Day: March 16, 2010

Newport County: Back Where They Belong

This season was supposed to be a tough in the Blue Square South, if you listened to the pre-season pundits. Chelmsford City had missed out in the play-offs and were anticipating another championship challenge, Woking, with Wembley appearances and FA Cup giant-killings still comfortably within living memory and had been arguably surprisingly relegated from the Blue Square Premier. Meanwhile, Dover Athletic had swaggered up from the Ryman League, had money behind them and were widely tipped to not want to hang around for too long before launching another promotion bid. Anyone seeing off just those three this season to lift the BSS championship would have achieved something quite siginificant. Enter stage left, Newport County. The South Wales club came from nowhere this season to storm to the top of the table, and last night they became the first champions of the senior English league system, beating Havant & Waterlooville by two goals to nil and guaranteeing a the league title with seven games of the season left to play. Everywhere you care to look, this season has been a record breaker for The Exiles. They have lost just one of their thirty-five league matches so far this season. They are unbeaten in the league since a defeat at Staines Town at the end of October. Their top scorer, Craig Reid, has scored twenty-five goals in thirty matches in all...

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Manchester United 1948-1992: The Busby Dynasty

We have a little break from the usual this morning, with a downloadable, four-part audio cassette produced by the BBC in the early 1990s, just before the death of Sir Matt Busby, which tells the story of Manchester United Football Club through the prism of the involvement of the man that took a run of the mill First Division club and made them the champions of Europe and one of the biggest club sides in the world. Written and narrated by the late Bryan Butler, the BBC radio commentator, it features commentary snippets from many of United’s great matches of the post-war era, as well as interviews with the likes of Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, George Best and Harry Gregg. Ironically, “The Busby Dynasty” was released in 1992, at the very end of the club’s remarkable twenty-six year long wait for an English championship, and few would have guessed at the time that the club would go on to enjoy the most sustained period of success that any English club has ever seen. It is most notable for the quality of its production (Butler himself came from a much-missed generation of BBC radio commentators whose authority and tone encapsulated all that was good about the corporation’s sports coverage), and really is essential listening for anyone that may be wondering what the legacy is that the green and gold protests...

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