Sport in the Highlands

I’m just back from a couple of great days in Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands. It was meant to be a break from from all of this, but no such luck. Our ground floor hotel room looked out onto the pretty main street in Newtonmore, and at about six o’clock on the Saturday evening, we…

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Charlton vs Neeskens 1973

This must be one of the great “novelty” matches ever played, and yet it’s almost completely forgotten when such things as “England vs The Rest of the World” linger on. It’s the Six – the Common Market – vs the Three – guess for yourself – at Wembley to celebrate our 1973 entry. They dug…

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Teaching and the Decline of Scottish Football

I said yesterday (checks: no, make that earlier today) “whatever happened to Scottish football started happening in the mid-to-late seventies.” Here’s this to bear me out, from Harry Reid’s marvellous The Final Whistle? Harry quotes Fred Forrester of the EIS, the principal Scottish teaching union: Our preferred weapon in 1974 was the work to rule….

More on the Decline of Scottish Football

Here are a couple of charts I’ve run up after a few uncomfortable hours hunched over Lamming’s “Scottish Internationalists Who’s Who” (Hutton 1987). Approximately 107 men played for Scotland across the World Cup years – I’ve gone for 1974-1986 for the sake of simplicity. I acknowledge the 1990 and 1998 World Cups, of course, but…

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1939 – The End of Len Hutton's " Life Worth Living"

This is a short video I made about three years ago, and some of you will remember having seen it already. ¬†Apologies for the slurred-soppy-stern voiceover: at the time, I was pretty poor at intonation and pacing myself, and it’s hard to make out the sense of what I’m saying some of the time. Still,…

Arthur Kinnaird and the Future of Football: 1918

The Field, that cozy, unselfish country gentleman’s magazine, bore the travails of 1918 well. Most of its sports reporting – and it covered association football with a generous spirit – was about dead and wounded friends, and now influenza had come in to interrupt what little real sport was still going on. Its correspondents kept…