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The mid century stalwart – A brief guide to the News Chronicle Football Annual

Posted: 16th January 2016

The annual had different names before 1930/31 and it would take on a different name after 1960/61. But through the middle years of the 20th century, the News Chronicle Football…



The Book Sure To Thrill Every Boy – A brief guide to The Topical Times Football Book

Posted: 27th November 2015

The quote in the title above, ‘The Book Sure To Thrill Every Boy’ was one used in an advertisement created to promote the Topical Times Football Book for 1975. Of…

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An attractively produced momento – A brief guide to the F.A. Year Book

Posted: 6th July 2015

‘An attractively produced momento’. That was how the role of the very first F.A. Year Book was described in the preface to the 1948/49 edition (see above). Looking back at…

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A clever blend of entertainment and education – A brief guide to the F.A. Book for Boys

Posted: 12th March 2015

The F.A. Book for Boys was first published in 1948 and continued into the early 1980’s. The annual was one of a the major mouthpieces of the Football Association in…

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Football’s Wisden? – A brief guide to the Rothmans Football Yearbook

Posted: 18th February 2015

In the autumn of 1970, a new style of football reference book hit the stands. In his forward to the new Rothmans Football Yearbook 1970/71, FIFA President, Sir Stanley Rous…


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Don’t worry, not every one of them will cost you £35,250 – A brief guide to F.A. Cup Final football programmes

Posted: 29th December 2014

    Yes, £35,250 was what the Old Etonians Football Club was willing to pay for an original edition of the programme from the 1882 FA Cup Final. Why? Because…

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Let’s share one with the neighbours – A brief guide to Liverpool football programmes

Posted: 31st July 2014

Bill Shankly. A Liverpool Football Club icon, seen above on the front cover of a home programme which celebrated the 40th anniversary of his first match in charge of the…

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From Pensioners to Blues – A brief guide to Chelsea football programmes

Posted: 12th February 2014

Plenty of clubs have used a variety of nicknames and club crests, all linked to an aspect of their club’s heritage. So it is with Chelsea. But while the club’s original…

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Meeting one of the key 1960’s Hammers’ B’s – West Ham United’s Jack Burkett attends Stacey’s football auction

Posted: 1st August 2013

Anyone following football and anything to do with West Ham United in the 1960’s knew about the B’s. It seemed that managers Benny Fenton and then Ron Greenwood were only…

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Good to be a Gunner’s Mate – A brief guide to Arsenal football programmes

Posted: 25th April 2013

Gunner’s Mate, as we shall see below, was the pseudonym of the first editor of the Arsenal football programme. In a slightly different sense, back in the late 1960’s, I…

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Football’s all-rounder and innovator has his say – A brief guide to Jimmy Hill’s Football Weekly magazine

Posted: 26th August 2015

On October 27th, 1967 a new football magazine, Jimmy Hill’s Football Weekly hit the UK’s news stands. The front cover announced that this was the ‘First issue of the great…



A full and regular account of the Football Association’s activities and policy – A brief guide to the official magazines of the F.A.

Posted: 23rd April 2015

‘A full and regular account of the Football Association’s activities and policy’. Sounds a bit formal, doesn’t it? Then again, these are the words of a national sporting association, the F.A.,…

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So who was Mr X? – A brief guide to GOAL football magazine

Posted: 17th July 2014

Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I was only weeks away from the puzzle of Mr X, as GOAL magazine landed on the door mat at the start…



‘If you’re as good as Hancocks and Mullen, you’re good’ – Remembering Wolves’ David Wagstaffe

Posted: 6th August 2013

Just heard the sad news of the passing of David Wagstaffe, a fine player from the 1960’s and 1970’s, seen above in an edition of GOAL magazine (#70 – January…

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From ‘boo-boy’ to crowd favourite – GOAL magazine helps us remember QPR’s unsung star, Mick Leach

Posted: 13th June 2013

While flicking through the 296 editions of GOAL magazine in preparation for writing my next ‘Brief guide’ article here on Goals and Wickets, I came across this picture of former…


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News for fans of the Hammers and the Tractor Boys – Book signing for John Lyall: A Life in Football

Posted: 25th November 2014

  The Event – Book signing for John Lyall: A Life in Football by Dr Phil Stevens (Apex Publishing Ltd 2014) The Time – Saturday 29th November, 1.30pm onwards. The Place…

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Goodbye Gaffer – My tribute to Sussex football’s Ken Swallow, the man with the big heart

Posted: 6th October 2014

If you ask me to remember one thing about Ken Swallow, immediately, I’d tell you about his smile. It’s no surprise to me that the photo above (courtesy of West…

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A defender, a doppleganger and a defeat – Droylsden v New Mills: Evostick Northern Premier League Division 1 North

Posted: 20th August 2014

The defender was Alex Frost, Droylsden’s new centre back. The doppleganger was Uncle Graham, a member of the Frost family. The defeat was for Droylsden as the Bloods lost their…

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Groundhog day for the England football team – Emotions are fired up yet again as the anatomy of England’s World Cup demise is analysed

Posted: 22nd June 2014

Bill Murray and Andy MacDowell, the stars of the film Groundhog Day were, of course, no-where in sight. But Steve McClaren and his umbrella, ‘the wally with the brolly’, as…

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The best plumber ever to have played football for England – RIP to Sir Tom Finney

Posted: 15th February 2014

England and Preston North End great Sir Tom Finney, died yesterday aged 91. The popular 1950’s football annual, The Big Book of Football Champions, showed Tom in one of its’ trademark…

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