At Walsall’s End of Season Awards dinner on Sunday night, to mark the club’s 125 year anniversary there was a special award on the evening for the Greatest Goal.
Walsall Web Fans looks back at four last games of the season which were full of drama and had an impact on our future years. The most heartbreaking must surely be the sequence of events against Charlton Athletic in the 1962-3 season. Walsall needed to avoid defeat to stay in the Second Division. The opening half was scoreless with Saddlers looking comfortable enough. At half time the heavens opened and the torrential rain was so bad that the game had to be abandoned to the disappointment of the 18,820 fans at a very soggy Fellows Park who could believe what they had just witnessed when seemingly half way to safety.
Walsall Web Fans looks back to a special Centenary Year Celebration Game between Walsall and Manchester United which took place on April 22nd,1988, as part of the club’s year of special events to acknowledge this milestone. Alex Ferguson was just 18 months into his long Old Trafford career in the hot seat and fielded quite a powerful line up of international players to represent his club for this prestigious frendly game including Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Paul Mc Grath, Gordon Strachen and Norman Whiteside. Walsall’s team was also virtually full strength and was an opportunity for their own international striker David Kelly to show what he could do against quality defenders. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans looks back on the life and times of one of The Saddlers most colourful players, Bill ‘Chopper’ Guttridge, who starred in the Walsall team who went from the old Fourth Division to the Second Division under Bill Moore. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans looks back at the career of popular goal keeper Bob Wesson, who served both Walsall and Coventry City well over a 15 year career. Starting out at Thornaby Boys Brigade, he became an amateur with Middlesborough before signing for Coventry City in late 1958. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans recalls the day when Walsall’s brave 1974-5 FA Cup run ended in Round 5 at St Andrews as Saddlers were narrowly beaten 2-1 by First Division Birmingham City before an attendance of 43,841. Walsall’s progress to this round (which hitherto had only happened on two occassions in 1900 and 1939) was via beating Ashford Town, Newport County, Manchester United (after a replay) and Newcastle United. Walsall were hoping to make history by beating Blues, who were struggling in the top flight. Walsall, meanwhile, were on an eleven game unbeaten run in all competitions. A 50,000 crowd limit was set by the police with 12,000 tickets being allocated to Walsall supporters which included just under 2,000 seats priced at £1.50 and £1.25. Paddock seats were 80p and standing tickets at 50p. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans recalls the day when new Assistant Manager David Kelly, then a 22 year-old goalscoring forward at Fellows Park discovered that his four month-old puppy Dino had a liking for alcohol. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans looks back at one of Saddlers biggest FA Cup giant killing acts which occurred at Fellows Park on 25th January 1975 in a Fourth Round tie. Walsall had already disposed of the then Second Division Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling replay in the previous round and went into this game full of confidence being unbeaten in seven games including five clean sheets. This period saw Doug Fraser being in charge of team affairs since the parting of the ways with Ronnie Allen in December. Walsall were in mid-table in Division Three with Newcastle in a similar position in Division One but they had been having a torrid time, losing 5-1 at Manchester City and 5-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur previously but were expected to turn over Walsall none the less. Continue reading
December 1987 saw Walsall kick off their month with an FA Cup Round 2 tie at the Priestfield Stadium against fellow Third Division side Gillingham. The home side took the lead on six minutes through leading scorer Steve Lovell however within a minute Walsall were on level terms with a goal out of nothing. Trevor Christie chased a lost cause, a long throughball. The striker kept the ball in play, crossed and thanks to uncertainty in the Gills defence David Kelly zipped in to claim his 11th Walsall goal of the season. Gillingham got what turned out to be the winner before half time through Karl Elsey. Saddlers had what looked like two perfectly good goals disallowed in the second half which had manager Tommy Coakley seething as he saw his side lose 1-2 when he should have witnessed a 3-2 win. One amusing incident in this game saw keeper Fred Barber make a clearance which shattered the bedroom window of a nearby house! Continue reading
Walsall’s fine 4-2 away win at MK Dons on Boxing Day 2012 bridged a gap spanning over twelve years since The Saddlers last scored four goals on away soil. You have to go back to August 26th, 2000, to Ray Graydon’s second promotion season with a fine 4-1 win at the County Ground when Dean Keates, Jorge Leitao, Darren Wrack and Darren Byfield all got on the scoresheet at Swindon. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans looks back on two Saddlers management teams who lost their jobs at Christmas time at Fellows Park in different circumstances. Continue reading
Walsall Web Fans looks back to an amazing twist to the end of Walsall’s 1970-1 season in Division Three in which, thanks to a bit of help from near neighbours Aston Villa, managed to escape the dreaded drop to Division Four by the skin of their teeth in a situation that was out of their hands. For most clubs the final day of the season was Saturday May 1st. In those days it was two points for a win, no play offs of course and for teams finishing on the same number of points league positions were determined by goal average which meant you had to reach for your calculator to divide your teams goals scored by goals against to come up with a mathematical calculation! Continue reading
With former Saddler Alex Nicholls being named Northampton Town’s Player Of The Month for the first three months of his Sixfields career before his horrific leg break injury, Walsall Web Fans looks back to the time when Walsall first started such an award in which was sponsored by a local businessman which created a lot of interest among the players and supporters alike. This season is the 40th anniversary in which Walsall FC did a deal with John Dore, from Aldridge, who kindly donated a cheque for £25 to the player who, in the opinion of local sportswriters, was deemed to be the best player of each month. Continue reading
Lincoln City are the 23st FA Cup First Round tie Walsall have faced against non-league opposition since 1960:
1960-1 v Yeovil Town (H) 0-1
1966-7 v St Neots (H) 2-0
1967-8 v Leytonstone (a) 1-0
Ahead of The Saddlers historic first ever visit to the New Meadow, Walsall Web Fans looks back at our fine record at Shrewsbury over the last few decades with our local rivals old ground being a very happy hunting ground. Continue reading
Walsall have faced 21 top flight ties in the League Cup since its formation winning on six occasions. John Davies was the first Saddler to score in the competition in Walsall’s 1-3 defeat at Everton in 1960-1. Our first upset came in 1963-4 when Graham Newton got the only goal in a Fellows Park replay against Ipswich Town.
With the Chambers twins Adam and James playing in Walsall’s opening League One fixture against Doncaster Rovers, you have to go way back to the 1982-3 season to find the last time brothers lined up in a Saddlers shirt together. Continue reading