Lev Yashin Colour Vintage

Soviet UnionFollowing its black & white companion piece earlier this week, our second Lev Yashin Vintage post collects up a gallery of impressive colour images starring the famous Russian keeper.

As brilliant a talent as Yashin was, his wider international fame was undoubtedly driven in part by his powerful visual image – whether sporting that iconic, black Soviet Union shirt or the unusually positive public image he presented to the world. This was a good-looking man with a naturally friendly disposition quite at odds with the image most in the west had of the archetypal dour, cold Soviet Union footballer.

Yashin’s two decade long career yielded five Soviet Top League titles and three Soviet Cup wins with Dynamo Moscow. He appeared in four World Cups between 1958 and 1970 and won the inaugural 1960 European Championships title. On becoming the 1963 European Footballer of the Year, Yashin became the first and, to date, only goalkeeper ever to win this prestigious award.

The Black Panther died prematurely in 1990 at the age of just 60.

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Lev Yashin Black & White Vintage

Soviet UnionWhether Lev Yashin is the greatest exponent of the goalkeeper’s art that football has seen is open to debate. There is, however, no doubt that the Black Panther revolutionised the way that the keeper’s role was interpreted during the 1950s and 1960s.

Yashin was the first goalkeeper to properly lead a team from the back and he introduced a dynamism and a mobility to his position rarely seen before. Rather than simply his 6-yard-box, the entire penalty box was Yashin’s natural domain and he was ever-willing to come off his line to take crosses, close down attackers or remonstrate with his defenders if they weren’t doing his bidding.

This first of two consecutive Vintage posts collects up some of our favourite black and white images dedicated to the great man. Look out for our next selection which features a selection of his seminal colour pictures.

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Hungary Vintage 1960-68

HungaryHungary is the latest nation to feature in our Vintage series as we share a varied selection of retro images featuring some of their stars of the 1960s.

This was the second great generation of Hungarian footballers. While not touched with the same genius as the Mighty Magyars from the 1950s; with players like Bene and Albert the nation still could boast players of truly world-class talent.

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The Lost Art Of Vasas Budapest

HungaryThis story is a tribute to a quite wonderful example of footballer fecklessness, a trait that you’ll see is in no way the exclusive preserve of the modern player. Back in 1961 Vasas, the club of Budapest’s iron and steelworkers, travelled to France to play a series of tour matches and capitalise financially on their status as new Hungarian champions.

Vasas SCPlaying football for hard cash and the enrichment of western imperialists should have been a practice that was at odds with the tenets of Communism, but such tours were tacitly tolerated as a way of earning much-needed negotiable western currency. Acceptance of the necessity of tours didn’t mean that officials were going to sit back and allow players unfettered exposure to Capitalist temptation in the west, however. To give an ideological counterpoint during such trips, officials would typically arrange a variety of sterile activities for the players when they weren’t playing or training: think farms, factories and collectives rather than beaches, shopping and sightseeing.

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Derby Country Vintage 1973

EnglandOur second Derby County Vintage post assembles another collection of retro player and team images starring the East Midlands club.

It’s all about 1973 here, a year that did not bring silverware but was significant all the same. Derby enjoyed its best-ever European campaign before exiting the European Cup at the semi-final stage, controversially, to Juventus. More telling for the club were the departures of the architects of the club’s successes, Clough and Taylor, who resigned their management roles after a falling out with the board.


Derby County’s Less Than Champion Choreography

EnglandIt’s December 1974 and two of England’s top teams decide to thank their fans for their support by offering season’s greetings on the pitch before the start of a home game. The players of both Leeds United and Derby Country follow the same approach; a choreographed message spelled out in letters with each player responsible for holding up a board with one of the letters on it.

The Leeds United players show exemplary teamwork to execute the exercise perfectly: the letter order is spot on, the space between Merry and Xmas is in the right place and there’s even a creative flourish with sprigs of holly at the beginning and end to earn extra style points. It’s as unthreatening as you have ever seen Billy Bremner too.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Compare and contrast with the shambolic attempt by Derby County to bid a Happy New Year to their fans. The order of the letters is correct but they’re reading back to front – these top professionals haven’t worked out that if you display a message to one side of the ground, you can’t just turn round and do the same to the opposite side without the message being displayed in reverse. Confusion reigns and there’s no leadership to try to sort out this untidy rabble. Their manager, Dave McKay, famous as a player for leading by example would have been furious.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

You really wouldn’t have thought it but one of these teams showed the teamwork, discipline, character and intelligence to go on and be crowned English champions that season – and it wasn’t Leeds United.

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Subbuteo 1974-76

A Word From Our SponsorsWith sales soaring and every young boy in the land seemingly hunched over that distinctive green baize in some cramped attic, the mid 1970s period we’re covering in this second Subbuteo retro marketing collection was probably table soccer’s golden age. Advertising in these years became more family-centric to try to sell the idea that all the family – not just boys – could participate and enjoy Subbuteo. Personally, I never knew a parent who took the remotest interest.

Always keen to promote the idea that Subbuteo was as close to real football as any simulation could be, we have included an example of their clever marketing tie-ins like the time that the captains of Southampton and Manchester United played out their 1976 FA Cup Final meeting on a Subbuteo pitch as a forerunner to the actual match.

Another spin-off game advertised in this gallery was called Targetman and was aimed at a younger audience (or a cack-handed one like me.) It featured huge players who could kick in any direction and gameplay dispensed with most conventional stoppages like throw-ins and corners.


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