A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
29 May 2009 ~


Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves
have not performed together since the launch of the Premier League in 1992. They're back tomorrow, however, as part of Setanta's ten hours of FA Cup coverage. Their return has been welcomed generally but Setanta's press office are laying it on a bit thick in saying: "Saint and Greavsie as a double act are a TV institution up there with the likes of Morecambe and Wise." The only connection we can see is that there are two of them.

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Badge of the week
Austria Salzburg are now named Red Bull Salzburg after their sponsor, but for the same reason right-thinking people avoid using the rebranded names of Opal Fruits and Marathon bars, Austria Salzburg will be quite sufficient for this monograph. This is an absolute peach. Salzburg have eschewed boring old portcullises (portcullii?) and suchlike in favour of a nice action picture of a footballer. Alan Hansen would say this image has "movement, pace, technique" and of course he would be spot on. The body shape is perfect for the right-footed screamer into the top corner, the eyes are on the ball, our friend is concentrating entirely on the task in hand despite the presence of two hefty blades sticking out of his long-johns. The DA haircut dates the design back to the 1950s one might guess, although one never knows with Austria and Germany as we must remember that the male bubble-perm, for example, is not actually an object of derision in these lands even now. Note the wonderful use of shading here to delineate the figure, adding vitality and depth. I was going to look up the correct illustrator's term for this style of drawing but something inside me switched off and as a consequence it remains a mystery. Cameron Carter

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Nigella Lawson has written an article explaining why she loves football. We considered choosing a short extract but it's probably best that you experience the full, unremitting horror. Not to be read on a full stomach.

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Getting shirty
Notable kits of yesteryear

Denmark home, 1986
One of the classic designs made by Hummel. They produced a similar halved pinstripe kit for Villa and several strips for Spurs who owned the company for a while but withdrew after making huge losses. The fine Denmark team, featuring Soren Lerby, Michael Laudrup and Jesper Olsen, made a major impact at the 1986 World Cup, winning all three of their group games including a 6-1 thrashing of Uruguay. The Danes then came unstuck against Spain, the same opponents who had defeated them in the semi-finals of their first major tournament, Euro 84. A less talented Danish squad, with midfielder Henrik Andersen and full-back John Sivebaek the only survivors from 1986, went on to become European champions six years later.

Buy this shirt and hundreds of others at Classic Football Shirts

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from Derek Walker
"Upon reading the piece on Derek Smalls' penchant for the obscure in the Howl of May 15, I was reminded of Captain Sensible's preference for wearing a long-sleeved St Mirren shirt for a while in the late Seventies. Indeed, there are many pics of the great man wearing the shirt both at live gigs and and official photo shoots. As far as I'm aware this dalliance with the perennial also-rans of Scottish football has never been explained."
 
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WSC Archive
Burnley is one of the smallest towns with a league team, which makes the club a vital part of local life. In 2004 we examined their involvement in community equality projects.

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from Kevin Borras
"Re: posh players' names in last week's Howl – what about those who sound like late 1970s disco moves? I can only think of one player whose name fits snugly into my admittedly small 'oeuvre' but Chipstead striker Baptiste Bogle definitely deserves a mention. He was listed in the Non-League Paper as Baptiste Bugle a few weeks ago which would have put him in an entirely different category altogether: Players whose names sound like instruments found in the Salvation Army Brass Band. Can't imagine there are too many players called Ecclesiastical Trombone but then you wouldn't expect there to be one called Exodus Geogheghan."

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WSC Trivia ~ No 66
We're often asked how many subscribers we have on the various islands that dot Britain's windswept and rockbound coast. The latest score is: Jersey 16; Isle of Man 15; Isle of Wight 12 (no prisoners); Guernsey 8; Shetland 4; Orkney 3; Anglesey 2; Alderney and Mull 1 each. Not a stirring on Sark or the Scillies.

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Stickipedia A mine of information constructed from sticker cards

David Ginola, Toulon & Eric Cantona, Auxerre Panini Football En Images 88
Throughout the UK TV coverage of France's matches at Euro 96, pundits expressed their amazement that the host nation had overlooked the two French players who had made a major impact on English football. Ginola was widely blamed for the failure to reach USA 94, not least by national coach Gérard Houllier, because his bad backpass helped set up the Bulgarian goal that enabled them to qualify at the expense of the French. But that was not the end of his international career – he went on play in four qualifiers for Euro 96, getting his last cap in a 10-0 defeat of Azerbaijan in June 1995, by which time he had joined Newcastle. Ginola was first called up while with Brest, a year after leaving Toulon, then went to win all but three of his 17 caps as a Paris St-Germain player.

Eric Cantona first came to the attention of the English media in the same season as this Panini sticker, scoring twice in France's 2-2 draw at Highbury in April 1988 that gave them a 6-4 aggregate win in a European Under-21 Championship semi-final. Unlike Ginola, he did play in a major tournament, making three appearances without scoring at Euro 92. Houllier's successor, Aimé Jacquet, made Cantona captain for the last nine of his 45 caps, but he wasn't selected again after a nine-month worldwide ban for attacking a spectator at Selhurst Park in January 1995. He retired two years later.

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