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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Shorts From The Netherlands

Shorts!This latest collection of bite-sized tales in our Shorts series is dedicated to 1960s and 1970s happenings from the Netherlands.

NetherlandsDutch clubs are renowned for selling big rather than buying big, yet it’s often forgotten that PSV Eindhoven did break the world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Jan Van Beveren in 1970. The deal for the Sparta Rotterdam player cost PSV £120,000 in cash, Pim Doesburg in part-exchange and the installation of floodlights at Sparta’s ground by PSV’s parent company, Phlilips.

NetherlandsThe Dutch Federation (the KNVB) produced alarming statistics that showed 655 players at all levels of the Dutch game suffered broken legs during the 1963/64 season,. The blame for a high percentage of this sizeable number was attributed to a particular dislike by Dutch players for playing in shinguards. The authorities brought in a rule soon after obliging players to wear them and injuries tumbled as a result.

NetherlandsThe Feyenoord international Coen Moulijn had an unfortunate history with car crashes and was especially lucky to escape with his life after an incident in 1971. Driving home from training, his car became stranded on a train line at a level-crossing and was hit by a locomotive. He suffered leg, shoulder and head injuries but was very lucky the accident was not fatal. The winger was back playing a couple of months later.

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Dutch Vintage 1974

NetherlandsThis particular Dutch Vintage post picks out some quirky images of the stars of the Dutch game from the mid 1970s. Unsurprisingly given his global status in 1974, Johan Cruyff features prominently.

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Tonny van Leeuwen – The Violent Death Of A Groningen Hero

NetherlandsIt’s usually all about the outfield players when talk turns to the rapid rise of Dutch football during the 1960s and 70s. Fans now as then readily identify with the high-profile stars like Cruyff, Neeskens, Krol, Suurbier, Van Hanegem and Keizer – but rarely with the men who stood behind them in goal. That’s a shame as it overlooks a fine generation of Dutch goalkeepers who deserve a more equal billing.

Tonny van LeeuwenAgile and often spectacular with a speciality for saving penalty kicks, Feyenoord’s Eddy Pieters Graafland had the air of a showman and was the first man between the posts to capture the imagination of the Dutch footballing public. ‘Eddy PG’ was the undisputed international number one for most of the decade between 1957 and 1967, but snapping at his heels was a talented and ambitious group of new keepers who aspired to be his successor.

Five in particular stood out. Piet Lagarde was capped twice during 1962 but broke his collarbone during the second appearance against Denmark. Two years later he picked up an injury during a League game that led to him losing a kidney and effectively ended his top-level career. Pim Doesburg came through the famous Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeping school but never quite inspired enough confidence to win more than eight sporadic caps spread out between 1967 and 1981.

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Uwin Sportswear 1961-69

A Word From Our SponsorsAnother forgotten sportswear company for you today in the form of Uwin, a modest-sized player in the shirt manufacture market during the 60s and 70s.

The company had a handful of supply contracts with clubs like West Ham and some individual endorsements with Bobby Moore (who put his name to anything) and a young, before-he-was-famous Allan ‘Sniffer’ Clarke too. Despite these best efforts Uwin was unable to grow sufficiently to become a household name.

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