On this day


Classic WWII Ordnance Hi-Jinks: Brentford ‘Keeper Chic Brodie Finds Hand Grenade In His Goalmouth, 1965

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Charles 'Chic' Brodie was no doubt a perfectly serviceable goalkeeper in his day, we couldn't possibly comment to the counter, but alas his 21-year professional career is generally boiled down to two memorable incidents.

The first of which happened on November 6th, the day after Bonfire Night, back in 1965 during a match between Brodie's Brentford and their cross-London rivals Millwall at Griffin Park.

On This Day In 2012: Arsenal Duo Giroud And Coquelin Make Minor Shirt-Based Error At ‘End’ Of League Cup Tie Against Reading (Video)

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Hard to believe we know, but it was five years ago to the very day that Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin entertained the nation by getting all confuzzled at the business end of Arsenal's chaotic 7-5 victory over Reading in the fourth round of the League Cup.

After somehow conspiring to go 4-0 down within the 37 minutes, Arsenal pulled a heroic comeback out of their collective derriere thanks to late goals from Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott in the 89th and 96th minute respectively before the final whistle thweeped at the Madejski Stadium.

On This Day In 2002: Teenage Wayne Rooney Takes 10 Minutes To Entrench Himself In The Premier League With Stonking Goal Against Arsenal (Video)

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Why, it seems like a lifetime, but 15 years ago this very day, a 16-year-old brute who looked like he was on day release from borstal emerged from the Everton bench and promptly entrenched himself deep in the topography of English football.

With a thick neck and forearms like Popeye, that young toe-rag was Wayne Rooney, who found himself thrown on against Arsenal as an 80th-minute substitute with the score level at 1-1, only to bring the Gunners'30-game unbeaten run to an abrupt end 10 minutes later with his very first Premier League goal.

On This Day In 1995: Leeds Legend Tony Yeboah Smacks One In Off The Wimbledon Crossbar (Video)

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Depressing as it may be, it's 21 years to the day that Tony Yeboah thrust his way into Premier League immortality by rattling one in off the Selhurst Park crossbar with his 'weaker'foot.

Just a few weeks after his 'other' scorcher against Liverpool, Yeboah ended a mini-droughtwith a hat-trick in Leeds' 4-2 win over Wimbledon that included this famously monstrous strike.

On This Day In 1970: Bobby Moore Accused Of Stealing A Bracelet From Colombian Jewellery Store

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In possibly the most famous diplomatic incident in football history, 18th May 1970 saw England captainBobby Moore accused of half-inching a bracelet from a store in Bogota, Columbia, while on a shopping trip with Bobby Charlton.

With England in town as part of their training regimefor the World Cup in Mexico, the pair were shoppingfor a present for Charlton's wifeatthe Green Fire shop inside the Tequendama Hotel when the owner accused Moore of walking out of the shop with a £600 bracelet stuffed in his pocket.

Classic Moments: Nayim Lobs David Seaman From Quite Far Out, 1995 (Video)

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Photos: Ross Kinnaird/Press Association

It was a goal that further fed the footballing schismNorth London, bringing with it agony for the red half and unbridledjoy for the white– the latter merrily celebrating it in song for years to come.

Indeed, it was 21 years ago this very day that Arsenal's European trophy dreams were smashed by Mohammed 'Nayim' Ali Amar.

On This Day In 1961: Ian St John Hits Ground Running At Liverpool With Debut Hat-Trick Against Everton

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On 9th May 1961, Liverpool gave a first-team debut to their record signing. The player was Ian St John, the fee had been £37,500, and the occasion was the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup.

With the Reds squaring off against cross-city rivals Everton that day, there couldn't have been a more perfect time for the new man to make an impression and make an impression St John most certainly did.

On This Day In 1978: Ipswich Midfielder Roger Osborne Scores Winner In FA Cup Final And Promptly Faints (Video)

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Two very differentbut equally memorable FA Cup Final victories came on 6th May. The first was in 1961, when Tottenham beat Leicester City to secure the first league championship and FA Cup double of modern times.

Spurs won the game 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson.

When The Worlds Of Rock N’ Roll And Goalkeeping Combine: Five Fascinating Musical Facts About Goalies

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Mix it up a wee bit, my editor said. So I got to 4th May, and I notedthat on his day in 1966, the great Peter Shilton made the first of his record 1,005 football league appearances when he stepped up between the sticks for Leicester City (whatever happened to them?) against Everton.

That would normally be the cue to spin headlong into a list of the best goalkeepers of all time or the worst goalkeeper of all time or the Top 10 goalkeepers most likely to have owned Vauxhall Cavaliers at some point in their lives, etc, etc.

On This Day In 1972: Tottenham Legend Martin Chivers Scores Two Thumpers In Least Glamorous UEFA Cup Final Of All Time (Photos & Video)

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The players' wives, it's said, were not happy. Tottenham had foughtthrough to the UEFA Cup Final, with it coming the promise of a sojourn inone of Europe's more glamorous cities.

Sadly, the destination for the first leg of the 1972 UEFA Cup final turned out to besunny Wolverhampton, 100 distinctlyun-captivatingmiles up the road, with Wolves themselves providing the opposition.

On This Day In 1901: Liverpool FC Win Their First Ever League Title (Photo & Video)

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The jolly old Liverpool squad, circa 1901 (Photo: LFC History)

It's perhaps fitting to end the week with a look back to 29th April 1901, and the day Liverpool FC got their hands on their first ever First Division league title.

The success was the first of 18 top-tier titles the Reds have subsequently gone on to win, making them the second most successful club in English football history – at least as far as the league isconcerned.

Retro Football: Beloved Chelsea Owner Ken Bates Erects 12-Foot Electric Fence Around Stamford Bridge Pitch, 1985 (Photo)

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The Chelsea-Tottenham fixture at Stamford Bridge on 27th April 1985 threatened to boast an even more electrifying atmosphere than usual, right up until the point that the Greater London Council (GLC) stepped in with a bit of timely common sense.

Following a hectic pitch invasion at the ground the previous month, beloved Chelsea chairman Ken Bates decided – in his inimitable style – to get tough on the oiks responsible.

Let’s Hear It For… Lily Parr: The Six-Foot, Chain-Smoking Pioneer Of English Women’s Football

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Lily Parr practises the javelin as part of her training with Preston Ladies FC, 1938

On this very day in April 1905, a true English footballing icon was born. We are of course talking about Lily Parr, oone of the first professional female footballers in the country.

Indeed, if theFA had been a more enlightened organisation in the 1920s, Parrwould have been regularly mentioned in the same breath as her legendary male contemporaries Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortenson,Tom Finney and the like.

On This Day In 1978: Peter Shilton On Fire As Newly-Promoted Nottingham Forest Secure First Division Title (Video)

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There's been much made, fairly understandably, of Leicester's outstanding progress this season from table-proppers all the way up to table-toppers.

In 1978, East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest achieved the feat of winning the First Division league title the season after being promoted, which was made mathematically certain on this very day, 38 years ago.

Retro Football: West Ham Stalwart Alvin Martin Scores Hat-Trick Against Three Different Goalkeepers, 1986 (Video)

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West Ham heart-throb Alvin Martin, circa April 1986 (Photo: Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

On the afternoon of 21st April 1986, West Ham defenderAlvin Martin scored a very unusual hat-trick. Each goal came against a different goalkeeper.

The opponents at Upton Park that day were Newcastle, and the Magpies were forced into fielding a not-fully fit Martin Thomas, their first-choice keeper, as their reserve stopperwas injured.

1901 FA Cup Final: Non-League Winners, Football’s First On-Screen Refereeing Controversy & 6,000 Pork Pies

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On 20th April 1901, the biggest crowd ever to attend a football match anywhere in the world descended on Crystal Palace Park in South East London.

The occasion was the FA Cup Final and what enticedthe official attendance of 114,815 – many more gained entrance unofficially – was not just the culminationof a competition already established as the world's foremost football tournament, but what the two competing sides represented.

On This Day In 1984: Plucky Plymouth Argyle Take 20,000 Fans To Villa Park For FA Cup Semi-Final (Photos & Video)

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On 14th April 1984, Plymouth Argyle played an FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park against Watford.

The Pilgrims' progress in the 1983/84 competition had definitely caught the imagination, coaxinga whopping 20,000 travelling Argyle fans into making the 350-mile round-trip to the West Midlands in order to roartheir team on.

On This Day In 1936: Luton Striker Joe Payne Has The Pleasure Of Scoring Ten Goals In One Game – A Record That Still Stands Today

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Joe Payne of Luton Town, circa 1936

On 13th April 1936, Luton Town centre forward Joe Payne wrote himself into the history books by scoring 10 goals in a12-0 hammeringof Bristol Rovers.

Payne's incredible solo haul remains the record number of ever goals scored by an individual in a league football match.

Retro Football: Jimmy Gauld And The Betting Syndicate Scandal That Rocked English Football In The Mid-1960s

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On the morning of the 12th April, 1964, the Sunday People newspaper broke one of the most sensational scandal stories in British football history.

The paper revealed that a syndicate of professional footballers had colluded to fix matches on which they'd bet on the outcome of. The story was eventually to lead to the jailing of 10 players for a string of offences.

On This Day In 1959: England Legend Billy Wright Becomes The First Player To Win 100 Caps For His Country

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The first player in world football to make 100 appearances for his country was England's Billy Wright, and he achieved the feat on 11th April 1959 when he appeared in a 1-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.

Shropshire-born Wright captained Wolverhampton Wanderers during the club's glory years, leading the old gold to three league titles in 1954, 1958 and 1959, and an FA Cup in 1949.

On This Day In 1988: 17-Year-Old Alan Shearer Starts His Goalscoring Career With A Bang (Video)

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On 8th April 1988, Southampton's prized young gem, a spindly blonde urchin by the name of Alan Shearer, opened his senior goal-scoring account in style.

At the tender age of 17 years and 240 days, Shearer got things under way with a hat-trick against Arsenal at The Dell and, in doing so, became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the top flight of English football.

On This Day In 1991: Glenn Hoddle Starts His Management Career At Swindon Town

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Glenn Hoddle's managerial career began on 4th April 1991, when he was appointed player-manager of Swindon Town at the age of 34.

He replaced another Tottenham legend at the helm, stepping into the void after Ossie Ardilles left to take over at Newcastle.

The Robins were in deep trouble in Division Two at the time, still reeling from a financial scandal which had seen them stripped of promotion to the First Division in 1990 (they admitted 36 charges of breaching league rules, 35 of which pertained to illegal payments made to players).

Retro Football: 203 Minutes Of ‘Action’ As Stockport Scrap It Out Against Doncaster In The Longest Game On Record

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Stockport County team, circa 1947 (Photo: Hedge Grower)

Sit tight, this may take some time. When Stockport County met Doncaster Rovers in a replay of a Division Three North Cup tie at Stockport's Edgeley Park on 30th March 1946, the game lasted THREE HOURS AND 23 MINUTES.

By the time the first 90 minutes had elapsed, the teams were drawing 2-2.

On This Day, 128 Years Ago: Aston Villa Director William McGregor Spearheads Formation Of The Football League

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It all started 128 years ago today. On 22nd March 1888, the Football League was formed – the first such league competition in world football.

It was the top of the football hierarchyin England until 1992, when the top 22 clubs broke away to form the Premier League. The jury's still out on that decision.

Retro Football: The Night Pele Played At Plymouth Argyle (Photos & Videos)

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In 1973, Pele was theinternational football superstar. So imagine the excited fervour when his employers, Santos, embarked on a friendly tour of Britain.

In March that year, Santos played friendlies at Fulham's Craven Cottage (Mr Nascimentocan be seen signing autographs before that game, above) and Plymouth Argyle's humble abode at Home Park.

On This Day In 1972: Jack Charlton Plays 600th Game For Leeds, Receives Nice New Clock For His Troubles (Photo)

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Jack Charlton of Leeds, circa 1970 (Photo: Press Association)

On this very day, 11th March, back in 1972, the hardnut's hardnut Jack Charlton played his 600th game for Leeds United.

Hewent on to make a total of 629 league appearances for Leeds and 762 overall. Both tallies are club records that will probably stand forever.

Retro Football: Cardiff 1-0 Real Madrid (1971) And Five Other Brilliant Scoreline Shockers

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Photo: Press Association

On 10th March 1971, Cardiff City pulled offone of the greatest results in their history, and one of the biggest upsets in the entire football pantheon, when they beat Real Madrid by a single goal to nil.

Riding high in Europeafter becoming the first non-top flight club to reach the semi-finals of the Cup Winner's Cup in 1968, the Bluebirds' '71 vintage went on to achieve something perhaps even more special against Los Blancos' star-studded side.

Newcastle United vs Nottingham Forest, 1974: The Most Controversial FA Cup Replay Of All Time?

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Malcolm 'Supermac' MacDonald scores the winning goal for Newcastle during their FA Cup 6th round, second replay against Forest, March 1974

As the football authorities continue to ponder whether to sound the death knell for cup replays altogether, it's perhaps timely to remember one of the most controversial FA Cup replays in football history.

On This Day In 1991: Ryan Giggs Enters The Fray At Manchester United For The Very First Time (Video)

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Giggs in 1991, back when the world was still black and white

It was on this day, a quarter of a century ago that a gangly 17-year-old whippetcalled Ryan Giggs made his first team debut for Manchester United.

The opponents at Old Trafford were Everton and the Reds went on to lose 2-0.

On This Day In 1913: Arsenal Move Into Tottenham Territory By Ditching Plumstead For Highbury (Photos)

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Woolwich Arsenal welcome Tottenham to their old Plumstead ground, 1906

With the next North London Derby fast approaching, and this one really shaping up to be a vital tussle, it's worth reflecting on the origins of the great rivalry, especially on the anniversary of the decision that kicked the whole thing off.

Happy Birthday Old Trafford: Manchester United’s Famous Ground Turns 106 Years Young Today (Photos)

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Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium, circa 1930

One hundred and six years ago today, on 19th February 1910, the United Football Ground staged its very first game.

It has since been rechristenedas Old Trafford (in 1936 to be precise) and the inaugural tie it hosted – Manchester United versus Liverpool – has subsequently become one of the most fiercely-contested in football.

On This Day In 1999: Marian Pahars Arrives At Southampton To Give The Premier League A Swift Kick Up The Baltics (Video)

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When Marian Pahars signed for Southampton on 16th February 1999, he became the first Latvian to feature in the English Premier League. Only four have followed since.

Saints paid £800,000 to Skonto Riga to bring the forward to England's south coast on the recommendation of then-Latvia national team coach Gary Johnson, who billed him as the Latvian answer to Michael Owen.

On This Day In 1998: Michael Owen Of England Joins Ranks Of Youngest International Debutants (Video)

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It's Wembley, it's the 11th February 1998, England are playing Chile in a friendly and, look, there's spotty little Michael Owen making history.

At 18 years and 59 days old, the nippy Liverpool striker became the youngest player to represent England in the 20th century.

He didn't score that night (Chile won 2-0 with Marcelo Salas scoring twice, starting with a belter of an opening goal) but Owen did go on to bag 40 goals in 89 international appearances for the Three Lions.

Retro Football: Zinedine Zidane Scores First Ever Professional Goal And Wins Himself A New Renault Clio, 1991 (Video)

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Twenty five years ago this very day, a promising monobrowed young prodigy by the name of Zinedine Yazid Zidane opened his professional goalscoring account at the tender age of 18.

After muscling his way up through the youth ranks, Zidanefinally broke into the Canne senior set-up in 1989 aged just 16, just two short years after leaving home to chase down his dream.

On This Day In 1948: The World Goes Mad As Len Shackleton Joins Sunderland For Whopping £20,000

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With Premier League spending passing the £1billion mark this season (up from a mere £965million the year before), it's hard to imagine anybody getting the slightest bit upset by the kind of money Sunderland paid Newcastle for Len Shackleton back in 1948.

At the time, the money involved in the transfer was criticised as being obscene a clear sign that football had completely taken leave of its senses.

The Black-And-White Years: Tottenham Score 13 Goals In Epic FA Cup Victory Over Crewe, 1960 (Video)

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Having battled their way to a 2-2 draw against Tottenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup in January of1960, Crewe Alexandra's thoughts immediately turned to felling their Division One opponents in alucrative replay in front of 64,000 fans at White Hart Lane.

That replay duly came on 3rd February, with Crewe once again forced to face a team a full 83 rungsabove them on the league ladder.

On This Day In 2009: In, Out, In, Out – Robbie Keane Does The Tottenham Hokey-Cokey

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Think of Tottenham Hotspur and you think of tradition – cup glory, fast flowing football and, for at short stretch after the turn of themillennium, selling players only to buy them back again shortly thereafter.

Case in point. Robbie Keane had left Tottenham in the summer of 2008, completing a stunning double deal in which the North London club managed to sell him and Dimitar Berbatov, thus depriving themselves of arguably the best strike combination in the Premier League.

The Rest

On This Day In 1999: Liverpool Attempt To Sign Didier Baptiste, Fictional Character From Sky One’s ‘Dream Team’, For £3.5m

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Dream Team: Harchester United's entirely made-up squad (Photo: Sky One)

Every year, the 24th November marks a truly momentous anniversary in the cavernous annals of footballing stupidity: The day Liverpool attempted to sign Didier Baptiste, an entirely fictional player, for £3.5million.

To be clear, the gaffe wasn't made by Liverpool themselves, but by The News of the World newspaper, who erroneously peddled a rumour that the Reds were interested in signing the promising left-back a "French Under-21 international" no less from Monaco.

On This Day In 2001: England Field Seven Manchester United Players To Equal 70-Year-Old Record (Video)

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When England played Albania in a World Cup qualifier in the Albanian capital of Tirana on 28th March 2001, five of the starting line-up were provided byjust one club – Manchester United.

Gary Neville, Andy Cole, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Paul Scholes all began the game and, when they were joined by second half subs Wes Brown and Teddy Sheringham, the seven United players on the pitch meant the club equalled an international record that had stood for almost 70 years.

On This Day In 2010: Steve McClaren And FC Twente Seize Opportunity To Go Top In Historic Title-Winning Campaign

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This season's Premier League title race is not only exciting because it looks like going to the wire, but also because there's a more than decent chance we might end up with a new name on the trophy at long last.

As such, it's perhaps fitting that, six years ago today, another newcomer to nouveau title glory emerged in the Netherlands.