Lawrence Boots 1958-73

A Word From Our SponsorsLawrence is probably not a boot manufacturer brand that will be strongly remembered even by our older readers. Like many of the smaller sportswear companies we feature as part of the regular A Word From Our Sponsors feature, Lawrence’s heyday came in the 1950s and 60s before their market share was gradually squeezed by the growing clout of the majors.

Lawrence did not boast many notable boot contracts, but did benefit from some well-chosen individual endorsements featuring Tom Finney, Matt Busby and Jimmy Greaves. Examples of these and other Lawrence ads from the 50s through to the 70s feature in our gallery.

Jairzinho & Paulo César Lima Vintage 1966-80

BrazilLast year we published the story about the abortive spell that the brilliant Brazilian internationals Jairzinho and Paulo César Lima spent in France with Marseille during the 1970s, here: An Unhappy Year In Provence For Jairzinho and Paulo César Lima It’s one of many great tales from our archive and one worth bringing to the attention of our many new followers who might have missed it first time round.

To complement this post we have added a Vintage gallery sharing some memorable images, both at work and at play, of these dazzlingly gifted World Cup winners. As ever, click on any images to open the Gallery.

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Hull City Vintage 1959-74

EnglandWith Hull City reaching a first FA Cup Final after that dramatic victory over Sheffield United this past weekend, we thought we would duly dedicate our latest Vintage post to them. We feature retro imagery of some of the club’s most significant players from the 15 season period between 1959 and 1974.

The starting point in our timeline was a successful one for the club with promotion to Division 2 achieved in 1959. That elevation was a rather temporary affair and the club came back down with a bump just a season later, having to wait until 1966 before getting another crack at the second tier. Hull came up as champions that year and this time would enjoy a lengthy spell in the higher division.

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Going The Extra Mile At Maine Road

EnglandThere’s the famous story of the unnamed top flight English manager who would not let his players train with the ball during the week in the belief this would make them more hungry for it when matchday came. It is perhaps a somewhat apocryphal tale, but it does characterise the historical lack of training sophistication and the poor preparation that was long associated with English football before the arrival of foreign coaches in the modern era.

Indeed, BTLM has often pictured a typical footballer’s training session in the 1970s to involve running up and down the terracing a few times, a fag break and the hitting of random pot-shots at the goalkeeper for an hour while telling bawdy jokes. Lunch would be pie and chips in the local cafe and post-training wind down would involve an afternoon in the bookies or snooker hall. Not every footballer had the life of Stan Bowles to be fair, but English players who moved abroad during the 60s, 70s and 80s were quite startled at just how much more seriously coaching and preparation was taken in mainland Europe.

Some clubs and managers in England were more forward thinking than others though and Manchester City was at the forefront of exploring the opportunities that came from specialist external coaching. Malcolm Allison was a pioneer in this field and his inquiring mind was always interested in finding new ways to maximise a player’s potential and gain any sort of extra competitive advantage.

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Italy Vintage 1959-67

ItalyItaly Vintage images from the 1960s for you today with the emphasis on the more quirky and unusual shots from our library. We’ve included a rare old image of the Italian national team at White Hart Lane for a match against England in 1934.

Look out for more Italy Vintage shots in the months ahead to come.

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Shorts From Italy

Shorts!If this edition of our regular Shorts series was an ITV light-entertainment programme, we’d probably call it ‘Italians Say The Funniest Things.’ It’s not, fortunately, but here’s a selection of classic quotes from some legendary Italians anyway.

ItalyThe Corriere dello Sera reporter Gino Palumbo playfully imagined Inter legend Sandro Mazzola as the James Bond of football back in 1965. In a semi-jocular piece, the Italian forward was described as ‘adventurous, precarious and ultimately victorious. Though not over SMERSH.” With a twinkle in his eye, Mazzola replied: “Do you mean Herrera?’. Never a great one for humour even at others expense, the Inter manager was reportedly less than amused at being compared with Bond’s villainous Soviet nemesis.

ItalyHelenio Herrera was never, ever shy when it came to blowing his own trumpet. As undoubtedly arrogant as the Inter coach was, even his harshest critics had to grudgingly admit he had a flair for the memorable soundbite. At the height of his fame he was asked by the Corriere dello Sport where he thought he would place in an Italian popularity poll: “Behind Sophia Loren, but only because she has a better figure.” replied Herrera without missing a beat.

ItalyA great, if much repeated quote that is still as relevant today as it was back in 1955. The much travelled Jewish-Hungarian coach Béla Guttmann was in charge of Milan and his team led Serie A two-thirds of the way through his second season in charge. Suddenly sacked after continual disagreements with the President, Guttmann would later comment drily to Brian Glanville that in future he was going to insist on a clause being inserted into his contracts saying “not to be dismissed while top of the League.”

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Aberdeen Vintage 1964-71

ScotlandIn honour of their first trophy win in 19 years, Aberdeen become the latest club to feature in our regular Vintage series. This first Dons post collects up retro player and team images from the mid 1960s through to the early 1970s.

The 64-71 period we cover here dovetails neatly with Eddie Turnbull’s time in charge at Pittodrie. Aberdeen had stagnated after the successes of the immediate post war years under club legend Dave Halliday and it took Turnbull’s appointment in 1965 to revitalise them. He led the club to two Scottish Cup Finals against Celtic; one lost in 1967 and the other won in 1970. The following year would be Turnbull’s last in charge and his open and attractive side finished runners-up to Celtic after looking likely champions for most of the campaign.

Click any image to open the gallery.

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