This relatively unknown publication was billed as an annual, but I’m pretty sure that there was never a sequel.
‘My Football Heroes’ was published by Opal Quill Limited in 1983, and includes articles about a selection of First Division teams and players of the time such as Simon Stainrod (QPR), Gordon Cowans (Aston Villa) and Ian Rush (Liverpool). As well as profiling the career of future Albion winger Mark Chamberlain (Stoke), some Brighton interest comes in the form of a piece on ex-boss Peter Taylor that asked:
‘Who was the real boss… Brian Clough or Peter Taylor? Thats been the biggest riddle in football as the rest of the game’s pundits watched first Derby then Nottingham Forest reach the heights under this very idiosyncratic managerial partnership.’
Peter Taylor had recently saved Derby from relegation into the Third Division as well as putting Clough’s Nottingham Forest out of the FA Cup. So it must have seemed a pertinent question at the time. Even so, that article disappointingly overlooks Clough and Taylor’s spells down on the South Coast. And, just like the other pieces in this annual, it also suffers from the drawback that ‘My Football Heroes’ didn’t have direct access to the players and managers, unlike the interviews that appeared in ‘Shoot!’ Annual.
Nevertheless, this rather obscure publication does rather eulogise the Manchester United team and players of the time, with pieces on Alan Davies, Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside and Ray Wilkins. Through this, we get to enjoy some colour action shots from the 1983 FA Cup Final, ones that I have not seen any where else.
Steve Gatting and Michael Robinson combine to clear the danger:
Norman Whiteside made himself very unpopular with Brighton fans during the final when he deliberately handled the ball twice in goalscoring positions (would have been cautioned twice to be sent-off nowadays) as well as his X-rated tackle on Chris Ramsey that led to Manchester United’s equaliser. Do I still sound bitter after all these years? Yes, you’re right. Cheating Norman Whiteside is all elbows here against Steve Gatting:
Next up is Frank Stapleton showing his aerial prowess before joining Brighton some eleven years later:
The amazing shrinking midfielder Gary Howlett is the filling in a United sandwich of the ill-fated Alan Davies, who committed suicide in February 1992, and Norman Whiteside:
And finally, Ray Wilkins scores one of Wembley’s finest goals before wheeling away.