Today, we take a trip back to 1990, and Cup Semi-Final weekends in England and Scotland.
On the cover is Crystal Palace players in a celebratory huddle, with the headline “ONE STEP FROM HEAVEN”, a reference to the fact that they were 1 win away from their first ever FA Cup Final.
That match gets a double page spread across pages 2 and 3. Steve Coppell, then manager of Crystal Palace, is billed as “Tipped as a future manager of Manchester United” and hus tipped by Palace striker Mark Bright to lead his side out in the 1990 FA Cup Final against the club he served as a player.
As yet, Steve Coppell hasn’t managed Manchester United, but Mark Bright’s prediction that it would be a Palace v United final did come true.
The other Semi-Final between Oldham Athletic and Manchester United also gets a double page spread.
Mark Bright, who had predicted the two FA Cup finalists, also features in an ad for Arrow Boots alongside David Burrows.
Jimmy Greaves letter page, as ever, is a joy.
Stephanie Martindale of Islington asked about the possibility of Crystal Palace and Oldham Athletic upsetting their more illustrious FA Cup Semi-Final opponents, “No chance” said Greavsie.
Crystal Palace beat Liverpool and Oldham Athletic led before taking Manchester United to a replay.
Samuel Nelson from USA suggests that Terry Butcher should be punished by the FA with regards to his role in the England team after smashing a dressing room door after an old Firm game.
Daniel Holbutt from Yorkshire suggests that if they get promoted, Leeds United and Sheffield United would be the two worst teams in the history of England’s top flight. Sheffield United survived for 4 years before relegation, while Leeds United lasted 14 years, winning the title in 1992.
John Say writes in to congratulate Danny Blanchflower on gettin a well deserved testimonial between Spurs and Norther Ireland. Details of the match can be found here.
Mark Hateley gets the “Wally Of The Week” award for stating that he would be in England’s World Cup squad but for injury, and will be in the England squad for Euro 92. He didn’t.
In world news, it emerged that Lev Yashin was working on arranging a UK tour for Dynamo Moscow in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their tour in 1945.
The countdown to the World Cup is in full swing as Roberto Baggio gets a page dedicated to him, billing him as “The Italian Gazza”
To be fair, Gazza did once had a dodgy ponytail
Ray Wilkins gets a double page spread as Shoot does a scouting report on him during a match for QPR against Nottingham Forest, amid a clamour for him to be part of England’s World Cup squad.
Their verdict is that while Wilkins is a player in form, England should be looking to the future.
There is also an advert for the following week’s issue, which contains free World Cup stickers.
Meanwhile, there is a double page spread on Sheffield United, the suibject of a BBC documentary called “United”
The show was a fly on the wall look at events at the club. An eventful season saw them get promoted to what is now the Premier League, as reach the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.
There is an advert for Guy Whittingham Soccer Masterclass, a football camp in Lanzarote. For just £199, you could be as good as a squad player for Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa.
Money well spent.