Screen Test: The Game

Revisiting Danny Baker’s Sunday League football TV show The Game, featuring hungover players and forgotten boots, potato-patch pitches and taped-up goal-nets, half-time cigarettes and full-time cans of lager, and plenty of swearing, plus at least one ball that ends up under a passing London bus.

 

Half-time: a history

Footballers haven’t always had 15 minutes to catch their breath. The original Laws of the Game included no reference to half-time, and instead required teams to change ends after each goal was scored. A short piece on the history of half-time for FourFourTwo.

 

History of the magic sponge

The magic sponge is one of football’s most familiar artefacts, having being variously applied to players’ bumps and bruises for more than a hundred years. This is the story of how a cold wet sponge became regarded in football as an apparently miraculous cure for virtually any injury.

 
Northern League programme

A greasy, muddy slope

The first Northern League match at St James’ Park was played 125 years ago in September 1889 between the two Newcastle clubs West End and East End. St James’ was the home ground of West End, and it looked very different to how it does today.

 

The Witches’ Circle

The Witches’ Circle is a ring of oak trees around 60 feet in diameter, next to the ancient village of Winlaton, four miles west of Newcastle upon Tyne. For centuries the circle has been associated with stories involving the activities of witches from the surrounding area.