Austria Vintage 1956-85

AustriaOur latest Vintage series takes us to mittal Europe and a collection of retro images featuring some of Austria’s greatest players.

The majority of our images come from the late 70s and early 80s, the most recent period when Austria was a force in the European game and could produce world-class players like Krankl, Pezzey and Sara. Changed days indeed from the much-diminished state of their contemporary game.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers Vintage 1959-61

EnglandThe peak years of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Vintage years with the club winning the title in 1958, 1959 and coming agonisingly close to making it a hat-trick in 1960.

With Blackburn Rovers easily beaten in the FA Cup Final that same year, it meant the Molyneux club had come very close to winning the mythical double a year before Tottenham actually succeeded in this feat.


Manchester City Vintage 1951-62

EnglandManchester City’s stars of the 1950s and early 1960s feature today in our newest Vintage post. League form was typically patchy so the FA Cup was the club’s main distraction during these years with City reaching successive Finals in 1955 and 1956.

The first was lost to Newcastle but the club bounced back the following year with a 3-1 win over Birmingham City, a game that went into down in Wembley folklore as the Bert Trautmann Final – the City keeper playing much of it with a broken neck.


Chelsea’s Dark Memories Of 1988

Of all the early surprises in the English Premier League so far this season, it’s perhaps Chelsea’s woes that are the most surprising and might just remind supporters of a certain vintage of the time their club suffered relegation at the end of the 1987/88 campaign. While this is perhaps the lowest point in the club’s recent history, Mourinho’s current travails were as nothing when compared to those suffered by his predecessors a quarter of a century ago.

Chelsea 1987-88In 1988 the Blues became the first top division club in nearly a century to lose their top flight status via the play-off system. In that season, the team that finished fourth from bottom in the First Division had to play against teams from the next tier to determine who would take their place at the top table the following season. After hammering Blackburn 6-1 on aggregate in their first play-off round, Chelsea would go on to lose 1-2 to Middlesbrough and so succumb to relegation; a real hammer blow for one of English football’s bigger clubs. The shockwaves it sent through the domestic game were considerable.

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The Idle Man’s Best 90s International Football Kits

The new series of This Is England ’90 started on television last week and caused a number of us in The Idle Man office to come over all nostalgic for that those times. Conversation duly turned to 90s football and all the joys that came with watching The Beautiful Game during the early days of the Premier League. One aspect that we couldn’t agree on was 90s football kits; were they objects of consummate beauty or tawdry items best left in the loft with the Power Rangers videos? The Idle Man has collaborated with Beyond The Last Man to create  a list of our favourite 90s kits.

England 1990England 1990

Every Englishman’s favourite World Cup (apart from 1966!) had a national kit to be proud of too. The combination of the sharp collar with the classic, yet subtle pattern down the front of the shirt works well stylistically and makes it one of this decade’s favourites as a result. 

 Italy 1994

Italy 1994The national flag detailing on the collar and the sleeves contribute to this being one of Italy most distinctive kits. It was simple, elegant and of course came in that classic, retro Italian blue with the new emblem embossed throughout the material. The national team shirt rarely got better than this.

Croatia 1998

Croatia 1998After the protracted and arduous war to secede from the Yugoslav federation, Croatia was understandably excited to demonstrate its newly found national pride at the 1998 World Cup. It may have been the first tournament as an independent nation on this biggest of stages, but that didn’t inhibit Croatia from illuminating France with its impressive football and that seminal and highly distinctive red and white chequered shirt.

France 1998

France 1998To round off what was a fine year for kits, France hosted and won the 1998 World Cup wearing a design that we just can’t get enough of, even to this day. A brilliant horizontal stripe design made this now iconic kit stand out from the crowd back in the days when Les Bleus conquered the football world.

One-Timers: Cesena

ItalyWe travel to Italy today for the latest entry in our One-Timer series, the regular BTLM feature that takes a look at the clubs around the continent who experienced European club competition once, but never again.

One-TimersLiving in the footballing shadows of Bologna and Fiorentina, Cesena is a club we recognise today as one of Italy’s elevator clubs: often too good for Serie B but never quite good enough to establish themselves in Serie A. There’s no disgrace in that status considering the club’s modest size and inauspicious history. Cesena reached Serie A for the first time as recently as 1973 and that elevation came just five seasons after their first promotion to Serie B.

Cesena badgeSmart use of a modest budget ensured the club wouldn’t fall straight back to the second tier as many expected during their 1973-74 Serie A debut. While loan signings from Juventus in Giuseppe Zaniboni and Gianluigi Savoldi (the younger brother of future world record transfer fee holder Giuseppe) brought some big club professionalism, the real masterstroke was the acquisition of Cagliari veteran Pierluigi Cera. The defensive midfielder had turned 32 and was in the autumn of his career, but the former international and Serie A winner brought a wealth of experience, character and know-how to the newly promoted club.

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The Sir Alex Ferguson Years: An Era of Manchester United domination

Manchester United are widely regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the world, largely due to the role of Sir Alex Ferguson throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In fact, prior to the ‘Fergie Years’, the Red Devils had struggled to compete for silverware and hadn’t won the top-flight title since 1967. Leeds and Liverpool were the dominant forces in English football throughout the ’70s and ’80s as United struggled to assert themselves as major players in both domestic and European competitions.

However, that would all change when Alexander Chapman Ferguson arrived at Old Trafford in 1986. The Aberdeen boss was young and hungry for success. Ferguson had performed admirably at Aberdeen, breaking the Old Firm’s stranglehold on the Scottish league title as they claimed three championships. In addition, the Scot led Aberdeen to four Scottish Cup triumphs, a UEFA Super Cup victory and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup before making the journey down to Manchester. And what a great decision that turned out to be…

Picture by Andrea Sartorati

Picture by Andrea Sartorati

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