Great Shot

Chelsea Stars Swagger With Seventies Style

18th April 1973 Ian Hutchinson, Alan Hudson, Steve Kember and Bill Garner of Chelsea FC join with professional models to show off a collection of clothes from the Mr Freedom fashion boutique on the King's Road.

This Great Shot from 18th April 1973 sees Ian Hutchinson, Alan Hudson, Steve Kember and Bill Garner of Chelsea FC pose with professional models to show off a collection of clothes from the Mr Freedom fashion boutique on the King’s Road.


United Lose Their Cool In Battle With Argentine Champs
October 16th 1968 Remembered


by Karl Hofer.

On October 16th 1968, Estudiantes of Argentina won the Intercontinental Cup, beating Manchester United in a bitterly fought two-legged final.

Manchester United were the reigning European Cup holders having overcome Benfica at Wembley to become the first English side to lift ‘the cup with the big ears’.By winning the previous season’s Copa Libertadores, Estudiantes earned the right to face them to decide which was the finest side in club football.

They met for the first leg on September 25th in the Estadio Alberto J. Armando, home of Boca Juniors, as Estudiantes’ ground was deemed unsuitable. The hosts eked out a narrow 1-0 victory in a match that saw United midfielder Nobby Stiles sent off and winger Bobby Charlton receive a blow to the head that required stitches.

Despite that result, United were favorites going into the second leg at Old Trafford three weeks later. A crowd of 63,500 were on hand to cheer on the reds, many waiting for as much as five hours in the heavy rain to purchase their tickets which ranged from 10 shillings to as much as £3 in price. The match generated over £50,000 in gate receipts which was a record for the time.

Despite the partizan crowd United fell behind early when Estudiantes forward Juan Ramón Verón headed a free-kick past Alex Stepney after just seven minutes. There was more bad news for United when striker Denis Law received an injury and had to come off in the 43rd minute, replaced by the Italian Carlo Sartori.

In similar scenes to the previous years match between Celtic and Racing, tempers flared in the second half as both teams had a player dismissed – George Best for United and José Medina for Estudiantes- in the 88th minute after a scuffle. Allegedly Best punched Medina in the face and pushed Néstor Togneri to the ground in the build up to the fracas. After the referee produced red cards for Best and Medina, Best is accused of spitting at Medina, resulting in the two having to be escorted to their respective changing rooms.

Almost straight after Willie Morgan drew the home team level on the night in the 89th minute, but they could not find another goal and Estudiantes held on to win on aggregate.

After the final whistle the Estudiantes team attempted to run a lap of honour, but the home fans hurled objects onto the pitch, cutting the lap of honour short!

Probably the most violent member of the Estudiantes side was their midfielder Carlos Bilardo, whose conduct caused Sir Matt Busby to later comment that “holding the ball out there put you in danger of your life”.

In our Great Shot José Hugo Medina of Estudiantes is escorted off the pitch clutching his face in dramatic fashion after being sent-off along with United’s George Best in that second leg (Photograph: PPP).


Brian Clough: Through The Eyes of Former Forest Forward Nigel Jemson


Brian Clough gets to grips with new signing Nigel Jemson, alongside then Preston manager John McGrath

As a highly sought-after teenager Nigel Jemson had the option of joining either Manchester United or Nottingham Forest, both came with the opportunity to play under a legend of the managerial game. Looking back he says he has no regrets about his choice.

It would be understandable for him to be a little bitter at some of the treatment he got from manager Brian Clough – which included a punch in the stomach – but nothing of the sort.

“I loved every minute from first to last,” he said. “It is a myth that I never got on with the boss.

“People think that because he once punched me that he did not like me!

“But most of what he said was just banter. It was his way of keeping a cheeky 20-year-old in check.

“Brian and his wife sent my mum and dad a Christmas card every year. Would he have done that if he didn’t like me..?

Jemson began his career with his local club Preston North End whom he joined after originally been taken on as a YTS trainee. New manager John McGrath led the club to promotion with important contributions from Jemson.

McGrath opted for some experience up front and Jemson lost his place to the veteran Frank Worthington. But by that stage he had already done enough to attract the attention of some top flight clubs and Alex Ferguson invited him to train with United for a couple of days.

“I wasn’t a United fan so I wasn’t that keen,” admitted Jemson. “I went the first day but I didn’t enjoy it, so I didn’t bother telling them that I wasn’t going back!

“That night Brian Clough phoned and said ‘I hear you want to sign for me. See me at the City Ground at 9am. Don’t be late.’

“I went down with John McGrath and my mum and dad. What happened next was quite bizarre. Cloughie told me to take his dog for a walk and his PA, Carol, showed my parents around the Lace Market. John McGrath did the deal. There were no agents in those days.”

Jemson’s Forest debut came in a 1-1 draw at Luton Town and soon after he scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 victory at rivals Derby County.

Jemson was starting to make a name for himself, scoring one of the goals as Forest won an exciting League Cup quarter-final at Spurs 3-2 and then netting the only goal of the final against Oldham Athletic.

Jemson started the next season on fire, scoring five goals in the first four games and earning selection for the England U21 team. But injuries would halt his progress however, and despite banging in a hat-trick against Southampton in a FA Cup replay, by the time of the cup final he was not in the side as Forest lost to Terry Venables’ Tottenham.

The writing was on the wall for Nigel with the arrival of new signing Teddy Sherringham, and he was soon on his way to Hillsborough for £800,000. Jemson says he never wanted to leave the City Ground but the opportunity to play under Trevor Francis, and alongside striker David Hirst at Wednesday was just too good to turn down.

“Yes, he sold me to Sheffield Wednesday, but I wasn’t pushed out of the door. I could have stayed.”

Wednesday went on to finish third in his first season at Hillsborough, but Jemson was only a peripheral figure. He was involved in a nasty car crash which kept him out for most of the season and his place in the team went to Mark Bright.

Jemson never recovered the form and promise he showed at Forest and his career went in a mostly downward trajectory, with spells at Notts County, Rotherham, Oxford, Ayr United, Bury and Shrewsbury among others.

There were some highlights – such as scoring both goals for Rotherham in the 2-1 Auto Windscreens Shield win over Shrewsbury at Wembley, and doing the same for Shrewsbury in a famous FA Cup win over an Everton side that featured a young Wayne Rooney – but the toll of injuries meant the Jemson never quite fulfilled all that potential.

Clough once said that Jemson was the only player in football who had a bigger head than him.

“He was unpredictable, a one-off,” said Jemson. “He never told me the reason he left me out of the Cup Final. He just said, “because I wanted to.”

“But I am proud to have played under him.

“People talk about Sir Alex Ferguson but in my opinion Brian Clough was the best.”




The Boys Pen at Anfield
Ode to the legendary enclosure for youngsters at Liverpool


Here’s a lovely shot of lads waiting to get into Anfield via the infamous Boys Pen circa 1975. The Boys Pen is where young lads would go before graduating to the Kop at Anfield. Looking towards the Kop, it was situated in the top right hand corner next to the main stand. Once in, the chief objective was to bunk into the Kop by climbing the railings.

It was not a place for the feint hearted and scraps were commonplace. The Boys Pen was around for 70 years before being demolished in the early 80’s.

You’ll notice the 35p entrance fee – in those days, with travel and a snack thrown in, a kid could have a full day out at the footie for £1.

Anfield legends Phil Thompson, Terry McDermott and John Aldridge graduated from the Boys’ Pen to the Kop and then on to the famous turf as well. Thompson remembers that after he broke into the first team: “When I looked up at the Pen during matches, it always felt strange. That was where it really started for me.”

Here’s a great poem by Dave Kirby about his time watching Liverpool from the Boys Pen;


Its fifteen minutes to kick off time
I’m in my seat, Block 109
I look around, I hear the noise
see lots of fathers with their boys.

The kids look happy, a marvelous sight
MacDonalds burgers they all bite
they’re all excited that’s for sure
and with their dads they feel secure.

Although the surroundings have now all changed
the children’s feelings are just the same
the middle classes have now arrived
but things were different for a sixties child.

I then look out across the kop
to the right hand corner at the top
where up until the age of ten
I served my time in the old ‘boys pen’.

For those of you who do not know
it was a place for kids to go
metal bars like a kind of cage
where little Kopites came of age.

I remember the first time I went inside
Liverpool v Chelsea  65
a star struck boy who stood amazed
football was all we had those days.

You’d always see some kids from school
they came from all over Liverpool
little scouses every week
from Kirkby Town right up to Speke.

The Kop was packed out in those days
but at half time, dad found a way
to fight his way through all the crowd
and feed his boy, he did me proud.

An ‘eccles cake’ a sausage roll
a drink of coke, god bless his soul
between the bars he’d pass it through
like feeding monkeys at the zoo.

And through those bars we used to stare
at all the kopites standing there
oh how we’d long to stand with them
and make that step from boys to men.

Some  kids escaped now and again
it was a pretty dangerous game
it filled the Kopites full of laughter
to see kids dangling from the rafters.

It had its own ‘soprano’ choir
you couldn’t sing ‘walk on’ much higher
inside those bars kids sang with pride
but it sounded so funny from the other side.

When the match was over at 4.45
your dad would pick you up outside
dozens of kids, some big some small
stood opposite the pen by the old brick wall.

But that was how it was those days
no greedy players, no corporate ways
they recognized us ‘Kopite cubs’
we were the future of the club.

Then at last it came my time
to leave this little world behind
I was at an age when every lad
didn’t want to go the match with dad.

And so I passed out to the Kop
that love affair has never stopped
I take my son to the occasional game
but this ‘dad and lad’ thing’s not the same.

You never see young lads no more
who go the match in threes and fours
this city’s children rue the day
when they took the old boys pen away.

The money men arrived in town
and in their wisdom pulled it down
they called it ‘progress’ but we read their thoughts
who needs children when adults pay more.

I now drift back to present day
I take my seat, watch the redmen play
a diehard red, I’m the real McCoy
because I was groomed from a little boy.

That golden era has now passed by
but we all have memories you cannot buy
from apprentice Kopites, now middle aged men
who served their time in the old boys pen.

Dave Kirby.


The Saviour in Training
30 years ago Maradona arrived in Naples – it was never the same again

Diego Maradona


Our latest shot is of Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armando Maradona (centre) seen here training with his new Napoli teammates in the mountain resort of Castel del Piano in central Italy on July 27th 1984.

Maradona was transferred from Barcelona to Napoli with ambitious president Corrado Ferlaino forking out a then world-record £6.9 million.

At that time there was a huge North/South divide in Italy economically, and teams from the north – such as Juventus, Roma, AC and Inter of Milan – dominated domestic football.

Maradona gave people hope and his impact on the area simply cannot be overstated. After his signing was officially announced a local newspaper proclaimed that despite the lack of a “mayor, houses, schools, buses, employment and sanitation, none of this matters because we have Maradona.”

In his time there Napoli won the league twice and were runners-up twice. It’s important to remember that before Maradona arrived in Naples no team from the south of Italy had EVER won the Italian league title.

He finished as the clubs all-time leading scorer with 115 goals and in honour of his achievements the number 10 shirt was later retired by Napoli.

(AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti)


Stoichkov Inspires Bulgaria in World Cup Shock Result from 1994



Hristo Stoichkov scores a great freekick as Bulgaria shock Germany in the World Cup of 1994 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Everything was going according to plan for the Germans, leading through a Lothar  Matthäus penalty early in the second half of this World Cup quarter final.

But with just 15 minutes left Stoichkov stepped up and curled home this tremendous freekick to level the game. Three minutes later Bodo Illgner was picking the ball out of the net again after being beaten by the bald head of Yordan Letchkov and his now famous diving header.

It finished 2-1 and against the odds it was Bulgaria and not the World Champion Germans who were in the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Stoichkov scored again in the semi-final, but by that stage Roberto Baggio had already put the Italians two-up with a brace midway through the first half and they held on to make the final, while the Bulgarians would go on to lose the third place match to Sweden.

Stoichkov was one of the stars of that World Cup, a brooding, moody figure whose talent led to a move to Barcelona.


Merseyside Parades the World Cup Trophy! Plus the League Championship and the FA Cup…

Roger Hunt of Liverpool and Ray Wilson of Everton show off the Jules Rimet trophy in 1966

Our latest Great Shot naturally had to have a World Cup theme, so we dug up this one from August 13th 1966. The Charity Shield saw Everton play Liverpool at Goodison Park. This Merseyside derby followed England’s World Cup success and was a pre-match silverware walk.

Liverpool walked the League Championship trophy around Goodison (which must have been quite weird), and then Everton walked the FA Cup around the ground before England heroes Roger Hunt of Liverpool and Ray Wilson of Everton carried the Jules Rimet trophy jointly – in what must be the most silverware-laiden lap of honour ever seen in British football.

Liverpool went on to win the match 1-0 with a goal from Hunt in front of 63,329.

Charity Shield, Goodison Park, Aug 13th 1966 – Teams;

Liverpool: T Lawrence, C Lawler, G Byrne, T Smith, R Yeats, W Stevenson, I Callaghan, R Hunt, I St John, G Strong, P Thompson.

Everton: G West, T Wright, R Wilson, J Gabriel, B Labone, G Glover, A Scott, A Young, M Trebilcock, J Harvey, D Temple.



The Apprentice at Work
Mourinho Plys His Trade Under The Watchful Eye of van Gaal



Here’s a great shot of new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal from around 1998 whilst in charge of Barcelona, deep in conversation with his assistant at the time, a certain Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho arrived at the Nou Camp as Bobby Robson’s assistant in 1996. Robson guided Barca to a cup treble that season, winning the Copa del Rey, UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the Supercopa de España. But Real Madrid pipped them to the title by 2 points, and that meant Robson, always viewed as a short-term appointment anyhow, could be moved on.

Robson quickly found work at PSV, but Barcelona insisted his young assistant stayed on to work with Robson’s successor; Louis van Gaal, the man the Catalans were waiting for all along.

Mourinho learnt much from the Dutchman’s diligent style. Both assistant and head coach combined well, their studious approach to the game saw Barcelona crowned La Liga champions twice in Van Gaal’s first two years as coach.

Van Gaal saw that his number two had a lot of promise. He let Mourinho develop his own style whilst coaching the Barcelona B side and also let him take charge of the first team for certain trophies, like the Copa Catalunya, which Mourinho won in 2000 with van Gaal supporting him in the role of assistant.

Soon after Benfica came calling for Jose, initially as assistant manager. Mourinho said “When I spoke with van Gaal about going back to Portugal to be an assistant at Benfica, he said: “No, don’t go. Tell Benfica if they want a first-team coach you will go; if they want an assistant you will stay.”

Mourinho did go to Benfica, and his opportunity to call the shots came quicker than anticipated after Jupp Heynckes was dismissed just four weeks into the season, and the man who would be later known as The Special One was promoted to his first managerial role. The rest, as they say, is history.

Next season he will go head to head with the man who – along with Sir Bobby Robson – helped shape him into the extraordinary success story of modern day football management. And while Mourinho will be looking to find the answers to his striking problems at Chelsea, van Gaal will be tasked with returning Manchester United to the force they were under Sir Alex Ferguson, which already seems a distant memory despite only being a year ago.

Roll on next season; their battles are set to be nothing short of fascinating…



Elena Baltacha Dies After Cancer Battle Heartbreak for former Ipswich & St Johnstone star Sergei


Our latest Great Shot is of Sergei Baltacha with wife Olga and children Sergei Jnr, then nine, and Elena, five, in 1989, shortly after joining Ipswich Town.

Sergei became the first player from the Soviet Union to play in English football when he signed for Ipswich Town from Dynamo Kiev in 1988. Sergei was a full international, an integral part of the Soviet defense at the World Cup in Spain in 1982 (he even scored against New Zealand in the group stages) and also played in the final of the 1988 European Championships against Holland – the last of his 49 caps.

Then came the chance to join Ipswich. There was interest from “some Italian clubs, some from Switzerland (but) first time when I heard about Ipswich I wouldn’t choose any other team because for me English football is everything.”

His debut for the Tractor Boys could hardly have gone any better as he found the back on the net for a rare goal in a 5-1 mauling of Stoke City at Portman Road.

After two seasons at Ipswich, he headed north of the border to Scotland, spending three years at St Johnstone before going on to manage Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The family settled well in Britain and today Baltacha spends his time coaching promising youngsters at English Championship side Charlton Athletic.

The sporting gene is clearly a strong one in the Baltacha family. Not surprising when you consider first wife Olga could have been on the Soviet Olympic pentathlon team in the 1980 Summer Olympics, but instead opted to remain at home to care for her one year old son.

That son, Sergei Junior, was a promising footballer with St Mirren and Millwall before injury curtailed his career.

But it was daughter Elena, however, who stole the headlines. She became a professional tennis player, reaching the number No. 1 ranking in Britain and breaking into the world’s top 50.


Elena Baltacha; 1983 – 2014

Elena had suffered from a chronic liver disease since the age of 19, yet had still managed her physical condition well enough to maintain a lengthy career in professional tennis. She retired from the women’s tour in November last year, having spent several years as Britain’s top ranked player.

A month after retirement she married her coach Nino Severino.

Then in March came the terrible news; Elena went into hospital for checks and discovered that her liver had now turned cancerous. There are few more aggressive forms of cancer, and the end came with dreadful speed.

“We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally,” said Severino. “She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness.”

Everyone at BOBBY would like to pass on their condolences to the Baltacha family.


Liverpool Champions!
They Never Would Have Dreamed Back in 1990 It Would Be So Long Again

Title trio Kenny Dalglish, flanked by assistants Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans after winning the League title in 1990 small


Title trio: Kenny Dalglish, flanked by assistants Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans celebrate winning the League title in 1990, Liverpool’s 18th and last title triumph.

They clinched the league on April 28th with two games to spare, thanks to a 2-1 home win over QPR. After semi-final heartbreak against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup (a side they had beaten 9-0 earlier in the season) they won their final two games to run out 9 points ahead of runners-up Aston Villa.

Liverpool have rarely mounted any kind of a challenge for the title in the following 24 years and have seen Manchester United overhaul their total of 18 triumphs, but all that looks set to change at long last with Brendan Rodgers’ side in pole position to win their first championship of the Premier League era this season.