Category 20th century sport

The war is over and we have a game to play

The day is Thursday 29th June 1950 and a game of football is taking place.  It’s not quite like the games that have been/are being played in Russia as I write.  This was the 1950 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil from 24th June to 16th July. It was the first World Cup […]

On the water for the first time – Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race

It was on Wednesday 10th June 1829 that the first Oxford University vs Cambridge University boat race took place.  It was rowed over a two and a quarter mile course from Hambledon Lock to Henley Bridge.  The Morning Post of 12th June 1829 reported: THE GRAND ROWING MATCH BETWEEN OXONIANS AND THE CANTABS: This match, […]

A story of a soccer team

I’ve been a Manchester United supporter ever since they beat Blackpool 4-2 to win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1948.  Twenty years later – on Wednesday 29th May 1968 – I was on tenterhooks as I listened to another game at Wembley.  This one was the European Cup Final between Manchester United and the […]

Who has taken our Cup?

It was in London on Sunday 20th March 1966 that it was realised that the Football’s World Cup was missing – assumed stolen. It had been on exhibition at Central Hall in Westminster, London. The £30,000 solid gold Jules Rimet trophy disappeared while a church service was taking place in another part of the building. […]

The aftermath of the past is recalled in a challenge of the present.

The Munich crash had claimed the lives of eight United players – and two more were maimed so badly that they never played again.  Matt Busby – the team’s master and leader – was hovering between life and death in a German hospital so Jimmy Murphy, his assistant manager, took control.   He needed to find […]

Where has my horse gone?

Wednesday 8th February 1983 was the day the racehorse Shergar was stolen from its stables at the Ballymany stud in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. At about 8.30 on that winter evening a Ford Granada pulling a horsebox, a van and another car entered the stable yard where Shergar ‘lived’. Two masked and armed men burst […]

Manchester United – Munich – and me

It was on Monday 6th February 1958 that the Munich air disaster occurred when British European Airways Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Rien Airport, West Germany. On that plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with supporters and journalists. Twenty […]