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Home / Latest News / From the archives: Nostalgia pictures of Wales’ home internationals

From the archives: Nostalgia pictures of Wales’ home internationals

It was the wags on Fantasy Football League who suggested that old football is rubbish, with their crackly black and white clips of blokes in long shorts chasing inanely after a heavy leather ball, watched by a cheery crowd all wearing cloth caps and smoking tabs.

Those of us who were there – at least in the ’60s and ’70s – will tell you that old football was anything but rubbish.

Admittedly, we didn’t have scores of cameras covering the game from all angles, when every match was broadcast live in every pub; when every player was built up by the media to be a high-earning world-beaters.

In the dark days of the 1970s, the only games broadcast live, apart from the FA Cup final, were Home Internationals, the annual close-season festivals of domestic rivalry, when team-mates who just happened to come from different corners of the British Isles would kick lumps out of each other for no good reason other than national pride.

No wonder they scrapped them… can you imagine the managers of today letting the likes of Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale go at it in a glorified friendly?

View gallery

View gallery


Of course, there was nothing friendly about the games: they would be played with all the intensity you now associate with Champions League finals (minus the finesse, of course) and, as a result, would attract huge crowds who expected nothing less than to see the superstars of the day turn out.

There was no question that Bobby Charlton or George Best would be left to warm the bench, or be left at home to nurse a niggly groin strain. After all, there was the little matter of an international cap to consider – and they didn’t give those away in those days.

So, revel in the memories of those far-off days in this week’s Yesterdays; remember with glee the days when goalkeepers wore caps, not face masks, and referees wore fob chains!

If you see yourself in these pictures or find memories sparked by our images of yesteryear, email martin.wells@walesonline. or write to Yesterday, South Wales Echo, Six Park Street, Cardiff CF10 1XR.

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