In September 1983 Sheffield United visited Brunei to take part in a football match against the the national side to commemorate the opening of the new national stadium. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah looks absolutely delighted with the visit of this top English side as he meets the Blades players and chairman Reg Brearley before the game.
This was the first game in the new stadium and the Blades won 1-0. They returned the following day and played out a 1-1 draw against a Brunei invitational team.
The Southern Professional Floodlit Cup is a defunct English football competition played for in the late fifties from 55/56 to 59/60 and was a knock-out trophy that served as a pre-cursor to the Football League Cup. It was mainly played for by clubs from London and the South. The most northerly club to enter the competition was Leicester City in the 59/60 season whilst their near neighbours Coventry City had been the first Midlands club to take part the season before.
In the five seasons it ran a total of nineteen clubs featured: Aldershot, Arsenal, Brentford, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester City, Luton Town, Millwall, Orient, Portsmouth, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Southend Utd, Watford, West Ham Utd.
Six of these clubs, Palace, Millwall, Orient, QPR, Watford & West Ham took part every season. Each season saw a different winner with the inaugural winners being West Ham followed by Luton, Portsmouth, Arsenal, with Coventry winning the last tournament in 59/60.
West Ham & Reading are the only clubs to appear in two finals with West Ham winning one & losing one. Reading were runners-up both times they were in the final. Previous winners Luton & Arsenal also have two losing semi-final appearances each and along with the Hammers & Reading share most semi-final appearances with three each. Brentford played in the semis twice and both times failed to reach the final.
Programme from Cardiff City v Grasshoppers Zurich friendly game played on the 5th October 1960 to mark the official opening of the floodlights at Ninian Park. The lights had been used for the first time in the Bluebird’s opening league game of their 60/61 first division campaign against Sheffield Wednesday. A match the visitors won 1-0 on their way to the league runners-up spot behind double winners Tottenham Hotspur.
There’s some interesting visitor notes in this programme for a friendly between Stockport County and Slavia Prague back in 1968.
Talking about the club’s red and white colours a Slavia Prague official explain that ..
"For the followers of the club, the club colours mean an association with Slav family life. The white reminds them of the cleanliness of sportmanship, and challenges them to an honourable fight in which opponents are not enemies but recognised rivals."
He explains that the club wears red because ..
"it is the symbol of the heart which must be put into every match and the red star on the white background represents hope which strengthens and encourages and overcomes fatigue and disappointment."
He goes onto say that the two different halves of the shirt, with it’s five-pointed star demonstrates that every person has not only one side, but that it was necessary to look for harmony between will and sentiment, force and fitness, enthusiasm and disappointment.
Profound stuff for the Edgeley Park faithful to mull over on a cold winter night.
Uruguayan club Rampla Juniors embarked on a huge global tour in 1956. Over the course of 71 days they played 24 games in 8 countries. They visited Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Turkey as well as England. They recorded 11 wins, 6 draws and only 7 defeats, a quite remarkable record given that they averaged a game every 3 days.
The English leg of their tour saw them take part in a number of floodlit friendlies. The programme cover above shows their game at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday 10th April. The day after, on the Wednesday, they played Portsmouth at Fratton Park & became the first Uruguayan club to record a victory on British soil with a 3-1 win.
The following week they visited Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday the 18th & then Watford on the Thursday. I’ve not been able to find the scores from these two games. They also played Leeds, Mansfield, Southampton & possibly Burnley but I haven’t been able to confirm the dates these games were played.
Awesome doesn’t even begin to describe just how good the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation web archive is. Full of some absolutely compelling football facts and soccer stats. FOR EXAMPLE: Where else would you get information about Russian clubs playing in Finnish or Lithuanian leagues? Roving Clubs.
Or the results from obscure early twentieth century friendly cup competitions ..