Football History Links No5

Sing Up The River End! is well established with NCFC facts, figures, and trivia, and now we also bring you more general football history information from all eras. In an occasional series we will select the best links, news stories, sites and videos available on the net for those readers whose interest in the past times of football goes, occasionally, beyond the yellow and green


No account of the history of association football would be complete without the inclusion of Edison "Edson" Arantes do Nascimento, or Pele, as we more commonly know him. He is largely acknowledged as the greatest footballer that ever lived. His talents were recognised before he reached his teens, and at seventeen he won his first World Cup with Brazil in the 1958 tournament held in Sweden. Blessed with the purest of ball controlling skills and balance, his speed allowed him to mesmerise defenders. He had a magnificent eye for goal too, with many of his strikes coming as a result of a stunning ability to shoot with accuracy. Records exist that he scored 1280 career goals for his clubs and country.

He is the only man in history to be part of three World Cup winning squads, following up the 1958 success with a further triumph in Chile in 1962. In the 1966 tournament in England he was brutally targeted by the opposition, with his majestic skills negated by constant fouling. But four years later, in the heat of Mexico, he reached his peak in terms of global recognition, again winning the trophy - the greatest footballer in possibly the greatest football team ever. 

We are fortunate that we currently have a living legend to watch, in the shape of Lionel Messi. Some of us were lucky to be around to witness the King Pele as well. For those of you that weren't, this video clip will help. My thanks to You Tube and the contributor who posted it.





Many modern day fans believe that the soul of football has been sold to television. But they may be surprised that this argument first raised it's head many decades ago. I was recently browsing through an old publication from the early seventies, and in the letters section there was correspondence from a Brentford fan who was distinctly unhappy by the presence of TV cameras at home matches. He, and many other regular supporters, found their view of the pitch from the terrace blocked by a television gantry temporarily erected so that the games could be recorded. His argument went along the lines that fans spending hard earned cash were losing out to other people who, as he put it, 'were not prepared to move further than the fireside to watch football'.

He also pointed out that football was in a period of 'falling gates', and his unhappiness was further added to by the fact that a minimum admission price of 40 pence was also now in place !

There have been plenty of examples of clubs making slight changes to their name, such as Swansea Town becoming City, Millwall dropping Athletic, and Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic Football Club branding themselves with the more efficient title of AFC Bournemouth.

But there can surely have been no alterations as subtle as Hartlepools United merely dropping a 's'. The history of this dates back to the formation of the club back in 1908. Admission to the North Eastern League was applied for, and a limited liability company was registered. The owners, contrary to local opinion, felt that both boroughs (Hartlepool and West Hartlepool) needed to be represented, hence the name Hartlepools United. It was not until 1968 that the 's' was excluded from the team name.
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