history column

the black arrow

Remembering Gil Heron, The First Black Footballer To Play For Celtic

Nicknamed ‘The Black Arrow’ by his fans, Heron made a significant cultural impression on Scotland. That has been somewhat overshadowed by the exploits of his son, Gil Scott.
Will Magee
festive goalfests and boxing day batterings

Remembering the Greatest Boxing Day in the History of English Football

With Boxing Day one of the most important dates in the domestic football calendar, we expect it to produce some serious entertainment. In 1963, expectations were exceeded by an absurd margin.
Will Magee

Penance For The Prince: Remembering Naseem Hamed’s One, Humbling Defeat

While nobody could deny that Prince Naseem had style, he was also a man of monumental hubris. That finally came back to bite him when he fought Marco Antonio Barrera in 2001.
Will Magee
one world war and one european cup

Liverpool and The Liberation Of Rome: Remembering Bob Paisley’s Italian Campaigns

When Liverpool won the 1977 European Cup final in Rome, Bob Paisley had been there before. That was just over 30 years previous, when he rode into the city on the back of a tank.
Will Magee
turn 6 on lap 48

Collision and Collusion: The Story of the 1997 Formula 1 Title Decider

The deciding race in a finely balanced title battle, the 1997 European Grand Prix was packed with high drama and claims of collusion. Almost 20 years on, it ranks as a controversial classic.
Jim Weeks

The Battle Of Britain: Remembering Lennox Lewis’ Epic Clash With Frank Bruno

In October 1993, Lennox Lewis fought Frank Bruno in a clash of British boxing titans at Cardiff Arms Park. It was a fight swirling with undercurrents of race and identity, and remains a classic to this day.
Will Magee

Between Life and Death: Remembering Boxer Michael Watson's Fightback From the Abyss

It is 25 years since Michael Watson fought Chris Eubank at White Hart Lane. The injuries Watson suffered that night changed him forever, but, a quarter of a century on, the extent of his recovery continues to defy expectations.
Jim Weeks
politics and the copa del rey

Royalist, Republican, Socialist, Fascist: The Chequered History of the Copa del Rey

Since its inception in 1903, the Copa del Rey has been treated like a political football. Over the decades, it has been appropriated by everyone and anyone who has ruled over Spain.
Will Magee
sports aviation diasters

Tragedy in the Skies: The Fateful Final Journey of FC Pakhtakor Tashkent

In August 1979 FC Pakhtakor Tashkent's first-team squad perished in a mid-air collision. The crash was a tragic accident, but there is an inevitable whiff of Communist Party cover-up about the events that day.
Jim Weeks
the boy who saved the olympic movement

“There Will Be Only One Nation”: The Boy Who Defined The Olympic Finale

Just before the closing ceremony of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the International Olympic Committee received an anonymous letter. Its contents would change the Olympics for good.
Will Magee
1936 olympics

Sex and Gender in Hitler's Shadow: Dora Ratjen and the 1936 Olympics

Ahead of the 1936 Olympics, Dora Ratjen was one of Nazi Germany's great medal hopes. She failed to live up to her Olympic billing, and soon found her gender and identity under devastating scrutiny.
Mike Henson
the self-appointed special one

Jose Mourinho’s Opening Gambits, 2004–2016

When Mourinho arrived at Chelsea, his first moves in the transfer market were magnificent. Now at Manchester United, he seems to have adopted a similar strategy.
Will Magee