From record breaking transfers to historic penalty shoot-outs, here’s what happened this week in football!
The transfer fee world record was smashed today in 1957 when Juventus signed Leeds United’s John Charles for £65,000. Nicknamed ‘the gentle giant’ Charles became the first British professional to sign for an oversees side, despite being flummoxed by a nation that ‘didn’t put milk and sugar in their tea’ and went on to be voted Serie A’s greatest ever foreign player in a poll in 1997, ahead of Maradona, Platini, Van Basten and Zidane. Also on the move was Jurgen Klinsmann who joined Spurs from Monaco today in 1994 for a fee of £2m.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink managed to bring out the prudent side in Peter Ridsdale today in 1999, as the Leeds United chairman refused to stump up the £60,000-a-week that Jimmy and his Mr 15% were demanding, and sold him to Atletico Madrid for £12m. Across the Pennines, Phil Neville left his big brother and Manchester United for Everton in 2005, in a £3m deal.
Not many English fans will be celebrating the first appearance of the penalty shoot-out from today in 1970. Hull and Manchester United couldn’t be separated in the Watney Mann Invitational Cup, with George Best taking the first ever spot-kick. United edged it 4-3. Roman Abramovich flexed his financial muscles today in 2003, signing Joe Cole and Juan Sebastian Veron for £6.6m and £15m respectively.
Manchester United took on Sporting Lisbon in a pre-season friendly today in 2003 and a certain Christiano Ronaldo impressed Fergie so much in Sporting’s 3-1 win that he splashed out £12m to bring him to Old Trafford a week later. In Sheffield meanwhile, Wednesday move quickly to dismiss rumours of a merger between the two sides today in 1999 after United chairman John Thurman big upped the benefits of team bitter rivals teaming up.
England captain Alan Shearer was sent off for the first time in his career today in 1999 as Newcastle took on Aston Villa in an opening day Premiership clash and there was more bad behaviour that same day in Cardiff, as Bluebird and Millwall hooligan groups clashed after organising a brawl on the internet.
Leeds and Liverpool took on each other in an epic Charity Shield clash today in 1992. On the eve of the first Premiership season. Eric Cantona’s hat-trick inspired Leeds to a 4-3 win. Gary Lineker smugged his way onto our television screens today in 1999 when he took over from Des Lynam as the Match of the Day anchor.
Bradford City went all ‘living the dream’ on us today in 2000 when they splashed the cash on Benito Carbone, paying him £40,000 a week, but relegation and financial ruin soon followed. Today in 1990 football was in mourning as former England boss Joe Mercer died, aged 76.
Read more on these stories and more at On This Football Day.