REVIEW: Football In The 1980s by Michael Keane
IF YOU fondly remember the times when pretty much all that mattered happened on the pitch – rather than in the boardroom and on social media – then Michael Keane’s book which revisits football in the eighties is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Readers can reflect on the times when supporters of Merseyside giants Liverpool and Everton could have been forgiven for booking their Wembley hotels for the FA Cup final at the start of the season and when almost anyone could finish top flight runners-up to the Reds.
However, football was not without its surprises either, not least when Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang experienced their greatest moment in defeating Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final – just 12 months after Coventry City had ended their 104-year wait for a major trophy with a thrilling 3-2 extra-time victory over cup experts Tottenham Hotspur.
Who can forget the incredible conclusion to the 1988/89 season when Michael Thomas’ injury-time goal snatched the First Division title away from champions Liverpool and into the hands of Arsenal on a warm late-May evening?
The very fact that match took place so late into spring was due to the Hillsborough tragedy of six weeks earlier which cost 96 Liverpool supporters their lives. This dark day in South Yorkshire and the football tragedies that were the Valley Parade stadium fire in Bradford and Heysel are also remembered as English football hit rock-bottom and the challenges it faced regards stadium safety and supporter behaviour became very much front page news.
Back in the eighties, a live football match on TV was still very much a treat rather than an everyday norm, so give yourselves another treat and have a read of this excellent book published by The History Press and priced £9.99.