Seeing Red – Football’s most violent matches

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Seeing Red – Football’s most violent matches – Signeret af forfatteren

The surprise score line at Tyneside in April 2005 in the game between Newcastle and Aston Villa was of slight interest to the rest of the country…but what happened in the 82nd minute at St James Park between Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer has gone down in football lore as one of the most bizarre bust ups in the game’s history. It is a fact that football and fighting are all too frequent bedfellows. With today’s high stake incentives it might easily be assumed that violence in the game is a sign of modern times, of competitive spirit evolving into desperation to win at all costs – but anger turning to violence is not a new facet to the game. In fact, unpalatable though it may seem, it is part of football history. This book explores fifty of the most violent games of all time – every one of them a stain on the character of sportsmanship and the spirit of fair play. It includes: Middlesboro v. Oldham (1915) where all 22 players were sent off; and England v. Italy a.k.a. ‘The Battle of Highbury’ (1934) where Mussolini’s paid bully boys laid into England’s brave lads, ‘It was difficult to play like a gentleman when somebody closely resembling an enthusiastic member of the Mafia is wiping his studs down your leg’. Everton v. Leeds (1964), ‘The Battle of Goodison Park’, a match so violent that the teams had to be taken from the field to cool down. Violent challenges, tactics of foul play and ill conditioned manners, they are all here. Upfront and honest, this is a telling insight into the ugly side of the beautiful game.

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