One of the greatest accounts on twitter is @nonleaguedogs. The pure simplicity of pictures of dogs against a backdrop of grassroots football is irresistible. However, it’s not just modern social media that’s abuzz with interest in dogs at football games. There are many forgotten stories of pups at games and we present those to you here.
The beautifully presented images of the dog below are of Pompey the footballing dog who would entertain the crowds at half-time at Fratton Park during the early part of the 20th Century.
The Sketch, 9th Jan 1907
If in Portsmouth dogs were demoted to only appearing during the interval we can see in the Midlands things weren’t so simple. In the Midlands in the latter part of the 19th Century during a Birmingham Cup tie between Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion a remarkable tale emerged of a dog entering the field of play…
Leicester Chronicle, March 10th 1888
While we may like to think that the link between dogs and sport is a steadfast one, it’s certainly not as well known as that between alcoholic beverages and football. This case from Glasgow (published in the Dundee Courier) demonstrates how dogs are often a man’s best friend.
Dundee Courier, 4th April 1899
As we’ve seen, dogs accompanying their owners to football or even escaping their owners and entering the field of play was certainly a common story at the start of the 20th Century. However, there’s one final remarkable tale of a dog who loved football so much he traveled to games solo.
Aberdeen Press & Journal, 14th Jan 1924
As marvellous as these stories are, it’s hard not to think that they may have been embellished in some way. The tales are almost too good to be true. Even if these magnificent articles are not as truthful as they are presented, they’re certainly lovely to read.
All articles from the wonderful britishnewspaperarchive.
Tags: Aston Villa, Dogs, West Brom, West Bromwich Albion
The BBC website produces match reports for all of the games every single Premier League side plays during the season. From Premier League and FA Cup, to Champions League to League Cup ties the BBC reports on them all. I thought it would be interesting to compile all of these reports for each of the twenty Premier League sides, and to produce word-clouds for each side. If a particular word is used more often, then it is shown on screen as larger than the other less used words.
I created one for Square One Football Radio, and felt I should create word clouds for all twenty clubs. I used the excellent online tool wordle.net to create the word clouds. Please feel free to use these on your blog or website, but I’d appreciate a link back.
To see a higher resolution image of the word cloud, click on it.
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
Tags: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Hull City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Premier League, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham United
In the late 1970s a company called Marshall Cavendish released a series of football magazines which the avid reader would slip into binders to create their very own football encyclopaedia. One of the articles contained within is a lament about the struggles of the British game and part of the argument for improvements made by the author suggests the introduction of a British Super-League.
The author has chosen an interesting selection of sides, many of which would be unlikely to feature should the list be drawn up today. He uses criteria such as recent attendances as well as success to decide whether clubs should be admitted to such a league.
Would these be the super-clubs?
The proposed British super-league contains a few oddities. The first being that the two Edinburgh and Sheffield clubs are expected to merge (and are even wearing half-and-half kits to denote that). Other interesting aspects of the proposal are that teams like Coventry City and Derby County are included amongst the elite.
Clubs proposed: Celtic, Rangers, Edinburgh, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester United, Leeds United, Sheffield, Everton, Manchester City, Wolves, West Brom, Coventry City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Southampton.
Interesting omissions: Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Sunderland and the exclusion of all Welsh/Irish clubs (though perhaps understandable).
Tags: Arsenal, Celtic, Chelsea, Coventry City, Derby County, Edinburgh, Everton, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Rangers, Sheffield, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham United and Southampton., Wolves
If a club wins both the home fixture and the away fixture during a league season then they are said to have “done the double” over that side. In the Premier League during the 2012/2013 season 16 of the 20 sides did the double over a rival.
The following lists show the teams that each club in the Premier League managed to do the double against.
- Manchester United: Southampton, Sunderland, Stoke City, QPR, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Fulham, Wigan Athletic, Reading and Liverpool.
- Chelsea: Sunderland, Stoke City, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Everton, Wigan Athletic and Arsenal.
- Arsenal: QPR, Newcastle United, West Brom, West Ham, Wigan Athletic and Reading.
- Manchester City: Newcastle United, Aston Villa, West Brom, Fulham, Wigan Athletic and Reading.
- Tottenham Hotspur: Southampton, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Swansea City, West Ham and Reading.
- Liverpool: QPR, Norwich City, Fulham and Wigan Athletic.
- West Brom: Southampton, Sunderland, QPR and Liverpool.
- Swansea City: QPR, Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic.
- Aston Villa: Sunderland and Reading.
- Southampton: Aston Villa and Reading.
- Everton: West Ham.
- Fulham: West Brom.
- Sunderland: Wigan Athletic,
- Stoke City: QPR.
- Newcastle United: QPR.
- Wigan Athletic: Reading
- Norwich City: None.
- QPR: None.
- Reading: None.
- West Ham: None.
Of the three relegated sides Wigan Athletic were the only team who managed to win home and away against another club (Wigan did the double over fellow relegated side Reading).
Four sides in the Premier League did not lose home and away to another club. Those sides were Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United. Nine clubs did the double over eventual FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic.
Tags: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Premier League, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham, Wigan Athletic
Manchester United were the club who picked up the most Premier League points during 2012. They are followed by their city rivals Manchester City who despite losing the same number of games as United, couldn’t convert many of their draws to wins.
Interestingly Everton picked up more points than both Chelsea and Arsenal during 2012 though this may have something to do with the fact that Everton played more games than both Chelsea and Arsenal during the year. Additionally the contrast between Everton and their neighbours across Stanley Park is stark. Liverpool only won 11 out of their 38 games in 2012. The only two sides who weren’t relegated or promoted during 2012 with a lower points tally than Liverpool were Aston Villa and QPR.
For more statistics related to the 2012 calendar year including stats from the Football League, take a look at the ever excellent Sporting Intelligence.
Tags: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Premier League, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Brom, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic, Wolves
I came across this picture in the A-Z of West Brom that I bought on ebay a few weeks ago. It apparently depicts the opposition to Len Cantello’s Albion XI in his own testimonial. The matchday programme calls it a “Cyril Regis and Lawrie Cunningham XI” but the Albion A-Z just calls it a “Black XI” team assembled by Cyril Regis…
Tags: Cyril Regis, Len Cantello, West Brom
The word cloud below is generated from all of the BBC’s match reports from the 2010/2011 season for West Brom. The cloud offers a visual review of the past season, illustrating the players who were important – or at least were mentioned in the match reports most times! Click on the image to see a larger, easier to read version:
Premier League 2010/2011 Season Review: West Bromwich Albion
World Cloud (description from wikipedia): A tag cloud (word cloud, or weighted list in visual design) is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. ‘Tags’ are usually single words, normally listed alphabetically, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or color.
Tags: Premier League, WBA, West Brom, West Bromwich Albion
In 1888 twelve clubs from the Midlands and the North West of England took part in the first ever Football League season. Preston North End, Aston Villa, Wolves, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, West Brom, Accrington, Everton, Burnley, Derby County, Notts County and Stoke City will forever be remembered as founding members of the Football League. It’s interesting to note that Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are nowhere to be seen, many of these clubs didn’t enter the Football League until much later.
The geographical location of the founding members is also interesting. West Bromwich Albion were the southern-most side in the division whilst Burnley were the northern-most. The longest journey any side would have to make is 109 miles (from West Brom to Burnley). Compare that to the 409 miles between Plymouth and Newcastle and you can soon see just how geographically localised the first Football League was.
Historical league positions of the founding members of the Football League
The above chart shows the progression of the twelve founding members of the Football League. This season (2010/2011) there were seven founding members in the Premier Division (Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Stoke City, West Brom and Wolves). This is the highest number since the 79/80 season when seven clubs were part of the It means that around one third of the current top flight clubs were also members of the first ever top flight Football League season.
The all time low for the founding members came in the 1986/1987 season when only two clubs (Everton and Aston Villa) were in the top flight. That season Everton won the title. Aston Villa weren’t so lucky and finished rock bottom of Division One. They were replaced by Derby County for the 1987/1988, thus keeping the number of founding members at an all time low of two for another season.
Tags: Accrington, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Derby County, Everton, Notts County, Stoke City, West Brom, Wolves