Showing posts with label programme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label programme. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Liverpool v OPS (October 1980) - the programme

We continue the vintage programme reviews with our first club match, and it's a big one from 1980. Finnish champions Oulun Palloseura (OPS) visited European giants Liverpool at Anfield in the second leg of their first round tie. The first match in Finland ended 1-1, a late equaliser from Seppo Puotiniemi earning OPS a draw. We'll tell you how the second leg ended later on.

As programmes go, this is a world away from the internationals with England and Scotland in the mid-70s. The 'Anfield Review' sold for 30p, but is much nearer to the matchday magazines of today. There are 28 pages, but no colour other than the excessive pink and red throughout. The second leg took place two weeks after the first, so there are plenty of features and photographs.

The inside cover immediately throws at you Liverpool's array of trophies, at the time they had 12 league titles, 2 European Cups, 2 UEFA Cups and 2 FA Cups (they won their first of eight league cups that season). There are also small pieces by Chairman John W. Smith and manager Bob Paisley. The coach mentions the difficulty in playing 'supposedly weak opposition', but gave OPS a back-handed compliment in how they battled on a small and rutted pitch.

There is a feature about the Liverpool fans who travelled to Finland - all six of them (three from Birkenhead, one each from Netherton, Bootle and Ashton). By all accounts, it was quite the voyage in the days before low cost airlines. The 132 hour round trip started after Liverpool's previous home game with West Brom, ended in Oulu, and went directly to Southampton for Liverpool's next game at the Dell. The cost? £114 each.

It's on the page 6-7 spread that we meet OPS - an informal squad photo. Retro kit afficionados will appreciate the Hummel kits and Adidas football boots.

The writer of the section below reminds us of how OPS won their previous league title, narrowly edging out KuPS, and there is a laugh at how a 'mere 800' people turned up for a match between the league and cup winners, yet 14,000 attended the first leg against Liverpool.

After a reminder of Liverpool's record in European fixtures, pages 10-11 bombard us. Features on the two British players based in Oulu (Scotsman Hugh Smith and Englishman Keith Armstrong - who went on to be a key figure in Finnish football), young marker Leo Houtsonen and a strong defence compete for attention.

The Brits had previously played together in Hong Kong, and the piece is quite sure they were more likely to return to the Far East than play in England... Not a lot of information is known about Smith (feel free to let me know if you can help!), but Armstrong continues to be involved in Finland. While he never did return to England, he played for a variety of Finnish clubs until 1992, while he has won the Veikkausliiga as a coach with Haka and HJK. He is currently sporting director at Ykkönen club SJK.

OPS's banking on their strong defence refers to their strong defensive record, conceding 25 goals in 29 matches in the previous season. A quick profile of their players follows, and refers to Olympic team striker Juhani Himanka. Leo Houtsonen had apparently spent a week trialing with Norwich City. We're also reminded that "All the OPS players, of course, are part-timers".

The next pages are a 'player parade', with pen pics of each squad memeber. A fine collection of traditional looking Finns, but unlike a number of 1980 photos, there were no outrageous haircuts of facial hair.

A photo gallery of the first leg takes four pages, and we see a photo of future manager Kenny Dalglish in the cockpit, along with the pre-match band.

Pages 16-17 have two photos of the Liverpool goal, scored by Terry McDermott, hidden away in the masses.

There's a European quiz on pages 20-21, sample questions include 'how many British clubs have been in the final of the European Cup, and can you name them?', and 'where is this season's European Cup final to be staged?'. The answers were: Five (Celtic, Manchester United, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest), and Paris.

Liverpool man Jim Kennefick, whose general brief according to Alan Hansen was 'handled the club's travel plans', has a page to himself and his viewpoint. Luckily it's not too controversial, he is grateful to OPS chairman Matti Heikkinen for their city tour, and such sights as 'a large power station'.

Jim also talks about how Liverpool took a large selection of LFC merchandise with them to Oulu, and sold all of it. The column gives a patronising pat on the head to the Oulu players, "what a great bonus it must be for their team to visit Anfield". Hmm.

The final page has the teams for the match, with a selection of household names for the home side, along with the details of the Icelandic officials. The scoreboard has the other fixtures around Europe that evening, with some big clubs involved - Real Madrid v Limerick, Ajax v Dinamo Tirana and Bayern Munich v Olympiakos.

And so to the match itself - and a landslide it was. Liverpool won 10-1 (11-2 on aggregate), and there were hat-tricks for Graeme Souness and McDermott, a brace for David Fairclough, and goals for Ray Kennedy and Sammy Lee. OPS did pull it back to 4-1 with a goal from Armstrong, but it was all in vain.

Liverpool went on to win their third European Cup that season, defeating Real Madrid 1-0 in the Paris final through a goal from Alan Kennedy.

The highlights of Liverpool 10-1 OPS are as below.

We hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane, the next in the series will be the international between Wales and Finland from 2003.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Scotland v Finland, September 1976 - the programme

The next piece in our series looking at old programmes featuring Finnish clubs looks at the international friendly between Scotland and Finland at Hampden Park in September 1976, purchased from eBay for a bargain 99p.

As discussed in the programme for the England game, qualification for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina was underway, for Finland at least. As part of the now very small qualifying period, Scotland were in a group seven with only two other teams (then-European champions Czechoslovakia and Wales) and were yet to start. Finland meanwhile had lost their only game, at home to England.

So the programme for this friendly international...

Very 70s

The programme was available for 10p - about half the price of a loaf of bread. But poorer value for money than the England edition - this was only eight pages long, including two full page adverts in the rear.

The cover itself is a quirky design, seemingly merging some Bay City Rollers-esque font with a stylised Nordic cross design, covering images of Scotland's recent match against Northern Ireland in the British Home Championship.

The inside cover

Page 2 goes straight into the Finland squad (with profiles) - after a short paragraph including a quote from manager Aulis Rytkonen talking about the "mature and experienced Scots". Pen pics of Goran Enckelman (whose son Peter would sign for St Johnstone and Hearts), Erkki Vihtila, Olavi Rissanen and Pertti Jantunen.

The profiles are fairly in depth, with age, position, club, caps, height and weight. It had some interesting facts, such as Enckelman being a gymnastics teacher at Turku Classical College, and that four of the squad were firemen.

 Surprisingly thorough

Page 3 stunner is Ian Archer of the Glasgow Herald, with some facts and figures about Finnish football, as well as the impact of World Cup revenue on the Scottish FA (Scotland earned around £200,000 from the 1974 World Cup). Some stereotypes are bandied around - Finland is a gritty place, severe climate and of Spartan character.  Basic numbers include that there were 800 clubs, and that Finnish baseball is a popular pasttime.

We're even treated to a quiz about the previous World Cup - answers to follow!

Finland in sky blue

Page 4 gives a splash of colour - the Finland squad pose in their light blue kits, and if you look closely... You can see a blue top randomly discarded on a bush in the background, while a very 70s yellow football (with black panelling) sits to the side of the group.

Underneath are some figures, with Finland's results under Rytkonen, and previous results between the two sides (Scotland had won all three). The previous fixture in 1965 was in Helsinki, and Scotland won 2-1 - there's a list of the Scotland players from that day, including famous names like Denis Law and Billy McNeill.

Next is the squad list, with the match details.


The Finland squad has already been covered, but there are also several recognisable names in the home team. Archie Gemmell (before that goal in 1978), future Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch, a young Andy Gray, and their star player Kenny Dalglish, still of Celtic.

According to the page, Scotland had pre-informed that they will use no more than two substitutions, while Finland could use three "if they so desire". Certainly none of the full team changes in some friendlies these days.

Supporters were also advised to exercise the utmost care when leaving the ground. There's no qualifying statement, perhaps an indictment of conditions of 1976 Hampden Park. The notice below states that the entertainment (other than the game of course) would be provided by the military band of the King's Own Scottish Borderers...

The lone pro (Arto Tolsa)

The final page of interest (the other two pages are ads, and nothing exciting) is by Ken Robertson of the Scottish Sunday Express. It opens with interest in Finland's belief that they can qualify for the 1978 World Cup, from their group with England, Italy and Luxembourg.

In Finland's previous encounters with Italy in qualification for 1976, they drew 0-0 in Rome and lost 1-0 in Helsinki. The piece continues talking about Finland's only full-time professional in those ties, defender Arto Tolsa of Belgian club Beerschot. Apparently known as Finland's Franz Beckenbauer (praise indeed), he was missing from the squad to face Scotland due to knee injury. There's humour in remembering Kai Pahlman, who was a musician as a day job, and Juhani Peltonen, who played for (West) German club Hamburg.

The answers to the quiz above are here too!

The match itself ended 6-0 to the hosts. Unfortunately I couldn't find video highlights. Goals from Rioch, Don Masson (penalty), Dalglish, Andy Gray (x2) and Eddie Gray led to a convincing victory. Scotland did get to Argentina in 1978, losing to Peru, drawing with Iran, and beating eventual runners-up Holland.

1976 Scotland (celebrating their Home Nations Championship)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

England v Finland, October 1976 - the programme

As part of a new series, we're looking at some classic programmes between British and Finnish sides. It's pretty dependent on which programmes I can get from eBay though...

As part of qualification for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, England and Finland were both drawn in qualifying group 2 along with Italy and Luxembourg. Remember when groups only had four teams? The opening game of group 2 took place in Helsinki, between Finland and England, and ended 1-4 to the visitors.

So the return fixture took place on October 1976 at Wembley Stadium, and here is the match programme. It was Finland's first full visit to the Empire Stadium.

Having been to recent England internationals at Wembley, one of the first things you notice is the price. 20p! It's at least £5 for a programme for games these days. Taking inflation into account, 20p is now the equivalent of just under a pound. But, this is only twenty pages long. A penny per page (including adverts) is probably not that bad I guess.

The front cover shows a photo taken from the previous fixture in Helsinki, a goal scored by Kevin Keegan in the 30th minute to put England 1-2 ahead. Inside is a photo (and caption) for the goal, describing a delighted Keegan signalling his pleasure. A strange choice of phrase for someone in such short shorts.

England kit fans will appreciate the Admiral effort in the photo, along with Keegan's dapper wristbands.

Legendary football statistician Jack Rollins (author of the Rothman's Football Yearbook) has put some facts and figures about the two sides. A couple of them here: England are seeking their 300th win in full internationals, and that this fixture was the fifth time that England and Finland have met, England having won the previous four.

Jack Rollin goes on to give a history of England's previous World Cup qualifying campaigns. Only two short paragraphs catalogue 1966 (as England didn't have to qualify, being hosts), but a lot was made of the failure to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. There was some minor reminiscing over a pre-World Cup friendly in 1966 where England beat Finland 3-0.

The first set of pen pics shows the England squad, with brief descriptions and four photos - of Peter Shilton, Paul Madeley, a splendid photo of a young Ray Wilkins and Joe Royle. The summaries basically include the club, sum of their most recent transfer and their age.

Check out the hair on Butch

We see photos of England in action against Ireland from September, and a squad list.

Excuse the fold...

No match programme would be complete without an article on the opposition - and apparently FINLAND MUST NOT BE TREATED LIGHTLY!

Some mildly patronising comments such as "Naturally for Finland to compete at all so well at this level is a splendid advertisement for their enterprise and willingness to succeed" are quite entertaining in this more enlightened age, and then we're reminded that England gave football to Finland in 1890.

A brief history of Finnish football follows, touching on the 1912 Olympic side, and various failures to qualify for World Cups. There was a brief mention of the UEFA Youth Tournament final in Switzerland, where England narrowly won 1-0. Coach Aulis Rytkonen gets name-checked, that he was a former international himself.

We also get a bonus advert for previous match programmes, including the 1966 World Cup final, the 1962 European Cup final, and the 1976/77 Rothman's book for a bargain £2.50...

We gave them football!!

After some more adverts, for Zetters treble chances and the inter-varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge (35p for a standing ticket), we meet some of the Finnish players.

The photographs are of Göran Enckelman  of TPS (father of former Aston Villa keeper Peter), Erkki Vihtilä of Ilves, Ari Mäkynen of VPS, Ramio Vierikko of MiPK Mikkeli and Matti Paatelainen of Haka, the captain of the side and father of current coach Mixu.

Like an FA Cup match of today, the programme likes to remind us of the day jobs of the Finns, most of whom were amateurs. Vihtela was an electrician, Makynen was a fireman, Vierrikko a student, Jouko Suomalainen an insurance agent, Aki and Esa Heiskanen were also firemen, and Jyrki Nieminen a computer operator on the railway. I'd love to know what puns the British tabloid press had prepared for them if they scored...

Meet the Finns

So that is the programme. The game itself finished 2-1 to England - Man City's Dennis Tueart scored after four minutes, before the computer operator (and HJK forward) Nieminen replied for Finland. Joe Royle scored the winner after 51 minutes. England finished second in the group, on goal difference behind Italy. Finland ended up third, only taking points from two wins over Luxembourg.

Highlights of England 2-1 Finland in 1976

I'll be giving this programme away as a competition prize in the near future. Follow my Twitter for more information, and you can get your hands on a piece of history.