Saturday, 4 February 2012
In 1890, organisers had a second attempt at operating a worthwhile (albeit more minor) competition - this time with a realistic number of sides. The membership was made up of Burton Swifts, Chester, Denton (Manchester), Derby St. Luke's, Gorton Villa, Hyde, Leek, Macclesfield Town, Northwich Victoria, Stafford County, Witton and Wrexham. The first champions were Gorton Villa from Manchester. The Combination remained in existence until 1911, and later included Everton Reserves who won the title seven times in the first ten years.
The competition had no connection with The Football Combination, a competition for the reserve teams of Football League clubs that has run since 1915.
The exact date of goalkeeping gloves first appearing in professional football has never been established. Certainly a keeper or two would have had the foresight to add gloves to his armoury from the very early days of the game. And a patent for leather goalie gloves was taken out as early as 1885 would you believe. But the concept of them being useful to aiding a clean sheet never caught on. Instead, brave custodians weathered the storm. In the 1960's, keepers started to wear gloves in poor conditions, but it took until the next decade for the idea to really gather pace. West Germany's World Cup goalkeeper Sepp Maier was one of the first stars to have gloves made specially for him. And soon, everyone wanted a pair. Since then, it has become big business, and been the subject of much technological research.
But have a thought for the legends of yesteryear. They were bruised and hardy souls for sure.
This short but nice piece of nostalgia was kindly uploaded by MrDangerFourpence onto YouTube together with the following description : The 1940 Football League War Cup Final was contested by West Ham United and Blackburn Rovers. It was played on 8 June 1940 and kicked-off at 6.30pm despite fears that London would be bombed by the Luftwaffe. The wartime crowd included wounded members of the BEF recently evacuated from Dunkirk. As the match was played during wartime, no reception was held for the winning team. Some players went to the Boleyn public house on Green Street for a few pints whilst others returned immediately to their service units.
Celebrating West Ham players, from left to right, Corporal Norman Corbett, Ted Fenton, Charlie Bicknell, trophy holding Archie Macaulay (who would of course go on to manage Norwich City and take them to a FA Cup semi final in 1959) and George Foreman.
(source : Spartacus Educational)