PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : NOVEMBER

November got off to a dramatic start, as I headed to Mourneview Park to see nine man Linfield come from 2-0 down to get a late draw against Glenavon.

I was back on the road a few days later to Ballymena to see Linfield record a 4-1 in win.

Up next was a trip to Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland record a 4-0 win over Azerbaijan, before continuing Linfield’s road trip with a 4-0 over Dungannon Swifts before a midweek date at Windsor Park for Northern Ireland’s last game of 2016, a 3-0 friendly defeat against Croatia.

I was back at Windsor Park for Linfield’s only home game of the month, a 2-1 defeat to Cliftonville.

The following weekend, I went to see my first and second games at Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho as United manager, doing a double header of games against Feyenoord and West Ham United, with a trip to Bury (via Broadhurst Park) sandwiched inbetween.

As a bonus, I even got pictures of stickers left around Manchester by Feyenoord fans.

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Croatia

Northern Ireland v Croatia Photo Album

Linfield v Cliftonville

Manchester United v Feyenoord

Manchester United v Feyenoord Photo Album

Feyenoord Stickers

Bury v Millwall

Bury v Millwall Photo Album

Broadhurst Park

Manchester United v West Ham United

Manchester United v West Ham United Photo Album

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 WEST HAM UNITED 27.11.2016

Having gone to my first game of the season at Old Trafford against Feyenoord, it wasn’t long to wait for my second game, just three days later, as West Ham visited in the League.

I’d waited until the UEFA Cup Group Stage draw was done and hoped for a double header, and got lucky with this one.

Too many dropped points, especially in drawn games at Old Trafford, meant this was a must-win game for United, especially with Spurs losing the day before, presenting United with an opportunity to close the gap on the side in 5th, especially as they visit Old Trafford in mid December.

It was West Ham who were straight on the attack, winning a soft free-kick in a wide position. It all looked so sluggish from United, and it continued when Diafra Sakho got to the ball from that free-kick in front of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to head home.

The was not the start United needed, especially against a side they had only beaten once in their last five meetings.

United responded eventually, their first shot on goal came from Juan Mata.

The pressure built up, and an equaliser came when Ibrahomovic made up for his shoddy defending by flicking hom a Paul Pogba through ball.

Pogba’s next involvement came when the referee booked him for deeming to have dived, which resulted in Jose Mourinho beiung sent to the stand for kicking a water bottle.

Mourinho’s departue didn’t affect United, as they had chances to go in front. Rashford having a shot saved while put through, and Jesse Lingard and Zlatan Ibrahimovic having shots blocked.

More chances came, with Rooney and Lingard having shots saved before Lingard had a goal disallowed for offside.

It looked like being one of those days for United, as West Ham seemed to get bodies in the road every time the ball was in their penalty area.

As much as I enjoyed being able to do a Thursday-Sunday double header, it’s not something i’m planning on doing next season. I’d rather United be playing their European matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last season, I made my first trip of the season to Old Trafford in November and things were going fine, but an awful December saw their season in tatters by the time I visited again in late January.

This season, i’m due back at Old Trafford in late January for the League match against Hull. Hopefully, there’ll be a reversal in fortunes and the league table will have a better look to it.

Photo Album

UEFA 101 CLUB – UPDATE

It’s been a year, and the opening rounds of European competition are drawn tomorrow, with Irish League teams joining the action, so it’s a good time to update my pursuit to complete a rather pointless list.

You may have noticed the new title – further research has indicated that 101 clubs, not 100 have played in a European Final. It’s not my fault, I was basing it on the When Saturday Comes article that inspired it, which at the time of writing said 99 clubs had reached a European Final, with the next one being the 100th.

Turns out, there had already been 100 clubs. Since you ask, the honour belongs to Fulham.

So, what is the UEFA 101 Club? Well, 101 clubs have played in the final of one of European football’s three competitions (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and there are people who try to see every team play live in person.

I’m doing it just for fun, but if I win the lottery, I might start taking it a bit more seriously.

Living in Northern Ireland, you’d think it would be hard trying to see some of these clubs, but tomorrow’s draw could see some clubs who’ve had greater European nights visiting Northern Ireland. It did last year.

In the European Cup, Cliftonville could have a rematch with Celtic. No use to me, as i’ve already ticked Celtic off my list.

Other possible opponents for Cliftonville include : Steau Bucharest, Dinamo Zagreb (already ticked off my list), Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

Frustratingly, Red Star Belgrade won’t be in the competition due to being thrown out due to Financial Fair Play. I would have loved to have seen them in the flesh, even though they’re now a shadow of their 1991 team, the mystique remains.

If they get drawn against Steau Bucharest, I might be tempted to go.

If Cliftonville get through, they could potentially face Red Bull Salzburg, Malmo or Dinamo Tblisi.

In the UEFA Cup, Linfield being seeded means they won’t be facing any members of the club, but there are opportunities for Crusaders and Glenavon.

By the way, i’m hoping the draw sends Linfield to Broughton (or Airbus UK, if you prefer)

Crusaders or Glenavon could face IFK Gothenborg, Aberdeen or Ferencvaros.

If any of the Irish League teams progress to the next round, there are no member clubs joining at that stage. Plenty of big clubs in the 3rd Round though.

This time last year, I was on 29 clubs, but I am on 31 clubs now, having added Dundee United and Everton to my list. I’ve applied for a ticket to the European Super Cup Final in Cardiff. If I get a ticket, that’ll be Sevilla ticked off the list. I’ve already got Real Madrid.

My list in full :

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
Dundee United (2013)
Everton (2014)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 11.8.1979

Match action from Nottingham Forest v Liverpool is on the cover as the 1979-1980 season is close to kicking off. It was an appropriate choice for cover, as both sides had won League and European Cups in both 1978 and 1979.

In news, West Bromwich Albion met Real Madrid in a pre-season tournament in Spain, a chance for Albion players to say hello to former team-mate Lawrie Cunningham, who left The Hawthorns for The Bernebeu.

Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder Mickey Thomas has announced his engagement to a beauty queen from Rhyl, Debbie Dean, who is the regining Miss Skol Lager.

Linfield’s signing of Lindsay McKeown, Steve McKee and Peter Dornan also feature in Shoot’s news section.

Liverpool made the most of their postponed game away to Wolves (Molineux was getting redeveloped, the ground not yet ready to host fixtures) to play a League Of Ireland XI at Dalymount Park.

Manchester United held their first ever Open Day, where supporters get to see a training session, having been entertained by a Police Dog Training Display and an Army Gymnastic Display. Supporters were charged one pound, and the proceeds went to the Variety Club Of Great Britain.

Gordon McQueen, in his column, says he’ll enjoy “Going to prison for a week”

He was speaking metaphorically, referring to United’s pre-season tour of Denmark and West Germany.

Meanwhile, Trevor Brooking speaks that West Ham might be recruiting continental players, specifically Dutch players, as British players “Cost too much”

Bristol City manager Alan Dicks is bemoaning the loss of several key players over the summer. He was proved right, City were relegated from the top flight, where they have never been back since, and almost went out of business a few years later.

In Ads, Puma were offering fans the chance to purchase a poster of their favourite Puma endorsing star for just 75p, including players such as Joe Jordan, Mario Kempes, Sammy McIlroy and Hans Krankl.

Clive Thomas, Football League referee was having his autobiography serialised in Shoot. In this week’s feature, he declares that referees should not fear the increase in analysis from TV coverage on Match Of The Day or The Big Match.

Andy Gray, in his column, is upset at the idea of the traditional England v Scotland game being cancelled due to crowd violence. The game in May 1979 had 400 arrests. Gray says it’s up to the fans to behave to ensure the fixture continues.

Gray also comments on the progress of his former club, Dundee United. United had a golden era in the 80s, winning the league in 1983, and reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 1987.

He is also glad that the League Cup Final now has live TV coverage. Who scored the winning goal in the 1980 League Cup Final? Andy Gray. How prophetic.

In letters, a reader writes warning Liverpool of the threat of Soviet champions Dinamo Tblisi in their forthcoming European Cup tie, and so it proved, with Tblisi winning 4-2 on aggregate. The following year, they won the European Cup Winners Cup.

A Manchester United supporter writes in to complain about United possibly signing Ray Wilkins from Chelsea, not rating him and saying the fee was too much, especially as United turned down Argentina World Cup duo Daniel Passarella and Ubaldo Fillol.

There is also a full page profile of AC Milan and a team poster.

Staying abroad, there is a full page feature on Real Madrid’s new major signing …….. England’s Lawrie Cunningham.

THE UEFA 100 CLUB – UPDATED

You may remember a blog on here in September 2010 about something that was then known as “The UEFA 99 Club” based on an article in When Saturday Comes.

Basically, it was one man’s crusade to watch every team who had played in either the European Cup, European Cup Winner’s Cup and UEFA Cup, in the flesh.

Since the article was written SC Braga reached the UEFA Cup Final, so it is now known as The UEFA 100 Club. Obviously, when a club reaches a European Final for the first time, it will become the 101 Club, 102 Club, and so forth.

Living in Northern Ireland, you may think it will be hard to see teams, but if this season’s European draws were kinder, I could have added some. Cliftonville were drawn with Celtic, but i’ve already seen Celtic. Other potential opponents for Cliftonville were Dinamo Tblisi, Dinamo Zagreb (already seen …… twice), Steaua Bucharest, Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

For Linfield, Glentoran and Crusaders, potential UEFA Cup opponents included Malmo and Videoton. If Glentoran had beaten KR last night, they would have played Standard Liege. I might have been tempted along to add them to my list, cheering on Standard Liege, of course.

Linfield’s potential 2nd Round opponents included IFK Gothenborg and Red Star Belgrade.

Regular readers will know that I travel to Edinburgh every August. While i’m there, Hibs play Dundee United, so I can tick them off, a milestone one at that, as it would take me to 30.

In February, i’m thinking of heading to London for a weekend. While i’m there, Everton play Tottenham at White Hart Lane, so I might try and get a ticket for that one. Amazingly, in 20 years of travelling to Old Trafford 2-3 times a year, i’ve never seen Everton.

So, currently, i’m on 29, hopefully at least 31 by the end of the season. Here’s my full list.

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : SHOOT – 6th MAY 1995

This edition sees us visit the end of the 94/95 season with Matt Le Tissier the cover star, as a campaign for him to be included in the England team gets into full swing.

The headline “TAKE MATT” is a pun on the popular mid 90s beat combo, Take That, who were riding high in the hit parade.

Meanwhile, Southampton defender Jason Dodd is featured in a player profile, where he declares that his dream babe is Teri Hatcher, and that he tapes The New Adventures Of Superman just to see her in it.

In competitions, you could win a pair of Mitre boots endorsed by John ‘The Hart’ Hartson. No, that nickname never really caught on.

In rumours that look silly now : Sheffield Wednesday want Bryan Robson to be their manager, Bournemouth will appoint Harry Redknapp if he gets sacked by West Ham, Celtic want to sign Marc Degryse and Gary McAllister is set to join Rangers.

The results section includes reports on Euro 96 Qualifiers where Northern Ireland beat Latvia, Wales drew with Germany and Scotland beat San Marino.

Matt Le Tissier gets a double page spread where stars such as Gary Flitcroft, David Linighan, Ian Bishop and David Howells plead his case. For some reason, Terry Venables ignored their calls.

Greavsies letters page is it’s usual brilliance.

Imagine if Twitter existed back then and Jimmy Greaves had an account?

Nathan Amery of Colchester suggests QPR would struggle if they sold Les Ferdinand. He joined Newcasle United that summer, and QPR were relegated in 1996.

Jeremy Dwyer of Birmingham, possibly an Aston Villa supporter says that Birmingham City would never get back into the top flight. For seven years, he looked right.

James Franey of Worcester says that if Blackburn Rovers get into the Champions League, they would struggle. He was right.

David Spencer of High Wycombe suggests that Tim Flowers should be England’s first choice keeper ahead of David Seaman. Hmmm.

Rangers seventh successive league title gets a full page, with captain Richard gough putting it down to regular boozing sessions. Innocent times.

MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : 90 MINUTES – 20th AUGUST 1994

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.

THE UEFA 99 CLUB

On a long bus journey home from Manchester last week, I purchased a copy of the new edition of When Saturday Comes to pass the time, and there was one article which really caught my attention.

It was one concerning the fact that 99 different clubs have reached a European Final (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and one man is on a mission to see them all in action.

His current total is 66 (Exactly 2/3s of the way through) although being a match going Rangers fan gives him a bit of an advantage, where he can see his own team and three SPL rivals on a weekly basis, as well as foreign opponents due to Rangers Euro adventures.

As the bus was still going through Scotland, I decided to see and tick off how many teams on my list, and got a meagre 22 in comparison, but I did get 8 former European Cup winners, including all 5 to come from Britain.

Can’t say i’m planning on making completing this list a life ambition, but just thought it would be fun to compare.

As with any list, there will always be ones that got away, and mine is not different.

Dinamo Tblisi, 1981 European Cup Winners Cup Winners played Linfield in a European Cup tie in 1993, which I wasn’t at. I don’t know why I didn’t go, but I definately know that I didn’t go.

I remember the first leg tie took place on the same night as a midweek Premier League fixture list, and Alan Green broke off from the commentary game to read out the score, adding “We have a great chance in the second leg with that away goal”

For a 10 year old, having Linfield getting a shout out on Five Live seemed quite exciting.

Linfield lost the tie 3-2, but Tblisi were thrown out for trying to bribe the official, and Linfield went through to face FC Copenhagen, who snuck through to face AC Milan.

If it wasn’t for that cheating bastard ref and his 6 minutes of injury time, I could have had 23 teams on my list.

In 17 years of going to Old Trafford 2-3 times a season, I have seen a wide variety of teams, but Everton are not one of them. For some reason, i’ve never seen them play at Old Trafford.

I was planning to see them in 2001, but that trip got cancelled and I got another game in compensation. I declined the opportunity to see them face a Northern Ireland XI in 2007 as it was only half a team playing, with the other half playing a friendly against Bury the same day.

2009 UEFA Cup Winners Shaktar Donesk played a European Cup Winners Cup tie at Windsor Park in 1995, but with the Ukranians leading 4-1 from the first leg, I decided to give it a miss. If only i’d known the success they would have in 14 years time.

Red Star Belgrade were the biggest miss for me. In 1991, they were reigning European Cup winners, and they began their defence in Portadown.

I wanted to go, but my dad wouldn’t take me. It was a school night, end of debate.

The first team on the list I saw was Marseille in 1992, the most recent Birmingham City and Wolves in 2010.

I’ll definately be adding Tottenham Hotspur at the end of October, and hopefully Barcelona and Athletico Madrid in February. Maybe one day, i’ll be able to add Linfield.

Feel free to post your own totals

Team (Year first seen)

Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dynamo Zagreb (2008)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)