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About McMordie

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  1. August 16th 1969 Boro 2 Leicester City 1 An impressive win for Boro against a Leicester City side that was widely expected to challenge for promotion. Boro took the initiative early on and never allowed the visitors to get a foothold in the game until some late jitters. John Hickton was particularly prominent, scoring one and denied a hat trick by two superb saves by Peter Shilton. The first came after 6 minutes when he tipped a header over the bar. Boro got the breakthrough on 24 minutes, when Laidlaw steered the ball just inside the post and Hickton fired just wide shortly before half time. Boro continued to dominate after the break and doubled their advantage after 47 minutes, a flowing three man move setting up Hickton to head home. He then had another shot tipped round the post by Shilton before Boro were denied a penalty on 73 minutes when a defender appeared to block a goal bound shot on the line with his arm. Against the run of play, Leicester pulled a goal back five minutes from time through Lochhead, setting up a nervous final few minutes, but overall Boro were very good value for the win. The points came at some cost, with Dave Chadwick and Alec Smith both likely to miss the Monday evening trip to Millwall after picking up knocks. Boro - Short, A. Smith, Jones, G. Smith, Gates, Spraggon, McMordie, Kear, Laidlaw, Hickton, Chadwick Sub - Lugg Leicester City - Shilton, Rodrigues, Houghton, Nish, Sjoberg, Cross, Glover, Fern, Lochhead, Gibson, Manley Sub - Roberts In the news - Prime Minister Harold Wilson interrupted his holiday in the Scilly Isles to fly back to London for discussions about a growing crisis in Northern Ireland after Ulster Premier Major James Chichester-Clark refused to accept any Catholics into his government, tension too in Asia after North Korea shot down a US helicopter, the longest surviving heart transplant patient died 20 months after his operation and police in the north east were hunting a group of vandals after several bowling greens were dug up. Top of the charts - Honky Tonk Women by the Rolling Stones.
  2. I hadn't realised until I was researching some of these reports that Harry Charlton was actually at Boro for 8 years.
  3. August 8th 1970 Mansfield Town 3 Middlesbrough 0 A 3-0 defeat to Third Division opposition might not sound like the ideal result a week before the start of the new season but this is a classic case of the scoreline only telling part of the story. This was actually Boro's second pre-season friendly within 24 hours and Friday evening had brought a wholly more encouraging 3-1 home win against Bill Shankley's First Division Liverpool. The star of the show under the Friday night lights was18 year old David Mills. Selected ahead of Derrick Downing he contributed two goals and an all round impressive performance. Boro went ahead on 19 minutes. Hickton played a defence splitting pass through to Laidlaw who beat Liverpool keeper Lawrence at the near post. Liverpool's 40th minute equaliser came in controversial circumstances. Defender Larry Lloyd, who Liverpool had recently signed as a replacement for ageing Anfield hero Ron Yeats, appeared to handle in the box but as referee Pat Parteidge ignored Boro protests, Liverpool swept up the field and Smith and Hughes set up Bob Graham to score. Liverpool had plenty of possession in the second half but lacked a cutting edge, with their ponderous build up play allowing Boro to get men behind the ball but they did come close to scoring after 76 minutes, as the game turned in a way that atoned for Liverpool's equaliser. Peter Thompsom rattled the post at one end and as Hickton chased the long clearance he collided with the onrushing Liverpool keeper, with the ball running free to Mills for an easy finish. Boro wrapped up the win three minutes from time when Hickton crossed from the left for Mills to blast home, sending most of the 13120 crowd home happy (assuming all 13120 didn't immediately set off for Mansfield). So to Field Mill on Saturday and Boro's Friday exertions meant a game with several substitutions. The general feeling was that the 3-0 defeat showed that while Mills had shone against Liverpool, some of the other youngsters weren't quite ready to step up. In particular, after a goalless first half, Boro's defence looked much less secure after Whigham and Jones were replaced by Platt and Myton and they duly found themselves 3-0 down within 15 minutes of the restart. Sutton gave the Stags the lead, Roberts doubled the advantage and then Frank Spraggon put through his own net. Next up, 1970/71 season opener at Carlisle United with Hugh McIlmoyle in a race against injury to take his place. In the news - The North East was hit by its biggest earthquake for 40 years, Newcastle United were struggling to reach an agreement with their Newcastle City Council landlords and were facing the real possibility of having to leave St James' Park when their 90 year lease expired in the November, five people died at the Swedish Grand Prix when cars crashed into spectators and there was a dramatic gun battle on the Tyne Ferry (for a scene in the filming of Get Carter). Top of the charts - The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley.
  4. August 7th 1976 Boro 2 Hull City 0 A comfortable start to Boro's defence of the Anglo Scottish Cup, despite this being their fourth game in five days after playing three friendlies in Finland during the week. Two 19 year olds starred for Boro. Ian Bailey looked composed at left back, while former Peterlee Grammar School boy Graeme Hedley created both goals and came close to scoring twice himself on his debut. Less encouraging was the news that Graham Souness had handed in a transfer request. Although it had been immediately turned down he was quoted as saying that he intended to see his desire to leave through to the very end, amid speculation that he already had his next club lined up. Of course, his move away from Ayresome Park never materialised and he went on to play a further 700 games for Boro, leading us to our European Cup Final success in 1984. (Ok, I made that up - he was indeed off to Liverpool). The game almost had a premature end as the referee stopped play in the first half and threatened to take the players off because someone was disrupting play by blowing a whistle on the Holgate End. After a loudspeaker appeal the phantom whistled desisted. Boro dominated the first half but were thwarted by missed chances and some fine saves by Hull keeper Jeff Wealands but they finally broke the deadlock on 64 minutes as wantaway Souness stabbed the ball home from close range. The lead was doubled six minutes later when Phil Boersma cracked home a spectacular first time shot. Next up in Boro's quest for back to back ASC triumphs - a midweek trip to Sheffield United. In the news - Prime Minister Jim Callaghan announced that struggling Britain may need to seek a further loan from the International Monetary Fund, there were riots in Soweto and Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 51 year old comedian Charlie Drake announced his engagement to an 18 year old can can dancer from his seaside show and a report suggested that changes to the climate may be causing Britain's summers to become warmer permanently (this was the long, hot, dry summer of 1976). Top of the charts - Don't Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee.
  5. In the newspaper report for this game the Boro team is given as: Williams, Woodham, Jones, Stiles. Spraggon, Boam, Downing, Mills, Hickton, Vincent, Laidlaw. Subs - Gates, McMordie, Stone. Williams and Woodham mean nothing to me. I assume that Williams is a misprint and that it was actually Whigham (especially as David Mills is also referred to as Hills) but does anyone remember Woodham? Hibs' team was - Price, Brownlie, McKewan, Stanton, Black. Blackley, Stevenson, Hamilton, Baker, Cropley, Duncan. Subs - Pringle, O'Rourke, Graham. A future Boro player in there!
  6. (Apologies to Erimus for referencing matches he's previously referred to - we haven't played on 7 August very often!) August 7th 1971 Boro 4 Hibernian 2 (Yes, Erimus - Hibs again!) Boro looked in fine fettle a week ahead of the 1971/72 season as they swept aside Hibernian more comfortably than the scoreline suggests. New signings Stuart Boam and Nobby Stiles appeared to be settling in well. Boam bought more presence to the defence, albeit looking hesitant at times, while Stiles used his experience to control the game from the middle of the park before coming off at half time. He said that he had done so partly to give someone else a run out and partly to have a look at the team from a trainer's perspective and that having done so he had a feeling that it wouldn't be too long before he was playing at Old Trafford again. As it turned out, he was right, but only because Boro drew Manchester United in the FA Cup later in the season. Against Hibs, Boro were 4-0 up by the interval as Hibs' young goalkeeper, who was only playing because their new first choice keeper's international clearance papers hadn't arrived, was regularly left stranded by his statuesque defence. John Hickton helped himself to a hat trick and Joe Laidlaw chipped in with another. Hickton got the first after just two minutes with a glancing header from a free kick from wide on the left. It was 2-0 after five minutes after a goalmouth mix up allowed Laidlaw to score off the post. Laidlaw turned provider after 20 minutes, crossing from the right for Hickton to head home, and Big John completed his hat trick on 35 minutes with another simple header. Boro relaxed in the second half, allowing Hibs to make the score more respectable with two quick headed goals of their own. The first came from Joe Baker after 52 minutes, with second half substitute Hazel adding the second on 58 minutes. All in all though, a good performance by Boro. They now had a midweek friendly with Benfica to look forward to (which famously brought back together Stiles and Eusebio) and then it was all set for the opening league fixture at Portsmouth. (This is Boro we're talking about - you know what happened next). In the news - 2800 shipyard workers at Swan Hunter voted by just 45 votes to remain on strike after the latest pay offer fell 25p a week below their demands, two brothers were rescued off the North Sea coast after cutting the roof off their van and paddling out to sea on it (yes, really), the crew of Apollo 15 splashed down safely in the Pacific and three soldiers were shot during rioting in Belfast. Top of the charts - Get it On by T Rex.
  7. August 6th 1977 Wrexham 3 Boro 0 A pre-season friendly defeat at the Racecourse Ground against manager John Neal's previous club. In an evenly contested first half the best player on the pitch appeared to be a Wrexham striker by the name of Billy Ashcroft, who Neal was keen should follow him to Ayresome Park. Ashcroft had refused to sign a new contract with Wrexham, saying that he was determined to play in the First Division and a move to Boro appeared to be imminent. He said before this friendly, though, that if selected he'd give 100%, not least in the hope of attracting interest from other First Division clubs to strengthen his position in contract talks. He put one shot narrowly wide and set up three good chances for colleagues in the first half before being withdrawn in the usual plethora of friendly substitutions. Boro faded badly in the second half, appearing to show the signs of a hard week ahead of the match. While Wrexham had been back in training for 3 weeks, Boro came into the game on the back of an intensive first week back at a training base in Aberystwyth. They'd then played Aberystwyth Town on the Friday evening before leaving their training base to travel to Wrexham early on the Saturday. Wrexham duly took control in the second half, with an opening goal from John Lyons followed by a double from Graham Whittle. Neal said after the match that it had been a good run out and that he wasn't too concerned by the result, which he attributed to defensive errors that wouldn't occur when his players regained their sharpness. And he was right. 1977/78 proved to be a glorious season for Boro as they swept to Wembley to lift the FA Cup for the first time in their history after that very man Billy Ashcroft fired them to a quarter final victory over Orien…...oh, hang on.... In the news - England named an unchanged 12 for the second test against Australia which would begin ay Headingly on the Thursday as talk grew about whether Geoffrey Boycott could possibly make his 100th century in an Ashes test on his home ground (surely not - that kind of thing only happens in comics), it was estimated that the British shipbuilding industry would take a £2 billion boost from work connected with North Sea gas pipelines, security was being ramped up in Northern Ireland ahead of a Silver Jubilee visit by the Queen and a family was saved as fire swept through a block of flats in Washington (the Tyne and Wear one) by their squawking budgie. Top of the charts - I Feel Love by Donna Summer.
  8. Morning Erimus. I have wondered about the Hibs thing myself and I've no idea why we always seemed to play them. Maybe just because it was a good base for a mini tour of Scotland - we had a number of games against Hearts too. We were playing friendlies against Hibs as long ago as 1903 and one of them led to us signing Bobby Atherton, who became the first Boro player to play international football (for Wales) before dying in 1917 when his ship sank while serving in the Merchant Navy during the First World War.
  9. It did occur to me that Boro's defence might have been guarding the snake. I confess that I'd forgotten about Kinnell before reading the report on the match. I'm sure his surname was a gift for headline writers.
  10. August 5th 1967 Sunderland 1 Boro 0 An encouraging performance by Boro in their first pre-season friendly ahead of their return to Division 2 after promotion, despite a narrow defeat to their First Division neighbours at Roker Park. Boro, playing all in white against a Sunderland team all in red, played the more open football in the first half, looking to exploit the lack of pace of Sunderland's ageing star Jim Baxter. Boro faded after the break, however, with injuries seeming to disrupt their rhythm. Goalkeeper Willie Whigham was taken off at half time with a shoulder injury which X rays showed to be no worse than bruising and Dave Chadwick was withdrawn as a precaution after picking up a slight knock. The only goal came from a flowing move by Sunderland after 65 minutes. Neil Martin brought the ball out of defence and played a long Crossfield ball to George Kinnell before continuing his run to meet Kinnell's 30 yard cross at the far post and score with a bullet header. Nevertheless, a performance that suggested that Boro could look forward to better times in the second tier. Sunderland - Montgomery, Irwin, Parke, Todd, Kinnell, Baxter, Herd, Suggett, Martin, Harvey, Heslop (Mulhall) Boro - Whigham (McPartland), Butler, Jones, Masson, Rooks, Horner, Chadwick (McNeill), Hickton, O'Rourke, Lugg, Downing In the news - The National Coal Board held a crisis meeting to decide whether chairman Lord Robens should keep his job in the aftermath of the Aberfan disaster, England made six changes ahead of the second test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge having drawn the first test, tensions were rising in Cuba where the United States was accused of landing a group of counter revolutionaries on the island with the aim of overthrowing Fidel Castro and there was tension too in the ATV television studios where a 15 foot python escaped its handler during the filming of the Dave Allen Show and disappeared into the audience. Top of the Charts - All You Need is Love by the Beatles.
  11. August 4th 1979 Boro 2 China 0 International football of a sort at Ayresome Park and England manager Ron Greenwood was in the directors' box, sparking hopes that some of Boro's young talent might be on the verge of international recognition. It was a comfortable win for Boro despite the fact that China's catchment area was slightly bigger than Teesside. David Armstrong converted a penalty after 18 minutes after Tony McAndrew was bought down in the box and Stan Cummings crossed for Billy Ashcroft to head home the second in the 65th minute. Irving Nattrass had a subdued debut for Boro before going off with a sore heal 15 minutes from time but John Neal sang his praises after the match, talking about his quality and describing him as "like an oil well - largely untapped". In the news - Britain agreed to supervise elections and help with the writing of a constitution in Rhodesia ahead of independence, there was a thrilling finish to the Formula Four race at Croft with the first four cars separated by only a second, new rules linking the duty on cider to that on wine threatened to double the price of a pint to 73p and 20 North East 14 to 16 year olds were stranded in the early hours after the Knebworth Music Festival after the coach on a trip organised by Tyne Tees Television left without them by mistake (the coach driver probably thought they were Sunderland fans and assumed they'd left at half time). Top of the charts - I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats.
  12. August 3rd 1974 Boro 0 Carlisle United 1 A dull and disappointing Texaco Cup game between two teams who were both contemplating life in the First Division after being promoted together a few weeks earlier. In fact they'd meet twice in the top flight in the next fortnight or so. Boro became frustrated after several early saves by Carlisle keeper Alan Ross and too often resorted to long balls that the visitors' tall defenders dealt with comfortably. It was former Boro favourite Hugh McIlmoyle who created the only goal, setting up Martin to fire home after 50 minutes. All in all a bad day at the office for Boro, with Jack Charlton saying after the game that he'd seen his team work harder in practice matches. In the news - The Tories criticised Labour's manifesto pledge to follow a policy of nationalisation ahead of the forthcoming election, housewives were warned (in a possibly sexist way) that eggs could cost £1.50 a dozen by 1975, Richard Nixon prepared to give a TV address as impeachment loomed in the Watergate affair and three north east lads were arrested in Spain for singing loudly at 2am and fined £1 each (equivalent to 8 eggs, or a decent Spanish omelette). Top of the charts - Rock Your Baby by George McCrae.
  13. Well done Harrogate Town - the Football League comes to Wetherby Road.
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