Burnley 1959-60 – a good year for claret

BURNLEY, with a population of around 80,000, is the smallest town ever to give birth to a Football League Championship winning team. It has the classic image of a Lowryesque mill town of chimneys, and at one stage, looms outnumbered people. And in the football club’s heyday, a large percentage of local folk would shuffle along to Turf Moor to watch the Clarets. Today, the … Continue reading Burnley 1959-60 – a good year for claret

River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

IF LONDON’s often abysmal infrastructure had got its way, I would not have reached Craven Cottage on time for Fulham’s second Premier League home game of the season. Train delays, tube disruptions, over-crowding from the Notting Hill Carnival and to top that, incessant rain. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but a damaged knee made the journey all the more challenging. Hopefully, the game would compensate. … Continue reading River-Cottage-Football: Mitro’s definitely on fire

Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

IT IS hard not to like Watford, a sentiment that dates back to the days of Elton John, Luther Blissett and John Barnes. Admittedly, their style of football under Graham Taylor wasn’t the most aesthetic – function over form, to be sure – but Watford also provided the football world with some genuinely warm moments. The club seemed to have a great attitude, connected well … Continue reading Watford and Burnley – real people, real clubs

At number 10, Hubris, that super-confident hero of our time

BOLD statements about a team’s potential are often made in the months leading up to World Cups. It is a time when normally grounded and stable individuals often make ridiculous claims about football teams. Remember the over-used term “golden generation”? It’s no longer fashionable or wise to use such words to describe a football team, because the margin between success and failure in the game … Continue reading At number 10, Hubris, that super-confident hero of our time

Hayward and his kind – a breed that’s all but disappeared

Wolves fans recently bid farewell to Jack Hayward, the local businessman who rescued the club he supported as a boy and helped to lift out of the mire. Hayward, who died aged 91, represented the old type of club chairman and benefactor, the local man who wanted to put something back into the institution that captured his imagination in his youth. There have been plenty … Continue reading Hayward and his kind – a breed that’s all but disappeared

Calling in on….Ipswich Town – in need of more Suffolk punch

Anyone who grew up in an era when Ipswich Town were among the top clubs in the country, playing a brand of progressive football that drew comparisons with the best that Continental Europe could offer, has difficulty in coming to terms with Ipswich’s current reduced status. Portman Road is still a neat stadium, imposing in the slower-paced East Anglian town that Ipswich is (population 133,000), … Continue reading Calling in on….Ipswich Town – in need of more Suffolk punch

Calling in on….Brighton & Hove Albion

One week ago, I purchased two tickets for Brighton’s home game with Burnley.  From that day, I received a string of emails, previewing the game, making special offers and updating me on events at the club. On the morning of the match, I received a letter from Oscar Garcia, Brighton’s new head coach. Now I have ghost-written enough letters and articles to know that Garcia … Continue reading Calling in on….Brighton & Hove Albion

Great Reputations: Burnley 1959-60 – a good year for claret

Burnley, with a population of around 80,000, is the smallest town ever to give birth to a Football League Championship winning team. It has the classic image of a Lowryesque mill town of chimneys, and at one stage, looms outnumbered people. And in the football club’s heyday, a large percentage of local folk would shuffle along to Turf Moor to watch the Clarets. Today, the … Continue reading Great Reputations: Burnley 1959-60 – a good year for claret