“Football is a sport made from spontaneity and discernment, luxury and freedom, and one that, I believe, is part of our most primitive genome, like dance. But football should also be a type of dance. A dose of peace.”—Sócrates Brasileiro - Preface to Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life
Heads up folks. I’ve relaunched my Football Philately blog. As a little taster of how fabulous and fantastic football stamps can be see the image above of one of my favourites. Issued by Brazil in 1950 to commemorate the 4th World Cup it shows an image of the awesome Maracana Stadium. Good eh.
“There are seven things that will destroy us: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Religion without sacrifice; Politics without principle; Science without humanity; Business without ethics.”—Mahatma Ghandi (via lawrence-weathers)
Got Not Got: The A-Z of Lost Football Culture, Treasures and Pleasures
As you would expect from a blog like ours, that likes to look at the retro side of football, we love any new football books that focus on the nostalgic elements of the beautiful game. Got Not Got is one of those books, it’s a beauty. An absolute must-have for all you nostalgia junkies out there. It’s a memory-filled journey back into the 60s, 70s & 80s when football was .. well .. better.
Better than it is now anyway, with it’s all-seater stadiums where you have to sit down and shut up .. except that is when the goal music plays. Then you have to stand up for a bit and do some stupid half-arsed ‘victory dance’ dreamt up by a knobhead from the Soccer AM studios.
Here’s some nice Manchester United trivia for you. What was Alex Ferguson’s one and only appearance for the United first team? The programme cover above is a rather large clue. During the mid-season tour of Bermuda at the back end of 1987 Fergie came on as a second half substitute in the game against Somerset Cricket Club. Now you know.
Work is well under way constructing Rotherham United’s new community stadium. Local company Ellrod Site Services must be congratulated on their use of social media to provide updates on the construction of the stadium. They’re tweeting regular photos of the site and looking through their twitter gallery it’s fascinating see the stadium rise from the ground.
Happy Birthday Accra Hearts of Oak SC - Established 11-11-11
Founded 11 November 1911 Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club are Ghana’s oldest exisiting football club. The club motto is ‘Never say Die’ and the official club website has these profound words to say on the matter ..
"The motto “NEVER SAY DIE” reflects the art, science and reality that the Oak tree is very strong and tough in the forest and thus able to survive all kinds of weather conditions. Yes, as a human institution, the founding fathers were very much aware that there would be good and bad times at one stage or the other due to mortal failures, shortcomings and differences in opinion. They however never compromised on the spirit of love and unity that bonded them together to be able to ride the storms of life."
The remotest football pitch in the World - Tristan da Cuhna, South Atlantic Ocean
Tristan da Cuhna is a group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic. It is considered to be the remotest inhabited part of the World situated 1760 miles from the nearest land in South Africa.
With a population of less than 300 the locals have managed to put together a local football team, Tristan da Cuhna FC, and usually play games amongst themselves or against the crews of visiting ships. One recent game saw a local XI take on an International Salvage XI. Played on one of the island’s cattle fields the locals triumphed 10-5.
) it tells the story of how Sheffield United and Chelsea reached the 1915 FA Final amidst the chaos of a world at war.
"When, on April 24th 1915, Sheffield United captain George Utley lifted the FA Cup, it brought to a close one of the most controversial football seasons in history. The same day, thousands of allied troops were killed or injured in a German poison gas attack near Ypres.
On this day, the 26th October, in 1955, two simultaneous floodlit firsts took place, the first time in British football history that two such games had been played on the same day. So perhaps it’s fitting given my fascination with floodlit football that we recap a few floodlit firsts of British football.
Here’s a selection of programme covers from landmark games in the club’s history. First up we have the the game against Scotland’s oldest club that was played on 24th October 1957 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the club. Then in 1977 came the club’s finest modern-day moment. A visit to Wembley to play in the FA Vase final. Manchester Utd provided the opposition for the 125th anniversary game whilst Inter Milan, who including World Cup winner Marco Materazzi and a certain Marco Balotelli in their line-up, made the trip to Sheffield to play in the 150th anniversary game.
32 Programmes by Dave Roberts - The Next Chapter Programme 33
I’ve recently finished reading what for me is most definitely the football book of the year. 32 Programmes by Dave Roberts is a fascinating & evocative tale of love, life and obsession. When the author relocates to the USA, his wife informs him that they can only take what is ‘absolutely essential’. Packing his collection of 1000+ (1,134 to be precise - football fans are sticklers for statistics) football programmes he is aghast to be informed that the programmes do not fall into that category. He must whittle down his treasured archive to just 32 programmes, the amount that will fit into a paperback sized plastic container.
I am honoured to say that the author of this wonderful book has agreed to write one more chapter for the book, on the programme that almost made it .. but not quite. Over to Dave as he takes up the tale of programme 33 ..
Did Sheffield United play the first game at the Estadio Azteca?
I am currently doing some research for an article about Sheffield United overseas tours. As I was flicking through an old Blades matchday programme from the 1966/67 season I came across an article about the Sheffield United tour of Mexico and South America that club undertook at the end of the 1965/66 season. This snippet of information caught my eye ..