Tuesday, 5 April 2016

1985 US Masters: Curtis Strange

Bernhard Langer may well have won his first major at the 1985 US Masters, but he had to share a lot of the headlines with the man who finished joint runner-up. For Curtis Strange, April 11-14, 1985 was quite an experience.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Euro 88 England squad: All The Way

In 1988 you were never more than six minutes away from hearing a Stock, Aitken and Waterman record. So it was no surprise when the trio teamed up with England's European Championship squad to produce All The Way, the title of the song indicating just how confident SAW and the rest of the football following nation were before the tournament. Oh dear.

Monday, 7 March 2016

1987 FA Cup Sixth Round: Arsenal v Watford

If Arsenal manage to beat Hull City in their FA Cup fifth round replay then it will set up a quarter final clash with Watford. For some Arsenal fans, this will bring back painful memories of a Sixth round match at Highbury in 1987 that still rankles.

Monday, 29 February 2016

1983-84: Aberdeen

Aberdeen may fall short in their bid for Scottish Premiership success in 2015/16, but in the 1983/84 season it was a very different tale.

As an Aberdeen fan you may have been forgiven for thinking that things could not get any better than the night of Wednesday May 11, 1983. For the thousands who had made their way to Gothenburg on fishing boats and for those who had slept rough in the streets, the trip was most definitely worth it. Winning the European Cup Winners' Cup was an outstanding achievement, even more so when you consider that Aberdeen defeated Bayern Munich in the quarter final, and the mighty Real Madrid on that unforgettable wet Wednesday in Sweden. How could you better that?

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

1988 FA Cup Fifth Round: Arsenal v Manchester United

Since being ever so slightly pushed towards supporting Arsenal by my dad in the summer of 1983, the FA Cup had not been very kind to me. Embarrassment at Middlesbrough; total humiliation at York; rolling over at Luton; and anger against Watford. Not the smoothest introduction to the greatest cup competition in the world.

For a while it looked as if 1988 would be different. Leading Manchester United 2-1 at Highbury with the minutes ticking away, Arsenal had one foot in the sixth round. But no sooner had my thoughts turned to possible opponents in the last eight, than that sinking feeling returned once more.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Sending offs in the 1980s

Whilst watching Per Mertesacker being dismissed against Chelsea recently, I realised that a red card is hardly a surprise occurrence in a match during the modern era. But rewind back to the 1980s and it was a different experience.

A red card - or a finger pointing the way to the dressing room - was often a genuine wow moment, partly due to the relative rarity of the event. This week I am looking back on ten dismissals during the 1980s, involving confusion, accusations, frustration, agony, and refereeing incompetence. Perhaps things don't change after all.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

1986: Mike Gatting and his broken nose

Mike Gatting was in a confident frame of mind at the start of England's tour to the Caribbean in 1986, but one ball from Malcolm Marshall changed everything.

Mike Gatting faced his fair share of famous deliveries during his career. Many will remember that reverse sweep he attempted off Allan Border's bowling in the 1987 World Cup final, a shot that was accompanied with derision and disappointment in England. And naturally the role played by Gatting in the Ball of the Century is still discussed, his confused expression after Shane Warne had fizzed a leg break past his outside edge all part of the theatre that surrounds that moment in cricketing history.