Category: Latest

A World Cup With A Conscience

There is a lot of agonising going on at the moment amongst some football supporters about how we might be able to enjoy this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia with a clean conscience. It’s a difficult decision, of course. The World Cup feels as though it’s a part of the DNA of many of us. We can all remember our first tournament – the old adage that “the best World Cup finals is that which took place closest to your tenth birthday” still rings true for me – and the rhythm with which it comes about – every...

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To Europe & Beyond: Burnley’s Brave New World

The post-war years were kind to Burnley. Founder members of the Football League in 1888 and champions in 1921, the club had been relegated nine years later and had spent much of the 1930s in the middle of the Second Division. Upon the resumption of league football in the summer of 1946, however, the club was rejuvenated, winning the Second Division title at the end of the 1946/47 season and then embarking on a spell in the top flight which saw the club finish outside the top ten only twice over the course of the next seventeen years. The...

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Millwall Turn Up The Heat

It seems to surprise us every season, even though it almost certainly shouldn’t. For the majority of the season in the Football League, most clubs seem to play as though the serious businesses of promotion and relegation can wait for another day. With such a relentless slog of fixtures this probably shouldn’t be too surprising, but some time around the start of springtime it feels as though clubs wake up and remember the scale of the prize at stake should they manage to squeeze their way into a higher division. Nowhere is this more accentuated than at the top...

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The Manchester Derby: A Tale Of Two Masks

As the supporters of football clubs, there are two masks that we are required to keep about our person at all times. One of these masks is practical. It’s the mask that prioritises league position over everything else. It’s the mask that accepts the limitations of the clubs that we support. The other is that with which we are more familiar from the media representation of supporters. This is the emotional side, the side that refuses to listen to reason or moderations when we’re watching our team play, the side that brings out our inner child in the name...

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The Saturday Movie Club: Sport Billy

As anybody with a long enough memory will be able to tell you, watching children’s television throughout the 1970s and 1980s could be a peculiarly pick and mix affair. With limited budgets, programme planners had a tendency to show whatever they could pick up, and what came to be shown on our screens could be esoteric, to say the least. From the Eastern European animations that would occasionally pitch up in the middle of the afternoon on Channel Four to oddities such as Wattoo Wattoo, La Linea, or animated versions of the cartoons of Guillermo Mordillo, one could never...

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