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Football is more than just a game. Over the past 150 years it has become a source of identity, conflict and debate for all who follow and play it. It has reached the farthest corners of the globe and boasts more players and supporters than any other sport. Football's Fifty Most Important Moments charts the illustrious, colourful and often tragic history of football, uncovering the sport's most significant and staggering moments. Starting in Victorian England with the 1857 introduction of modern football, we journey through 160 years of incredible events to the modern day, where new and innovative ideas are changing the game. Since its creation, football has been shaped by the actions of teams, supporters and of course remarkable individuals on and off the pitch. Whether through mass spectatorship at the 1923 'White Horse Final' or the infamous 'Hand of God' in 1986, football has never failed to amaze and inspire. Learn about its evolut…

The Battle of Hampden Park (1980) | @Alexecky

As part of a series of Scottish football history articles written for us by radio presenter Alex Horsburgh, today he relives the shocking scenes of May 1980 at Hampden Park...

Lockdown release and the UK's relationship with alcohol has certainly been in the news recently, but 40 years ago an Old Firm Scottish Cup Final would force Scottish sport to address its connection to lager, whisky and the rest. The rule that followed the Hampden scenes at the start of a decade of excess in Britain acted as a sobering reminder that a nation cannot run on the fuel of amber nectar.

The shocking scenes of May 1980 left the watching TV audience stunned, as tribal football warfare broke out in front of the Scottish nation who were watching a showpiece match in their living rooms, on a day with the weather outside more in keeping with Benidorm than Glasgow.

The 95th Scottish Cup final represented a watershed moment in Scottish football and largely changed Scotland's previous connection with alco…

Dundee's European First (1962/63) | @Alexecky

As part of a series of Scottish football history articles written for us by radio presenter Alex Horsburgh, today he takes a look at how Dundee very nearly made significant footballing history in 1963...

Dundee (not Dundee United) first Scottish and British European Cup Winners after a tartan invasion of Wembley and an epic battle with Portugal's finest. Too far fetched? We explore how this scenario almost happened and put Celtic and Manchester United's triumphs in 1967 and 1968 respectively in the competition in the shade.

Imagine the first Scottish and British European Cup win coming at Wembley Stadium, with a team playing in the colours of the Union Jack, defeating a club regarded as second only to the great Real Madrid, with Europe's best player (Eusebio) in their side.

This is not some soccer geek, sci-fi, parallel universe fantasy. The scenario almost became real in 1963 when Dundee Football Club launched themselves onto the European scene with a bang as champions of …

Who are IFAB & are they fab? | @GJ_Thomas

Before the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak halted all football in Europe in March 2020, the story of the 2019/20 campaign in the Premier League was the introduction of VAR. Video Assistant Referees made the headlines on a weekly basis, with football fans struggling to come to terms with marginal offside calls or controversial handball decisions awarded by the system. However, before any rules change in football, there is a group that have the final say: the International Football Association Board (IFAB). But who are they?!

The International Football Association Board were founded in 1886 [1], at a meeting in the FA headquarters in London. The four home nation associations were present, the FA (England), the SFA (Scotland), the FAW (Wales) and IFA (Ireland). Each country were given equal voting rights with their purpose, to formally deal with question marks and disputes surrounding the laws of the game that had arisen between the four countries since the FA had been founded by back 1863…

Brentford vs West Ham, 1927 | Football's Greatest Upsets

The 1920’s are often seen as a great time in the world. People were experiencing new things, life was booming, and football was pretty much a staple of the working class. London was a happening place for the wealthy, and terrible for the working class. Ironically the same thing can be said for the city a century later. The FA Cup was a huge deal at the time, and sometimes a smaller club could pull off something big.

Brentford is a well supported club and back in the late 1920s, a former football referee Harry Curtis arrived at Griffin Park. What the supporters didn’t realize was the fun they were about to see with Curtis around. The Bee's had just been accepted into the Third Division as founding members after the First World War. They spent the ensuing years after the acceptance trying to avoid the re-election process. Their league form didn’t show immediate improvement, but a great cup run enthralled the fans.

The best player of this side was Patsy Hendron. Hendron had a history o…

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Dunfermline Athletic: Still On a 'Par' With The Best | @Alexecky

As part of a series of Scottish football history articles written for us by radio presenter Alex Horsburgh, today he relives the glory moments of Dunfermline Athletic, and explains why the east of Scotland team have a nickname that lends itself more to golf than football, or does it? 

Dunfermline Athletic FC celebrate their 135th birthday this month and the club from the old capital of Scotland, the resting place of King Robert The Bruce at Dunfermline Abbey, are getting ready to resume their battle to get back to the top division of the Scottish League when Scottish football resumes in August.

135 years of age this month and formed from a breakaway from a cricket club by football enthusiasts in 1885 [The former Dunfermline FC had existed in a soccer sense since 1874], Dunfermline Athletic (since 1885) have always been regarded as one of Scotland's biggest sides outside its three major cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen with potential for a big support.

The club from the anc…

Peru vs Austria, 1936: The Remarkable Match You've Never Heard About

A turbulent decade, the 1930s would see the very fabric of society torn apart by the emergence of ruthless dictatorships and repressive ideologies. It perhaps comes as a shock, therefore, that Germany, under the brutal fascist regime of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, was chosen to host the 1936 Summer Olympics. Centred in the eastern capital of Berlin, the games proved an opportunity to demonstrate Germany’s rebirth to the watching world.
The 1930s had seen football become increasingly less popular at the Olympics. The development of the World Cup at the start of the decade meant the Olympics were only open to amateur players. Even though there was a lack of recognisable faces, the absence of the game’s professionals would help the final tournament to be incredibly competitive, with the forthcoming Second World War’s key nations all taking part in Berlin. Sport in Nazi Germany had become heavily politicised in order to promote its leader’s ideology on the watching masses. The appearance of …

1969/70 - Support Your Local Club | @Alexecky

As part of a series of Scottish football history articles written for us by radio presenter Alex Horsburgh, today investigates attendance figures from 50 years ago, when Scotland enjoyed good footballing times...

It's not always recognised that Scotland (with a population of nearly 6 million) still have one of the biggest overall attendance figures per head of population for domestic football amongst smaller European nations. Even the Scottish nation itself sometimes forgets to celebrate the fact that a high percentage of the population still attend matches, too often looking south of the border for football comparisons, while at the same time unfairly criticising the quality of the Scottish domestic game. 

I discovered attendance figures from 50 years ago, when Celtic were reaching a European Cup final and Scottish players were still a mainstay of the game in England, and found a positive response from social media for a two division set up North of the border.

In this article I&#…

Kit Kings of Scotland | @Alexecky

As part of a series of Scottish football history articles written for us by radio presenter Alex Horsburgh, today he considers some of the best kits in Scotland...

As Hibernian FC launch their NHS 'away' kit to follow on from their idea to carry a 'Thank You NHS' logo on their iconic green and white home shirt when Scottish football finally returns [£5 donation from every fan going to Lothians Health Foundation]. Our Lockdown writer Alex Horsburgh pens another piece as the tentative phase one of moving out of Lockdown begins north of the border.

Everyone will have their own favourite of course, but this time it's his top five iconic Scottish football strips, which are purely personal picks, compiled over 50 years of watching the UK game:

1. Scotland - 1976-82

Following on from England's deal with Admiral Sportswear in 1974, which saw Three Lions manager Don Revie bring in the first concept kit for one of the home nations, Scotland followed the trend with a more u…