The First Recorded Sound

Some of you may remember that 1860 version of Clare de la Lune getting Charlotte Green into all kinds of trouble last year. The people behind that restoration, First Sounds,  are still very much at work, and now they’ve pushed the likely date for the first recording of sound back to 1857. That’s not on…


Physical Memory

My teens coincided with the early-to-mid 1980s. I don’t remember there being much televised football then. There was more than I do remember – I worked too hard at school to take time off for MOTD, when it was a Saturday night thing, let alone evening live matches. I didn’t really read the papers either….


Scottish Football Sells Its Soul To Mammon

.. and it was a long time ago, too: here are a couple of ads from Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches by the immortal David Drummond Bone (1890): ******************** The Trainer of the Rangers Football Team writes: The Trainer of the Rangers Football Team writes: “SIR,–I use HERBULINE extensively, and find it of great value….


1957 FA Cup Final in Colour

I don’t know if I’ve posted this before, so if I have, here it is again. This is what I believe to be a snippet of Sam Hanna’s colour film of the Busby Babes losing to a talented Villa side, nine months before Munich. The match itself was ruined as a spectacle, if not as…


Tony Crosland's Chief Idiosyncracy

This just in from Dominic Sandbrook’s White Heat: Crosland’s chief idiosyncracy, however, was what his wife called his ‘passionate love affair’ with Match of the Day, which had started in August 1964. ‘Any living soul he was likely to run into on a Saturday,’ she wrote, ‘was alerted that on no account must the outcome…


Can Manchester United Win Four Titles on the Trot?

Of course, if Manchester United do win a fourth consecutive title next season, they will be the first team do win four, and it will be at the fifth time of asking. That alone makes it unlikely – dominance of the top division has to end some time, and in the past, this is where…


Is Michael Owen a Has-Been?

Disappointing to relate, but Wolfram Alpha can’t tell you. Yet.  But if Cambridge’s finest is stumped, that does at least indicate that the question is open for debate. I think the answer’s no, and here are the reasons why. 1. Owen, we are told, is out of date. It is no longer enough to be…


What We’ve Learned About Clough

The burst of media interest in Brian Clough that accompanied the release of The Damned United might be the last one. Luckily, television used the opportunity to dip one more time into its archives and broadcast at least a proportion of what it found. Of course, the programming hung around all this fresh material was…

All the Sinners Saints: Chelsea Robbed in Europe

606 was group therapy last night. Chelsea fan after Chelsea fan heard their own voices slurring under an unsuspected weight that, the future gone from them, they could suddenly feel.  There was a lot of anger spoken of unfelt. Tiredness and resignation masqueraded as rage. Lovejoy called for vengeance, but his “I want United to…

The Ghosts of 1979

They showed the 1979 Election Night broadcast again on BBC Parliament yesterday. I watched it with four friends on Facebook and Twitter, myself here in Scotland, the others in Camden, Sussex and Oxford, comments chucking back and forth. I was trying to write at the same time, but little by little the programme dragged me…