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31 October 2014 ~
It's the Manchester derby this weekend. United, in eighth place, go to City, who are hoping to avoid a third successive defeat. It's just like the 1980s again.
Badge of the week ~ ASC Montsinéry-Tonnegrande, French Guiana
On the Montsinéry-Tonnegrande border, many years ago, a new settler arrived bringing with him in one suitcase all his worldly possessions. His other-worldly possessions, an angel’s tear and a dry-cleaning ticket once in the possession of Baudelaire, were in a lock-up in Le Havre.
Nearing the newly created mining settlement where he hoped to make his fortune, the traveller found a tumultuous river barring his way. Recklessly entering the river, he was immediately swept downstream for ten miles, finally drifting to a halt in thick rushes outside the next village where, philosophically accepting his lot, he set up in business as a drifting instructor. Meanwhile his suitcase was pulled out by an inhabitant of the mining settlement upstream, triggering the first ever luggage auction.
The winning bidder took home three lots of Frenchman’s clothing and was known thereafter as “Le Francais” and also “Monsieur Le Vêtements”. From that day, Montsinéry-Tonnegrande became the world centre of luggage auctions and, by extension, fist fights. Cameron Carter
from Steve Morgan
“Checking out mug shots of Premier League referees on their official website, I was drawn to this picture of Stuart Attwell, giver of the infamous 'ghost goal' in the game between Reading and Watford in 2007. Is this a spooky portent of some horrid karmic fate awaiting him on All Souls' Eve, or have people at the Premier League got more of a sense of humour than we thought?”
“It is possible that this page may have been edited by Fraser himself.” Wikipedia suspects excessive self-promotion.
Sign of the times at Old Trafford.
Get with the programme A past match played this week in history
Nottingham Forest v FC Zurich Inter-Cities Fairs’ Cup, second round, first leg, October 31, 1967
European football was still a novelty to most teams, and this was just Forest’s third tie on the continental stage – they’d lost to Valencia in 1961 in the ICFC (soon to be rechristened as the less unwieldy UEFA Cup), but hammered Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate in the first round of this year’s competition. “The manner in which we set about defeating Frankfurt in the last round here in Nottingham is the kind of performance we must put up here tonight,” explains the programme’s opening column, back in the days when football writers went to quaintly delicate lengths to express themselves.
But their opponents from the City of Gnomes were no slouches, featuring the greatest Swiss player of all time, Jakob “Kobi” Kuhn, and fresh from having knocked out Barcelona 3-2 over two games. Although Forest edged the first leg 2-1 with goals from Henry Newton and a penalty from Ian Storey-Moore, a single Christian Winiger goal in the return leg at the Letzigrund two weeks later sealed it for the Swiss. They went on to beat Sporting in the third round, but fell to Dundee at the quarter-final stage. That Dundee lost to eventual winners Leeds reflects not just the competition’s strength at that time, but a more egalitarian balance in domestic football across Europe.
The magazine makes a touching (but ham-fisted) stab at hospitality with a welcoming note in German to the visitors, and lays on a programme of music that must have magically transported the City Ground faithful from a dark, autumnal east Midlands evening to the peaks and lakes of the spectacular Alps. Numbers included To the Spitzing Lake, There is a House on the Mountain, At Dux My Beautiful Valley, and Nazi Gold Stored Beneath Our Streets (I may have made one of these up).
The programme editors were obviously literary predecessors of Milan Kundera, who later wrote that a man who chooses to be blind towards coincidence in his daily life “thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty”. Why else would they devote a paragraph to telling us: “Coincidence is in the fact that the draw for the first round of the Inter-City Fairs Cup was made in Frankfurt and we were drawn to meet them in the first round. The Second Round draw was made in Zurich and we were paired with that city’s club.” Who needs the valley at Dux when you’ve got administratively generated beauty like that?
Targeting the fan demographic “The new Nottingham Forest souvenir carpet, a beautiful production, can now be obtained. It depicts Robin Hood and the Coat of Arms, with players in Forest colours.” £5 19s. 6d. Why has no Premier League team copied this brilliant merchandising idea?
Result Forest 2 (Newton, Storey-Moore) FCZ 1 (Künzli)
Forest Grummitt, Hindley, Winfield, Hennessey, McKinlay, Newton, Lyons, Barnwell, Baker, Wignall, Storey-Moore
FC Zürich Grob, Münch, Kyburz, Leimgruber, Neumann, Trivellin, Winiger, Martinelli, Künzli, Kuhn, Meyer