The Europeans: 1960 – the USSR and Franco’s own goal

THE European Championships have become the second most important international football competition after the World Cup, although you could argue that the UEFA Champions League is doing its best to overtake both. In the first of a new series, Game of the People looks at some of the great Euros, starting with the very first. In 1960, with the cold war simmering away and tension building – culminating in the Cuban missile crisis and the erection of the Berlin Wall –  politicans were desperately trying to build unity across Europe. Two world wars had, after all, originated and had been … Continue reading The Europeans: 1960 – the USSR and Franco’s own goal

In 1968, these were Europe’s finest players…

LESLIE VERNON was football journalism’s European expert in the 1960s and early 1970s. Information on this gentleman is scarce, but for some reason I assumed he had some sort of link with Hungary. Somebody told me he had come to England in the mid-1950s during the Hungarian uprising. I had an image of this pencil-bearded academic schooled in the football wisdom of Ferenc Puskas, Willie Meisl and assorted Viennese coffee house experts. He could, however, have come from Acton or Hounslow for all I know! Nevertheless, Leslie Vernon provided some insight into football across the English Channel and deep into … Continue reading In 1968, these were Europe’s finest players…