Brian Seal

When Hannover won the title with a little help from their shoes

This day in football history On 23 May 1954, Hannover won their second German championship, beating Kaiserslautern 5–1. And they did it with a little tactical advantage in footwear. Six teams — the five regional Oberliga champions and one runner-up — qualified for the German championship tournament and were split into two groups. The two group winners then contested the …

When Marseille won a tainted Ligue 1 title

This day in football history On 20 May 1993, Marseille beat Valenciennes 1–0 to secure their fifth consecutive Ligue 1 title with one match left to play. Later, however, French authorities learned that Marseille had bribed three Valenciennes players and stripped the title from the club. The press labeled the ensuing scandal “L’affaire VA-OM.” Marseille were …

When shenanigans helped relegate Sunderland

This day in football history On 19 May 1977, Sunderland were controversially relegated out of the English top flight after losing 2–0 away to Everton on the last day of the season. At the start of the day, Sunderland were battling Coventry City and Bristol City for the final relegation spot. Sunderland were in the third-bottom position …

When a Scottish international was (briefly) lost at sea

This day in football history On 15 May 1974, Scotland midfielder Jimmy “Jinky” Johnstone had to be rescued by the Coastguard after a prank went wrong. Johnstone and a few teammates were out in the early hours of the morning in Largs, a town on the Firth of Clyde, about 33 miles from Glasgow. They had beaten …

When England’s players gave a Nazi salute

This day in football history On 14 May 1938, England opened their European tour by defeating Germany 6–3 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium before a crowd of 110,000, including several high-ranking Nazi officials. But the match is best remembered for the English players giving a Nazi salute at the start of the match. The salute was an effect …

When England’s players gave a Nazi salute

This day in football history On 14 May 1938, England opened their European tour by defeating Germany 6–3 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium before a crowd of 110,000, including several high-ranking Nazi officials. But the match is best remembered for the English players giving a Nazi salute at the start of the match. The salute was an effect …

The Accra Sports Stadium disaster

This day in football history On 9 May 2001, 126 football fans died at the Accra Sports Stadium, making it Africa’s worst ever sports-related disaster. It was one of several such incidents in Africa over a period of less than a month, including similar disasters in South Africa (43 killed on 11 April), the Congo (14 …

When Magdeburg won East Germany’s only major European trophy

This day in football history Krügel with the cup On 8 May 1974, Magdeburg became the only East German team to win a major European trophy, beating AC Milan in the Cup Winners’ Cup final. Under manager Heinz Krügel, who joined Magdeburg in 1966, the club had risen from the East German second division to become league champions …

When Tottenham did the Double

This day in football history On 6 May 1961, Tottenham Hotspur completed their Double by winning the FA Cup with a 2–0 victory over Leicester City. Spurs were the first team to win the FA Cup and the League in the same season since Aston Villa did it in 1897. Tottenham had already won the league in …