Archive | December, 2006

New Year 2006-7 Part Two

Posted on 30 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

A look to the past yesterday: today, a glance at the future. I sincerely hope it looks something like this. Theo Walcott, ladies and gentlemen, who has spent this season politely confirming that he had every right to be in the squad in Germany:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVUlxrFmpAM]

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New Year’s Eve 2006-7 (and Part 3)

Posted on 29 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

There was a lot of promise in our footballing futures one year ago. I can’t let the year die without marking where all of that went. I don’t believe in superstition – but sometimes there is such a thing as luck. Here’s our luck, this year gone:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHgu5e9K3Ww]

And, not to end on a low note:

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New Year 2006-7 Part One

Posted on 29 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

Decades have a habit of lingering on beyond their allotted ten years. Or they cut themselves off early: the ’20s didn’t quite make it to 1930, jumping as they did from their stockbroker’s window ledge on the 55th floor the morning after the Crash.

The 60s, in English footballing terms, persisted beyond poor Peter Bonetti’s unhappy quarter final against West Germany. I think they were gone before Ramsey, though – the 60s ended at Wembley against Gunter Netzer. Netzer’s West Germany was the best team that country produced, and the belief and expectation he and they created in ’72 and ’74 carried lesser German teams to success for the next twenty years. It’s hard to find any footage of them on the web – I’d love to have some of the Wembley game, but this, of the European Championship Final of 1972, in grainy B and W, is the best I can come up with.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-etdpFe3lA]

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Celtic 2 Inter Milan 1: 1967 European Cup Final

Posted on 28 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

Flawlessly summarised in colour:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPPrz6t1PQ]

Watching these clips, it’s impossible not to be struck by the slowness of the game compared to today. It has to be remembered that they were playing as fast as contemporary fitness levels allowed – and that’s still true now: the chances are that we’re only seeing the beginning of the acceleration of play, and the Premiership will look drugged from the perspective of 2030.

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Football in London: A Guide For Visitors and Tourists

Posted on 28 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

The holiday season still has a week to go, and if you’re thinking of visiting London and taking in a game, here are some tips. It’s a big place and a big subject, and I haven’t had time to put my own guide together, so what follows is from Dickens’ Dictionary of London, 1888. Prospective visitors might wish to check the press for any last-minute changes:

Football is by far the most popular out-door game of the winter months, and there are few open spaces in or near London where matches may not be seen in progress on any open Saturday afternoon, between the beginning of October and the end of March. The most important scenes of action are Kennington Oval – where the international matches are played in February and March – Battersea-pk, Blackheath, Richmond, Wimbledon, Wormwood Scrubs, and Woolwich. Both the Rugby Football Union and the Football Association have their head-quarters in London. The Union is the stronger body, and under its laws, which permit the ball being carried, quite five times as many matches are played as under the Association laws, which do not allow of the ball being run with. (To the lay mind it is probable that the Association game would be more likely to answer the idea conveyed by the word foot-ball. The Rugby game is excellent in its way, but the hand has as much to do with the business as the foot.) The president of the Union is Leonard Stokes; and the honorary secretary, Rowland Hill. Of the Association, Major Marindin, R.E., is president; and C.W. Alcock, 28, Paternoster-row, honorary secretary, of whom all particulars of the two societies can be obtained. The principal matches played under the auspices of the two societies are – Union: North v South, played in alternate years in London and Manchester; England v Scotland, for the Calcutta Challenge Cup, in London and Edinburgh; and England v Ireland, in London and Dublin. Association: England v Scotland, played alternately in Glasgow and England; London v Sheffield; and the matches for the Association Challenge Cup, competed for by Association clubs. The Association matches have 11 players, the Union 15 players on each side. The leading Union clubs in London and the suburbs are Blackheath, head-quarters, Richardsons-field, Blackheath; Richmond, Richmond Old Deer-pk; Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; Royal Naval College, Greenwich-pk; Wimbledon, Wimbledon-com; Clapham Rovers, Wandsworth; West Kent, Chislehurst; Queen’s House, and Clevedon, Blackheath; Flamingoes, Battersea-pk; Gipsies, Peckham; Guy’s Hospital, Blackheath; Kings College, Battersea-pk; Lausanne, Dulwich; Old Cheltonians, Mitcham; Old Marlburians, Blackheath; Walthamstow, Walthamstow; Wasps, Putney. The leading Association clubs are the Wanderers, Old Etonians and Old Harrovians, the majority of whose matches are played at Kennington Oval, five minutes’ walk from the Vauxhall-station on the London and South Western line; Barnes, Barnes; Civil Service, Battersea-pk; Clapham Rovers, Wandsworth; South Norwood, Norwood; Upton Park, Upton; Westminster School, Vincent-sq. The subscriptions to these clubs vary from 2s 6d. to 10s per annum, and the number of members from 30 to 200. The dash and pluck necessary to earn distinction at both games render football matches very popular with Londoners, and as many as 7,000 spectators have been seen at the Oval on the occasion of an international match.

To print this guide, which should fit pocketbook or purse with ease, simply click on the title, and when the fresh page has loaded, follow your accustomed printing procedures.

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Christmas Treats no.5

Posted on 26 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

The 1958 World Cup – the Supraphon of World Cups:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwUj13izb5s]

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Christmas Treats no.4

Posted on 26 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

If you think you can’t play because you’ve eaten too much food by now, allow the Galloping Major to show you how it’s done:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPH8owfgyrg]

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Christmas Treats no.3

Posted on 25 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

Alfredo di Stefano. In 1963, the great debate was whether HE was the greatest player in football history – or Stanley Matthews:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Mo5Z8xvgA]

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Christmas Treats no.2

Posted on 24 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

Gerd Muller. I don’t think we’ll be calling anyone “The Bomber” as a term of praise or affection for a while, but from happier days, this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD14ff1XwAM]

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I.M. Sydney Wooderson

Posted on 22 December 2006 by JamesHamilton

The man who, but for the War, would have been our first four minute miler, died on Thursday.

Obituary

Also recommended: 3:59.4: The Quest to Break the Four Minute Mile and The Perfect Distance.

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