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Author Archive for Steven Pye

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When football fans did not see a single match on TV over Christmas

British broadcasters are showing 41 Premier League games this month. In December 1985, there was no football on TV at allBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogOverindulgence is often a problem over the festive period and this is not just limited to f…

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When England flopped in the quarter-finals of the first Rugby World Cup

England went into the tournament in 1987 believing they could ‘beat anyone’. Wales dispelled that notion in the quarter-finalsBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogEngland’s preparations for the inaugural Rugby World Cup began in earnest at the Five …

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When Manchester United had an even worse start to the season … in 1989

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is facing his old club at a perfect time. They haven’t been this bad since he was in their defenceBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogWhen Ole Gunnar Solskjær was appointed Manchester United manager, he wanted to emulate …

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When the County Championship went down to the final over of the season

Essex clinched the title in 1984 after a dramatic day in Taunton. They would take the same outcome this yearBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogAny budding screenwriters who want to pen a Hollywood blockbuster about the County Championship should i…

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When Ian Botham played king at the panto and the 1992 Cricket World Cup

Botham came off the stage at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre and inspired England to victory over Australia at the World CupBy Steven Pye for the Guardian Sport NetworkThings were rarely dull where Ian Botham was concerned. After all, anyone who is an i…

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When Jo Durie reached the French Open semi-finals out of the blue

Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the semis before Jo Konta, had only won one match in three years at Roland GarrosBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogThe past is indeed a foreign country. Before Johanna Konta’s exploits at Roland Garros th…

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When Jo Durie reached the French Open semi-finals out of the blue

Jo Durie, the last British woman to reach the semis before Jo Konta, had only won one match in three years at Roland GarrosBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogThe past is indeed a foreign country. Before Johanna Konta’s exploits at Roland Garros th…

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When Kapil Dev hit 175 and inspired India to their first Cricket World Cup

India won their first Cricket World Cup in 1983. They might have gone out at the group stage were it not for Dev’s record inningsBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogKapil Dev wasn’t quite walking into the last-chance saloon when he made his way to …

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When Tottenham won their last European trophy – 35 years ago

Football has a funny way of creating heroes for a day. Just ask stand-in Spurs keeper Tony ParksBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogSport has a habit of creating heroes from the ranks of the previously unknown. In 1982, the young goalkeeper Nigel S…

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When Tottenham won their last European trophy – 35 years ago

Football has a funny way of creating heroes for a day. Just ask stand-in Spurs keeper Tony ParksBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogSport has a habit of creating heroes from the ranks of the previously unknown. In 1982, the young goalkeeper Nigel S…

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When Norwich dreamed of Europe but settled for promotion

Norwich have been brilliant this season but their promotion to the top flight in 1986 takes some beating for dramaBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogAs spring turned to summer in 1985, Norwich fans must have been emotionally drained. In March, the…

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When Everton defied their form and rattled champions-elect Liverpool

The Merseyside derby was a different animal in the 1980s, but Everton have always enjoyed raining on Liverpool’s paradeBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogThe 1987-88 season was not an easy one for Everton. Defending their title was always going to…

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Aberdeen v Rangers: a rivalry inflamed by a terrible tackle

Thirty years ago Aberdeen beat Rangers 2-1 at Pittodrie. But that game is not remembered for any of the football played By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogLife was pretty good for Rangers fans at the start of the 1988-89 season. Seven wins out of …

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When Liverpool gave Crystal Palace their biggest ever defeat 30 years ago

Eight different players scored in the 9-0 thrashing at Anfield, but that was not the last Liverpool saw of Palace that seasonBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogWhen Crystal Palace made the daunting trip to Anfield in September 1989, Liverpool were…

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When building chaos kept Spurs out of White Hart Lane … 30 seasons ago

Stadium woes are nothing new in N17. Spurs (briefly) lost points after they missed the first game of the 1988-89 seasonBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogIt seems that hosting football matches in N17 is not solely a modern problem for Tottenham. B…

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When FA Cup third-round ties could be settled with three replays in a week

The FA Cup has scrapped another set of replays this season. Thirty years ago, clubs kept playing until they found a winnerBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogIt was a good day to bury bad news. As all and sundry debated José Mourinho’s time at Manc…

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When Soccer Six was the perfect Christmas present for football fans

The best thing about Christmas 30 years ago was the existence of a televised six-a-side tournamentBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogDifferent times of the year bring to mind the various sporting events I enjoyed in my childhood. The new year mean…

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Liverpool walked the title 30 years ago but never bullied Manchester United

Manchester United were always underdogs at Anfield in the 1980s but they usually showed enough heart to earn a resultBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogEven during Liverpool’s decade of dominance, their record against Manchester United was relativ…

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When Alex Higgins gave snooker its greatest comeback story 35 years ago

Higgins fought back from an overdose, a stint in rehab and an awful start against Steve Davis to win the UK ChampionshipBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogAlex Higgins’ life was in a state of turbulence in late 1983. First-round defeats in the Int…

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When England beat Australia 30 years ago and kickstarted a rugby revival

England went into 1988 on a run of five wins in five years of the Five Nations. They ended the year dreaming of gloryBy Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports BlogEngland beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup final 15 years ago this week, but they were not i…