How Gareth Southgate’s qualities have restored pride

Where to start? After 55 years England have made it to a Final. I was alive when we last did it but have a very sketchy recollection of watching the game at home with my parents and elder brother on our black-and-white television. My abiding memory was going to see the official FIFA film “Goal!”,Continue reading “How Gareth Southgate’s qualities have restored pride”

Up, Up and Away – the 2021 Play-Offs

This year’s Play-Off finals started with a penalty and they ended with a penalty. The first was stroked home with consummate confidence by the Championship’s top scorer Ivan Toney, his 33rd goal of the season, which set Brentford on their way to finally ending the curse of clubs that traditionally wear red-and-white striped shirts withContinue reading “Up, Up and Away – the 2021 Play-Offs”

The 2021 Play-Offs: Will the Curse finally be broken?

As the build-up to the Play-Offs weekend intensifies, a slight dampener was cast on proceedings. Unlike the FA Cup Final which was deemed ‘a test event’ with Chelsea and Leicester City receiving around 10,000 tickets each, only 4,000 tickets were made available to each of the Play-Offs finalists. Although an extra 2,000 tickets have nowContinue reading “The 2021 Play-Offs: Will the Curse finally be broken?”

From Marine to San Marino: The Underdog’s Tale

One of the beauties of sport is championing the underdog. There is nothing more memorable or satisfying than when the little one has a chance of toppling the big one. So when Marine drew Tottenham in the FA Cup earlier this year there was frothing excitement on behalf of those who are keen to seeContinue reading “From Marine to San Marino: The Underdog’s Tale”

Kits fit for a king – a personal history of Palace’s fine line

There have been numerous times when I have questioned the sanity of following my football club. Like the vast majority of supporters, the mixture of good and bad has leaned towards the latter. But one thing that has been an almost continuous source of joy with very few disappointments along the way has been ourContinue reading “Kits fit for a king – a personal history of Palace’s fine line”

Brentford’s wartime Final: a missing player, Wembley success and a missing trophy

As soon as Brentford had despatched Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup quarter-final talk centred around the club’s first-ever appearance in a major semi-final in their 131-year history. The Bees’ trophy cabinet is not exactly bursting at the seams but even though this will be their debut in the last four of the two mainContinue reading “Brentford’s wartime Final: a missing player, Wembley success and a missing trophy”