Tag: Middlesbrough

Match Of The Past: Middlesbrough FC

We continue our series of archived videos of the Football League Championship this afternoon with Middlesbrough, and six matches from the years between 1969 and 1992 which feature pitch invasions, local derby wins and promotion parties. Our first match, however, is a little more mundane. With the club having played no Division One football between 1955 and 1974, it is perhaps unsurprising that the club seldom featured on Match Of The Day. Boro finally their debut on the show in December 1968 with a trip to Blackpool, and our first match is from the season after this, a home match against October of the following year against Bolton Wanderers which turned out to be the teams first ever win on the programme. The 1974/75 season was a special one for the club. At the end of the previous season, under the managership of Jack Charlton, they were promoted to the First Division for the first time in two decades and they marked their return by finishing in seventh place in the final league table. Our featured match, however, comes from the Fourth Round of the FA Cup and is a home match against Sunderland from January 1975, and we follow this with another local derby match from three years later against Newcastle United at Ayresome Park. Our fourth match also comes from the FA Cup, and sees Middlesbrough travel...

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Match Of The Week: Sunderland 1-1 Middlesbrough

The tripartite nature of footballing rivalry in the north-east of England means that this afternoons FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sunderland and Middlesbrough has a hint of being a local derby about it without fully appearing to be the real thing. Still, supporters of both of these clubs have cause to give a wry smile this afternoon. Newcastle United, the third part of this particular triumvirate, made a long journey south to play Brighton & Hove Albion yesterday and returned chastened after a single goal defeat which means that the winners of this tie will be the regions final representative in this years competition, at the last sixteen stage. A hint of tension has, however, been brought to proceedings by Sunderland’s somewhat odd decision to only allocate Middlesbrough 3,000 tickets for what has been described as “health & safety reasons.” In addition to this, both of the clubs playing this afternoon have cause to be looking forward with greater optimism than of late. Sunderland have stabilised under new manager Martin O’Neill. It’s twenty years since they last managed to get to an FA Cup final and almost twice that long since Ian Porterfield and Jim Montgomery upset the Leeds United apple-cart at Wembley. A run to the latter stages of this competition this year would be a reasonable barometer of the speedy progress made under their new manager....

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Middlesbrough’s Close Encounter With Bankruptcy Revisited

The Insolvency Act of 1986 was enacted on the twenty-fifth of July of that year, and its ramifications would come to change the face of English football, through the introduction of Company Voluntary Arrangements. Prior to the introduction of this law – which was introduced by the government in a bid to entice more entrepreneurial activity in companies with the aim of allowing insolvent companies to trade their way out of insolvency – an insolvent company’s only routes out from serious financial difficulties were liquidation or a winding-up order, and the last club to fall foul of this state of affairs was Middlesbrough, whose financial travails overshadowed the start of the 1986/87 season. It was a series events which threatened the existence of the club, and it ended, at Ayresome Park, with home match in Division Three against Bury, twenty-five years ago today. The club’s difficulties can be traced to two matters – one quite specific, and one more general. On the one hand, relegation from the First Division at the end of the 1981/82 season hit the club hard. On the other, the more general malaise that English football suffered during the early 1980s had an effect on attendances and, without the sort of sponsorship and television deals that sustain clubs these days, therefore revenues. The appointment of Malcolm Allison as manager in 1982 hardly helped matters. Allison...

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Use Hearing Protection: Six FA Cup Final Songs

Amid all the talk of the “devaluation” of the FA Cup (and it should go without saying that we should all wish an eternal curse on that rogue organisation, the Premier League, for seeking to undermine further it by scheduling a round of matches on the day of the FA Cup final – how difficult would it have been for them to play them tomorrow?), one of the traditions – of a sort – that has faded into the background in recent years has been that of the Cup Final song. This year thus far, Manchester City seem to have managed two – one recorded by a busker and the other by a happy rastafarian – whilst Stoke City have retaliated with, well, whatever this is. There doesn’t seem to be much of an official link with the clubs any more, though, which is something of a shame. After all, who amongst us hasn’t sat watching Manchester City and thought, “I wonder what Mario Balotelli’s singing voice sounds like?”, or, “I wonder if there’s anything in those rumours that Joe Hart is an accomplished banjo player?”. We will probably never find out, though, because it is now largely left to the supporters to do it for them. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to make the assumption that the players themselves may be of the opinion that this sort of thing...

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Match Of The Midweek: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Middlesbrough

The heightened feeling of expectation that is generated by a place in the play-offs is one of the more curious phenomena that has come to accompany this most modern of season end jamborees. Four teams in every division take part in them, but only one can win through and win promotion but it often feels that, in the excitement of the end of season battle to grab something – anything! – from nine months of blood, sweat and tears, the simple logic of the equation that four into one doesn’t go is lost upon us. The hangover of an unsuccessful bid for the play-offs can be mixed. In the Championship this season, Cardiff City have reacted reasonably positively to their Wembley defeat at the hands of Blackpool last May. The beaten semi-finalists, however, have found the new season to be somewhat more laborious. In the case of Leicester City, this is perhaps unsurprising. Catapulted into the play-offs in their first season back in the Championship after a spell in the relative purgatory of League One, their second season was always likely to be more difficult than last, though they can be expected to pull clear of the relegation zone. For the other beaten semi-finalists, Nottingham Forest, however, the hangover has been more mystifying. A state of what has been described as a “Mexican stand-off” is said to exist between...

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