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It’s just not cricket…or is it?

25th April 2019

It’s just not cricket…or is it? Cricket as a sport has always been seen as one steeped in good manners. In recent years, however, we have all lived through incidents of ball tampering and match fixing in recent cricket matches. Is this a recent phenomenon? Or despite cricket’s gentlemanly reputation, has cunning behaviour been a […] More…

Wales wins the Grand Slam…again

18th March 2019

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Gordon Banks – one of the greatest goalkeepers

13th February 2019

…and here’s Gordon Banks’  famous save of Pele’s near goal at the 1970 World Cup: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/47196017 More…

The Six Nations Championship is here!

31st January 2019

We’re very excited about this year’s Six Nations Championship. It’s likely to be a non-stop series of knuckle-biting, tense encounters between the key contenders. Ireland is generally seen as the Championship’s favourite but England, Wales and Scotland could all pull out performances to stop Ireland in their tracks. The Ireland v Wales fixture in Cardiff […] More…

Happy New Year from Sportspages

3rd January 2019

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Season’s Greetings from Sportspages

20th December 2018

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Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue

23rd November 2018

Our most recent New Stock catalogue has come out on Black Friday. The catalogue might not come with deals off. It does come, however, packed with 100 items of new and interesting sports memorabilia from our ever increasing collection.  As ever there are gems from most sports in the catalogue. One outstanding item is a […] More…

Sports Books titles – the best of all time?

5th October 2018

The (ab)use of the pun in the titles of sports books:  The use of puns in the titles of sports books, particularly biographies, is nothing new. 1951 gave us Plum Warner’s “Long Innings” and Jim Laker’s “Spinning Round The World”, and so a new tradition was established. Ever since these early attempts at punnery any […] More…

Cricket records aplenty at the Oval

13th September 2018

Two huge cricket records at the Oval smashed  by two different cricketers and best friends in the last Test match before one of them retires from international cricket…it reads like a plot of a corny cricket novel. But, as we all know, James Anderson and Alastair Cook made it happen in the latest Test match, […] More…

Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue

23rd August 2018

Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue is packed with rare items and sports memorabilia, detailing iconic and extraordinary sports events. We were spoilt for choice when we tried to choose a few to highlight. In the end we plumped for three extraordinary football matches. In each of them a team finished with a result football teams can […] More…

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It’s just not cricket…or is it?

25th April 2019

It’s just not cricket…or is it? Cricket as a sport has always been seen as one steeped in good manners. In recent years, however, we have all lived through incidents of ball tampering and match fixing in recent cricket matches. Is this a recent phenomenon? Or despite cricket’s gentlemanly reputation, has cunning behaviour been a part of the sport since its beginning?

hambledon cricket club, cricket book, cricket memorabilia, sportspages, it's just not cricketOne of the sport’s earliest organised matches was between Chertsey and the world’s first cricket club, Hambledon. Hambledon had an extremely strong team, including leading bowler, Thomas Brett, and captain, Richard Nyren. They hadn’t bargained on a genius batsman from Chertsey however. Thomas ‘Shock’ White came out to bat…with a bat as wide as the stumps! At that point, a bat as wide as you like was perfectly legal. It hadn’t yet  occurred to anyone to play with an outrageously wide bat or to  restrict their dimension. Funnily enough, Hambledon quickly put in a formal written protest and by 1774 the Laws of Cricket had been changed. The legal width of a bat was restricted to today’s maximum size of 10.8 cm.

 

One of the greatest cricketing names in history had a slightly questionable reputation for ‘gentlemanly behaviour’: W G Grace. Grace was known to be a notorious sledger – generally  frowned on if not actually illegal in cricket. The great batsman was also said to have at times ignored being bowled out. He simply replaced the bails after a bowler had disturbed his wicket and carried on batting regardless. He was claimed to have told the ‘offending’ bowler, “They’ve come to watch me bat, not you bowl”, which may have been fair comment too. Obviously we all want well behaved, legal cricket teams to support and matches to watch but nothing beats a cricket match nailbiter to watch, especially with a bit of controversy thrown in too!it's just not cricket, w g grace, cricket memorabilia, cricket postcard, sportspages

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The Six Nations Championship is here!

31st January 2019

We’re very excited about this year’s Six Nations Championship. It’s likely to be a non-stop series of knuckle-biting, tense encounters between the key contenders. Ireland is generally seen as the Championship’s favourite but England, Wales and Scotland could all pull out performances to stop Ireland in their tracks. The Ireland v Wales fixture in Cardiff on the final weekend may well be particularly exciting: will Ireland win that critical match and repeat their 2018 Six Nations success? Wales has a fantastic home advantage: the game will be played in Cardiff and Ireland has only beaten Wales once in Cardiff since 2009. England, on the other hand, although in very good form, get to play Ireland in Dublin and Wales…in Cardiff, slightly losing the home advantage in two key matches! Can they dig that bit deeper and triumph over those challenges? We can’t wait to see what happens.

 

six nations, rugby, england, wales, ireland, scotland, rugby memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sportspages
Who will win this year’s Six Nations?

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Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue

23rd November 2018

Our most recent New Stock catalogue has come out on Black Friday. The catalogue might not come with deals off. It does come, however, packed with 100 items of new and interesting sports memorabilia from our ever increasing collection.  As ever there are gems from most sports in the catalogue. One outstanding item is a fantastic photographic record of Arsenal from the 1950s.arsenal fc 1950, 1950 FA Cup final, new stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

new stock, Arsenal fc, football photographs, football memorabilia, sports memorabilia
Arsenal players training in the snow

 

Commander A F Bone was a Director of Arsenal from 1946 – 62 and was presented with a leatherbound photograph album, containing over 50 fine quality photographs of Arsenal FC: training sessions, back room photos and action photographs, including ones from the 1950 FA Cup Final

 

 

 

 

Another bit of sports memorabilia treasure is the silver cigarette box presented to Denis Compton as a memento of the 1954-55 Ashes cricket series. Inscribed with his initials and the date of the ‘MCC Australasian Tour’, it’s a beautiful reminder of another age in which a cigarette box was an appropriate gift to anyone, let alone an international sportsman! Take a look at our catalogue and all its goodies inside: New Stock catalogue 

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Sports Books titles – the best of all time?

5th October 2018

The (ab)use of the pun in the titles of sports books: 

jim laker, spinning round the world, cricket autobiography, cricket book, cricket memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sportspagesThe use of puns in the titles of sports books, particularly biographies, is nothing new. 1951 gave us Plum Warner’s “Long Innings” and Jim Laker’s “Spinning Round The World”, and so a new tradition was established. Ever since these early attempts at punnery any sportsperson who was tempted to put pen to paper, however misguidedly, could tap into the rich resource thrown up by unusual sporting terms and phrases. To be honest, the vast majority need more than just a promise of dressing room banter and blow by blow accounts of their on-field triumphs to help sell their books. If Steve Davis had called his autobiography simply “My Story” or “I won Lots of Snooker Matches” instead of “Frame and Fortune” life could have been very different.

Often the pun gives a clue to the sport involved – “A Game to Love”  by – surprise, surprise –  tennis’ Ann Jones, Bernhard Langer’s  “While the Iron is Hot”, “Life in the Fast Lane” by Eddie Irvine and “Another Hurdle” by David Hemery. It can also relate to the role or position that the subject played in his/her chosen sport. Who can guess what the subjects of these books did for a living? “The Breaks Are Off”, “Running Commentary”, “I Declare”, “Right Back To The Beginning”, “In The Long Run” and “In Safe Keeping” – answers below.

Cricket books probably give the best opportunities for this approach – “All Round View” (Imran Khan), “A False Stroke of Genius” (Wayne Larkins), “The Gloves Are Off” (Godfrey Evans), “Lasting the Pace” (Bob Willis), “Runs in the Family” (John Edrich) and “Over and Out” (Denis Lillee) being some good examples. Some puns can be unforgivable – a serial offender was Graham Dilley with “Swings and Roundabouts” and “Hick and Dilley Circus”, but there are others – “No Bull” (Andy Bichel) and “Playing it Straight” (Ken Barrington) take a bow. One cricket title is so obvious that it has been used more than once – Geoff Boycott, Glenn Turner and Mike Atherton all used “Opening Up”. I wonder if Alastair Cook will be tempted to follow in a great tradition.

Rugby and football also provide opportunities for the play on words – “Centre of Excellence” (Jim Renwick), “Rubbing Shoulders” (Phil Blakeway) and “Kicked Into Touch” (Paul Thorburn) being a few from rugby. Football books include “Heading For Victory” (Steve Bruce),

Peter Bonetti, leaping to fame, football autobiography, football book, football memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sportspages

“Leaping To Fame” (Peter Bonetti), “By The Book” (Clive Thomas), “Back At The Top” (Bill Foulkes) and “Managing My Life” (Alex Ferguson).

Of course, the lure is far stronger if the title hints at some far more interesting extra-curricular activity – “No Half Measures” (Graeme Souness), “Wasted?” (Paul Smith), “Rock Bottom” (Paul Merson), “Fast and Loose” (Martin Offiah), “Back From The Brink” (Paul McGrath) and my favourite, “One Hump or Two?” (Frank Worthington).frank worthington, football autobiography, football book, football memorabilia, sports memorabilia, sportspages

It is surely no coincidence that two not so legendary “characters” of British sport, Steve Davis and Nick Faldo, have chosen puns – Faldo twice, with “Life Swings” and “The Rough With The Smooth”. Given his more colourful private life, these are probably well chosen. Another common approach is to incorporate your name into the pun, such as “Pat On The Back” (Pat Eddery), “Hunt For Goals” (Roger Hunt) and “Ball of Fire” (Alan Ball) – which was also used by “Fiery” Fred Trueman.

Terry Downes came up with the inspired title “My Bleeding Business” for his 1964 autobiography but how is it possible that John Prescott was the first to come up with “Pulling No Punches”? Come on you ex-boxers, it is time to put your hat in the ring. My new autobiography, “Magnus Bowles ‘Em Out”, which includes full details of each of my six wickets this season as well as some revealing stories from the pub afterwards, will be in the shops soon.

 

The answers to the Titles quiz above:

“The Breaks Are Off” – Graeme Swann (off-break bowler)

“Running Commentary” – David Moorcroft (distance runner and commentator)

“I Declare” – Mike Denness (cricketer and England captain)

“Right Back To The Beginning” – Jimmy Armfield (footballer who normally played at right back)

“In The Long Run” – Jim Peters (distance runner)

“In Safe Keeping” – Alex Stepney (goalkeeper)

 

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Cricket records aplenty at the Oval

13th September 2018

Two huge cricket records at the Oval smashed  by two different cricketers and best friends in the last Test match before one of them retires from international cricket…it reads like a plot of a corny cricket novel. But, as we all know, James Anderson and Alastair Cook made it happen in the latest Test match, England v India, at the Oval. Cook had already announced his imminent retirement so we all knew this was to be his last innings as an international batsman. He clearly didn’t dwell on the fortunes of a legendary, ‘invincible’ batsman’s last innings at the Oval sixty years before him. Donald Bradman, still with a possibly unbeatable Test match average of 99.4, was  then cruelly out for a duck.

Alastair Cook, on the other hand, seemed calm and unfazed as he ratcheted up his 118 runs in the fifth and final Test. That made him the  England player with the most Test centuries; the most Test runs, having played the most Test matches for England. On the 1st March 2006 Cook scored his first England century against India. On the 10th September 2018 Cook scored his last England century against India…and, of course, his last international century ever.

James Anderson, not to be outdone by his best friend, took his 450th Test wicket in the same match. He became ICC’s top ranked Test match bowler for the first time. He broke Glen McGrath’s record for Test wickets and so stepped into the lead for being the fast bowler to take the most wickets in Test cricket history. Both Anderson and Cook’s records and achievements are phenomenal.

james anderson, jimmy anderson, cricket biography, cricket memorabilia, sportspages, sports memorabilia

alastair cook, england cricket, cricket memorabilia, sportspagesIf we wanted to be really picky about the pair, however, we might suggest they put a tiny bit of the kind of incredible effort they’ve put into their skills and achievements as cricketers into the naming of their respective cricket autobiographies. Alastair Cook, “Starting Out. My Story so Far”; James Anderson, “My Story”…it reminds us a bit of that corny cricket novel again…

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Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue

23rd August 2018

Fulham 10-1 win, Sportspages' New Stock, fulham v ipswich town, football programme, football memorabilia, Sportspages' new stock
Fulham wins 10-1

Sportspages’ New Stock catalogue is packed with rare items and sports memorabilia, detailing iconic and extraordinary sports events. We were spoilt for choice when we tried to choose a few to highlight. In the end we plumped for three extraordinary football matches. In each of them a team finished with a result football teams can only dream about.

On the 26th December 1963, Fulham played a legendary match against Ipswich Town. Not only did Fulham win 10-1, but Graham Leggatt scored a record breaking hat trick in 3 minutes. Fulham were understandably on Cloud 9 at the end of that match. Sadly, their euphoria did not last long. Two days later they lost their next match: 4-2. Guess who they were playing? Ipswich Town – in the return fixture. It’s hard to imagine which was the sweeter victory?!

 

Sportspages' new stock, ted Macdougall, football programme, afc bournemouth, bournemouth v margate, football memorabilia, sportspages
Ted Macdougall scores 9 goals for Bournemouth

Ted Macdougall pulled off a fantastic string of goals for AFC Bournemouth on 20th November 1971. In a fourth division match against Margate, he scored 9 goals. As a result he found himself rubbing shoulders with the Portuguese legend, Eusebio, and England’s World Cup heroes: Geoff Hurst and Jimmy Greaves. Geoff Hurst had read about Macdougall’s achievement and promptly invited him to join an all-star World XI match at West Ham.

 

Sportspages' new stock, stirling albion football, selkirk football, scottish fa cup, football programme, sports memorabilia, sportspages
Stirling Albion: Selkirk, 20-0

Both Fulham and Ted Macdougall’s achievements were spectacular footballing results but we have a programme in Sportspages’ new stock catalogue with an even more extraordinary final score. On the 8th December 1984, in the first round of the Scottish FA Cup, Stirling Albion played Selkirk at Annfield Stadium. They beat Selkirk: 20-0, the highest score between 2 British clubs in the twentieth century. Stirling Albion had started the match very focused after a team talk from their manager. They had been knocked out the previous year by a non-league team and their manager told them in no uncertain terms that that could not happen again. Stirling Albion scored 5 in the first half…and then picked up momentum. Willie Irvine scored 5 goals; Davie Thompson scored 7. By all accounts Selkirk took their defeat in a gentlemanly, gracious manner. Presumably they had been taken way beyond the losing pain barrier where nothing could hurt them any more!

Enjoy these items and their stories and so many more in our most recent, Sportspages’ new stock catalogue here

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