“In the 1950s, my father was a photographer on the Sunday Express. He took me to one game in 1956, Charlton v Huddersfield. With 20 minutes to go, Charlton were 5-1 down. The game ended with Charlton winning 7-6. Has there ever been another occasion when a team was losing so heavily, but ended up winning in such a short space of time?” asked Mitch Mitchell.
“The ‘Wunder von der Grotenburg’ on 19 March 1986 is possibly the closest in recent memory,” notes Darren Beach. “With just over half an hour left in the second leg of their Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final, East German powerhouse Dynamo Dresden led 3-1 at the home of unheralded West Germans Bayer Uerdingen, and more importantly led 5-1 on aggregate.
“A penalty for the home side after 58 minutes pulled one back, before another quick strike put Uerdingen ahead on the night after 65 minutes. Dresden, who had the away goals advantage too, managed to stem the flow for a while before goals in the 78th and 79th minutes put the home side 6-3 in front and gave them an aggregate lead for the first time in the tie. A seventh goal four minutes from time – their sixth in 28 minutes – sealed an incredible 7-3 win for Uerdingen and passage to the semi-finals (where they lost to Atlético Madrid).
“An interesting coda to the tale is that Dresden striker Frank Lipmann, who scored in both legs of the tie, went awol from the team hotel and defected to the West immediately after the match. After a year’s Fifa suspension he restarted his career in the Bundesliga with FC Nürnberg.”
Paul Carver directs us to the K-League: “Last season, Pohang Steelers were leading Gangwon FC 4-0 away after 70 minutes. However, Gangwon scored in the 71st, 79th, 92nd, 94th and 96th minutes to snatch the win with the last kick of the game.”
Finally, Stig Wallerman brings us full circle. “Sweden’s AIK played a friendly against an English club on 7 June 1946. AIK were 7-1 down with half an hour to go, but managed to score six to make it even. The English team was – you’ve guessed it – Charlton Athletic.”
Teams playing at their training grounds
“Real Madrid’s La Liga match against Eibar took place at their training complex because of work being done on the Bernabéu. Have any other competitive matches between professional clubs been played at training grounds?” asked Gregg Bakowski.
We’re off to Scandinavia for a positive answer to this one. “The Swedish Cup has a group stage in February and March which acts as a useful prelude to the start of the league season,” writes David Ekstrand. “Due to the climate, clubs are required to play their Cup games on artificial turf. In some cases, clubs have had to use their training grounds: two top-flight examples are IK Sirius and Kalmar FF.”
Fraser Thom has an example from the United States. “Seattle Sounders have played a lot of their early round US Open Cup games at their training ground. Most of these have come against lower-league opposition but there have been a few all-MLS clashes held there, including against rivals Portland, a game which could easily sell out Seattle’s regular stadium several times over.”
Dreadful debuts (part two)
Following on from last week’s Knowledge, here a couple more choice examples. “Poor old Michael Theoklitos made his debut in goal for Norwich against Colchester on 8 August 2009, in our first game since being relegated to League One,” writes Will Tucker. “He let in seven goals in a 7-1 defeat, manager Bryan Gunn was sacked and Paul Lambert, who masterminded Colchester’s victory, took over as manager. Theoklitos never played for the club again.”
“I thought it was worth mentioning Nigel Pepper when discussing disastrous debuts,” begins Kirk Burton. “After coming on as a sub on his debut for Aberdeen, Pepper was sent off after six minutes. In Pepper’s first game after suspension he was sent off again after 17 seconds. Aberdeen band Depeche Choad have a song named in tribute to his second brief appearance, the song is just as brief.”
“Here in Italy, there are several managers who can be seen smoking in the dugout or on the sidelines during the games (Ancelotti, Lippi, Cosmi and Trappatoni, to name but four),” wrote James Elliott in June 2004. “Do any of the current Premier League or Nationwide [Football League] managers like to light up during a game?”
Indeed they do, James. “I can gleefully point out my beloved Swindon Town’s Arthur Daley-esque gaffer, Andy King,” points out Nick Hide. “As any viewer of Sky’s coverage of our play-off loss to Brighton will tell you, King spent the entire match – and especially the penalty shoot-out – puffing away on those horrible little cigars you get in newsagents. The rogue.”
And he’s not the only one. “Both Gianluca Vialli at Chelsea and Stan Ternent at Burnley enjoyed sparking up when the game was getting a little too frenetic,” says Tim Postins. “I always thought that smoking in the dugout in the UK was banned by the various FAs – hence all the gum-chewing and lollipop-sucking.”
And cheeky tokes aren’t just confined to off the field. “Roy Vernon, Everton’s Welsh international of the 1950s, used to smoke during the kick-in before the game,” says Pat Kevin.
Can you help?
“Kirsty MacColl wrote a song specifically about England’s 2-0 win over Colombia at France 98 (or at least going on a bad date to watch it). I was wondering if there are other songs that specifically mention individual matches. The only other one I can think of is The First Big Weekend of the Summer by Arab Strap, which details Aidan Moffat being hungover and sleeping through England 2-0 Scotland at Euro 96” – Mike Meehall-Wood.
“Which player has gone back and forth between the Premier League and the Championship most often?” asks Kieran Murray.