Friday, January 29, 2010
Well I've been away for ages and that's basically been because I've had a bigger football drought than when it was the off season. A bout of bad weather and having to work a few Saturdays has meant that tomorrow's game between Fulham and Villa is the first game of the New Year that I will be at.
My first trips to the old Craven Cottage were in the 1994-5 season when I saw them beat Hartlepool 1-0 and draw 1-1 with Hereford. I don't remember which order the games were in, but I was isiting Scott in London and talked him out of going to Chelsea v Forest on the day and inadvertntly turned him into a Fulham fan. After that season I was abroad up until last season, but I went to few games there and at Loftus Road when they were groundsharing with QPR on the times when I came over to visit. Last season I was at the game where they beat Villa 3-1. I won't be hoping for a repeat of that result tomorrow.
The win against Villa last season coincided with Villa blowing their chances of a top 4 finish and Fulham finally finishing in 7th. Their highest ever finish in the league.
Fulham were formed in 1879 makig them one of the oldest clubs in London, as a Sunday League team under the name Fulham St. Andrews. They eventually changed their name to Fulham in 1888.
In 1892 Fulham joined the West London League and won it at the first attempt. In 1907they were elected to theLeague after winning it for the secondtime on the trot. After that they didn't really do much in the league until 1975 when they reached the FA Cup final with a rather past it Bobby Moore and Alan Mullery. They didn't manage to win it though, as they lost to Bobby Moore's old club West Ham. Shortly after they another couple of has beens in Rodney Marsh and George Best.However, despite playing some nice football they didn't really make a great impact.
The real revolution came when Mohammed Al Fayed took over in 1997 and the biggest success so far was last season when they got into the UEFA Cup. Let's hope Villa have a more successful trip there tomorrow.
Notes on the pictures from top to bottom:
The original shirt as worn by Fulham St.Andrew's
The kit from 1903, when Fulham wore white shirts and black shorts for the first time and the colours they hae stuck to since.
The shirt as worn in the cup final v West Ham.
This season's kit