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5 December 2008 ~

Roy Keane
quit Sunderland by text message yesterday, with opinion divided about whether he had been honest about his shortcomings or was unable to cope with recent setbacks. Whatever his reasons, don’t expect him to explain them to Richard Keys and co any time soon. Here’s what we said when he took on the job.

Badge of the week
The club crest of Sevilla appears quite ordinary at first glance – red and white stripes, a nice old-fashioned football, the club’s initials – until we alight upon the mysterious little story in the top left panel. Apparently a rabbit and a horse, dressed in emergency ponchos, attend an enigmatic third figure in a gazebo. It is possible that the rabbit and the horse have just finished a rudimentary game of football and the rabbit is asking whose brown jacket this is that was left out on the pitch. Perhaps in Spain, in the early part of the 20th century, queries regarding unclaimed clothes left on the field of play were routinely resolved by Faceless Wise Men in gazebos. It is not clear why the rabbit and the horse have shepherd’s crooks and the Faceless Wise Man wields some form of scimitar, but that would probably all be explained through close reference to Andalusian folklore. The Lost Property Department was of course a mid-20th century breakthrough and prior to this the reuniting of mislaid items with absent-minded owners in western Europe was a relatively complicated affair. Why there are no oranges on this badge is anyone’s guess. Do the people of Seville not know what their city is renowned for by foreigners with a very minor qualification in Geography? Cameron Carter

from Nigel Downs
“I recently spent a week in Seattle and noticed the attached poster about Freddie Ljungberg’s imminent arrival there. You’ll note that they overlook his time at West Ham.”

Long Players The Glorious History Of Football’s Full Length Recordings

The World Beaters Sing The World Beaters England 1970 World Cup Squad (Pye)
Supposedly now “very collectible”, according to expert sources, this awkwardly titled offering can actually be snagged on Ebay for seven quid, if you’re really keen to hear Geoff Hurst, Jeff Astle and Peter Bonetti sing their version of Lily The Pink. The album’s big hit, Back Home, set the jaunty, choral tone for squad football songs for the next two decades as record companies failed to repeat its success of topping the UK charts for three weeks (though the team never tried to break America). It took New Order’s World In Motion for Italia 90 to change the template to rubbish indie singalong. Other tunes covered include Sugar Sugar (Norman Hunter, Terry Cooper and Jack Charlton sing in harmony about how they sweeten up the opposition attack), Make Me An Island (a tenor, or possibly soprano, duet between Emlyn Hughes and Alan Ball) and Lovey-Dovey, which the sleevenotes proclaim to be “your actual ‘reggae’ music with Gordon Banks in true Caribbean form”. The final track is There Will Always Be An England. The 1974, 1978 and 1994 tournaments excepted. Ian Plenderleith

Stuart Nethercott’s Wikipedia entry details the malign role he once played in the lives of sticker collectors..

This week in history ~ Division Two, December 7, 1991


Dion Dublin and John Taylor scored the goals in the 2-2 draw that kept Cambridge United top. Playing a widely criticised but productive long ball game, John Beck’s side lost in the play-offs to Leicester after finishing fifth, their highest ever league position. Had they gone up to the Premier League it would have been a record-breaking third successive promotion. Beck was back in the news last week as the chief coach of Histon, FA Cup conquerors of Leeds.

Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn, newly bankrolled by wealthy owner Jack Walker, went top after their 3-0 defeat of Bristol Rovers the following week and stayed put until March. A run of six successive defeats then pushed them down to seventh. After squeaking into the play-offs they beat Leicester at Wembley thanks to a Mike Newell penalty. David Speedie, whom Dalglish brought with him from Liverpool, was the division’s top scorer with 23 goals.

Two goals behind Speedie was Brett Angell who scored Southend’s first goal in their win over Brighton. Playing their first season at this level, they climbed to second but fell away to 12th – still their best League finish – after manager David Webb resigned in March.

After their defeat at Plymouth, Ipswich won nine of their next 11 matches, a run that lifted them into the top two; they went on to win the title by four points. Chris Kiwomya and midfielder Jason Dozzell were their leading scorers. Middlesbrough, for whom Bernie Slaven and Paul Wilkinson formed an effective strike partnership, clinched the second automatic promotion spot with a 2-0 win at Wolves on the final day.

Port Vale’s 2-2 draw at Newcastle began a sequence of 17 games without a win which, unsurprisingly, cemented a relegation place. But with manager John Rudge in the middle of a 15-year spell in charge, the team were promoted again the following year.

Newcastle were third from bottom when Kevin Keegan replaced Ossie Ardiles as manager in February 1992, but they avoided the drop on the final day with a 2-1 win at Leicester. Relegated instead were Brighton and Plymouth, who had 42-year old-manager Peter Shilton in goal for their final seven matches.

WSC Trivia ~ No 44
WSC was the subject of the Fanzine Focus in the November 25, 1989 edition of the football weekly Match. We were given 8/10 for Value For Money and Editorials/Campaigning and 9/10 for Pictures. The survey concludes: “Quite clearly the editors of The Fanzine realise there are many issues which occur off the field that affect football.” Do you know, that’s still true today. See the full article here

A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

Bobby Hoy, Huddersfield Town
Wonderful World of Soccer Stars, 1971-72
Twenty-year-old winger Bobby Hoy played an important role in the Huddersfield team that won promotion to Division One in 1970, scoring seven goals in 28 games. Even then he may have been harbouring dreams of making an impact in another branch of the entertainment industry. Hoy stayed with Huddersfield for another four years then had brief spells with three other clubs before joining Fourth Division Rochdale in 1978. Having become a cult figure among Dale supporters, who had a song in his honour “Viva Bobby Hoy” (which older readers may recognise as an adaptation of Viva Bobby Joe by The Equals), he retired from football in 1980 – in order to become a nightclub singer. Hoy went on to tour the circuit of northern working men’s clubs for several years offering his interpretation of the hits of the day plus some standard showtunes. Frustratingly, he doesn’t appear to have made any records although we would like to hear from anyone who knows differently.

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