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Mackay: A Warrior Remembered
Joe Lovejoy pays tribute to the Scottish legend

by Joe Lovejoy.

dave-mackaySo farewell Dave Mackay. Football has lost a true legend, at a time when the term is used much too loosely, and sadly it’s RIP to my boyhood hero – who once tried to throttle me.

Remember the iconic image of the Spurs and Scotland iron man grabbing Billy Bremner, whose white shorts were in danger of turning brown..? Fast forward a few years and Mackay, as manager of Derby County, did the same to young Lovejoy, then of the “Derby Evening Telegraph”, who he thought was in the rebel camp trying to bring Brian Clough back to the Baseball Ground.

He couldn’t have been more wrong. I disliked “Old Big ‘Ead” as a drunken, egocentric boor whereas Mackay had been my idol since Tottenham’s Double days, when I grew up as an ardent Spurs supporter.

Nevertheless the man rightly renowned as the toughest footballer of his generation was intent on doing me some serious damage that day nearly 40 years ago [“I don’t read your effing paper, but I’m told you want me out”], and he would doubtless have done so but for the timely intervention of his assistant, Des Anderson.

As a player, much is always made of Mackay’s intimidating teak-toughness – maybe too much for it has come to overshadow his considerable footballing ability. George Graham, a big admirer, tells a lovely story from their playing days. In 1960 Scotland faced Hungary in Budapest and in that sepia-tinted era the Hungarians were a match for anyone in Europe. A fortnight earlier they had beaten England 2-0 and it wasn’t that long since they had humbled Billy Wright, Stan Matthews, Tom Finney et al 6-3 and 7-1.

Understandably a young Scottish team were in awe of the “Mighty Magyars” – all the more so as they stood on the touchline before the match and watched Florian Albert run through a stunning repertoire of tricks. It was the Hungarians who introduced the “keepy-uppy” and Albert had also learned from the peerless Ferenc Puskas how to strike the ball hard with so much spin that it would return, boomerang-like, to his feet.

Seeing his teammates mesmerised, Mackay sent for a half-crown, then repeated everything Albert had done, but this time with the coin and fully dressed, with his shoes still on! The spell was broken and a poor Scotland team went out and drew 3-3 [they lost their next two games to Turkey and Wales and conceded nine against England less than a year later.]

George Graham is just one of many well qualified judges who testify to Mackay’s ability to use the ball with the same expertise as he won it.

The bare bones of his CV have had a good airing since his recent passing at the age of 80, but a recap is in order here. A native of Edinburgh, he won the Scottish League and Cup with Hearts before moving south to repeat the feat in one coruscating season with Spurs. Bill Nicholson paid what now seems a laughable £32,000 fee to instal him at the heart of a Lilywhite team of fond memory. It has become a lazy or ill-informed cliche to describe Danny Blanchflower and John White as the brains of that side and Mackay the brawn. In reality, as evidenced earlier, he of the barrel chest could cream it around with the best of them.

That famous confrontation with Bremner occurred at White Hart Lane on the opening day of the 1966-67 season. Word has spread recently that he disliked the celebrated photo that captured it so well because it portrayed him as a bully. I don’t know about that. What I do know is that when he opened a bar in his native Edinburgh a mural of it occupied one wall, above the optics, and when I told him how much I liked it he gave me a key-ring which bore the image.

Warrior

At the age of 33, and after nine years of inspirational service Mackay, not Bill Nick, decided it was time he moved on and he was offered the chance to go back to Hearts as player and assistant manager. He was going, but at the last minute was instead persuaded [by a large signing-on fee] to join the Brian Clough Show at run down Derby, who were then in the wrong half of the old Second Division.

A left leg broken twice [it was Bremner’s kick on it on the day Mackay was making his comeback that provoked their photogenic confrontation] and a fondness of his “dram” had seen that barrel chest head south and the old warrior could no longer rampage like he used to, but Clough insisted he didn’t need to. He would be used not in a midfield role but to marshal the defence as sweeper, behind a 20-year-old centre-half by the name of Roy McFarland.

scotland-dave-mackay-19-panini-1920-1990Clough admitted it was Peter Taylor’s idea, and described how the Rams’ renaissance started thus: “It was at Huddersfield I think. Dave Mackay put his foot on the ball under the most intense pressure in his own six-yard area and then calmly and deliberately played us out of trouble with a pass that immediately switched defence to attack. I remember Peter Taylor’s reaction. Somebody else in the dug-out was yelling: “Kick it, get rid.” Taylor whipped round and shouted: “That’s what we bought him for, that’s what we want him to do – put his foot on it. They’ll all be doing it from now on. We’re on our way.” And we were. Confidence swept from one player to another and the successful Derby era was born.”

The “Rams” were promoted as champions in May 1969 and Mackay’s colossal contribution was recognised when, unprecedented for a Second Division player, he was voted Footballer of the Year, jointly with Manchester City’s Tony Book.

Mackay stayed on, helping to establish Derby in the top division before leaving to move into management, first at Swindon, then at Nottingham Forest. His stay at both was brief and unremarkable but in October 1973 Clough resigned in a fit of pique, believing Derby would beg him to go back but he reckoned without an adversary who was his match when it came to bloody-minded antipathy. Sam Longson was a typical chairman of the old school, a local businessman made good who preferred the parsimony that had made him a millionaire to Clough’s extravagance.

The manager’s spendthrift ways were definitely not to his liking, nor was his outspokenness, and he had tried to sack him once before, only to be outvoted by the other directors. Now, in a tacit reference to the sort of financial shenanigans that later saw Clough named and shamed by the Football Association’s “bungs” investigation, Longson said: “We’ll go into the Second Division with our heads held in the air rather than win the First Division wondering whether the club will be expelled from the Football League.”

He refused to have Clough back, claiming “I could manage this lot”, but this time the misjudgement was his. The players and supporters were outraged and, in danger of a public lynching, Longson could think of only one man who might conceivably be acceptable as a new manager: Dave Mackay. He was wrong. The players delivered a letter, which they had all signed, demanding Clough’s reinstatement, then staged a sit-in at the ground and police were called to disperse the crowd that had gathered outside. Roy McFarland, the captain, phoned Mackay and told him: “Don’t come Dave, we don’t want you. We’re going to force them to bring Brian back.”

Courage

Strangely, having witnessed it at close hand on the pitch, Mackay’s erstwhile teammate underestimated his indomitable courage and strength of character. Nobody was going to tell him what he could and couldn’t do and he took the job, strutting into a dressing room seething with disaffection with typical clenched fist disregard for any opposition. When the players threatened to go on strike he snorted and said: “I’ll field the reserves then.”

dave-mackay-derby-countyTo say he experienced a difficult start is like suggesting George Best wasn’t teetotal. Clough was meeting the players in secret, agitating for a return and it was a rebellious team and crowd that “welcomed” Mackay back after little more than two years away. It was against this mutinous background that Derby failed to win any of their first eight games under new management, and it was hugely to his credit that he engineered enough of a revival for a third place finish.

Clough had left the framework of a good team [they had been champions in 1971-72] and for his second season Mackay fleshed it out with the addition of Bruce Rioch and Francis Lee, who between them scored over 50 goals in 1974-75. In tumultuous times, which saw Clough hired and fired in 44 days by Leeds and Bill Shankly quit Liverpool, Derby won the title by a two points margin, Lee contributing 33 goals in all competitions.

It was Dave’s finest hour. The Clough demons were exorcised, temporarily at least, and the players were happy again – as they are everywhere when they are winning.

As champions Derby were able to recruit from a position of strength and now they signed the supremely gifted Charlie George, from Arsenal – another brilliant addition. When they drew Real Madrid in the European Cup they were given no more than a puncher’s chance, but George responded to the big occasion with a hat-trick in the home leg, a 4-1 win inspiring euphoric scenes on a night I was privileged to witness and can still recall vividly, despite the alcoholic haze in which the night finished.

The Fall

After the pride, the fall. The chink in Mackay’s managerial armour was that while he was an inspirational leader of men and knew a good player when he saw one, he was no tactician. Neither was his No 2, Des Anderson, and instead of having a plan to stymie Real in the return, at the Bernabeu, Derby were told to go out and repeat what they had done at home. They lost 5-1 and were eliminated.

It was not a one-off aberration by management. I remember Mackay’s cavalier approach [“Just go out and play, we’re better than them”] getting embarrassingly exposed on a more mundane occasion, against newly-promoted West Brom. In those days Albion had one outstanding player, Johnny Giles, who could boss any game, given the chance. Most opponents would man-mark him, but Mackay disdained the idea and the Irish playmaker was the man of the match at the Baseball Ground, making both his team’s goals in a 2-2 draw.

Dave was no disciplinarian either and knew that two of his signings, Francis Lee and Rod Thomas, could usually be found propping up the bar at the Midland hotel, opposite the station, after training or playing. Mind you, the boss could only have complained on a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do basis, having done much the same as a Derby player. As manager, too, there were occasions when I went to the ground in the morning for the “Derby Telegraph” and found him shaving in the gents toilet next to the main entrance. He would sleep in his office after a particularly convivial night out.

There were no complaints about such things in the good times, but recreational behaviour became a stick with which to beat him when results deteriorated, as they soon did.

In defence of their title, Derby finished a disappointing fourth in 1975-76 and a poor start the following season saw Mackay sacked in November 1976 and replaced briefly by his reserve team coach, Colin Murphy.

Sadly, it was a downward spiral after that, undistinguished sojourns at Walsall, Doncaster and Birmingham interspersed with lucrative spells coaching in Kuwait, Egypt and Qatar. But if Dave was bitter at the way his management career petered out you would never have guessed it. He was always good, lively company and I’m glad to say our contratemps in the Baseball Ground corridor was eventually put to bed in May 1986 when, over a glass or seven at Mortons club in London’s West End, all was explained.

Dave and a friend, Jimmy Burton, told me that night that George Graham was about to be named manager of Arsenal. I should have run the story in the “Mail on Sunday”, for whom I was working at the time, but when I phoned David Dein to check it out he said: “Joe, if you print that you are going to look very silly”, and the sports editor wouldn’t publish my “exclusive” without confirmation from the club [how times have changed].

Three days later Arsenal appointed Graham and Mackay concluded he was wasting his breath telling this mug anything!

I’m proud to say we remained friends after that and I will always treasure that key ring.

@Joe_Lovejoy

A former Chief Football Writer for The Sunday Times & The Independent, Joe Lovejoy now covers matches for The Guardian & The Observer and is an author of five books. 

 

 

Tommy Burns Tribute
New Charity Single Released in Memory of Hoops Legend

by Karl Hofer.

celtic-tommy-burns-428-panini-football-78-sticker-5096-pA new song has been released to celebrate the memory of Tommy Burns and raise funds for the Tommy Burns Skin Cancer Trust.

The Tommy Burns charity single, which has been recorded by Joe O’Sullivan, Kellie Stevenson and Friends, with all proceeds going to The Tommy Burns Skin Cancer Trust.

Joe O’Sullivan was privileged to be a friend of Tommy for more than 20 years. He wrote this song for Tommy, following his sad passing in May 2008, with the hope that one day it would be recorded and released as a single to raise funds for the trust set up by Tommy and Rosemary’s family, Emma, Michael, Jenna and Jonathan in 2009.

Recorded with the help and support of some well known local musicians, including the vocal talents of Gorbals girl Kellie Stevenson, Joe wanted to create a big production sound using traditional Celtic instruments in the tribute to the Hoops great.

Joe said: “It is great being part of the Celtic Family, where I could call on friends who, without hesitation, made themselves available, to bring their talents together to make this charity single in memory of the late, great Tommy Burns.”

The single, priced at £1.99 is available from the Celtic Superstore, or via iTunes at only 99p. All you need to do is type in “Tommy Burns” and it will be the first song to come up. One click and the Tommy Burns Skin Cancer Trust gets everything made from the sale.

You can hear the moving tribute by clicking below;

@KGHof

Luís Figo comes to the rescue of unemployed Demy de Zeeuw with Network90 social media app

demy-de-zeeuw-266-panini-uefa-euro-2008-stickerby Rob Shepherd.

The former World Cup star Demy de Zeeuw, hit the sport’s headlines this week after The Netherlands and Ajax player became so stuck for work, he advertised himself on LinkedIn.

Luckily former Portuguese legend Luís Figo was able to go one better, offering the star a privileged membership at Network90, the social media app specifically designed to connect football professionals and help them find new contacts and job roles.

After making contact with the stricken de Zeeuw, who has been struggling to find a new club since being released by Anderlecht in the Summer, Figo has swooped in to save the day.

Launched only a year ago, Network90 has rapidly become a big name within professional football industry across the globe. A private members’ networking site founded by the international legend Luís Figo, the online platform has been likened to the LinkedIn for the industry professionals both past and present.

Network90’s burgeoning membership now includes current and former players, agents, teams and sports business professionals representing thousands of clubs – from top international sides to the lower leagues. The site has proved its worth as a social media platform, with many taking advantage of its unique features to reconnect with colleagues and maintain the many relationships built up during the course of a career in football.

Luis FIGO Panini Cromos Sporting Club Portugal 1994-95However Network90 is much more than a social network for the industry. Besides offering its members the perfect open forum platform to grow, strengthen and leverage the power of their professional network globally, it is also a unique trading tool with its Live Player Transfer List. Network90 has truly become the ‘Who’s Who’ guide to global football.

One of the key challenges faced by professionals, particularly retired footballers, is the natural brevity of their careers. With its social networking and bespoke professional tools, the ethos behind Network90 is to offer its members maximum exposure in order to explore further professional and other business opportunities, and enable users to carve out exciting new career prospects.

Figo says, “I’m delighted to be able to offer membership to Demy de Zeeuw. His LinkedIn advertisement mentioned that he was looking for a position anywhere in the world. Network90 is the only social media site which can make that happen, given our global reach and extensive take up in the industry.”

Football hero, Luís Figo, who himself retired from the game in 2009, is regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation. The former captain for the national Portuguese side has twice been named World Player of the Year.

He shot to infamy in 2000, moving from Barcelona to its super rival Real Madrid – attracting a cool €62m fee, a global record at the time. Having started playing for Portugal in 1991 aged just 18, he became the team’s most capped international player. Since retirement, he continues to work in the sport in an ambassadorial role, most notably with UEFA, and has set up footballing academies across China.

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better start and our aim is simple: to bring together the whole pro football community”.

@iLShep

Footballers Injured in Storm
PLUS: Spurs Double-Winning Star John White Tragically Killed by Lightning

JohnWhiteby Rob Shepherd.

There were some who wondered last June why the kick-off of England’s friendly against Honduras in Florida last June was delayed ‘just because of a thunderstorm’.

But it is too easy to neglect the dangers of electric storms in open spaces.

Last week Peruvian player Joao Contreras and a linesman were both struck by lightning during a cup semi-final. Both were rushed to hospital suffered nasty burns, but thankfully have recovered.

For those who know their football history it was a reminder of the terrible fate one of the star players of Tottenham’s fabled 1961 Double side, John White, suffered.

Three years after that famous success at the age of 27 and while still a Spurs player, White was killed when struck by lightning as he took cover under a tree during a thunderstorm while playing golf in Enfield.

He is pictured below in the front row of this Ty-Phoo Tea card of the Spurs team from the 1963/64 season;

Tottenham Hotspur

 @iLShep

November 1971: A Hat-Trick of Hat-tricks from SuperMac!

ted_macdougallNorwich

by Karl Hofer.

On November 20th 1971, Third Division side Bournemouth thrashed the Southern League’s Margate 11-0 in the First Round of the FA Cup. Bournemouth’s hero that day was Scottish forward Ted MacDougall who scored no less than nine of the Cherries’ eleven goals.

The club was still known as Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic when MacDougall joined them in the summer of 1969 from York City for £10,000. The Cherries were relegated to Division Four despite the 21 league goals scored by ‘SuperMac’ that season, but under new manager John Bond they bounced back at the first opportunity and were doing well in the Third Division when they faced Margate in the FA Cup.

MacDougall wasted no time by scoring five goals in the first half alone. Not satisfied with that MacDougall went on to score another four after the break, despite the Margate manager asking Bond jokingly to substitute the forward at halftime.

ted_macdougallThe Cherries went on to face Walsall in the Third Round. Presumably they took note of SuperMac’s performance against Margate and decided to mark him, as he was unable to get on the score-sheet and they were eliminated 1-0.

MacDougall moved to Manchester United in September 1972 when he was signed by Frank O’Farrell for a transfer fee of £200,000, but despite scoring on his debut he was unable to settle at the club. He played for a variety of other clubs, including West Ham, Norwich and Southampton, before a second stint at Bournemouth. He also represented Scotland on seven occasions, finding the net three times. After turning out for a number of non-league sides he hung up his boots for good in 1984 and is now coaching the Atlanta Silverbacks in the United States.

His 9 goals in a game by a single player is still an FA Cup record.

@KGHof

BOBBY remembers Klas Ingesson, who has died of cancer at the age of 46

IngessonSweFormer Sheffield Wednesday and Sweden midfielder Klas Ingesson has died of cancer at the age of 46.

As a player Ingesson represented a string of clubs including Gothenburg in Sweden and the Italian trio of Bolgona, Bari and Lecce and played a major role in his country’s third-place finish at the 1994 World Cup. After retiring he went on to manage Elfsborg in his homeland.

Former club Wednesday said in an announcement on their website: ‘Sheffield Wednesday are saddened to learn of the passing of Klas Ingesson. Our thoughts are with Klas’ family and friends at this very sad time.

Meanhwile, Elfsborg, who are holding an immediate memorial for Ingesson, said in a statement posted on the club’s website: ‘Our thoughts are foremost with his wife and children, who were with him to the end at home in Odeshog.’

Ingesson was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009. Following treatment he was able to take over Elfsborg’s Under 21 side in October 2010, eventually being appointed manager of the senior team in September 2013.

But Ingesson’s managerial career was interrupted by the return of the cancer. He carried on bravely, managing the club to considerable success, at first aided by a walking frame to support his brittle bones and latterly a wheelchair. He missed his side’s Swedish Cup final win over Helsingborgs after falling out of his chair at half-time during an earlier league match.

He announced his decision to step down from the role at the end of the season.

‘If I’m going to be involved, I have to play a full part,’ Ingesson said after stepping down. ‘This year I have been there on and off and others have had to bear the burden. That won’t work in the long run.’

IngesonMechThere were many questions as to whether or not Ingesson should continue in the role, so he wrote an open letter to the club’s fans in the midst of his illness, saying: ‘The talk about my cancer has to end. Elfsborg and I have an agreement that I am manager for the first team.

‘Physically and mentally I don’t have a problem to do my job. I should be judged as anyone else to determine whether I am good enough for the job but then I should be judged on my competence, not my physical status.

‘It is every person’s right to be judged by who you are and what you do, not because you have an illness or a handicap.’

Ingesson was capped 57 times for Sweden and starred in the side that beat Bulgaria 4-0 to claim third place at the World Cup in United States.

Known affectionately in Sweden as ‘the Lumberjack from Odeshog’, Ingesson is survived by his wife Veronica and two sons.

 

A Safe Pair of Hands
The player who quick-stepped his way to the top of English football

by Richard DJJ Bowdery.

SeamanBrumIt is alleged that this footballer entered the world hands first. If it had been feet first he might have become a better dancer. As it was he became one of English football’s great goalkeepers. Just ask ex-Liverpool stopper David James who was kept out of the England side by this man.

On 5 October 1984 a 21 year old David Andrew Seaman began his meteoric rise from the lower reaches of league football to the very pinnacle of the game.

By the time he hung up his gloves he had played 564 times for Arsenal and won 75 full England caps. He is also credited with keeping a record 130 clean sheets in the Premier League. Not bad for the boy born in Rotherham on 19 September 1963.

However, his start in the top flight didn’t meet with everyone’s approval. More of that later…

Seaman started his football career with Leeds as an apprentice. Though he never made an appearance for the Yorkshire club, fourth division Peterborough saw something in the young keeper and took him to their London Road ground where he stayed for just over two years.

His spell at Posh brought him to the attention of a number of clubs playing higher up the Football League and on 5 October he was sold to second division Birmingham City.

SeamanQPRCity were a club desperate to reclaim their First Division berth and in young Seaman they saw a keeper who could help them realize that ambition.

With Seaman in the side they were promoted at the end of the 84/85 season.

The next stop on his travels was west London club Queens Park Rangers where he stayed for four years.

Then in 1990 Arsenal came calling.

At the time John Lukic was between the sticks but George Graham had other plans. He is reported as saying: “I still think John Lukic is one of the top three keepers in the country. I just think David Seaman is the best.”

The Gooners took a lot more convincing. On hearing that their idol in goal could be replaced they would chant “We all agree… Lukic is better than Seaman!” during games.

Seaman soon won them over and proved George Graham right when he signed for the Gunners for £1.3m, then a record fee for a goalkeeper.

arsenal-david-seaman-1-proset-1991-1992-football-trading-card-20425-pOn the England front he went from hero to zero in the space of six years.

During Euro 96 his penalty saves against Scotland and Spain – cometh the hour cometh the man – helped propel England to the semi-finals where they lost to the other ‘auld enemy, Germany. Seaman was a hero to every English fan.

Fast forward to the 2002 World Cup finals where Seaman’s blunder, when he was caught out by a Ronaldinho free kick from 40 odd yards, left England exiting the tournament at the hands of Brazil.

There is a defining incident in many player’s careers and for Seaman, this was his.

But that one bizarre moment shouldn’t overshadow his tremendous contribution to English football, though it did see him leave Arsenal on a free for Manchester City a year later.

He finally hung up his gloves in January 2004 after a career spanning over 1,000 games for club and country. And he can be justly proud of all that he achieved.

One question still remains. Did a BBC producer on Strictly Come Dancing recall Seaman being left flat-footed against Brazil and think ‘Aha, another contestant’?

 

@richardbowdery
richardbowdery@live.com

 

Happy Geburtstag Karl-Heinz!
Rummenigge Remembered on the Occasion of his 59th Birthday

September 25th is the birthday of arguably Germany’s greatest player in the post-Beckenbauer era, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Rummenigge followed in the footsteps of Helmut Rahn, Uwe Seeler and Gerd Müller ensuring West Germany’s world class forward line was maintained.

Karl-Heinze RUMENIGGE Panini Inter de Milan 86“Kalle” was born in Lippstadt in 1955 and played for the local club Borussia Lippstadt until he was 18 years old and discovered by Bayern Munich. His move to Bayern forced him to give up his job as a bank clerk and concentrate fully on football. It paid off handsomely.

Rummenigge spent a decade in Bavaria scoring 162 goals in the Bundesliga. The young Rummenigge was a member of Bayern’s 1976 European Cup winning team against St Etienne, having necked a glass of Brandy before the game to calm his nerves!

By the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Rummenigge had established himself as one of the superstars in the game. By then he was twice European Player of the Year (1980 and 1981), and a member of West Germany’s European Championship winning team in 1980 where he was named Player of the Tournament.

Knee problems prevented him from performing to his full potential at the World Cup and manager Jupp Derwall used him sparingly. His most memorable contribution – along with his hat-trick against Chile – saw him come off the bench in the classic semi-final against France to inspire a German comeback from 3-1 down with a goal and an assist to eventually win on penalties. A tired German team could not overcome Italy in the final though and lost 3-1.

Rummenigge, by now an Inter Milan player, would end his international career at the World Cup in 1986. “Kalle” was once again not fully fit, but Franz Beckenbauer – now coach – was determined to bring him to Mexico. He featured in all matches, mostly as a substitute, as West Germany once again reached the final. He was captain in his 95th and last international against Argentina in the Azteca stadium. Rummenigge scored one of the West German goals as they attempted to comeback from 2-0 down with 15 minutes left, but Burruchaga won it for Argentina just three minutes after Rudi Voller had equalised – and Rummenigge became the first captain to lose two World Cup finals. 1987-88 Panini Servette Genève Karl-Heinz RUMMENIGGE

Germans everywhere will tell you that a fully fit Rummenigge would have made the difference in those World Cups and they would have two more titles to their name.

He spent his last couple of seasons as a pro in Switzerland with Servette before retiring in 1989.

He is currently Chief Executive Officer at the FC Bayern München group of companies.

Rummenigge may not have been as prolific as Gerd Muller, but he was a better all-around player. Not only did he score with ease, he possessed great technique and was a brilliant creative influence for his side and a true legend of the game.

Happy Geburtstag Kalle from all at BOBBY!

The Career of Der Kaiser
The Man Who Revolutionised the Role of The Sweeper

by Karl Hofer.

Beckenbauer-bayern-munich-soccer-clubOn 11 September 1945, when a once great nation was at the lowest ebb of its history, among the ruins of Munich a footballing legend was born.  As captain of both the national side and his hometown club, he would lead both to unprecedented success and to the pinnacle of the world game. His name was Franz Beckenbauer.

The son of a postal worker, Beckenbauer grew up in Giesing, a working class superb in south-east Munich. Despite his father’s apathy for the game the young Franz was a promising centre-forward and idolised World Cup winner Fritz Walter. He was also a big fan of 1860 Munich, who in those days were the more popular team in the city.

Beckenbauer later admitted of 1860; “It was always my dream to play for them” and he was all set to join them until he played in a fiery encounter against 1860 in the final of an under-14 youth tournament for his then club SC Munich 06. A series of physical confrontations with the centre-half who was marking him had such a strong effect on the young Beckenbauer that he decided to join neighbours Bayern instead.

Before he’d even kicked a ball for the Bayern first team however, Beckenbauer was engulfed by controversy. In 1963, at the age of 18, it was revealed that his then girlfriend was pregnant and that he had no intention of marrying her. This sort of behaviour was so seriously frowned upon at the time that he was promptly banned from the West German national youth team by the DFB, only to be readmitted after the intervention of the side’s coach Dettmar Cramer.

BeckenbauerWCHe debuted for Bayern’s senior side on June 6th 1964 playing on the left wing against Stuttgarter Kickers in the second tier of German football. In his first full season the team won promotion to the newly formed Bundesliga.

Bayern soon became a force in the new German league, winning the German Cup in 1966–67 and achieving European success in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer became team captain and led his club to their first league title in 68/69. It was around this time that Beckenbauer began experimenting with the sweeper/libero role, refining the position and becoming the greatest exponent of the attacking sweeper game.

Beckenbauer stayed with Bayern through the 1976-77 season, accruing a total of 461 appearances and 53 goals in all competitions. During that time, Bayern won four Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.

Der Kaiser also enjoyed success with the West German national team, for whom he made 103 appearances, winning the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup. He also won numerous individual honours, including the 1972 and 1976 Ballon d’Or awards.

beckenbauerHSVIn fact, everywhere Beckenbauer went success followed.

Beckenbauer finally parted ways with Bayern when he accepted a lucrative contract to join the New York Cosmos in 1977. He spent four seasons in New York and the Cosmos won the Soccer Bowl three times.

A return to Germany with Hamburg followed (1980-82) and despite playing a limited role he still helped guide HSV to a Bundesliga title.

He retired from playing in 1983 and quickly turned his hand to management, starting with the West German national side – and yet again success went with him. When West Germany won the 1990 World Cup, Beckenbauer became only the second person to win the Jules Rimet Trophy as both a player and manager (Brazil’s Mário Zagallo was the first).

 

Felix Magath & The Amazing Story of Deutschland’s ’82 World Cup

West Germany Espana 82

The recent appointment of Felix Magath as boss at Fulham brought back a lot of memories for everyone at BOBBY.

As a player Magath enjoyed a distinguished career; winning three Bundesliga titles with Hamburger SV in a ten year spell with the club, not to mention the European Cup in 1983 – Magath himself scoring the only goal of the game against Juventus in Athens.

Trapattoni’s star-studded Juve team included Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek and the spine of the Italian side that won the World Cup the previous year; Dino Zoff, Claudio Gentile, Antonio Cabrini, Roberto Bettega, Marco Tardelli and Paolo Rossi – but on the night the conquerors of Aston Villa were unable to break down a stubborn and disciplined HSV.

It was the first time the trophy hadn’t been won by an English club since 1976.

Magath is the son of a former Puerto Rican soldier in the US Army who was stationed in Germany. He returned to his homeland when Felix was just an infant and they never met again until Felix visited Puerto Rico in 1999. They now meet up every year.

Magath is also a chess enthusiast. In fact he’s rather good at it and has previously played an exhibition match against the great Garry Kasparov.

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The 1982 World Cup was certainly an eventful one for Magath and his West German teammates.

The Germans, champions of Europe at the time, were the victims of one of the great World Cup shocks when they were beaten 2-1 by Algeria in their opening game. A 4-1 win over Chile (with Rummenigge scoring a hat-trick) got them back on track meaning a win in their final game would see them progress. But In their way were neighbours Austria.

Schande von Gijón

With Algeria and Chile having played the day before, the Germans knew that a win by one or two goals would result in both them and Austria qualifying at the expense of Algeria. After 10 minutes Horst Hrubesch gave West Germany the lead. Thereafter, neither team scored, or more accurately neither team tried to score. It seemed obvious to everyone that an unspoken agreement had been reached to play for a 1–0 German win. The match was labelled the Schande von Gijón (disgrace of Gijón).

The story has since evolved to the point that people talk of the Germans and Austrians as being bossom-buddies and therefore such a result was unsurprising.

But it was a surprise. You see in the second group stage of the previous World Cup in 1978, the Austrians, despite having already been eliminated, had made great efforts to beat West Germany 3–2 in a match known as the Miracle of Cordoba, and that win deprived the Germans of the chance of playing Brazil in the Third Place match. The two teams were considered to be fierce rivals…

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In what was a new format for this World Cup, the Germans were drawn with England and hosts Spain in a group of three for the second round. After a goalless draw with England, Spain were overcome in Madrid 2-1 with goals from Littbarski and Fischer. Ron Greenwood’s men could not match the Germans feat, another 0-0 draw meant England went home without losing a game while the Germans advanced to the semi-finals and a meeting with the French.

Classic

In a what turned into one of the greatest games in World Cup history, the Germans encountered further controversy in the semi-final. It was lively from the start; Pierre Littbarski firing home on 17 minutes before Michel Platini restored parity from the spot 9 minutes later.

The real drama came in the second half though. French defender Patrick Battiston, who’d only been on the pitch ten minutes, was trying to latch onto a through ball when German goalkeeper Toni Schumacher raced out to intervene. Battiston flicked the ball past Schumacher but the German crashed into Battiston, breaking his jaw and knocking out two of his teeth in the process.

Somewhat amazingly, Dutch referee Charles Corver gave nothing more than a goal kick, despite the near decapitation.

Christian Lopez replaced the stretchered-off Battiston, and another French defender, Manuel Amoros almost won the game when his long range effort smashed against the bar in the final minute.

Extra time was only two minutes old when France’s sweeper Marius Trésor hit a swerving volley beyond Schumacher to put the French ahead. Six minutes later and the Germans were hit on the counter; Alain Giresse driving in off the post to seemingly put the game to bed.

But the Germans refused to give up. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, on as a sub, converted a cross with a near-post finish with the outside of his boot on 102 minutes for 3-2.

The comeback was on, and an acrobatic bicycle kick from Klaus Fischer leveled the scores three minutes into the second period of extra-time to take the match to the first ever penalty shootout at the World Cup Finals.

After five penalites France were 3-2 up when Uli Stielike became the first player to fail to convert a penalty in a World Cup Finals shootout.

But then Schumacher stepped forward, lifted the tearful Stielike from the ground, and promptly saved Didier Six’s effort.

With Germany handed the lifeline they needed Littbarski converted his penalty, followed by Platini for France, and then Rummenigge for Germany as the tension became unbearable. France defender Maxime Bossis then had his kick parried by Schumacher – who shouldn’t have been on the pitch of course – and Hrubesch stepped up to score the winning kick.

Final Heartbreak

Perhaps the almighty efforts of West Germany in this match took too much of a toll as the Italians seemed much the fresher side in the final. Antonio Cabrini missed a penalty in the first half but they weren’t to be denied, rattling in three in the second half through Rossi, Tardelli and Altobelli.

With seven minutes left Paul Breitner pulled one back but it was all a bridge too far for Josef Derwall’s men who were second best on the night.

Magath would suffer similar heartbreak four years later; again West Germany made it all the way to the final but this time they were pipped 3-2 by Argentina in Mexico, in what was one of his final appearances before retiring.

 

Big thanks to our friends at Football Stickipedia for access to their archive.