Manchester United Vintage 1961-65

EnglandOur second Manchester United Vintage post gathers up another set of retro images from the first half of the 1960s. These were the reconstruction years after the Munich disaster as Matt Busby pieced together the players who would go on to form what would be his second great United team.

Future greats like Law, Crerand and Best established themselves in the first team and the club gradually returned to trophy winning form with an FA Cup success in 1963 and another championship win in 1965.

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Daniel Eon’s Unwise Leap into the Abyss

The Darwin Awards is a project that recognises outstanding contributions to human evolution by individuals who self-select themselves out of the gene pool – invariably by their own unnecessarily foolish actions. If there is a non-fatal equivalent in the world of football, the nominations should be handed to players who put themselves out of action by dint of faintly ridiculous, self-inflicted injury. Picking up a strain playing Playstation, dropping bottles of salad cream or aftershave on feet, poking themselves in the eye with aircraft boarding-passes or using an electric drill to drain a blood blister with predictable results – these actions do not reflect well on the intelligence of footballers.

BTLM would like to put forward for consideration to this list the name of 1960s French goalkeeper Daniel Eon. He’s not a well-known player outside his native land, but he’s certainly one who deserves his place in the pantheon of players who picked up the most avoidable of injuries.

Eon was first-choice keeper of long-standing with French club Nantes during their rise to prominence under coach José Arribas. He was a steady presence between the posts as Nantes were promoted to the top division in 1963, became national champions in 1965 and successfully retained the Ligue 1 title the following year. Known for his safe rather than spectacular style, Eon struggled to capture the imagination of successive national team managers and stood third-choice in the international hierarchy behind Marcel Aubour and Pierre Bernard.

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West Germany Vintage 1966-70

GermanyMore West Germany Vintage images today featuring some of the stars of the powerful nationalmannschaft that reached the 1966 World Cup Final and the semi-finals in Mexico four years later.

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Kickers Offenbach Got Kickbacks Often

GermanyNot a tongue-twister, rather the wholly imagined story of a middling German club mired in financial scandal. This is the football headline the dormant sub-editor inside me would love to be able to coin one day so I could boast my own personal ‘SupercaleygoballisticCelticareatrocious’ moment.

Kickers Offenbach logoWere the corruption story to rumble on with influential and connected people further drawn into the murky affair, my follow-up headline could be ‘Kickers Conspiracy’. You see, that’s not as good because it relies on the reader knowing The Fall’s musical canon.

If Kickers Offenbach brought in a renown athletics coach tasked with rapidly improving the squad’s fitness, you could run with the headline: ‘You can’t get fitter than quick-fix Kickers’. That’s a questionable one too as although it’s snappy enough, it depends on people recognising a decades-old British ad campaign for a car repair company.

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Rangers Vintage 1951-63

Scotland flagOur first Rangers Vintage post features retro player and team images from the immediate post-war era through to the early 1960s.

The late 1940s and early 50s were not especially successful for Rangers, but fortunes improved sharply as the decade progressed. Between 1956 and 1963 the Ibrox club won five League titles, three Scottish Cups  and two League Cups – a good haul considering the particularly strong opposition in those years coming from Hibs and Hearts in the east of the country.

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Not Suffering Fools Gladly With Jock Wallace

Scotland flagBeing a contemporary football manager is a much more complicated business than it used to be in decades past. No longer is it just about the football as now it’s almost mandatory for modern managers to be media-savvy ambassadors for their club too – as competent with journalists as players.

We miss the days when PR competency and a capacity to stay rigidly on message wasn’t a prerequisite for the men who led our football teams. Back then managers invariably had a natural suspicion of people who had never played football and yet made careers writing and speaking about it. At best such people were considered an irritant and at worst a downright menace leeching a living from the game.

You would have had to travel far and wide to find such an unreformed throwback of a manager as former Rangers legend Jock Wallace. A hero to the club’s support, a winner of two domestic trebles and apparently very kind to children and animals; Jock’s professional demeanour was, to put it charitably, gruff; gruffer than the spawn of Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals mating with the Gruffalo.


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Through The Lens Of Henk Blansjaar – The Second Collection

Through The Lens Of Henk BlansjaarA second collection of wonderful 1960s Henk Blansjaar team shots published as part of our ongoing series dedicated to the late, great Dutch photographer.

Our favourite pictures today would be either FC Hilversum posing in a local recording studio with the acclaimed organist Cor Steyn, or perhaps Blau-Wit on a KLM aircraft stairway to nowhere – a slightly poignant and unintentional allusion to the eventual fate of the Amsterdam club.

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