football

When Manchester City dropped into the third division

This day in football history On 3 May 1998, Manchester City were relegated to the English third tier. It was their second relegation in three years, as City had just dropped from the Premier League in 1996. They went through a series of managerial changes, sacking manager Alan Ball at the start of the 1996–97 season. He …

When Aston Villa won the FA Cup, then lost it

This day in football history On 20 April 1895, Aston Villa scored what was at the time the fastest goal in FA Cup final history to beat West Bromwich Albion 1–0 before a crowd of 42,560 at London’s Crystal Palace. Because many of those attendees were slow entering the stadium, they missed the record-setting goal. There …

Chelsea’s historic plane trip

This day in football history This is not a picture from 1957 On 19 April 1957, Chelsea became the first team in England to travel by plane for a domestic away match. The decision was one of necessity, not extravagance. The Blues played that day against Newcastle, whose St. James Park is just over 280 miles away from …

When Manchester United got a surprise 12th man

This day in football history On 18 April 2001, Manchester United’s starting XI posed for a team photo — with a surprise 12th person. United were at Munich’s Olympic Stadium for the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal against Bayern Munich, having lost the first leg 0–1 at Old Trafford. As the starters gathered on the pitch for …

When Andrew Watson became the first black international footballer

This day in football history On 12 March 1881, Queen’s Park fullback Andrew Watson became the world’s first black international footballer when he received his first cap for Scotland. Born in British Guiana as the son of a Scottish sugar planter, Watson (pictured, center) enrolled at the University of Glasgow, where his studies included math and …

When the wind scored a goal for Wimsheim

This day in football history On 28 February 2010, German amateur side TSV Wimsheim defeated Grunbach with a goal from an unlikely source — the wind. In the 58th minute, with the match scoreless, Grunbach midfielder Oliver Wiedemann stepped up to take a goal kick in the place of keeper Alexander Sollner. As the ball rose into the air, …

Howler Book Club: Drawing the game out

Win a copy of The Illustrated History of Football, our latest book club selection The Illustrated History of Football (Random House UK, 2016), by David Squires The opening sentence of the Introduction to David Squires’ “The Illustrated History of Football” (details on how to win a copy below) reads, “Before the arrival of organized football, people …