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Arthur Wharton - Footballing Royalty

Arthur Wharton the first professional black footballerOn Tuesday 29th March England will play Ghana at Wembley in the first meeting between the two countries. The game will  honour the memory and achievements of Arthur Wharton, the World’s first black professional footballer.

Wharton was born 1865 in Jamestown, Gold Coast, current day Ghana. His father was a Methodist priest from Grenada and his mother was a member of the Fante royal house. In 1882 he left for England to train as a missionary and it was whilst at college in Darlington that his talent for sports shone through. He soon gave up his studies to become a full-time athlete.

He was a very talented individual indeed, in 1886 he became the first man to run the 100 yards dash in ten seconds and in 1887 set the fastest time for cycling between Preston and Blackburn. But it was in football that he was to make his name. 

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English Football - Consecutive Seasons

Have you ever wondered which clubs have spent the most consecutive seasons in each of the four professional English football divisions?

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The Football Association Centenary 1863-1963

The Football Association was founded on October 26th 1863 at the Freemason’s Tavern in London as the first and therefore the oldest governing body in football. A number of games were arranged in 1963 to commemorate the FA’s centenary year with the pick of these being a showpiece friendly held at Wembley between England and a FIFA XI that took to the field as the Rest of The World.

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England Wartime & Victory Internationals

I’ve previously written a few words about Sheffield United football legend Jimmy Hagan here on footysphere. More recently he’s been the subject of an excellent article on Les Rosbifs. Notwithstanding his amazing managerial record the one thing that stands out about his career for me is his fabulous scoring record for England in the wartime & victory Internationals held between 1939 and 1946. He managed to bag 13 goals in 16 appearances and wondering whether this was the best strike rate achieved by any England player during this period I began to have a look into these unofficial international matches & the players who represented their country.

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England Manager Flowchart
This is brilliant. You can check out more laugh out loud football comics on the excellent Things Fall Apart by C. Anderson
Have a hoot exploring the hilarious comics but here’s a couple of football-related items to loosen up those chuckle muscles.
Things Form A Graph
Football Happens In Australia Too
(with thanks to our tumblr buddy Odd Soccer for the tip)

England Manager Flowchart

This is brilliant. You can check out more laugh out loud football comics on the excellent Things Fall Apart by C. Anderson

Have a hoot exploring the hilarious comics but here’s a couple of football-related items to loosen up those chuckle muscles.

(with thanks to our tumblr buddy Odd Soccer for the tip)


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reblogged from biffafootie
We’re not Brazil - we’re Northern Ireland
Mural in east Belfast commemorating Northern Ireland beating England at home during the 125th anniversary of the team in 2005.

We’re not Brazil - we’re Northern Ireland

Mural in east Belfast commemorating Northern Ireland beating England at home during the 125th anniversary of the team in 2005.

Match of the Century
England v Hungary 1953

Match of the Century

England v Hungary 1953

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England refuse tactical advice and get walloped 6-3
George Raynor (pictured above) has been mentioned previously here on footysphere. He is the most successful English international manager of all-time; not with England but with Sweden. On the eve of tonight’s England match with Hungary it’s worth mentioning some advice he gave to the English FA back in 1953.
Raynor was in charge of the Swedish team that travelled to Budapest in November of 1953. The Hungarians at this time were known as the Golden Team and history has proven them to be one of the finest international sides of all-time. Between 1949 and 1956 the Hungarians were unbeatable at home but Raynor did his homework and his tactics ensured that the Swedes left with a creditable 2-2 draw under their belts. One of only four times that the Hungarians failed to win in Budapest during this era.
Ten days after the draw with Sweden the Hungarians travelled to Wembley for a showdown with England who were undefeated at home to continental opposition. Raynor tried to give the English some sound tactical advice. Man-marking Nandor Hidegkuti was he claimed the key to stopping the Hungarians. His advice met with opposition and by all accounts he was told, “Can you really expect Stanley Matthews to track back?”
Of course Hidegkuti wasn’t man-marked and he went on to score a hattrick as Hungary demolished England 6-3 in what became known as the Match of the Century.
Exporting International Managers

England refuse tactical advice and get walloped 6-3

George Raynor (pictured above) has been mentioned previously here on footysphere. He is the most successful English international manager of all-time; not with England but with Sweden. On the eve of tonight’s England match with Hungary it’s worth mentioning some advice he gave to the English FA back in 1953.

Raynor was in charge of the Swedish team that travelled to Budapest in November of 1953. The Hungarians at this time were known as the Golden Team and history has proven them to be one of the finest international sides of all-time. Between 1949 and 1956 the Hungarians were unbeatable at home but Raynor did his homework and his tactics ensured that the Swedes left with a creditable 2-2 draw under their belts. One of only four times that the Hungarians failed to win in Budapest during this era.

Ten days after the draw with Sweden the Hungarians travelled to Wembley for a showdown with England who were undefeated at home to continental opposition. Raynor tried to give the English some sound tactical advice. Man-marking Nandor Hidegkuti was he claimed the key to stopping the Hungarians. His advice met with opposition and by all accounts he was told, “Can you really expect Stanley Matthews to track back?”

Of course Hidegkuti wasn’t man-marked and he went on to score a hattrick as Hungary demolished England 6-3 in what became known as the Match of the Century.

Who are the Sleeping Giants of English Football?

image

Comments by Joe Cole about Liverpool being the biggest club in England have prompted an article on the Newcastle United Supporters Trust website asking the question What is a big club?

Some geezer from Coventry University called Simon Chadwick was interviewed by Radio 5 and offered some criteria that could be used to determine exactly which clubs are big. One notion he mentioned was that of a sleeping giant and offered the examples of Cardiff City, Leeds United and Southampton. Is he right can any of these three clubs be considered sleeping giants and are there others?

So who are the sleeping giants of English football? First up we have to define what a sleeping giant is. For starters the term suggests the club is currently out of sorts and is not reaching heights it once did. They’re no longer playing at the pinnacle of English football, in the top flight, instead floundering in the Championship or lower.

Next up the club must have an illustrious history and this has got to mean it has something in the trophy cabinet. We’re not talking about a few divisional trophies or minor cups here. For a club to be considered a sleeping giant I would say it’s got to have some major domestic honours and the only two really worth winning are the league title and the FA Cup. Indeed a sleeping giant must have won both these honours at some point in their history.

So for the first part of our analysis we will only look at clubs that are currently outside the Premiership and who have won both the English top flight title and the FA Cup. Here they are ranked by the number of trophies won ..

So on the basis of past glories are these ten clubs the sleeping giants of English football. They’ve all won the league title and the FA Cup. Well we can add an extra level of definition to find just who are the true sleeping giants of the game in England. We’ve already determined that a club must have some major honours under it’s belt but what about crowds and attendances. Ask anyone what constitutes a big club and they’ll always mention those that get the highest crowds.

So it’s fair to have a think about pulling power when considering which clubs are sleeping giants. Only twenty-eight English clubs have ever attracted crowds over fifty thousand. Of the ten clubs above only six have ever attracted crowds in excess of fifty thousand ..

  • Sheffield Wednesday
  • Leeds United
  • Sheffield United
  • Huddersfield Town
  • Portsmouth
  • Burnley

What about consistency when it comes to attracting large numbers through the turnstiles? Which of the six clubs above are amongst the top twenty supported clubs when ranked on historical average attendance? We are left with ..

  • Sheffield Wednesday
  • Leeds United
  • Sheffield United

So then these three Yorkshire clubs by the definitions we have used are the sleeping giants of the English game. All are outside the Premiership, all feature amongst the twenty most succesful clubs in English football and all three are historically amongst the top twenty supported clubs in the land.

Now why don’t we have a look to see just how long it is since each of these three clubs has won anything. So when ranked by years since winning either the league title or the FA cup we are left with ..

  • Sheffield United - FA Cup in 1925
  • Sheffield Wednesday - FA Cup in 1935
  • Leeds United - League title in 1992

There we have it then the Blades are positively catatonic going eighty-five years since winning anything of note. The Owls are comatose with seventy-five years since bagging one of the big two trophies though they did win the League Cup in 1991. Whilst Leeds have been snoozing for quite some time now. Just how much longer will they all remain in slumber?

Who do you think are the sleeping giants of English football? Leave a comment below.

Bobby Charlton’s 100th cap for England.
21/04/70. Home International Championship. England v Northern Ireland. England won 3-1. Charlton marked the occassion with a goal. The other  England scorers were Geoff Hurst & Martin Peters. George Best scored  Ireland’s consolation.

Bobby Charlton’s 100th cap for England.

21/04/70. Home International Championship. England v Northern Ireland. England won 3-1. Charlton marked the occassion with a goal. The other England scorers were Geoff Hurst & Martin Peters. George Best scored Ireland’s consolation.

Maldive Islands • England Winners
World Championship • Jules Rimet Cup • England • 1966
footysphere flickr tag | world cup

Maldive Islands • England Winners

World Championship • Jules Rimet Cup • England • 1966

The Hungarians were so happy about their 6-3 victory they produced a special commemorative football stamp. Contrary to popular belief this wasn’t England’s first loss at home to foreign opposition. It was the first loss to continental opposition. Ireland (Eire) had been the first non-UK team to win on English soil when they beat England 2-0 at Goodison Park in 1949.

The Hungarians were so happy about their 6-3 victory they produced a special commemorative football stamp. Contrary to popular belief this wasn’t England’s first loss at home to foreign opposition. It was the first loss to continental opposition. Ireland (Eire) had been the first non-UK team to win on English soil when they beat England 2-0 at Goodison Park in 1949.

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Match of the Century 1953 England 3-6 Hungary