Tag Archives: After Extra Time

Football Tough Guys: Billy Whitehurst

When you think of football tough guys, you immediately think of the old guys. Men like Ron “Chopper” Harris, Neil “Razor” Ruddock or Vinnie Jones were feared on the pitch. These weren’t baby faced assassins, these were tough brawlers who would take you down on the pitch and wouldn’t even think twice about waiting for you in the car park after a match. They defined the term “hard cunt”. However, there was one player who was the hardest of them all. The player we’re speaking on today was defined by that term and then some. Jones and Ruddock both have stated in their careers that this man was the hardest they have ever played against. Alan Hansen has said that he was frightened of this man. That man is Billy Whitehurst.

“ I went off at half time and the doctor’s ripped all the stitches up and stapled me up, literally put staples in and to be fair they were a lot better than stitches. So he’s stapled me out and I’ve gone out for the second half. I had a hole in my cheek so you could see the whole way through my mouth. ”

Billy Whitehurst was playing professional football while also laying bricks at the same time. At that moment, he had been playing for Mexborough Town before Hull City scooped him up for the bargain price of £2000 in 1980. In his career he would go on to play for more than 10 clubs, but Hull City embraced this giant (he played from ’80-’85 and again in ’88-’90), and he would go on to score 52 goals in 223 appearances for the Tigers. Feared by teammates, opposing players, and managers alike, Whitehurst was indeed a true tough guy of the game. Whitehurst bounced around from Newcastle, Reading, Sunderland, Oxford, Sheffield United, Stoke City, Doncaster, and Crewe Alexandra before going abroad and playing. Whether he was pranking his teammates, crushing opponents with goals or elbows, or playing with actual proper staples in his head and a hole in his cheek, Whitehurst claimed he always gave “120%”. He would eventually retire after a knee injury, settle in as a pub owner (among other jobs), and go back to civilian life. I’m sure when his retirement was announced, the people he played against him and feared him all breathed a collective sigh of relief in knowing they weren’t going to be smashed to bits on the pitch. A true football tough guy of the modern football era.

To Hull City and Back

Hull City vs. Port Vale 1983, Top of Division Table 4 Clash

Hull City vs. Liverpool 1989 FA Cup Pt. 1

Hull City vs. Liverpool 1989 FA Cup Pt. 2


Tagged , , , , ,

The Shot That Saved Chelsea

It was the 80’s. Hooliganism was running wild all over England. The Blues of Chelsea were having a horrible season. After a hopeful start in the Second Division, their winless streak would leave Chelsea sitting close to the bottom of the table. It seemed they were destined for relegation to the Third Division, which would spell out disaster to CFC, who were having some financial difficulties making ends meet at Stamford Bridge. The possibility of losing their home at Stamford Bridge, or having to share a football ground with another club was looming over their head. New owner Ken Bates had bought the club for one pound, but inherited the mound of debt and property problems (among other things) that came along with the Blues. Eventual hero Clive Walker was also having a less than stellar season, as he didn’t score until December. He picked a great time to score though, against league leaders QPR. This goal should have been uplifting for CFC, their supporters and their attitude, but it wasn’t. No matter how appropriate the goal was, it couldn’t fix the broken spirit of the squad. Manager John Neal (who would go on to turn CFC around the following year and help get them promoted to the first division) had brought in winger Paul Canoville, who was talented to help, but still didn’t help the morale of the players. The worst season in Chelsea history got much worse, and no matter who the manager brought in, it seemed like it made no difference. Chelsea were candidates for relegation.

With two matches left, the reality of relegation came into light. Chelsea would go to Burnden Park to face Bolton in the penultimate game of the season. The Wanderers were another club struggling to stay up in the Second Division, so this was by far, the most important match not only of the season, but in the history of CFC. As I stated previously, a tumble down to the Third Division would have proven the final nail in the coffin for Chelsea, who couldn’t get bodies into seats this season in the Second Division, let alone be able to draw supporters if they went down. Another snoozer of a match for the most part, and this nil nil draw would definitely ensure Chelsea’s demise. With 15 mintes to go, Clive Walker stepped up big time. Walker’s long range volley flew past Bolton keeper Jim McDonagh, and Chelsea got the victory 1-nil. They held on in their last match of the season and were saved from relegation to the lowly Third Division. Walker’s goal is, with no question, the single most important goal in Chelsea history, and the shot that saved Chelsea Football Club.


Tagged , , , , ,

Pelè Welcomes Rodney Marsh to the NASL

Here’s a response from Pelè to Rodney Marsh when they met for the first time in the NASL. Rodney Marsh, upon arriving on the Tampa Bay Rowdies from Fulham, was asked by a journalist: “Are you the white Pelè?” His response was: “I’m not the white Pelè, he’s the black Rodney Marsh.” This arrogant answer may or may not have caused the following tackle caught on tape. There can only be one Pelè, and as good as Marsh was (see his bicycle kick goal he scored while in the NASL, quite a highlight not to mention his colorful career in England), sometimes you just have to get served. I wish they had on field microphones to hear exactly what the Great One had to say as he slapped Marsh on the head while he was lying on the pitch. Who says that you can’t be feisty at the end of your career?

The said tackle starts at 02:31 of this film. You be the judge.


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Groundtastic: A Guide To Football Grounds

Bo’ness United photo courtesy of 100 Grounds Club

I find that along with the classic matches football has to offer, I am intrigued by the culture that goes along with the club’s history, the city that supported the club, and of course the grounds that the club played their matches on. I touched upon Edgar Road, where Hereford United pulled off the 3rd Round replay upset of Newcastle United in an article last week and now I’ve come upon a magazine/ website that celebrates the rich history of the football ground. Groundtastic, The Football Grounds Magazine takes you there. Founded in 1995 by Vince Taylor, Jon Weaver and Paul Claydon, the quarterly magazine hit the shelves in March of that year. It since has blossomed into the premier football ground magazine.

“ Quite obviously a labour of love…the research is incredible and the photographs that accompany each article are superb ”- Yeovil Towne Program

From it’s humble beginnings as a photo copied magazine for the first six issues and moving on to a proper printed magazine, Groundtastic has grown from football’s answer to a punk ‘zine right into a glossy coffee table magazine in your parlor. With a circulation in the upwards of 1,500 (and growing), this labor of love fills the niche to football ground enthusiasts all over the world. We here at (aet) send out a huge Salute! to the lads over at Groundtastic. Not only are they taking a risk by putting out a glossy, virtually advert free, 80+ magazine about of all things, football grounds (which we think is the nuts), they do it with great pride and respect to the history of this game. Now if my local news stand would just carry it.

More information on Groundtastic.


Tagged , , , , ,

Southampton FC: 1976 FA Cup Winners

Today we salute the 1976 FA Cup winners Southampton FC, who would rise to the occasion and in another example of a David vs. Goliath match, without the bible of course. In front of a crowd of 100K, United would put a massive amount of pressure on the Saints’ keeper Ian Turner. An early crossed shot by midfielder Steve Coppell saw Turner bobble the ball, a sure goal, only to be saved when two Red Devils hesitated to put the ball home. Gordon Hill went on the attack at what looked like a smashing lob, until Turner snatched the ball away and denied Hill and United what looked to be the go ahead goal. This gave the Saints a small kick in the pants they needed, as they regrouped and were able to finish out the first half with out going down a goal or more to United

“ Why do the goals all seem to come when you’ve nipped off to the loo? ”- Jasper Carrott, singer, in his song Cup Final, on the ’76 SFC FA Cup goal

It was Southampton who would come out in the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net as Mick Channon and David Peach came close. However, it was Man U who squandered the best chance of the match so far, when Sammy McIlroy’s header hit the woodwork. A close call for the Saints led to each club attacking several times, but managing not to put the ball in the back of the old onion bag. It wasn’t until the game was thought to be heading to extra time, when Bobby Stokes took off past the defense and scored. MU thought he was offside, but it was later shown through the replay that Stokes had timed his run perfectly, and on that run was able to place the ball extremely well into an unreachable corner of the net past United keeper Alex Stepney. It was this day that the Saints went marching into Wembley, beat the giants known as Manchester United, and rode that double tide back to Southampton with a trophy in the front of their bus, and medals around their neck. This of course, and a nod from the Queen herself. A huge shock in the world of football and a first piece of silverware for Southampton.

We hate Nottingham Forest
We hate Liverpool too
We hate Manchester Utd
But Southampton we love you

Southampton FC v. Manchester United 1976 FA Cup Final

Southampton Return Home After Winning the FA Cup


Tagged , , , , , , ,

Great Moments in Football Facial Hair: Paul Breitner

Not only does German footballer Paul Breitner have the pleasure of playing and winning a World Cup (1972 with West Germany), he won the Budesliga with Bayern Munich, La Liga with Real Madrid (1974, ’75. & ’76), and the distinct honor of being the 17 Hours Bundestrainer or manager of the German national team for a mere 17 hours in 1998, he could also grow a pretty darn good mustache. However, it was his afro hair style that earned him the name Afro-Paule. A Great Facial Hair (and Hair) in Football Bonus. His ‘stache was so sweet that I used Paul as a cover for one of my Funk and Soul mixes on Flea Market Funk.

Here’s a better view of the Breitner mustache:


Tagged , , , , , ,

Giant Killers: Hereford United

With this weekend’s focus turned to the FA Cup, I figured I’d go back and visit possibly the best FA Cup upset in history. Let’s go back to 1972, with Hereford United v. Newcastle Utd. in a 3rd Round Replay. Newcastle came into the tournament in the third round, while Hereford United had to enter by beating Cheltenham Town, a replay with King’s Lynn, and finally Northampton Town. After a 2-2 draw at St. James Park (the match was postponed a few times due to inclement weather, namely rain), Southern League’s own “The Bulls” hosted the Magpies at Edgar Street. With a little over 14,000 seats sold, the front office sold extra tickets, and the actual tally of spectaors is not know. Let’s just say it was over capacity. Check the people who climbed high in the trees to see this replay, most likely one of the best matches to ever take place at the grounds. With all the rain that had been falling, the pitch was in utter shambles. It did not get any better as match time grew near, and once the two clubs took to the pitch, it never got better.

Newcastle may or may not have been running their mouth about the match, and Malcolm MacDonald was to have allegedly said that he would be scoring an upwards of ten goals at the replay at Edgar Street. That is not confirmed. What is confirmed is that the traveling back and forth by Newcastle United due to the weather was definitely a factor in how they played against the Lilywhites that day. Both teams went for it early in the match, but could not score a goal. Late in the first half, MacDonald looked to be on the way, or at least 1/10th of the way when he finally scored. The goal, however, was called back, and due to a harsh foul Newcastle got a free kick. A tough few minutes ensued for Hereford, with an errant clearance that resulted in two Magpie shots rebounding off the wood work. The next few chances for both teams were exciting, as each club had goals taken away by the woodwork, or in Hereford’s case, saved by great goal keeping from Fred Potter. MacDonald and Newcastle turned up the heat. Despite an open goal miss by Mac, much to the chagrin of the Newcastle supporters and to the relief of Hereford’s, the pressure continued. Newcastle would finally go ahead with a goal by MacDonald in the 82nd minute. Hereford were not down and out. A substitute by player/manager Colin Addison of midfielder Ricky George for Roger Griffiths (who had played 80 long, painful minutes with a broken leg on the mess of a pitch) proved to be a move he would not regret. His fresh legs and cardio would be a turning point in the short minutes left in the match. He took part in setting up a Ronnie Radford 30 yard shot that went right to the back of the old onion bag at the 85th minute, three minutes after Newcastle’s opening goal. A young, green, John Motson was calling the match and exclaimed that the ball “flew into the top corner of McFaul’s net!”. A voice that would become synonymous with football for years to come. Of course this goal would force the match into extra time, where Ricky George would become the hero by scoring in the 103rd minute, and a gutsy Hereford squad would hold on to win the match. What followed after, was nothing short of madness. A massive pitch invasion on the small ground that was replayed on the telly for quite some time. It just goes to show you that no matter how big or small your club is, anything can happen on the pitch during the FA Cup. In 1972, Hereford United were giant killers, their motto of “Our greatest glory lies not in never having fallen, but in rising when we fall” rang true. The colorful history of English football and the beautiful game was alive and well then, and it still is now.


Tagged , , , , , ,

Quotable: Thierry Henry

You better not get hurt back at Arsenal, you’re playing Leeds this week. You’re needed in NY come March. Just sayin’. Carry on.


Tagged , , , , , , , ,