No Frills: Football Stickers Chart The Incredible Non-Evolution Of Gareth Barry (Photos)

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On the eve of his record-breaking 633rd Premier League appearance, Pies thought it only right to salute the most consistent player in top-flight history: Hastings' finest, Mr Gareth Barry.

As evident below, nothing has changed much in the 19 years since Barry made his debut for Aston Villa back in the last century.

Premier League Dig Up Lovely Snippet Of Kasper Schmeichel And Tom Ince Playing Football Together As Kids In Old Trafford Corridor (Video)

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This very afternoon, Huddersfield are set to play host to Leicester City at the John Smith's Stadium a fixture that will see two former childhood playmates reunited once again.

With both their dads playing for Manchester United, Kasper Schmeichel and Thomas Ince spent a brief few years growing up alongside one another in the early 1990s.

Retro: This Complete Set Of Football Playing Cards From ’90 Minutes’ Magazine Really Is Something Special To Behold! (Photos)

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Photo: @90sfootball/Twitter

The brainchild of TalkSPORT presenter Paul Hawksbee, '90 Minutes' magazine launched in October of 1990 and managed a glorious seven-year run before folding.

While we're certain the publication featured it's fair share of memorable articles and such like, nothing that ever went to print is likely to provide a more lasting impression than the special set of football playing cards that 90 Minutes put their name to in 1993/94(ish).

Retro Football: Brian Clough’s Quartet Of Classic Adverts For Shredded Wheat, 1991/92 (Video)

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As he made a point of telling everybody all the time, Brian Clough really wasn't one to suffer flashy prima donna players gladly.

So it might come as something of a surprise that Cloughie dabbled in a few endorsement shills over the years, including a starring role in this series of adverts for Shredded Wheat from 1991 and 1992.

Retro Football: George Weah Paints His Masterpiece By Going ‘Coast To Coast’ Against Hellas Verona, 1996 (Video)

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Milan striker George Weah in full flow against Parma, 1995

Exactly 21 years ago this very day, George Weah scored the goal that would ultimately come, rightly or wrongly, to define his stellar career.

Milan spanked Hellas Verona at the San Siro on the opening day of the 1996/97 Serie A season, though the match is now widely remembered for one thing and one thing only Weah's famous 'coast to coast' goal, the third in an emphatic 4-1 victory.

Retro Classic: Football Italia Intro Sees Paul Gascoigne And James Richardson Combine To Create Comedy Gold, 1995 (Video)

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Paul Gascoigne explains his curious headwear to Lazio coach Zdenek Zeman, 1995

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the day that Gazzetta Football Italia aired on Channel 4 for the very first time.

We've spoken of our undying love for Football Italia before here on Pies, helping as it did to introduce a wide-eyed young fan to a world of football beyond watching Wolves grind out dull, mud-specked draws with Leicester City on Central Match Live every sodding weekend.

Classic Moments: John Motson Gets His Backside Handed To Him By Brian Clough In Prickly BBC Interview, 1979 (Video)

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After 50 years plugging away on the gantry, John Motson has announced he's retiring from his BBC commentary gig at the end of the season.

Now aged 72, Motson has cemented his place as one of the foremost voices in English football lore, with 20 major international tournaments and 29 FA Cup Finals listed on his CV.

Classic Moments: Mido And The Worst ‘Crossbar Challenge’ Attempt Ever Captured On Camera, 2009 (Video)

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To brand Mido's loan stint at Wigan in the latter half of the 2008/09 season as 'largely featureless' and 'eminently forgettable' is to do it a major disservice.

After all, the Egyptian striker scored on his debut (a penalty in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool) and then went on to ripple the net again against Arsenal (the consolation in a 4-1 hammering), eventually ending the six-month deal with a whopping two goals to his name in the space of 12 appearances before going AWOL.

Retro Football: Bryan Robson Resplendent In Triple Denim For ‘Easy Jeans’ Modelling Gig, 1980s (Photos)

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Bryan Robson was a formidable player in his Manchester United pomp, sturdy of thigh and steely of conviction as he patrolled midfields the length and breadth of the land.

However, away from the hustle and bustle of football, Robson was a man who favoured comfort one look at his taste in gentlemen's leisure knitwear proves as much.

Random Great Goals: Crystal Palace Score Four Little Lovelies In 4-1 Win Over Wolves, 1995 (Video)

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The year was 1995, and Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers were pitted against each other in the sixth round (i.e. quarter-finals) of the FA Cup.

Wolves were the only non-Premiership side left in the competition, and defended manfully to ensure the original tie at Selhurst Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

Retro Football: Sir Bruce Forsyth Entertains Crowd By Scoring At Wembley Before 1974 FA Cup Final (Video)

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Chin chin: Bruce Forsyth compares facial protuberance with Jimmy Hill, 1981 (Photo: REX, via Telegraph)

Sad news is reaching Pies this afternoon that legendary British entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth has passed away at the grand old age of 89.

From game-shows to Royal Variety performances, Brucie pretty much accomplished it all in a long and winding showbiz career that spanned almost 75 years and he even scored a goal at an FA Cup Final at Wembley.

The BIG Question: Which Is Your Favourite Goal From 25 Years Of Premier League Football?

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Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC

Pies feel obliged to admit at this juncture that we've never really felt any special admiration for Dennis Bergkamp's goal against Newcastle in 2002: your newly-crowned 'Best Goal in the History of the Premier League'.

It's a nice enough goal, sure the turn is clinical, the touch superb, etc but as far as we're concerned (not very, truth be told) it's not even top-three material when it comes toBergkamp's personal highlight reel.

Retro Football: First Ever ‘Match Of The Day’ Opening Titles Of Premier League Era, 1992/93 (Video)

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Image: BBC Sport

Looking every single one of its 25-years-old, here are the opening titles that preceded the very first Match of the Day of the Premier League epoch.

Come for Des Lynam's velvety smoothness, stay for Gary Lineker looking like a nervous ex-public schoolboy appearing in small-claims court after being accused of fly-tipping a mattress on his father-in-law's estate.

Great Disallowed Goals: Cruel Linesman Robs Southampton’s Kevin Keegan Of Dazzling Volley Against Man Utd, 1981 (Video)

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Not that we're intending to give our old 'Great Disallowed Goals' series a full reboot, but Pies happened across his little snippet earlier today and deemed it worthy of broadcast under the banner.

Dating from the Year of our Lord 1981, the clip shows Kevin Keegan who was nearing the end of his career by that point putting a spectacular finish to a sweeping Southampton attack against Manchester United (in royal blue!

Football Comedy Classics: Adam & Joe – ‘The Footie Song’ (Video)

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It's about this time every year that Pies' inbox gets overrun by a deluge of the worst kind of email: the brazenly tenuous PR football-tie-in advertorial.

Just before the start of each new season (World Cups are also equally insufferable), brands and companies with no connection to football attempt to shoehorn themselves into the equation on the most dubious of pretences.

Eight Years Gone: 18 Fantastic Archive Photos Of Sir Bobby Robson In His Prime

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Today marks the eighth anniversary of the day English football said goodbye to its spiritual grandfather, Sir Bobby Robson.

As a doff of the cap, Pies have cobbled together some fantastic archive shots of Bobby in his younger years, including a marvellous photo of the first time he harnessed the power of flight during a game between West Brom and Chelsea in 1957.

Pre-Season Classics: Mario Balotelli Tosses It Off With A Backheel Only To Be Immediately Substituted, 2011 (Video)

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Pre-season is a time for experimentation, a time for frivolity, and yet Mario Balotelli famously found himself chastised for both during Man City's meaningless friendly Herbalife World Football Challenge match against LA Galaxy in July of 2011.

Balotelli opened the scoring with an early penalty at the Home Depot Center, then shortly thereafter found himself presented with a routine chance to double both his and City's tally.

Retro Football: Henrik Larsson Gets Celtic Career Off To An Absolute Bloody Stinker, 1997 (Videos)

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Photo: Alamy (via Celtic FC)

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the day Henrik Larsson first pitched up at Celtic Park with a glint in his eye and a head festooned with matted off-beige tendrils.

Celtic paid just £650,000 to purloin the Swedish striker from Feyenoord and, by the time he left for Barcelona in 2004, he'd arguably just about paid for himself.

Retro Football Sponsorship Deals: Arsenal Hard-Arse Steve Bould Models For ‘Arrow’ Boots, 1992 (Photo)

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The year was 1991; Anthony Hopkins was knee-deep in Hannibal Lecter, Vanilla Ice was bringing Caucasian hip-hop to the masses, Arsenal were First Division champions and all the cool kids wanted to be Steve Bould.

After the Gunners took the title while losing just one game all season, sportswear brands were queuing around the block to snap up their stars on endorsement deals.

Retro Football: FIFA 97 Soundtrack Featured A Secret Hidden Song – John Motson Commentating/Rapping Over Thumping Techno Track (Video)

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By Mof Gimmers

John Motson has been commentating on football matches since 1971, and in all those hours, he's inevitably said some daft stuff.

However, buried in his gigantic CV is an almost-rap that he did for one of EA's FIFA franchise games.

If you popped your FIFA '97 disc into your stereo, there was an audio track which was only spoken about in the back pages of gaming magazines in the cheats section.

Classic Moments: Goalscoring Goalie Paul Robinson Glances Home Dramatic 90th-Minute Equaliser For Leeds, 2003 (Video)

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Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has announced his retirement from professional football today at the grand old age of 37.

Having spent last season on the books at Burnley, Robinson has decided to pack it in after once again succumbing to chronic back pain.

Unfortunately, my back problem returned towards the end of last season and has prevented me being ready for the start of the new season.

Philistines: Italian Magazine Declare Glorious Burst Of Action From Man City-QPR In 1993 As ‘Ugliest Football Ever Played’ (Video)

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An Italian magazine are claiming to have witnessed the ugliest passage of football ever offered forth in the entire history of the beautiful game.

After happening across the clip on social media, L'Ultimo Uomo have declared that the following 20-second burst of action taken from Man City's exciting 2-1 win over QPR in 1993 is the most risible, error-strewn, irredeemable example of football they've ever witnessed.

Retro Football: 17-Year-Old Antonio Cassano Opens Bari Account With Brilliant Winning Goal Against Inter Milan, 1999 (Video)

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Antonio Cassano didn't have the easiest of childhoods, but he just about managed to keep himself on the straight and narrow long enough for his hometown club, Bari, to pluck him from the streets of the old town and give him a shot in their academy.

Despite regular transgressions and a volatile temperament, Cassano more than repaid Bari's faith, quickly graduating from the youth sides to make his senior debut for theGalletti at the age of just 17 his grizzled face already belying his tender years, even back then.

Fowl Play: Celebrating The Anniversary Of Blackburn’s Paradigm-Shifting Venkys Chicken Advert, 2011 (Video)

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When we talk about momentous, paradigm-shifting moments in modern football, they don't come much more seismic than thecontribution made to the pantheon by Blackburn Rovers onJune 28th, 2011.

Having taken over the previous year, Blackburn's new poultry-peddling owners Venkys decided to use their glamorous Premier League asset to help promote their fowl wares.

Classic Moments: Claudio Bravo Scores Match-Winning Freekick For Real Sociedad, 2010 (Video)

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Photo: Pablo Gomez (via Mundo Deportivo)

After becoming something of a punchline for his error-strewn handling at Man City last season, Claudio Bravo gave his flagging reputation a much-needed shot in the arm with a heroic display at the end ofChile's tenseknock-outvictory over Portugal in the Confederations Cup.

England 1-2 Iceland: Celebrating The One-Year Anniversary Of Steve McClaren Making Himself Look Like A Right Prat (Video)

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Image: Sky Sports

Today marks the one-year anniversary of what just might be the absolute nadir of the England national team in a decade or so positively crammed full of them.

We are of course talking about the Three Lions' moribund, gutless, and utterly galling performance against Iceland in the group stages of Euro 2016.

Retro Football: 10 Glorious Minutes Of Zinedine Zidane Dribbling, Swerving And Leaving Suckers In The Dust (Video)

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Largely because there's bugger all else going on this morning, we thought we'd provide you with a welcome break from the close-season monotony.

To that end, here is a 10-minute slab of Zinedine Zidane-flavoured goodness, highlighting the former Juventus and Real Madrid midfielder's masterful control and footwork.

The Black And White Years: How New Signings Used To Be Unveiled Back In The Good Old Days (Photos)

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In the days before rubber lion masks, uncooked supermarket pizzas and social media blow-outs with budgets akin to your average Hollywood blockbuster,the welcomingof a new signing was a much more sedate and earnest affair.

There was minimalpomp, very littlecircumstance and, generally speaking, a surfeitof sturdy handshaking.

Classic Football Adverts: Peter Schmeichel Sings For His Supper In Danepak Danish Bacon Commercial, 1998 (Video)

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The year was 1998 and Danepak had a line of classic dry cure bacon they needed to flog on UK television.

Obviously, the advert in question was for Danish produce and also involved singing so Peter Schmeichel, Manchester United and Denmark goalkeeper and the son of a concert pianist, was the obvious choice.

Retro Football: 25 Brilliant Archive Photos Of Iconic Champions League Final Moments Past

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As you're probably well aware, the Champions League final is due to kick-off in Cardiff in a few hours' time.

So, to wet your whistle for the 2017 edition, Pies thought we'd gee you up with a cavalcade of choice imagery from finals past.

Here they bloomin' well be, presentedin no particular order.

Retro Football: 13-Year-Old Michael Carrick Appears On ‘Live & Kicking!’ During His Wallsend Boys Club Days, 1995 (Video)

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With a testimonial coming up this weekend and a one-year contract extension that will take him beyond his 36th birthday, Michael Carrick is very much approachingthe thin end of the wedge as far as his professional playing daysare concerned.

However, back in 1995, Carrick was 13-years old, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when he appeared in a segment onBBC Saturday morning staple 'Live & Kicking!

Roma Produce Misty-Eyed Compilation Of Francesco Totti’s Top 10 Goals For The Club (Video)

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As you are no doubt aware, Roma bid farewell to their king this weekend as Francesco Totti made his 786th and final appearance for the only club he's ever known.

As part of the ongoing celebrations,the Giallorossi compiled a loving Top 10 of Totti's goals for the club and, by 'eck, there are some absolute beauties in there.

Retro Football: Charlton Narrowly Pip Sunderland In Most Exciting Play-Off Final Ever Contested, 1998 (Video)

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Quite possibly the most exciting, blistering play-off final ever witnessed atWembley took place, 19 years ago to this very day.

Sunderland-born Clive Mendonca scored a famous hat-trick (the first ever in a play-off final) against his hometown team as Charlton Athletic squeezed their way into the Premier League via a synapse-fraying penalty shoot-out.

Bradford City: Remembering The Victims Of The Valley Parade Fire, 32 Years On From That Dreadful Day (Photos & Video)

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Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the tragic day, 11th May 1985, on which a fire gutted the Main Stand and Valley Parade mid-way through Bradford City's final game of the Division Three season.

56 people 54 Bradford fans and two Lincoln City supporters lost their lives and over 250 were injured as the flames swept through the wooden structure after debris underneath the terracing caught light.

Retro Football: Johan Cruyff Discusses Dennis Bergkamp, The Notion Of Greatness And The Perfect Footballer, 1994 (Video)

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Photo: PROSHOTS (via Goal)

On the day of his 48th birthday, we can't help but hark back to the highest praise Dennis Bergkamp ever received, and from Johan Cruyff no less.

Shortly before the 1994 World Cup, Cruyff gave an in-depth interview to Hugo Camps for Het Laatste Nieuws, in which shared his thoughts on a wide array of footballing issues.

Kits & fashion

Football Art: Nuneaton Town Produce Ace ‘Roy Of The Rovers’ Style Programme Cover For FA Cup Match (Photo)

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The LDJ Solicitors Stadium, home of Nuneaton Town (Photo: Official_NTFC/Twitter)

Rivalling Wolves in the snazzy 'comic-book-style programme cover' stakes, Nuneaton Town have produced an absolute pearler for their upcoming FA Cup qualifying match against King's Lynn Town on Saturday.

Infused with classic 'Roy of the Rovers' goodness, the Boro have gone and knocked out this little retro beauty.

Wunderschön: Germany’s Exquisite New 2018 World Cup Kit Is Inspired Their Own Classic 1988-90 Shirt (Photos)

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You might want to position yourself over your antique Victorian fainting couch, because it looks like the new Germany home kit is going to be a thing of overpowering beauty.

According to an image obtained by WAZ newspaper, Adidas' latest creation harks back to the classic kit Der Nationalmannschaft wore at the 1990 World Cup quite possibly the most handsome football shirt ever conceived.

The Rest

£5 Per Week: Sir Stanley Matthews’ First Ever Stoke City Contract Goes Up For Auction (Photo)

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The Wizard of Dribble: Sir Stanley Matthews in action for Stoke, 1938

The very first contract that Sir Stanley Matthews signed with Stoke City as a 17-year-old in 1932 is about to come up for auction.

Perhaps unsurprising for an 85-year-old document, the contract offers a timely glimpse into professional football's humble past, with Matthews signing on to earn a princely £5 per week at the Potters, dropping to £3 per week in the off-season.

Retro Football: Anti-Fascist Barnsley Supporters Take On The National Front, Terrace Nazis, 1978 (Photo)

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Oakwell stadium, home of Barnsley FC (Photo: Press Association)

With the National Front (NF) on the rise in Britain and right-wing thuggery becoming rifeon the terraces in the 1970s, many groups of concerned football fanstook it upon themselves to make a defiant stand.

Following the creation of the Anti Nazi League (ANL) in 1975, activist supportersof many different football clubs formedtheir own sub-sects to help prevent their respective stadiums beingused asNF recruitment centres on matchdays.

‘You Told Me One Day You’d Win!’ – Youri Djorkaeff Congratulates Henrikh Mkhitaryan On Europa League Triumph By Sharing Childhood Photo Of Man Utd Matchwinner

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After scoring the acrobatic goal that effectively sealed Manchester United's Europa League win, Henrikh Mkhitaryan passed a personal milestone.

Indeed, the 28-year-old Armenian forward won his very first European title a fate that was promised to him long ago by none other than Youri Djorkaeff.