Wembley - the complete record 1923-2000

The place to recommend books to other Forum users. Or even to warn off.
Post Reply
Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Wembley - the complete record 1923-2000

Post by Scottish » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:31 am

I've never been one to go for the "mystique" of Wembley. I always thought it was in the wrong place and was a bit of a white elephant, only used for a few games each year. And I reckon the English FA missed a golden opportunity to create a genuine - and more accessible - national stadium when Wembley shut its doors in 2000.

That said, there were times when it was a joy to go there - 1977 and 1981 spring to mind - and there's no denying that for many football fans it was a very special place to watch a match. I recall Middlesbrough selling 40,000 tickets for the Zenith Data Systems Cup Final simply because it was the first time the team had played there. Also, there's no doubt that when it does eventually re-open, the new Wembley will be one of the finest - if not the best - grounds in the world.

It'll still be a crap journey on the tube to get there though.

'Wembley - The Complete Record' is exactly what it says on the tin - an account of every game played since it opened its doors - ahead of schedule that time - in 1923. Author Glen Isherwood first thought of the idea back in 1983 and it is thanks to his persistence this worthwhile addition to football history has seen the light of day. It wasn't an easy task. Just like our own Hampden Park, many of Wembley's records were lost in a fire. But he has done a tremendous job cataloguing not just the obvious internationals and FA Cup Finals but also 'lesser' fixtures like schoolboy and amateur games as well. There's a lot which will interest Scottish fans too.

Apart from the obvious like the Wembley Wizards or Jim Baxter's keepie-uppie a little delving around will uncover exactly which Scottish clubs have provided players to have appeared there. Terry Butcher, with 15 of his 28 appearances coming while with Rangers looks to be the record holder. For Scotland, Lawrie Reilly and George Young played five times and Reilly's five goals make him the top Scottish goalscorer

And there's delightful little snippets of information like Corby Caledonians reaching the Carlsberg Pub Cup Final in 1997. Which means the Northants exiles have played there as often as Premiership Fulham. (Their solitary appearance, in the 1975 FA Cup Final, was my first visit to the stadium. It was such a poor game and with fellow Londoners West Ham as the opponents was devoid of anything remotely resembling the traditional 'Cup Final weekend' atmosphere that it may have contributed to my personal antipathy towards the venue).

This is a book which can be dipped into or read through as the reader likes. One word of warning, the front cover comes adorned with an image from a certain event of forty years ago and there's also a foreword by Geoff Hurst. Isherwood then gives a short (six pages) guide to the various competitions staged over the years before giving a chronological account of all the matches with line-ups and brief reports for the more important games. At almost 240 pages this is the 'meat' of the book. This section also contains two sets of photographs - one in b&w, one in colour - which add another 32 pages.

There's then a rundown of appearances by British and Irish-based players in major games (defined as internationals and major cup finals and semis) Thus here we can see that Denis Law scored four times in seven appearances but only twice for Scotland (the Rest of the World and Man Utd being his others). Kenny Dalglish has probably visited Wembley more times than any other Scot with 19 appearances as a player, three as player-manager and a further eleven as a manager.

There's a page listing the top scorers, some appearance trivia and sendings-off. Tony Adams made the most appearances (60) and Bobby Charlton scored the most goals (27). Ian Rush holds the record for the most appearances by a non-English player (20) and the most goals (11). Portugal's Mario Coluna and compatriot Eusebio both played there six times despite never playing for an English club. Last man to be sent off was - no great surprise - Roy Keane in the 2000 Charity Shield.

That's followed by a short rundown of all the games and a summary of appearances by English league clubs - Arsenal with 41 heading Man Utd and Liverpool who both have 33. After that comes the list of teams and players appearances and the book concludes with a brief look at other Wembley events. If anything that's where I'd make my criticism. Strange, I know, to knock a football book for too much fitba' but to my mind the long association of the ground with Rugby League and events like Live Aid and the two Nelson Mandela tribute concerts as well as the celebrated Henry Cooper - Cassius Clay (as Muhammad Ali was then known) boxing contest and the infamous Horse of the Year Show which destroyed the turf in the late 60s and early 70s were much more significant in the stadium's history than some of the flotsam of lower league sponsored trophies and multiple end of season play-offs.

In fact the proliferation of games likes these destroyed much of the Wembley myth. In the days when internationals and the FA Cup Final represented the only chance to play there the stadium's underuse contributed to its position as the centrepiece of English football. But by the 1990s there were close to twenty games a season being played there as the Rippem & Fleecem Insurance and associated Automotive Trades Cup/Vase/Plate/Knife and Fork Trophy ensured a day at Wembley was within the reach of just about every club in England.

It was no longer anywhere special.

And perhaps that aspect of the stadium's decline could have been analysed in more detail though, mercifully, we are spared the soap opera that has been the story of Wembley's reconstruction.

At £14-99 for over 500 pages plus 32 pages of pics this is an excellent football history of a ground which - like it or loathe it - is a big part of the Scottish sporting psyche. Glen Isherwood has done a marvellous job - minor criticisms notwithstanding.

More details from the publishers here

LEATHERSTOCKING
Posts: 1611
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:11 pm
Contact:

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:54 pm

Twenty one Queen`s Park players made amateur International appearances in the four Wembley Internationals. Bert Cromar played in all four, Willie Hastie in three. Dougie Orr netted all three in Scotland`s 3-2 win on 29th March 1958 & I think I`m right in saying the only other Scot to score a hat-trick there was Alex Jackson for the Wizards in 1928. The 4-1 win in 1954 equals the Wizards` margin of victory. Killie`s R.K.Caldwell played for the amateurs there in 1952. At fifteen quid it sounds good value.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:00 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote: I think I`m right in saying the only other Scot to score a hat-trick there was Alex Jackson for the Wizards in 1928. The 4-1 win in 1954 equals the Wizards` margin of victory.
David Speedie scored three for Chelsea in the Full Members Cup Final v Man City in 1986. The Wizards won 5-1 in 1928. Alex Jackson was the first player to score a hat-trick at Wembley.

LEATHERSTOCKING
Posts: 1611
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:11 pm
Contact:

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:44 pm

Sorry there; I missed out the word "nearly" before "...equals the Wizard`s margin..." When you think how powerful English amateur football was in the 50s in those years before the abolition of the term, Queen`s did pretty well against them as a "B" Division side most of the time postwar. David Speedie ! There`s a name from yesteryear.

Scottish
Site Admin
Posts: 7665
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:51 pm
Contact:

Post by Scottish » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:03 pm

Jack Harkness also appeared at Wembley as a QP player but that was in a full international. The most appearances by an "amateur" (and I use the quotes deliberately) was nine by Bob Hardisty - six for Bishop Auckland in the Amateur Cup Final and three for Great Britain in the Olympics. There is a Bob Hardisty Way in Bishop Auckland. I won't claim it to be unique but there can't be many amateur footballers with a street named after them.

Quite a few Queen's Park players also played for the Olympic team - McColl and McBain in the 1948 semi-final v Sweden and Simpson, Carmichael, Boyd & Aitkin v Denmark in the 3rd/4th match. The coach was Matt Busby. Bill Currie of Albion Rovers played for the Olympic team v Bulgaria in 1971.

The only Scot to be sent off was Billy Bremner in the infamous clash with Kevin Keegan in the 1974 Charity Shield (also a good pub quiz question there - the only time Bill Shankly and Brian Clough managed the opposing teams at Wembley). Keegan thus became the first Englishman to be sent off there. The only player to be sent off while playing for England was Paul Scholes v Sweden in a Euro 2000 qualifier in 1999.

I mentioned earlier that Tony Adams had played the most times at Wembley but 24 of his appearances were as an Arsenal player. He made 36 international appearances and is sixth in the all-time list of internationals, behind Peter Shilton, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Stuart Pearce and Bryan Robson. Shilton played 52 times for England but falls two short of Adams' total of 60. Shilton's other appearances were for Nottingham Forest (3) and once each for England Schools, Leicester City and the Football League.

Players from Scottish clubs to have played international football at Wembley are: ( 1st figure number of players, 2nd figure number of caps all for Scotland unless otherwise stated )

Aberdeen 9 15
Airdrieonians 3 3
Ayr United 2 2
Celtic 31 43 + Northern Ireland 2 4, Republic of Ireland 1 2, Poland 1 1, Sweden 2 2
Clyde 2 3
Dundee 6 8 + Northern Ireland 2 2, Poland 1 1
Dundee United 8 11
Dunfermline 0 0 + Hungary 1 1
East Fife 1 1
Falkirk 0 0 + Northern Ireland 1 1
Hearts 5 8
Hibernian 9 14 + England 1 2, Northern Ireland 1 1
Kilmarnock 2 2
Morton 2 3
Motherwell 6 7
Partick Thistle 4 5
QOS 1 1
Queen's Park 1 1
Raith Rovers 1 1
Rangers 41 69 + England 5 46, Northern Ireland 3 3, Sweden 1 1
St Mirren 1 1
Third Lanark 2 2

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests