Yuletide football, as idealised as a white Christmas

IT was the day after the day after Christmas Day and Chelsea were playing West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. 40 years ago. Chelsea had won 2-1 and the West Ham fans had been kept in the ground, the usual post-match ritual. This was, after all, the heyday of football hooliganism, tribal battles and non-stop taunting and posturing in London derbies. At Earls Court that … Continue reading Yuletide football, as idealised as a white Christmas

Yuletide football, as idealised as a white Christmas

IT was the day after the day after Christmas Day and Chelsea were playing West Ham United at Stamford Bridge. 40 years ago. Chelsea had won 2-1 and the West Ham fans had been kept in the ground, the usual post-match ritual. This was, after all, the heyday of football hooliganism, tribal battles and non-stop taunting and posturing in London derbies. At Earls Court that … Continue reading Yuletide football, as idealised as a white Christmas

Amid Boxing Day’s cobwebs…opportunity lingers

  BOXING DAY is a strange football occasion. People hand out greetings as if they haven’t seen each other for decades, talking about a single day’s eating and drinking to excess as if it was a once-in-a-lifetime event and men bring their wives to football for the one and only time in the season. It’s an odd ritual, especially when the previous game might have … Continue reading Amid Boxing Day’s cobwebs…opportunity lingers

Do we really need Boxing Day football?

BY THE end of the English football season, players are worn out. When any England side goes to a major tournament, invariably there are injury victims that cannot make the trip or are included in the squad with the hope of getting them fit in time for when the action gets underway. Kevin Keegan, Trevor Brooking, Wayne Rooney and Bryan Robson are just four of … Continue reading Do we really need Boxing Day football?