Sporting and Estoril Praia surprise is Primeira Liga
22 April ~ Easter Sunday saw Benfica claim their 33rd league title (Porto have 27, Sporting 18) with a 2-0 win over struggling Olhanense in front of 64,000 at the Luz in Lisbon. Club president Luís Filipe Vieira dedicated the title to the supporters – according to a UEFA report published last week, 47 per cent of Portuguese fans are Benfiquistas, while there are reputedly six million around the world – and to the two Benfica legends that passed away recently: Eusébio and Mário Coluna. Coach Jorge Jesus in turn thanked Vieira for showing faith in him.
23 April ~ The Latvian folk tale, The Three Doves, tells of three white doves that belonged to a poor farmer in the beautiful but impoverished region of Smiltene. The three doves sense, somehow, that their master is very poor and determine to help him. The first dove decides to fly and fly until he finds a financial advisor offering a free start-up consultation. He returns two months later, exhausted and unsuccessful. The second dove thought it wasn't really their problem but the third dove rose with the sun one morning and flew into the poor farmer's window repeatedly until the man finally awoke. Read more
22 April ~ David Moyes has been sacked as Manchester United manager just ten months after succeeding Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. When he was appointed the BBC's pundits all had their say, with Alan Hansen hailing him as "the perfect choice" while Gary Lineker said it was "a great choice for Manchester United, probably not a very good choice for Everton". You can watch the full video here.
21 April ~ Division One debutants Ipswich sealed the title with a 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa in their last match. Ray Crawford, who got two goals against Arsenal, was top scorer with 33; only five other Ipswich players scored at all with Crawford's strike partner Ted Philips getting 28. Ipswich boss Alf Ramsey took the England job that summer and full-back Billy Baxter was the one player remaining from this squad when Bobby Robson took over as manager seven years later.
20 April ~ Liverpool travel to Carrow Road today hoping to move a step closer to their first League title since 1990. A decade earlier Liverpool went to a Norwich City team unbeaten at home all season with the aim of defending their crown from the challenge of Manchester United. In a thrilling match that included a David Fairclough hat-trick, Norwich took the lead and twice came from behind to make it 3-3, the Canaries' third goal being a stunning volley from Justin Fashanu, before succumbing 5-3 in the final few minutes. Liverpool went on to win the title by two points.
May issue available in stores and online
The new WSC is out now, in all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.
- The Messi phenomenon
- Fans unite over Hillsborough
- Bayern: a problem for Germany?
- World Cup shirt frenzy in Brazil
- Players must stop not celebrating
- Newport County's revival
FA Amateur Cup final, 1967
18 April ~ Crowds at the final of the FA Amateur Cup (from 1974 the FA Vase) weren't quite what they had been in the 1950s, when five successive finals pulled in capacity 100,000 gates. But a three-quarters full Wembley stadium was 30,000 higher than the previous year's attendance, when Wealdstone had beaten Hendon. Perhaps the public imagination was ignited by the match-up between a storied amateur team such as Enfield FC – yet to lift this trophy for the first time – and an up-and-coming club from a Merseyside satellite town whose players were on average 20 years old.
16 April ~ Several countries have launched official songs for the World Cup. Here's Mexico's. You'll understand why it has more "dislikes" than "likes".
by John McDermott
In many ways John McDermott's book is the archetypal lower-league autobiography. You have contractual wrangles and several relegations shot through with moments of glory, laddish hijinks on pre-season tours of Scandinavia, a touching sense of wonder when the player crosses paths with his contemporaries from the Premier League and transcription from interview tapes with a minimum of editorial effort. Rather than leave for a new club every chapter, though, McDermott spends all of his 21-year, 750-match career with Grimsby Town. Read more
The Justin Fashanu story
How much is there left to say about a man of whom so much has already been said? This biography of Justin Fashanu will certainly not be the last. The sleeve notes of Nick Baker's Forbidden Forward promise more detail than ever before and to identify "those who are to blame for his untimely death". Read more
The Weserstadion is the 42,500-capacity home of Werder Bremen in Germany. The stadium is situated on the north bank of the Weser River and surrounded by parkland but was turned down as a host venue for the 2006 World Cup.