Arsenal FA Cup 5th Round 1978 Were you there?


#81

May I say I thoroughly enjoyed those pictures as well. Great memories, and anything Fellows Park related twangs my heart strings. 77/78 was the first year I really started going regularly, been to a few games in the immediately previous white and red era. I’d forgotten how unique that kit was with the floppy white collar, outsized cuffs, and the red and green stripes down the shorts. The later shiny adidas version was much simpler. That was a good team 77/78, probably one of those that if the play-offs had existed might have got promoted. I think Mick Bates had won the league with Leeds and scored in a European final. Likewise, Henry Newton had a league winners medal from his time at Derby Roger Hynd had played in a European final for Rangers, Alun Evans was the first ever £100,000 teenage transfer. Some real signings there, but we fell just short and then it turned to cack with relegation the following season. Typical!

Also, I don’t remember the pitch being in such a state for the Leicester game, unless it literally went like that during the game. The obligatory ticket qualifier (or Ken Wheldon moneyspinner) was a night match match v Tranmere I think, and that was played in the snow without any pitch problems.


#82

Loved the state of the Fellows Park pitch for the Newcastle game in 75


#83

Yes it was a great leveller. I can see that header from George Andrews now…a fantastic day . Malcolm McDonald boasting before the game he would score 5 made it even more special.


#84

He just hung there in the air waiting for the ball, as was his way. That season was incredible and I remember the long Sunday morning queues for tickets. Fantastic memories.

As for that 77/78 team, Henry Newton wasn’t a great success as I recall and Alun Evans had a lot more bad games than good ones. But, yes, we’d probably have got promoted if they’d had play offs then.


#85

Yes agreed Newton was a big disappointment…a player on his way down who looked as though he was finished. He came into my mind watching Martin play! great times after one or two nondescript seasons. Lets hope they can return.


#86

I might be imagining this, but I’m sure I read somewhere that Newton was basically crocked when he came to us. A bit like the Trevor Smith debacle in the mid-60s


#87

Newton apparently had an arthritic hip,which the club knew about it. He said he carried on playing because it was no more painful than doing anything else. Walsall took a bit of stick for cancelling his contract,but,according to Mackay ,this had been agreed if he just couldn’t do it.

One of three aging disappointments Mackay signed that summer. The other two were Alf Wood and Jimmy Robertson. Don’t think Mackay ever really lived up to expectations ,either.


#88

Have we finished paying for Alf Wood yet?


#89

Think there is still some to pay on the 10k for Ken Armstrong first.


#90

Yeah wheldon had his fingers well and truly in that pie… buying a complete crock before jumping ship to the Blues !!


#91

Still remember the song when we next played the blues… thankyou very much for having wheldon, thankyou very much…thank you very very very much !! :musical_note::musical_note:


#92

George Andrews told me a few years ago that when Dave Mackay took over as manager in 1977 that he pulled George to one side and told him his days at Walsall were numbered and that he’d be freed in the summer. George being the true professional he was continued to give his all and indeed scored 3 goals in his final two games. Mackay also made it known to him later that season that he was moving in for his former Shrewsbury strike partner Alf Wood who he thought would be a better proposition for Saddlers as he was 4 years younger. As it happened Wood notched 2 goals in his 29 appearances in our colours. George felt he still had at least another season in him despite being 35 years old.


#93

He got rid of Nick Atthey the same summer. Presumably that was to make room for Newton. I think both had another season in them.


#94

Indeed @Shrewsbury-Saddler Nick was just 31 an absolute insult really.


#95

Looks like cronyism now,doesn’t it?


#96

It does indeed. Fast forward 12 months and Mackay walks out on us 5 or 6 days before the start of 78-9 for the Saudi money.


#97

Remember it well, i was in Rhyl with @Yorkred and he read it in a daily newspaper, we were all gobsmacked.


#98

The ambition in appointing Mackay was laudible,but the result was disappointing. He probably had as much to do with the 79 relegation as Ashman or Sibley. Mackay’s record on signings was poor. The only half-decent one was Terry Austin, and he never really lived up to his billing.


#99

My biggest memory of Alfie Wood was him missing an absolutely open net at the Street End from well inside the 6 yard box by ballooning it over the crossbar when if he’d just let it hit him it would have bounced in. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, he did exactly the same thing the very next home game!

BTW Yes, was at Highbury that day. Remember that on the way back our coach driver made the point of telling us that he and some of the other drivers spent the afternoon in a café across the road from where the coaches were parked up and Arthur Mullard had come in for his regular fry up. Rubbing shoulders with the stars or what!


#100

It did - am sure I read somewhere that before the Newcastle game a journalist asked George Andrews how the team was going to play given the state of the pitch ‘bost it and run’ was his reply - and it worked a treat of course! His goal was an incredible sight for me, aged 9 - my Dad and me had arrived at mid day for when the turnstiles opened to make sure I got my spot at the front of the cowshed leaning on that low wall.