23 January 2013

FKS: The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Gala Collection (1970/71)

Just off Oxford Street in London lies 175 Wardour Street, today the site of an unassuming shop selling photographic equipment but 40 years ago or more the location for FKS Publishers Ltd - Britain’s answer to Figurine Panini.

FKS were responsible for a whole range of football picture collections between 1966 and 1982, and their first domestic set was published in time for the 1967/68 season. Here we focus on their fourth, a collection extravagantly named ‘The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Gala Collection.’ It’s mission was to document the stories and, to a greater extent, the players of the 1970/71 campaign. Being FKS, however, the end product was a little, how should we say... ‘erratic’ in quality.

22 January 2013

Nintendo World Cup, 1990

We're delighted to say that Matthew Wassell is back in the Attic, and this time he's reliving a football computer game in glorious technicolour...

With it being yet another snowy afternoon in deepest Norfolk, my thoughts turn to the joys and heat of summer and in particular, the World Cup. Released in 1990 for the NES and Game Boy, Nintendo World Cup aimed to bring the excitement and glamour of the world’s most popular football tournament to the monochrome, handheld screen and having received it as a present from my grandmother 22 years and five World Cups ago, I've decided to try it out once more but this time on my trusty and significantly more modern, Gameboy Advance SP.

20 January 2013

The News of the World Football Annual 1983/84

The arrival of the 1983/84 season prompted many to wonder how far football had fallen in recent times. The game had lost its allure and was in something of a tailspin but The News of the World Football Annual, through its anecdotal ponderings, acknowledged this for the ages and tried to offer some cause for hope at the start of a landmark campaign.

The season began with a new name for an old competition. The Football League was now known as the Canon League. According to the Annual, an announcement was made on May 5 1983 that a deal had been struck with the Japanese camera and business equipment maker to the tune of £3.2 million, lasting three years.

16 January 2013

Stick With Soccer - Daily Mirror Sticker Album 1986-87

Say "football stickers" to anyone and they'll probably wonder why you're shouting random phrases at them in the street... and why you appear to have no pants on, but are still wearing a nice pair of shiny brogues.

That's not what this article is about though so instead I'll concentrate on the responses of those who are into football stickers, and that initial response is almost certainly "PANINI."

There are times however, when a boy decides that he wants something more than what everyone else has, when he decides to forge a path not trodden by others... and primarily when he sees a set of stickers that are bigger than Panini ones and  feature 'action shots,' rather than boring head shots.

14 January 2013

Great Tracksuits of Our Time: No.7

Coventry City (circa 1978):


Seen here modelled by Gerry Daly, this is a smart design in light and dark blue with quite possibly the biggest flappy collar that's ever been seen by the human eye. Forget the Great Wall of China - this collar really can be seen from outer space.

12 January 2013

Football kits 'The Talbot Way'

The Coventry 'Talbot' kit
If you listened in to our recent podcast on retro football kit design, you'd have heard Rich and myself yakking on about the famous Coventry City 'Talbot' kit (see pic right). For those that still aren't aware, this was a special kit brought in between 1981 and 1983 to capture the spirit of Coventry City's new-found partnership with the Talbot motor group. At one time the club were even planning to rename themselves Coventry Talbot, but that's another story.

Sadly for Coventry, not even their fancy new kit got to see the light of day as often as they'd have liked. On those rare occasions when the BBC or ITV outside broadcast trucks rolled into Highfield Road, the cameras were never allowed to cast their gaze upon the big 'T', the Football League banning such obvious sponsorship from appearing on our screens.

10 January 2013

Kick-Off (1981)

It's our absolute delight to welcome back Al Gordon from God, Charlton and Punk Rock who provides us with another excellent guest post - this time on the simple pleasure of playing a classic football board game...

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of people on a Sunday morning. Those who like their bed, and those who would rather endure the wind and the rain to rummage through boxes of other people’s cast-offs at a boot sale.

I’m firmly planted in the former category whilst my wife will gladly come home clutching an armful of early bird ‘bargains’ which miraculously we have previously survived without.

7 January 2013

The League of Blogs 2013 - Vote Now!

You may have noticed a new page on the blog in the list above...

The League of Blogs will shortly be returning to the Attic, but we're shaking it up...and we want your opinion!

More details (and the chance to cast your vote) here


5 January 2013

The Football Attic Annual

Cover
It started as a Christmas present for Chris and myself, but after posting pics of it on Twitter, we received quite a bit of interest from people wanting to know if we planned to sell them.  I hadn't, but if people wanted them, why not share the Attic love?

Chris and I have gone through all of 2012's articles (and a few from 2011) and picked out 22 of our  favourites, covering 30 pages, all wrapped up in a rather lovely hardback book...proper Annual style!

If you'd like one of these, they'll be £16.50 delivered in the UK (outside the UK, contact us and we'll let you know how much it'd be). These are being done pretty much (talking pence here) at cost so we very much hope you'll enjoy them :)

Inside...

Chris O's Favourite 5... FA Cup Finals

As it's FA Cup Third Round day, I thought I'd take a slow walk down memory lane to remind myself of my favourite five Finals from years gone by.

1. West Ham v Liverpool (2006)

“Surely the best Cup Final of modern times” according to BBC commentator John Motson and even now, some six-and-a-half years later, it’s difficult to disagree with him.

For any fan of a losing finalist in any competition, it’s some consolation at least when your team gives a good account of itself, and for me, West Ham certainly did that in 2006. Going 2-0 up through a Jamie Carragher own goal and a Dean Ashton toe-poke from close range, West Ham took the game to Liverpool but they hadn’t accounted for a one-man colossus in red called Steven Gerrard.

The Merseyside club clawed their way back to 2-2 thanks to a Djibril Cissé volley and a Gerrard thunderbolt, but even after Paul Konchesky’s speculative cross had put West Ham back in front at 3-2, Liverpool still weren’t prepared to accept defeat. A second incredible strike by the England captain ensured the game was tied at 3-3 going into injury time, and with the resulting penalty shoot-out swinging in favour of The Reds, this was not to be West Ham’s day.

And what of my feelings after the game?  Not disappointed really, no. Pride – that was my predominant emotion. Pride that my favourite club had played its part in a memorable Final and earned the respect of many neutrals watching from afar. You can’t ask for much more than that, can you?

4 January 2013

The Football Attic Podcast Episode 4 - Subbuteo


Like buses in a lame joke, you wait ages for an Attic podcast and then several turn up at once!

Yes you lucky people, we're here again! This time we decided to waffle on about Subbuteo and we did so for over an hour! Sorry about that, but y'know...you have a fast forward button ;-)

Thanks to all those who responded to our call on twitter. We tried to mention you all, but apologies if we missed you.

So...sit back and enjoy(?) episode 4 of the Football Attic podcast!

Usual Disclaimer: We still haven't managed to get iTunes working so to download it, it's the rather retro method of 'Right-click and Save As' from the link below:

Football Attic Podcast Episode 4


2 January 2013

Things That Dreams Are Made Of - Arena 2000

At some point in history, Coventry City used to be in the promised land that is The Premiership. Towards the end of the 1990s, the last decade they occupied their perennial 17th place, several clubs faced with the changes brought about by the Taylor Report decided that, rather than redevelop their existing, often land-locked grounds, they would instead move to a purpose built stadium, usually out of town.

Derby County, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Bolton, to name but a few, had all made the move, abandoning their outdated yet characterful grounds and, riding on the crest of the still fresh Premiership, had seen attendances rise and the money roll in.

Despite having already upgraded Highfield Road in the early- to mid-90s, the ground was plagued with the same problems as many other "traditional" stadia, being both hemmed in by housing, lacking any decent conference facilities and boasting few food outlets. And so it was that the plan to jump on the 'new stadium' bandwagon was announced.

1 January 2013

The Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever is... Wang!

Yes, it's official - after seven weeks of rigorous voting and contentious debate, The Football Attic is proud to proclaim Wang as the Greatest Shirt Sponsor Ever!

The former American computer giant, whose name was once emblazoned on the shirts of Oxford United, beat off stiff opposition throughout, culminating in a titanic battle in the Final against Newcastle Brown Ale. Yet when Big Ben rang out to signal the end of our colossal vote-off (and the arrival of 2013), it was Wang who had undoubtedly gained the upper hand.

During the week-long Final itself we received a whopping 379 votes, and though the split was around 45%-55% in favour of Wang for most of the time, a last-day surge changed that share to 37%-63% by close of play.