The Absolute Game Remembered – 5

December 21, 2010

tag5

Copenhagen 5

For this issue the millionaire proprietor styled himself as the powermad proprietor.

Mad Mac raged editorially against the SFA.

Ewan Davidson took us to Glebe Park, Brechin (“the only league venue where a promotion decider has been halted by a pitch invasion by a rabbit“).

D. Watt frae Eberdeen bemoaned the all-seated nature of Pittodrie in pursuit of the mythical ‘family crowd’, thereby forcibly removing the home fans from the Beach End to Sleepy Hollow or the mysteriously named Paddock.

Scotland in the same European Qualifying Group as Bulgaria? – then we need a fans’ guide to Sofia (“In the overall scheme of exciting places to visit, Sofia ranks just below spending a weekend in the toilets at Crewe station“).

There was an in depth look at football chanting (including how a Chicory Tip hit single was adapted firstly for ‘Oh, Alfie, Alfie….Alfie, Alfie, Alfie, Alfie, Alfie  Conn‘ and then latterly as ‘Oh, Spot the Loony‘).

There’s a very scathing review of a book on the history of Albion Rovers. The reviewer (Rab Crangle) is unhappy that the author (R. Marwick) confines himself to dull statistics and apparently leaves out any references that might be unflattering to the late Chairman, Tom Fagan. Crangle recalls one such omission, when die-hard fan and match programme editor Brian Nugent was banned from the ground in 1981 for publishing details of Fagan’s reaction to a player revolt – “The irony of a club with gates of around 300 refusing to admit one of its own supporters was not lost on a variety of newspapers…….the ban was as idiotic as it was futile. Mr Nugent simply watched the rest of the season from the hill overlooking the west terracing…

It is pointed out that Fagan was in the habit of dismissing managers because they didn’t accept his advice on the playing situation and that there had been ten managers in five years “before the appointment of Tommy Gemmell, which appointment, coinciding with Fagan’s death, improved the playing situation dramatically“.

Hibernian get the in-depth treatment in the wake of the takeover by David Duff (“…when it was made public that the new manager was to be Alex Miller, the announcement was greeted with the sort of stunned silence that usually accompanies the unveiling of the latest acquisition by the Tate Gallery“)

Also profiled at length are Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest. It is recalled that Goalkeeper, Raducanu, was a bit of an emotional character – “During one international against Switzerland his circuits went on overload due to what he perceived was a distinct lack of effort on his fellow players’ part. Incensed, he grabbed the ball at the earliest opportunity and with a vicious glint in his eye hurled it into his own net. 1-0 !!

Mad goalkeepers in Germany are featured by Wolfgang Needlematch and Ken Crichton, while elsewhere there are the by-now usual fanzine and book reviews, along with articles about the play-offs, Ally McLeod and (once again) synthetic pitches (a TAG bug-bear).

The letters column is becoming one of the most entertaining bits of the mag – one reader recalls Bertie Auld’s tactical acumen  in his Birmingham City days (pre-substitutes) when in one spectacular outburst of unprovoked violence he head-butted both George Cohen and Johnny Haynes of Fulham. Although Auld was dismissed, the game continued with 10 Birmingham vs 9 Fulham players, much to Birmingham’s advantage.

Another letter bemoaned the use of animal skins to make expensive shoes. It was from one Ally Gator and had perhaps been intended for a different magazine altogether.

An unforgettable forgotten one –

fodd

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