ACADEMICS somewhere in the world are probably debating right now whether football has replaced religion as a defining element of society. To some people, football is the prominent feature of their life, the opium that drags them away from the … Continue reading Manchester United, the religious argument
REAL MADRID completed a hat-trick of European Cup wins in 1958, but they had to work hard for the top prize in a gruelling final with AC Milan in Brussels. In doing so, Real also completed the double of domestic … Continue reading Europe’s Champions: 1957-58 Real Madrid
FOOTBALL fans consider the club stadium as an extension of their personal space. They go misty-eyed when they talk about the terraces they once stood on, the end of the ground they occupied and they stick very close to a … Continue reading New stadiums for old – reinventing a club
WE ALL like to think that football is more than just 22-28 young men kicking an object around an oblong field – if only because it elevates our interest beyond obsession to something that is more deep and meaningful! Journalists … Continue reading Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games: The football experience
FOR THOSE of us accustomed to seeing Paris St. Germain galloping away with Ligue 1, the start to 2016-17 has been interesting. PSG, shorn of the charismatic Zlatan, have struggled to find their feet under Unai Emery and the current leaders are Nice. Although the team from the Cote D’Azur may be unfamiliar league leaders, there’s a very recognisable striker who is helping Le Aiglons (The Eaglets) make the early running in France. Mario Balotelli, who has signed on a one-year contract from Liverpool, netted five goals for Nice as the club remained unbeaten in their first eight games. Date … Continue reading Nice for Nice, but for how long?
HITCHIN TOWN and Weymouth lock horns this weekend, almost 40 years after the two clubs met in the FA Cup first round in a long-running saga that lasted four games. Such runs are a thing of the past as the endurance factor has been replaced by the “wham, bam, thank you ma’am” of the penalty shoot-out. Nevertheless, the quartet of games and the outcome remain locked into Hitchin Town folklore. At that time, Hitchin were “amateurs” and Weymouth represented the rough and tumble world of the semi-professional. Hitchin were riding relatively high in the Isthmian League and Weymouth were Southern … Continue reading The spirit of ’76 lives on for Hitchin and Weymouth