Thursday, 13 August 2020


As Fulham recently got promoted back to the razzmatazz of the Premier League, I thought now was a good time to add them to my Retro Football series ...



There's always been something comfortingly traditional about Fulham, it must be the leafy riverside location and their homely stadium.


Rare these days, especially in the top flight of football, is their gorgeous main stand, (now named the Johnny Haynes Stand) built in 1905, and the curious cottage-like Pavilion next to it, all designed by the legendary architect Archibald Leitch.


It seems incredible its all still there, with the relentless thirst for progress in the game, but they stand like beacons, to not only to  bygone era, but to the elegance of Leitch's stadium designs.


With all that history swirling around, it isn't surprising to learn that Fulham are the oldest professional football club in London, having begun in 1879.


Also surprising, is that they've never won a major trophy in all that time!


Although they have won second and third tier Championships, and also famously got to the FA Cup final in 1975.


From the outside they do seem a club quite content to just bob along and see what happens, but they've actually had some giants of the game play for them.


Two World Cup winners in fact!


Right back George Cohen was a Fulham player when he won the trophy with England in 1966, and the captain that day, Bobby Moore, later signed for the club in 1974.


Unbelievably, George Best played for them in the mid-70s, causing quite a stir alongside another big star at the time,  Rodney Marsh.



Jimmy Hill, outspoken, but hugely progressive, played for them in the 50s and early 60s, and future England manager, Bobby Robson, had his first managerial post at Fulham in 1968.


The stand-out player however was always going to be Johnny Haynes.



The immaculate midfielder was the ultimate one-club man, and spent the best part of 18 years at the club. He was an imperious England international as well, capped 56 times, often captaining the team.


Also, he became the first player to earn £100 a week when the maximum wage for players was scrapped in 1961. The man to pay him what was then a huge sum was Tommy Trinder, the famous comedian and actor, who was Fulham Chairman at the time. It was the first time that big wages could be used as a bargaining tool to keep a player at a club.


I'm so glad I found this picture of him to add to my collage!


Fulham will again add a nice reminder to how football once was to the money-obsessed Premier League next season.


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