swift – Ours
5. Laura Branigan – Self Control

FIVE SONGS BY GIRL GROUPS

1. Girls Aloud – Biology
2. Eternal – I Wanna Be The Only One
3. Bananarama – Cruel Summer
4. The Saturdays – Up
5. All Saints – Pure Shores

FIVE SONGS BY BANDS WITH FEMALE SINGERS

1. Chvrches – Lies
2. Paramore – That’s What You Get
3. Blondie – Heart Of Glass
4. Echosmith – Cool Kids
5. The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE NAMES IN THE TITLE

1. The Beatles – Dear Prudence
2. Bastille – Laura Palmer
3. Cosmic Rough Riders – Melanie
4. Glasvegas – Geraldine
5. Britney Spears – If You Seek Amy

FIVE SONGS WITH FEMALE PRONOUNS IN THE TITLE

1. Oasis – She Is Love
2. James – She’s A Star
3. U2 – Hallelujah Here She Comes
4. The Kooks – She Moves In Her Own Way
5. Shed Seven – She Left Me On Friday

FIVE SONGS WITH GIRL/WOMAN IN THE TITLE

1. Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
2. Kate Bush – Rubberband Girl
3. Ash – Girl From Mars
4. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
5. Simple Minds – Chelsea Girl

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 1.3.1986

Celtic and Manchester United are on the cover of this week’s edition of Shoot as they prepare to face each other in a mid-season friendly, with the headline “Soccer on trial”.

The headline refers to the fact that it was the first high profile away game by an English club since the previous season’s European Cup Final, which resulted in English clubs being banned from Europe.

As you open the magazine, Danny Wallace fires a message to John Barnes and Chris Waddle that he is after their World Cup place following an impressive England debut in a recent friendly away to Egypt.

The friendly at Parkhead that featured on the cover gets a double page spread, with the game billed as an unofficial British Cup Winners Cup Final, after both teams won their respective national cup competitions in 1985.

Paul McStay of Celtic suggests that a former Rangers player might have a keen interest in this game, as Scotland manager Alex Ferguson might take the opportunity to spy on Jesper Olsen of United, with Denmark being a group opponent of Scotland in the forthcoming World Cup.

In ads, you can buy The Official FA Cup Game for just £7.75 on Spectrum, Commodore or Armstrad.

Talking of adverts, England’s squad has agreed a sponsorship deal with the Health Education Council to front an anti-smoking campaign.

Bryan Robson uses his column to praise Peter Beardsley, who recently made his international debut during that recent friendly in Egypt.

Northern Ireland are also in international action, with an away friendly against France, with the game getting a double page feature, with John McClelland being interviewed.

Shoot looks at the options for Scotland’s squad, and they urge Alex Ferguson to find a place for Pat Nevin in the 22.

Staying in Scotland, Hibs youngster Gordon Hunter gets praised by his manager John Blackley.

Phil Thompson is interviewed, where he states that if he could lead Sheffield United into the top flight, it would be as big a thrill as all the trophies he won with Liverpool.

Across Sheffield, Wednesday striker Carl Shutt gets a full page profile.

Jimmy Greaves awards his Wally Of The Week Award to Nick Gregory from Banbury, who states that Oxford United are the best team in England.

In Spain, Terry Venables is eyeing up a move to Tottenham Hotspur, but he could be replaced at Barcelona by another British manager, John Toshack of Real Sociedad.

Andy King is interviewed where he expresses his frustration at not getting much action at Luton Town.

Jack Charlton, newly appointed Republic Of Ireland manager, has a big decision to make, as he might have to drop 30 year olds Liam Brady, Frank Stapleton and Tony Grealish.

Charlton has faced some resentment for his appointment due to not being Irish, but also shock that he got the job ahead of Bob Paisley.

Much loved referee Clive Thomas comments on the number of penalties missed in recent years, pointing the finger at his fellow referees for allowing keepers to steal yards.

Craig Levein of Hearts gets a profile as he dreams of a World Cup place, just a few years after almost quitting football to work in an Electronics Factory.

The upcoming Merseyside Derby gets a double page feature, with contributions from Peter Reid and Steve McMahon.

The magazine ends with a profile of Mike Channon. His favourite music is Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 22.5.1982

Kevin Keegan is the cover star of Shoot as the 1982 World Cup in Spain approaches, and the 24 competing teams are getting ready for their final preparations.

As you open the magazine, Glenn Hoddle tells Shoot that he will only replicate his club form for England if he is given a run of games, while Tony Morley of Aston Villa fears he may miss out in Spain due to manager Ron Greenwood only liking to play one winger.

In news, Keith Burkinshaw and John Toshack have declared that three points for a win, introduced in 1981-1982 season, has been a success, while Gordon Taylor hit back at Trevor Francis and Mick Mills over their criticism of the timing of the PFA Player Of The Year Awards.

Shoot does a full page profile of Arsenal youngster Stewart Robson, who broke into the first-team straight from school.

In adverts, you could get a series of World Cup wallcharts for just £3.50, plus 50p for P and P.

In letters, Liam Farrington from Dublin writes in to protest about English born Tony Galvin being called up to the Republic of Ireland squad.

Gary Shaw uses his column to talk about his joy at Aston Villa reaching the European Cup Final, but also his disappointment that the second leg of their Semi-Final against Anderlecht was ruined by trouble on the terraces.

Ahead of Scotland’s World Cup opener, Shoot asks various Scottish players such as Alfie Conn, Frank McGarvey and Paul Hegarty what the starting 11 in Malaga on June 15th should be.

Shoot does a full page profile on Craig Johnston, who he says has passed his Anfield Apprenticeship, and is now a fully fledged first-team player.

Ray Wilkins uses his column to suggest that England won’t be putting out an experimental side in their friendly against Holland, ahead of the World Cup.

Talking of England, in World Cup Merchandise, you could buy a Memo Pad, complete with a photo of England’s official mascot, Billy Bulldog.

Karl-Heiz Rummenigge is interviewed ahead of the World Cup, and tells Shoot he fears that West Germany’s chances could be ruined by injuries.

It is revealed that Asa Hartford of Manchester City has an unusual hobby, collecting matchbook.

Motherwell were rocked by rumours that manager David Hay was set to resign, while Phil Thompson’s column comments on young players getting an opportunity to play at England’s biggest clubs.

Justin Fashanu uses his column to talk about change in football, as Nottingham Forest go through a transition after a successful period in the late 1970s.

Garry Thompson tells Shoot that he doesn’t want to leave Coventry City, while Everton manager Howard Kendall says that Graeme Sharp is as good as Frank Stapleton.

The magazine ends with a profile of Gary Lineker, who reveals he wants to be a Bookmaker when his playing career ends.

FOOTBALL IN 2017

At this time of year, I usually write about my hopes for football watching over the following year.

In truth, I never really know what is going to happen. As 2015 turned into 2016, I would not have predicted that I would be travelling to Dumfries to see Linfield playing in the Scottish Challenge Cup, or that I would be evacuated from Old Trafford because somebody forgot to remove a dummy bomb.

I’m going to try though, with my football watching hopes for the year ahead.

LINFIELD

Win the League, win the Irish Cup and win the County Antrim Shield. That’s what I want. That would bring European football, with hopefully a run, and some games against clubs in the 102 Club.

As well as playing in Europe, domestic success would also qualify us for the Scottish Challenge Cup. I absolutely loved the trip to Dumfries, so hopefully a trip to somewhere in Dumfries/Galloway or Ayrshire would be great.

Or even the Central Belt, if flights were a decent rate.

Then there is pre-season. The same criteria applies, a ground I haven’t been to, or haven’t been to for a while, and is close to Belfast. So, that criteria would be any of Loughgall, Moyola Park, Knockbreda or Annagh United.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Going to the League match against Hull at the end of January. I’m going Tuesday to Thursday, with the Hull game provisionally scheduled for the Wednesday. On the Tuesday, i’m free. Wigan play Norwich that night, so it could be a chance to see the almost mythical Will Grigg. There are no scheduled games in League One and League Two, that date might be used for rearranged games. I’ll wait until quite late before deciding wether to go to a game that night.

I’m hoping to go to the Crystal Palace game at the end of the season.

Hopefully, United will be back in the European Cup in 2017/2018, and this would allow me to go to a midweek group game. Ideally, in November/December, so I can take Manchester Christmas Market.

IRISH LEAGUE

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Championship table and the promotion race. The way the table is at the moment, it looks like Warrenpoint will be promoted, with Institute, Ballyclare and Larne battling it out for the play-off. If there is a team to be promoted via the play-offs, I wouldn’t mind it being Larne as I haven’t been there since 2005.

February 18th will see the League Cup Final between Ballymena United and Carrick Rangers at a as yet undecided venue. I might see about getting a ticket for this as a neutral. Carrick are at home to Linfield the previous weekend, so there would be a good opportunity for me to get a ticket.

In 2017, Christmas Day will fall on a Monday for the first time since 2006. That year, the Steel and Sons Cup Final was held on Saturday 23rd December as there were no top flight games on that day. I’d be tempted in going in 2017 if there was a similar arrangement.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Usually, I take in a day trip to Dublin and take in a League Of Ireland game while i’m there. The fixture list was announced today, and i’m still digesting it.

Bray Wanderers (close to Dublin) used to play on Saturdays (far more convenient) but they’ve now decided to play on Fridays.

There is a full fixture list on Saturday 25th March 2017 due to an international the day before. However, Linfield are away to Ballinamallard that day, so Linfield take priority. If Linfield’s match is postponed due to international call-ups, this would be tempting. The options would be Bray v Limerick, Cabinteely v Cobh, UCD v Longford or St Patrick’s Athletic v Shamrock Rovers.

There may be games moved to Saturday or Sunday due to European games in June/July. I’ll keep an eye out, though there’s no real obvious other date for me to go down.

NORTHERN IRELAND

I can’t say i’d be planning on going to Russia if we reached the World Cup, but it would be great if I could be in a situation where i’m toying with the idea.

SCOTLAND

I didn’t go to the Edinburgh Festival in 2016 but i’m planning to return in 2017. Naturally, that would take in whichever of Hearts is at home, and if I could get a bonus of another game in the Central Belt.

So, that’s my football watching hopes for 2017. I’ll be amazed if any of this goes to plan.

2016 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October began with a trip to The Oval, to see Linfield take on Glentoran, play awful but grind out a 2-1 win.

The following Saturday, I went to see Northern Ireland take on San Marino, the first game at a fully redeveloped Windsor Park.

I then went home, and got a bit of sleep, before an early morning boat to Dumfries to see Linfield take on Queen of the South in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

The following Saturday, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard United.

Two days later, I was Limelight bound to see Feeder in concert.

There were then two frustrating weekends as I was then Coleraine bound the following Saturday to see Linfield held to a frustrating draw, just as they were at home to Crusaders the following Saturday.

The month ended by going to see KT Tunstall in concert at Mandela Hall.

Glentoran v Linfield

Northern Ireland v San Marino

Northern Ireland v San Marino Photo Album

Queen of the South v Linfield

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Feeder live at The Limelight

Feeder live at The Limelight Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

KT Tunstall live at Mandela Hall

KT Tunstall live at Mandela Hall Photo Album

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 25.11.2016

1. The Afghan Whigs – Regret
2. Rory Lavelle – All These Horrors
3. Madness – Can’t Stop Us Now
4. Bear’s Den – Dew On The Vine
5. Blink 182 – Home Is Such A Lonely Place

Next Wednesday is St Andrew’s Day. As this blog loves any excuse for a theme chart, here’s two. One for Scottish acts, and one for musical Andrews. Though there will be no Andys, which is bad news if you want pre 1987 Duran Duran or post 1999 Oasis.

FIVE SONGS BY SCOTTISH ACTS

1. Twin Atlantic – Heart and Soul
2. The View – Blondie
3. Nina Nesbitt – He’s The One I’m Bringing Back
4. Aztec Camara – Somewhere In My Heart
5. Del Amitri – Roll To Me

FIVE SONGS BY SINGERS CALLED ANDREW OR BANDS WITH A MEMBER CALLED ANDREW

1. Wax – Bridge To Your Heart
2. INXS – Baby Don’t Cry
3. Wham! – Freedom
4. Hozier – Take Me To Church
5. Roachford – Cuddly Toy

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT MEXICO 86 SPECIAL

At this moment 30 years ago, Italy and Bulgaria players were walking onto the pitch at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City for the opening game of Mexico 86.

The game was broadcast live on the BBC. As people sat in front of their TVs awaiting the month of football to come, it’s possible they may have been reading Shoot’s 1986 World Cup Preview guide, costing 75p.

With three UK teams in the finals (something that wouldn’t happen again until Euro 2016), Shoot capitalised on this by having a player from Scotland (Gordon Strachan), England (Bryan Robson) and Northern Ireland (Norman Whiteside) all holding the World Cup trophy.

All three were playing for the same club in 1986, so it was obviously convenient for them to arrange the photoshoot.

As you open the magazine, there is a double page editorial saying “Go get em lads”, wishing the three UK teams good luck.

There is then a double page TV guide, but it only covers the opening match, and the home nations group games. For the record, Northern Ireland and Scotland had two live games on ITV and one on the BBC, while England had two games on the BBC and one on ITV.

Trevor Francis gets four pages to write about who he thinks will be the stars in Mexico, predicting big things from Hugo Sanchez, Rudi Voeller, Preben Elkjaer, Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Rinat Dasaev, Zico and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Enzo Scifo, Daniel Passarella, Antonio Cabrini, Zibi Boniek and Michael Laudrup.

Quite a lot of those players were based in Serie A, where Francis was playing his club football.

Mick Channon gets two pages to assess the three home nations, predicting Bryan Robson to lead England to the Quarter-Finals (They would reach that stage, but Robson would be at home injured), Scotland to reach the Second Round (Group stage exit) and Northern Ireland to reach the knockout stages (group stage exit)

Channon also commented that he was recently in Belfast to play in a testimonial game for George Dunlop.

Mal Donaghy gets a lot of praise from Channon, stating he would walk into England and Scotland’s teams, comparing him to Bobby Moore.

For the whole tournament, he expected Argentina to beat Brazil in the final.

Tony Roche gets a double page spread to assess the rest of the European teams, stating that Denmark could take the competition by storm, comparing them to Holland’s team of the 70s.

There is a full page round up of the results and tables from the European groups.

Peter Reid gets interviewed with the headline “ON YER BIKE JOAN COLLINS”. In case you’re wondering why, England will be warming up in America, staying in a hotel in Denver which is used to film scenes for the TV show Dynasty.

Reid comments on the progress in his career between World Cups, having just avoided relegation to the Third Division with Bolton in 1982, he was now challenging for trophies with Everton.

Shoot canvassed journalists from around the world for their opinion, and the consensus was that Brazil would repeat their success in Mexico they had in 1970.

Bobby Moore writes about his experiences at the 1970 World Cup, advising the players that playing Snooker will be a good way to relieve the boredom in the hotel room.

Charlie Nicholas gets four pages to write about his Scotland team-mates, where he reveals he shares a room with Steve Nicol. They are good mates, but Nicholas doesn’t share Nicol’s love of Status Quo.

There is a double page interview with the three UK managers, Bobby Robson (England), Alex Ferguson (Scotland) and Billy Bingham (Northern Ireland)

Ferguson and Robson predict Brazil will win the trophy, while Bingham shies away from predicting a winner.

Bryan Robson writes a two page article where he predicts England will reach the Semi-Finals, and that Gary Lineker will be England’s biggest star in Mexico, comparing him to Jimmy Greaves.

There are two pages then dedicated to the South American challenge, written by Tony Roche.

Shoot has bagged an interview with Diego Maradona, who says England look good, Northern Ireland have a chance of reaching the knock-out stage, while Scotland are in the toughest group. He didn’t predict Morocco to upset anyone.

The main question asked in Northern Ireland’s preview is where the goals will come from. Billy Bingham has a lot of praise for Norman Whiteside, predicting him to be a regular Northern Ireland player for the next decade.

Jimmy Greaves has two pages of letters, where a Notts County fan predicts Algeria to win because of Rachid Harkouk, to which Greaves sarcastically responds.

There is a full page dedicate to free-kick experts, listing the best players with this skill, including Platini, Hoddle, Cooper and Molby.

As well as looking forward, Shoot also looks back at England, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s World Cup history.

There are two pages dedicated to Jock Stein, who was Scotland manager during the qualifying campaign until his death after the game against Wales in September 1985, with tributes from Alex Ferguson and Billy McNeill.

There is a competition where you can win a Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Ray Clemence World Cup video game.

The preview ends with an infographic of all the team’s kits.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

After League Of Ireland and UEFA Cup football during June and July, the domestic season began for me in August, when Linfield welcomed Ballymena United to Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Four days later, I visited Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

To round off a busy week, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend, I was in Scotland for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and made the most of it by taking in matches at Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park, my third time this month, to see Linfield take on Portadown, and get a win that continued their perfect start to the season.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 12.5.1990

Today at Wembley, an expensively assembled and underachieving Manchester United side with a manager under pressure and living in the shadow of a retired Scottish legend arrive at Wembley to take on Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final, hoping that winning the FA Cup will be the springboard to an era of success.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before, in 1990.

As supporters sat in front of their TVs with only four channels, unless you had one of those new on the market satellie dishes, it’s possible they may have been reading Shoot’s preview, which had a split cover of Brian McClair and Ian Wright as Manchester United face Crystal Palace.

As you open the magazine, Shoot has full page profiles on central defenders set to be involved, with Andy Thorn of Palace prepared to play through the pain barrier, and Gary Pallister of United aiming to prove he won’t be a flop at United, after a British Record transfer from Middlesbrough.

In news, Celtic manager Billy McNeill is planning a clear out in the summer, while Manchester United are planning to sign Denis Irwin from Oldham Athletic, who Shoot have erroneously described as a Dubliner.

Bray Wanderers will be facing St Francis in the FAI Cup Final at Lansdowne Road, the game moved from Dalymount Park after the FAI anticipated Derry City to win their Semi-Final against Bray.

Midfielders aren’t ignored in the game at Wembley, with Shoot doing a profile of Bryan Robson and Andy Gray.

Celtic are facing Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Final, and Shoot does a full page profile on Jacki Dzieckanowski, where he reveals his favourite band is Dire Straits.

Aberdeen are represented with a full page profile of Brian Irvine, who talks about his Christianity.

After scoring winning goals in the 3rd Round and Semi-Final, Mark Robins gets profiled.

In world news, Bayern Munich became the first German club to be floated on the Stock Exchange.

Austria are this week’s preview ahead of the World Cup in Italy, mostly focusing on Toni Polster.

Curiously, Shoot does a double page interview with Mark Bright and Ian Wright as they go out for a cycle.

Liam Brady gets profiled ahead of Republic Of Ireland’s friendly against Finland, but his appearance will only be symbolic, as it is a farewell in his own testimonial, having retired from international football the previous September.

It won’t stop him going to Italy, as he’ll be going to the World Cup as a pundit for RTE.

David Rocastle talks to Shoot about his frustration at injuries leading to his loss of form. The article is accompanied by a competition where you can win The Rocky Road To Success, a VHS tape profiling David Rocastle.

Liverpool’s recent title success gets profiled, with Alan Hansen claiming the club can dominate English football for the next twenty years.

The magazine ends with a double page profile of Scotland ahead of the World Cup in Italy.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 17.12.1983

Jesper Olsen, in an Ajax kit doing keep-uppeys, is the cover star of this edition of Shoot. Despite wearing an Ajax kit, he’s very much a Manchester United player, having just signed for the club.

The headline desribes him as “United’s new George Best” – No pressure there.

United’s purchase of Olsen, in the week that Notts County couldn’t afford to sign Glenn Roeder is used as evidence in an editorial that a breakaway Super League of England’s top club beckons.

Olsen helped Denmark reach Euro 84 at the expense of England. 1966 World Cup winner Alan Ball speaks to Shoot about what England can do to win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, suggesting that England should start throwing young players into international games.

Olsen wouldn’t be wearing a United shirt until the summer of 1984, as he’d be seeing out the season at Ajax, with Bryan Robson using his column to compare him to George Best, and urging United fans to keep a close eye on him when Denmark are playing in the European Championship in France.

England might not be heading to the finals in France, but Wales have a chance, and their qualifier against Yugoslavia is previewed. A win for Wales would send them to France.

The match finished 1-1, which meant they had to hope Yugoslavia fail to beat Bulgaria, but the Yugoslavs won it with an injury time winner.

If Wales were dreaming of France, Scotland weren’t, with a dismal campaign which saw them finish bottom of a group containing Belgium, East Germany and Switzerland.

Scotland were now looking to the 1986 World Cup Qualifiers, and that began with a British Championship game at Windsor Park against Northern Ireland, a side who Jock Stein has failed to beat as Scotland manager.

In competitions, Shoot were giving away a trip to the European Championship in France. The Subbutteo European Championship that is.

In club football, Dennis Mortimer speaks to Shoot about his return to the Aston Villa team, and how it has given him a new lease of life.

Paul Mariner is interviewed by Shoot, telling them that he fears he is played his last England game, having just turned 30, and how he revels on the verbal abuse he receives from oppositions fans.

It’s not just the 1986 World Cup that people are looking forward to, as England have submitted a bid to host the 1990 World Cup. They fear they have been upstage by Italy, who sent a delegation to FIFA HQ, while Greece sent a Telex, and Soviet Union hand delivered theirs.

Paolo Rossi has been fined £1,400 by authorities in Italy for the crime of wearing the national shirt without permission, after wearing it in an advert for sunglasses.

Another star with money problems was Diego Maradona, who had to pay £4,000 on excess baggage on a flight back home to Buenos Aires.

Raymond Goethels, manager of Standard Liege, predicts that Dundee United will win the European Cup in 1984.

Staying with Scottish teams, Rangers defender John McClelland is a guest columnist, and he declares that Mark McGhee is his toughest opponent.

Gary Mabbutt is another guest columnist, and he praises his young Tottenham team-mate Ally Dick.

Kenny Dalglish’s column focuses on Scotland’s visit to Windsor Park, saddened that this is the last season of the British Championship.