Tag Archives: steve foster

Delightful player badges and discs

Thanks to Nick Spiller for lending me these marvellous items.

A pair of badges from the late 1970s:


…some discs from 1979/80:


…and yet more discs, this time from 1980/81:


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The Boys in the Old Brighton Blue

Here are the the 12″ and 7″ versions of Brighton’s 1983 FA Cup Final song, with ‘The Goldstone Rap’ as the B-Side, released on Energy Records:


With superb attention to detail, the front and back covers had lavish designs that helped to soften the blow to club sponsors British Caledonian Airways, whose name would not feature on the players’ shirts on Cup Final day, due to TV regulations at the time:



Back row: Michael Robinson, Steve Gatting, Gordon Smith, Graham Moseley, Perry Digweed, Gary Stevens, Steve Foster, Jimmy Case;

Middle row: Sammy Nelson, Giles Stille, Neil Smillie, Tony Grealish, Graham Pearce, Gary Howlett, Gerry Ryan;

Front row: Terry Connor, Chris Ramsey.

I originally bought the 12″ from one of the second hand record shops on Trafalgar Road, Brighton. Not sure how much it cost me, but it was considerably less than the £50 forked out by one of The Seagulls Love Review fanzine lads, Stefan, at a BHACHS auction at Withdean about five years ago!

You can see a dance performance to this song here:

The song can be heard in its entirety below:

In case you want to have a sing-a-long, the rather corny lyrics are:

come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
come on you seagulls, we’ll see you through
come on you seagulls, we’ll follow you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

verse 1
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
we are the team who’ll be out there for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 2
here we are on the road to wembley way
fighting hard for our place on that day
for the pride of our town down by the sea
we’ll do our best to bring them victory

verse 3
cause we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue

reprise chorus

verse 4
as we go on our way to meet the best
once again we’ll be put to the test
but we’ll play like we always try to do
we won’t give up until the game is through

verse 5
we are the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old brighton blue

verse 6
follow the boys in the white and the blue
football’s our game, Brighton’s our name
follow the flag we’ll be flying for you
the boys in the old Brighton blue (twice)

reprise chorus with last line sang twice

I have been told that the lyrics of Albion’s FA Cup final song were reproduced on an A4 sheet which was distributed over the counter at the Seagulls Shop.

In the end, the song reached number 65 in the UK singles chart. Not a bad achievement considering the song wasn’t all that good!

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England World Cup Squad 1982 album

Here are Brighton’s skipper Steve Foster and the Seagulls’ future striker Justin Fashanu in action:


In 1982, both players also turned their talents in the recording studio. With the Albion, Foster had a stab at singing on ‘In Brighton’ / ‘The Goldstone Rap’.

Fozzie also featured in the official England World Cup Squad song: ‘This Time (We’ll Get It Right)’:

Believe it or not, a whole album of songs was released:


As noted by Derek Hammond and Gary Silke in ‘Got Not Got’:

The FA’s resolute refusal to acknowledge disco, punk or even New Romanticism was partly tempered on the ‘This time We’ll Get It Right’ LP, where Justin Fashanu’s frankly astonishing ‘Do It Cos You Like It’ predated the thrust of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ by at least a year.

Please note: This blog is coming to an end as a daily blog in 10 days time…

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Steve Foster’s guide to the Brighton 1982/83 Cup Final team


From the Daily Mirror on Saturday 21st May 1983:

Even though I’m unable to play in the final, I’ll be in Brighton’s dressing-room, helping to both motivate and calm the players.

i know the ones who have pre-match butterflies and the others, like Jimmy Case, who keep absolutely cool.
What are they like, these lads who foce the greatest game of their lives?

GRAHAM MOSELEY (goalkeeper): “Mose” is easy-going and always smiling. I’ve known him laugh when he’s had to pick the ball out of the net. But don’t be deceived. He might appear a bit casual, he can make saves that put him in the very top class – as he did against Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-final.

CHRIS RAMSEY (right back): We call him “Yifter” – have you seen the way Chris walks? Our most consistent player since he came into the side. He’s headstrong and missed the semi-final after a sending-off. But I wouldn’t want him to curb his aggression.

STEVE GATTING (central defender): To the lads, he is “Head”. It is big in relation to the size of his body. He’s always beaming, he’s a guy with a dry sense of humour who reads the game well, has good habits, and won’t panic.

GARY STEVENS (central defender): He is “Grease”, because he looks like a Spanish waiter, or “Matt” to his close friends. They know why! He is very composed on the ball and is developing in the same mould as Mark Lawrenson, now with Liverpool.

GRAHAM PEARCE (left back): To the rest of the team he is “Pleaty” because, he looks like Luton manager David Pleat. Graham is the quiet type. He has a great left foot and always wants main.

NEIL SMILLIE (midfield): Neil wears glasses off the pitch and is “Specky” to everyone at Brighton. We reckon he should wear them over his contact lenses when he plays. I’m only kidding. He is one of the quickest players’ I have ever seen. His pace will worry United.

JIMMY CASE (midfield): “Jimbo” is a hard man with a shot to match. I’ve seen people trying to split him in two. He has got up and laughed it off. If there was a war, I’d want him beside me in the trenches.

TONY GREALISH (midfield): “Sleeper” is the man I’d want on the other side of me in a war. He’s so honest, he accepts responsibility even when it’s not his fault. Tony is a natural leader. With me missing, he was the obvious choice to lead out the team at Wembley. He thrives on responsibility.

GARY. HOWLETT (midfield): Known as “Fish”–but I can’t say why. Ask one of the other players! He is an Irish lad with bundles of skill who will love the atmosphere at Wembley. He could be another Liam Brady in a couple of years.

GORDON SMITH (striker): “Smudger” has been at his best since coming back from a loan spell in Glasgow with Rangers. He has great cruse control, can destroy defenders with his skills. If he repeats his form of the semi-final, our players will all get winners’ medals.

MICHAEL ROBINSON (striker): “Migraine Mick” or “Fatty” at the Goldstone. He’s one big headache to us all. Seriously, because he is a good friend of mine, Robbo is a man for the big occasion. I hope he shows us all his teeth when he scores the winner.

GERRY RYAN (sub): is one of the most genuine guys in the game. A good finisher who won’t let us down if he has to come on.


Shoot Cover: Jimmy Case (23 April 1983)


Some interesting thoughts from Steve Foster, going into the FA Cup Semi-Final match of 1983:

“Even now, with us just 90 minutes away from the Final, I’d swop a place at Wembley for First Division safety. We all want to go to Wembley because it would be the biggest day in the history of our club. But not at the expense of our First Division place. That would be too high a price to pay.”

Many Albion fans, who were at the Notts County game later on April 1983, cast doubt on Foster’s account here. In the County match, Foster was booked and therefore suspended from the Final. However, many supporters believed he jeopardised the club’s survival chances by trying to get himself sent off to avoid missing out on Wembley.


Meanwhile, Graham Moseley talks of being on the verge of quitting the game after being heavily criticised by Alan Mullery.

“My confidence was completely shattered and I was as close to packing it all in as I now am to playing at Wembley. But I stuck with it, and this is my reward.”

Moseley went on to make many outstanding saves in the FA Cup semi-Final against Sheffield Wednesday. However, there was a sting in the tail as when Alan Mullery returned in 1986, one of his first changes to personnel was giving Moseley a free transfer.

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Blame the players, says Foster


Playing the blame game? Yes, it’s straight from the Steve Foster school of captaincy! Well, that’s according to the pages of Shoot! magazine in 1982/83, where Fozzie is in no way inclined to suggest that the buck stop stops with him:

Composure and commitment – those are the qualities Brighton need in their fight to secure a First Division future.

Skipper Steve Foster, who no one can accuse of a lack of effort, believes the work-rate has not been up to scratch in Brighton’s battle against the drop.

The England central defender warns: “We need to be more composed, even if we add the commitment. It’s no good playing 100 miles an hour football in the First Division. You have to be cool, calm and calculated.”

As for effort, Foster criticises certain team-mates for producing below par displays in that area. He says: “I have the feeling we could have done better and given more, particularly away from home. I don’t intend to name names, but the players themselves know who I mean.

“We have been put under a lot of pressure at home by our dreadful away results. And that’s daft because our away form was good last season.”

Foster believes Brighton’s new attacking approach away from home is responsible for the need for greater effort.

“Certain players have not been fully committed within the new system.”

Foster sees improved form by his club as the key to his own prospects of earning further England international honours.

“I think someone has told Bobby Robson I had retired,” jokes Foster. “But seriously, I don’t think it’s likely I shall be chosen while Brighton are struggling near the bottom of the table.

“We have got to improve, climb the League and start playing consistent, successful football.

Then I might have a chance of adding to my three England caps.” Foster denies he has been put into the international wilderness because of any question marks against his own form.

“A player knows when he is playing well and when he is struggling,” says the Brighton man.

“1 believe I have been playing as well as before I went to Spain. But I didn’t expect Brighton to struggle
near the bottom.

“All I can say is, I hope to change Bobby Robson’s mind.” But any disappointment Foster may hide at his England exclusion since the World Cup will not be allowed to interfere with Brighton’s important last few months of the season.

“This club worked very hard to get into the First Division and now we’re here, we want to stay, not let it all slip.

“We have about three months to start getting the right results. If they don’t come soon, we could be back in the Second Division next season.”

* Here’s a reminder that The Goldstone Wrap will finish as a daily blog in 100 days’ time, on its 500th post. That’s June 24th 2014. There’s no significant reason – I haven’t even run out of archive material yet – it just feels like a good place to stop! All The Goldstone Wrap archives will remain online, and articles will continue to appear – only not on a daily basis.


Stick in the mud

On this day in 1982, Mike Bailey led Brighton to an astonishing 1-0 triumph over Liverpool at Anfield. As Peter Welbourn of the Sunday Express wrote:

The defensive discipline which has been the cornerstone of success on Brighton’s travels emerged triumphant again at Anfield. An untidy goal snatched five minutes before half-time was enough to cost Liverpool vital championship points. Alan Hansen could only watch in despair as Andy Ritchie’s shot struck his knee to skid over the line.

There was further luck for the Seagulls late on when mud played its part. Bob Greaves believed that Liverpool:

…were well beaten by a combination of an own goal and a wicked pitch. Take that moment 13 minutes from time when Grealish committed a horrific back pass to give Rush an equaliser on a plate. The Liverpool man hit the ball towards an empty net from some 12 yards, it suddenly stopped in the mud and was cleared.

Here’s some photos from that pivotal moment:


Keeper Digweed looks helpless here but Foster was able to make the clearance:


No wonder Perry Digweed quipped about the mud after the match: “I think I’ll take a bucketful of this stuff and spread it in the Brighton goalmouth.”


Even so, the good fortune would have counted for little if it wasn’t for the gritty determination that kept the Seagulls in the game despite the second half onslaught by Liverpool. The Evening Argus’ John Vinicombe was moved to write:

For a display of character and defensive ability, Albion’s performance could not be faulted. The spectacle, while being almost entirely one way, was full of excitement and passion as Albion gradually came to terms with the demands imposed Liverpool on visiting sides•. But that is not to say that Albion didn’t stretch Liverpool’s defences and there were times when the European champions were forced to sweat it out. Everybody performed beyond the line of duty in this action packed drama and Digweed, brought in on the big occasion, had an excellent game. To come to Anfieid and play like this was the highlight of Albion’s season so far, and reinforced the view that their best games have all been away from the Goldstone.

Both Steve Gatting and Steve Foster had immaculate matches at the back. Despite almost gifting the home side an equaliser with his rush of blood moment, Tony Grealish’s industry and excellent play also caught the eye in helping to take Brighton to 8th in Division One. Following the game, manager Mike Bailey was understandably delighted:

“The result at Liverpool was one of the most satisfying it is possible for a manager to get. Although we were all very happy after the game and it was a good journey home, I don’t think the players realised quite what they had achieved. Not many teams go to Anfield and come away as winers, and I certainly never did it as a player. It just shows how far this club has come in the last few years. Five years it would have been unthinkable for Brighton to have gone to Anfield for a League game and come away as winners.

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Peter Ward – one of Forest’s tiny terrors

For those heartbroken at his departure, look away now.

When Peter Ward made the cover of Shoot! magazine on 6th December 1980, it was as a Nottingham Forest striker rather than a Brighton one:


Inside, was a fascinating feature talking up the Peter Ward – Ian Wallace duo as part of a new trend in smaller, mobile strike partnerships:

At a time when £1 million can just about fetch a player capable of those mystical qualities, ball control and vision, Nottingham Forest threaten to unleash a veritable basement bargain on the unsuspecting First Division.

The sale of Peter Ward from Brighton to Forest for a reported £400,000 came as no surprise to those who became ultimately bored with the on-off transfer saga.

But what will take away a few breaths is the opinion of assistant-manager Peter Taylor who believes that Ward is only one step away from becoming one of the best strikers in the game.

It was Taylor who signed Ward from Burton Albion during his reign as Brighton manager. For a while it seemed that he had unearthed a pot of gold as Ward revealed definite qualities of natural goalscoring instinct.

This season, however, the boy who became the idol of the Sussex Coast fired too many blanks for the liking of Albion manager Alan Mullery, who seemed almost relieved to complete the deal.

Forest unveiled their tiny-tot strike force of Scottish international lan Wallace and the unpredictable Ward against Leeds at the City Ground on October 22, and after goals by Wallace and Ken Burns sealed a 2-1 win, Taylor said: “Ward tore Leeds apart. His speed, skill and eye for openings proved too much for them.

“People ask me why we play with two strikers, neither of whom tops 5′ 8” tall. But if you were to spend your time looking for a really tall striker to complete the target-man and partner combination you could be looking for ever.

“There is a lot of nonsense talked about how tall strikers should be. The important question for any managerial team is… can this lad play? In the case of Peter Ward the answer is definitely “yes’.

“In fact I am convinced that when he moves from Brighton back to his native Midlands and settles down, he will make a lot of people sit up and marvel at his ability.

“We are more interested in the basic ability of our two strikers. And there can be no question that they pose nightmares for big defenders. Players with the qualities of Wallace and Ward will always get goals and always worry defences.

“I don’t think people know just how good a player Ward is. It is just a matter of time before he settles into the Forest way of things, and then we will see him at his best.

“The fact that neither of these players happens to be a giant is neither here nor there. Ability is the key, not stature. And these players have the ability.” Ward scored his first goal for Forest against Southampton on November 1 and looks more at home with every game. But what problems do the Forest mini-duo pose for the First Division’s top defenders?

Arsenal’s giant Scottish centre-half Willie Young believes that the Forest duo are a sign of the times.

Young said: “I probably speak for all central defenders when I say that we generally prefer to play against the bigger strikers, the likes of John Toshack, Derek Dougan and Joe Jordan. But times are changing and so is football.

“If you look around the League you will find less of the big target players than, say, five years ago.

The modern striker has to be sharp, mobile and capable of pulling a defence out of position.
The days of the big man standing in the box waiting for a high ball to knock down are fast fading.

“Down the road at Tottenham they use Garth Crooks and Steve Archibald.

“Andy Gray and John Richards at Wolves are very sharp and mobile, Kenny Dalglish and Dave Johnson at Liverpool move all over the place. These sides don’t use a battering ram player down the middle.

“Ward and Wallace will make it difficult for big defenders because they are quick and skilful and can turn you if you lose concentration. But teams will still knock in the high balls and put you under pressure. I would play against them the same way I would play against any forwards. Perhaps light-weight players like them find it difficult to break down a tight defence, but give them room and they will create problems.”

Winter pitches and tight marking may combine to upset Forest’s plans now that the running power and height of Garry Birtles no longer provides alternatives. But knowing Clough and Taylor it is more likely that Ward and Wallace will buzz and sting more often than they are swatted.


In his first season at the City Ground, Peter Ward came off the bench for the last eight minutes of Forest’s 4-1 victory over Brighton in March 1981. However, his impact on the match was minimal. It was the clash the following season, at the Goldstone on 20th February 1982, when he truly showed his class against his former team mates. In and out of the Midlands side at the time, Ward capped a fine performance by scoring Nottingham Forest’s winner in a 1-0 away win. As John Vinicombe wrote:

Before any side can beat Forest, they have to get past Shilton, and this proved beyond Albion’s capabilities. Not that Shilton alone stood between them and victory; on the contrary. But he was always there when required and in the meantime it was Ward, often quite scintillating, who plotted the downfall of his old club. Once he had settled down he led them a merry dance and impudently settled the issue with a header, which has never been his strong department.

Ward’s goal followed a Bryn Gunn cross after John Robertson’s corner. That he scored it with his head rubbed salt into the wounds for Steve Foster, often so dominant in the air. Foster did show he could match Ward’s pace in the second half, recovering well after Ward had stole the ball from him. However, in front of England manager Ron Greenwood, Ward’s artistry and aggression appeared to damage Foster’s World Cup chances.


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If Smith had scored

Not only was the moment so excruciating. So much has been written about the defining moment of the FA Cup Final 1983 that it’s probably hard to generate fresh interest from Brighton fans on Gordon Smith’s choker. Happily, Nick Hancock and Chris England’s amusing and fascinating ‘What Didn’t Happen Next’, published in 1997, imagined the repercussions had the Scotman’s put his effort away. It makes for a delightful read:

Smith must score

Smith must score.

Gordon Smith can hear the men he now works with on the phone sometimes. ‘I’m working with Gordon Smith … yes, that one.’ Gordon Smith should have scored. He’d even scored a last-minute winning goal in a Cup final before, for Rangers in the 1978 Scottish League Cup.

Mind you, haven’t we all. I know my garden frequently echoed to the sound of a familiar voice – mine – declaring:

‘It’s Hancock! What drama! In the dying seconds he has the chance to clinch the Cup for Stoke … and he’s done it! A shot so fierce that United keeper Paddy Roche has been carried through the net and impaled upon some railings here at Wembley.

‘And dramatic news! The United directors have decided to disband the club, such is the finality and power of the goal. Chairman Edwards has just commented: “What’s the point? We can never compete with a club like Stoke and their brilliant if slightly overweight striker Hancock. l’ve suspected it all along, but now I may as well admit it. We are shit.”‘

In 1983 Gordon Smith was in a position to live the dream. Wembley. The Cup final. The last minute. Manchester United 2, Brighton and Hove Albion 2. Michael Robinson had broken away, and the beleaguered defence was drawn to him like Stan Collymore to a signing-on fee.

Robinson slipped the ball to the unmarked Smith, who steadied himself as the commentator – and very likely Gordon himself – cried: ‘Smith must score!’, and fired the ball at the keeper’s legs. If only Coronation Street uniped Don Brennan had been his opponent, this tale would have had a different ending. As it was, it was blond Brad Willis lookalike Gary Bailey, and he made the save.

Inevitably United won the replay easily, and Brighton left Wembley empty-handed.

Relegation to the Second Division was hardly consolation – although the prospect of Second Division football would today have Brighton fans leaping about and counting the days till next season.

Yes, as I said, this book was published in 1997…

Smith didn't score

Smith didn’t score. Well, not in the last minute.

But what if Smith had notched?

The most profound repercussions would have fallen on Smith himself, and not all of them that welcome. The close proximity of Michael Robinson, a strapping lad of no fixed hairstyle, would almost certainly have meant that Smith was in line for a lingering and passionate congratulatory kiss from the Eire international, and it is this prospect which many experts believe may have caused Smith’s fateful hesitation.

The caption from the book read 'Michael Robinson. An enigma: he lives in Spain but he's not an armed robber'

The caption from the book read ‘Michael Robinson. An enigma: he lives in Spain but he’s not an armed robber’

Brighton would have held on to Gary Stevens (a good thing) and Steve Foster (a good thing for Luton Town), whose Brian May hairstyle is coveted by Manager Jimmy Melia.

The European Cup Winners’ Cup campaign would have been a brief flirtation – a la Robbie Williams and Anna Friel – with the Seagulls crashing out 4-0 on aggregate to Hungarian cable TV operators Videoton.
United sack Ron Atkinson for his lack of success, and for his tactlessness in wearing more silverware at Wembley than the club has picked up in recent years.

Candidates to replace Big Ron include ordinary-sized Ron Saunders, John Toshack and Graham Taylor, the manager with the Midas touch at Lincoln and Watford.

Taylor gets the job, and clears out Bailey, Muhren, Wilkins and Coppell, and, after a surprise auditor’s report, Nobby Stiles, who United had mistakenly kept under contract since 1974. By keeping very quiet and hiding behind a boiler, Nobby had, without kicking a ball, been drawing a wage of thirteen guineas a week.

•At Brighton, Jimmy Melia, the man who’d managed them to Cup triumph, is also sacked for supposed ‘financial irregularities’. Apparently, the substantial cash rewards the Cup had brought had gone missing, and investigations revealed that Melia had blown it all on a series of dubious hair restoration and transplant schemes, which left Brighton in dire straits but Jimmy looking like Michael Bolton.

Graham Taylor puts silverware on the United mantelpiece within three years, and many of that Third Division championship winning side are still held in much affection by the supporters of Manchester City.
Nick Hancock’s mould-breaking unfunny bloopers video, And Smith Did Score, is a best-seller in the Brighton area, where Gordon Smith has become the town’s very popular mayor.

Steve Foster's famous captain's armband

Steve Foster’s famous captain’s armband

In a parallel universe far, far away, it really did happen…

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Happy New Year …with Albion Calendar 1980!

Short of Peter O’Sullivan, Teddy Maybank and Gary Williams turning up at your door tipsily singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, what finer retro Albion way to see in the New Year than an invitation for you to feast your eyes on a Brighton football calendar from 1980?

In 1979/80, a company called Print For Sport Ltd launched some lavish A2-sized Soccer Action Calendars for each First Division club, some ‘top’ Second Division clubs (West Ham, Leicester, Sunderland, Newcastle and Burnley, Luton and QPR) and the England team. For just £2.49 each, you received one for your favourite team with twelve colour action shots of first-team players.

The item, advertised heavily in the likes of Shoot! Magazine and Match Weekly, also included red ‘You-Fix’ stickers allowing fans to mark match dates and opponents on the calendar itself. I suppose they could have pre-printed the fixtures directly onto the relevant dates themselves but this was what counted as ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’ in those days!

Here is the Brighton & Hove Albion calendar, lovingly scanned by yours truly:


In a clever, eye-catching design, Malcolm Poskett, Chris Cattlin and Peter Ward are the cover stars.


Then into January is… ermm, Brian Horton with a full head of hair in the perm? Well, it’s definitely Nobby’s signature on the bottom right but, as Alan Wares (Albion Roar) from North Stand Chat has identified, it’s Andy Rollings blocking the shot from Orient’s Alan Whittle in a memorable 3-3 draw. Peter O’Sullivan and Mark Lawrenson are in the background, along with Clark’s hair!


Next up is Malcolm Poskett, also in action against Orient, out to prove Alan Mullery was right to prefer him to Wardy in the number eight shirt for this match.


When Peter Ward does show up in March, it’s on a bad hair day.


Steve Foster had signed for the Seagulls in pre-season in the summer of 1979. Without a genuine match appearance for Brighton to his name yet, he strikes a pose for the camera instead.


In the same Blackburn game where he scored a goal in the midst of a smoke bomb going off, here’s Teddy Maybank challenging for the ball.


Eric Steele shows a safe pair of hands for the camera.


‘Viking’ Paul Clark on the ball, possibly against Luton in April 1979.


New signing John Gregory juggles the ball.


Veteran Chris Cattlin is star of the month for September 1980 even though his Albion playing were over by then.


Gary Williams carries the ball out against Blackburn.


Proving his acting skills are no better than his punditry skills, Mark Lawrenson fakes celebrating a goal!


And finally, Gerry Ryan goes for a dribble.

As you can see, 1st January 1980 fell on a Tuesday, whereas 1st January 2014 is a Wednesday, so you’ll be disappointed if you were hoping to print this out and use it, unamended, as your calendar for the New Year. Significantly, 1980 was also a leap year so you’ll have to wait all the way until 2036 before this calendar fits the bill again. Never mind! I hope that you are patient. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

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