THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
21 October 2011 ~

From Colonel Gaddafi's point of view, the worst thing about coming to a gory end yesterday was that it deprived him of a chance to watch this weekend's titanic, momentous, globe-spanning Manchester derby.

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Badge of the week ~ Club Aurora, Bolivia
The messianic dazzle of this club crest informs the outsider that this Club Aurora is a team that aims high. Rather than using hopelessly parochial signifiers as its focus, such as snapshots of the local fauna and infrastructure, Aurora's badge is a gloriously universal abstract. The design company that produced it, Electric Vague, have suggested with this image that Club Aurora aspire to a different league entirely, a footballing utopia where all teams exist in one golden division with no relegation and just a nice handshake in May for the champions from an elderly dandy in white gloves.

A league played among brothers, where respect is a natural, let us say organic, phenomenon that need not be initiated by the governing body by way of a formal campaign and where there is little or no jostling at set pieces. A league whose referees are tall individuals with rich, lustrous hair and nothing to prove. There is a minty freshness about this badge that speaks of hope, but also the dark side of utopia: a puritan regime of self-improvement, intolerant of imperfection and honest idleness. As a player, it’s probably more fun playing for a team like West Brom with their chubby little songbird. Cameron Carter

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A plumbing wholesaler is running a competition to provide upgraded toilet facilities for one football club. From these pictures you would say Barrow supporters' need is greatest.

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from David Squires
"If Mark Bosnich really feels that a wig is necessary, you would think he could have found a better one (as seen on Australian TV last Saturday)."

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from Ross Andrews

"There will never be a better tribute to the singular gifts of Emile Heskey than this."

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from Stuart Jones
"Johan Boskamp's career seems to have taken a downward turn since he left the Britannia."



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from Justin Hughes
"I recently came across the most disturbing thing I have seen on the internet in a long time, namely random football cards from the 1958-59 season. Apart from the fact every player looks like one of Terry Gilliam's disturbing cartoons from Monty Python, check out the dark vortex of terror where Brian Clough's eyes should be, John Bond's Lurch impersonation, 'Donald' Revie's smiling assassin expression and Tom Finney who even in 1958 looks about 102 years old. Only Jimmy Hill, who surely must have been holding a glass of champagne and a Turkish/Balkan blend cigarette on a very long holder underneath the camera, is not in the least bit terrifying.""

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Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

Luton Town home, 1991-92
Like a Bedfordshire Barcelona, Luton began the 1991-92 season with advertising absent from their shirts. Unlike their Catalan counterparts, however, that void was filled in late September by Universal Salvage Auctions, making early versions of this kit collectable. Kind of.

With the away strip featuring orange and white diamonds – and bringing zero victories all season – this was the lesser of two evils. It also had a lot to live up to after the Bedford-sponsored heyday of the 1980s (a commemorative version of the 1988 League Cup-winning kit was released in 2008).

While Luton's league positions dipped considerably after this season, their kits rarely stooped so low (with 1994-95 away a notable exception). Umbro's final year as manufacturer proved a bad one for Luton. Not just because this shirt resembled a half-finished GCSE art project, but because the season ended in relegation from the top flight three months before the Premier League arrived.

The infamous artificial pitch had been replaced with grass and away supporters returned for the first time since 1986. Mick Harford bagged 12 goals, including a remarkable overhead kick, but Big Mick, this shirt and David Pleat failed to secure an 11th consecutive top-flight season.

Twenty years on, Luton find themselves spluttering along for a third year in non-League wearing a 1970s-inspired orange number emblazoned with easyJet’s logo. Alex Brodie

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