Translate This Page

Putting together 'ITV 7'

Published November 2015

Sugar Coated Iceberg - The Lightning Seeds.mp3

I always try to write a book as though I am writing a series for TV, meaning that it is very visual in my head. When I was writing 'ITV 7' this is what was envisaged as the music for the intro - the 40 second intro more than anything else.
Photograph Above. 31st March, 1973. Arsenal fans look on as their side throw away the League Championship at home versus Derby County - a side who had just won two away games at that point of the 1972/73 season. 
Photograph. Charlie George getting some retribution on David Craig of Newcastle United - Or trying to

Photograph. Football violence has always been around - but it peaked in the 1970's.

Arsenal versus Manchester United.

Throughout the years the match has always drawn huge attendances.

Photograph Above. Alan Ball. Part of the success of the 1972/73 team - but also part of its failure
Photograph. Alan Ball watching on with Big Frank in the centre of the action versus Stoke City.

Photograph. Arsenal supporters clash with Manchester United supporters.

In 1972/73 the writing was on the wall for United - they were a club in decline. The season after they would be relegated and whilst in Division Two their supporters tried to abandon several games that they were losing in.

As tragic as it was, Munich 1958 tends to gloss over the club Manchester United really are.

Clipping. Part of Arsenal's failed 1972/73 season featured the transfer-listed and firebrand that is Charlie George - Either arguing with manager Bertie Mee, or with someone else - in this instance David Craig of Newcastle United. 
Clipping. Part of Arsenal's failed 1958/59 season. Len Julians gets his marching orders during Arsenals 4-1 annihilation of Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 31st January, 1959. Arsenal beat Tottenham with only nine men. 
The F.A had just launched its new 'Code of Conduct' during the 1958/59 season whereby no player could question the referee's decision. Arsenal's Tommy Docherty was one of the first to be banned!
Photograph. 28th March, 1958. Arsenal (white shirts)  throw in the towel on their assault for the league, losing at home to a John Dick-inspired West Ham United, losing 1-2 in front of over 52,000 at Highbury.
Photograph. The crowd in the Clock End at Highbury.
Photograph. Arsenal manager George Swindin attaching a microphone to Jimmy Bloomfield in training. What the history books never tell you is that Arsenal treated Jimmy Bloomfield disgracefully.


ITV 7: The Story 

High-flying sports media mogul and David Beckham doppelgänger, Mr. Arsenal otherwise known as Lee Janes is still living every football fans dream. Following the production of his company's documentaries on the former-Arsenal player Jon Sammels, England's failed World Cup bid and Ramsey's failings of 1970 and the deceit surrounding Munich 1958 his company had started to be taken very seriously and were awarded a six-month contract to give ITV a few hours a week.

However things don't always go to plan – not in his life anyway, and whilst his new wife gets rushed into hospital to have a baby, complications set in. That’s not all - as there are also complications outside his home life as his best mate and business partner sells their company from under his nose - with one of the stipulations of the contract being, that he can't produce sports documentaries for the next three years.

So with time on his hands and in between pushing the baby around Highbury Fields he tries his hand at a few things but keeps on getting drawn back into doing what he has always done and raids his former firms archives to begin piecing together news and clips surrounding a subject that has always interested him - the 1964 Betting Scandal, which continually keeps on getting added to – in the years either side.  However during that time NBC and Fox come calling, which unbeknown to him, indirectly forms the catalyst of something else.

Side-tracked by his home-life that includes a loving wife and needy ex-wife along with a miserable baby and an even more miserable football team led by an even more miserable and frustrating manager he sees his team’s 2014/15 season mirroring both the 1958/59 season and the 1972/73 season - and he comes up with ‘Parallel’s – The throwing away of the Doubles’, however that doesn't even scratch the surface of the story that is ‘ITV 7’.

‘ITV 7’ will fill a lot of the holes from ‘I Am Sam’, with part of the narrative told by his ex-wife.

His ex-wife - Jeanette.

This is how I always perceived her in my head.


'Parallel's - The Throwing Away of The Doubles' 

Arsenal weren't founded in 1996 - they were actually there before Arsene Wenger, and were formed 100 years prior. 

There were a couple of occasions in those 100 years that they both could have and should have done the Double.

In 1958/59 they had just appointed a new manager with money to spend who immediately put together a side challenging for the title in front of crowds between 50 and 70,000. Between him and his assistant manager - Ron Greenwood they negated Arsenal's old familiar style and were classed by journalists at the time of being an extremely exciting side. After going top after a 3-2 win against fellow title chasers Manchester United they suddenly hit erratic form and then got dumped out of the FA Cup by a second division side, when there was no one left in the cup, meaning that they were odds on favourites to go all the way. During that season Arsenal had passed on Gordon Banks and got entangled in the biggest transfer soap opera of that era, with Mel Charles who they talked out of joining Spurs - and joining Arsenal. Arsenal never built on this season and nearly got relegated in one of the following seasons. As for Spurs? After Charles turned them down they bought Dave Mackay for substantially less and won literally everything in the following few years.

!n the 1972/73 season Arsenal's manager had been left to his own devices, but who like the 1958/59 season dabbled with a new style and who were lauded by journalists for their approach, but who during that time he began losing the dressing room - with two of their 70/71 heroes on the transfer list and five others being tipped to leave- and after a couple of disastrous results ended up reverting to type. After going to top of the league after a 2-0 win at Anfield against fellow title chasers Liverpool they hit an erratic patch before getting  dumped out of the FA Cup by a second division side. During the season it was inevitable that the manager was losing the plot, he bought badly, sold badly and treat some of his senior players very badly - and he didn't just dismantle the core of the successful 70/71 side, he took a wrecking ball to it - so much so Arsenal nearly got relegated.

But that is just part of the 'Parallel's'.

6-1 defeats

Arsenal got beat 6-1 in an away game versus Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1958/59 and 6-1 in an away game versus Leeds United in 1972/73. Wolves had been 2nd in the table and Leeds had been 3rd - whilst Arsenal had been 1st and 2nd respectively.

7th March, 1959. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 Arsenal 1

9th May, 1973. Leeds United 6 Arsenal 1

Crowd Pullers - 62,901

1st November, 1958. Arsenal 3, Newcastle United 2 

Goals. David Herd, Jackie Henderson 2

Photograph. Gordon Hughes of Newcastle United (left) and Dennis Evans of Arsenal compete for the ball with Jack Kelsey. Kelsey was a revered goalkeeper who was on the transfer list prior to the start of the 1958/59 season.

Crowd Pullers: 62,746 

20th March, 1973. Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1

Goals: Alan Ball (pen), Ray Kennedy

Photograph. The enigmatic Charlie George goes through on goal. Charlie George along with Eddie Kelly (both goalscorers in the 1971 FA Cup Final) were on the transfer list as the 1972/73 season kicked off. 

Jimmy Bloomfield No. 10 

Photograph Above. Arsenal's No. 10 Jimmy Bloomfield scores versus West Ham. Bloomfield was in line to get his first England cap - England manager Walter Winterbottom watched him in matches against Southampton and Forest and wanted him to play. England's selectors met on 26th November, 1958 and passed him over. He never played for England.

Jimmy tragically died aged 49.



Photograph. In October 1972 Jeff Blockley was bought from Coventry City for a fee of £200,000. He made his debut for Arsenal in a 0-1 defeat at Sheffield United on 7th October 1972 - where his mistake after 11 minutes led to the United goal but in a match where Arsenal played with 10 men as Alan Ball had been sent off on 68 minutes for a cynical foul on United's Trevor Hockey. Four days later Blockley made his full England début in a 1-1 draw against Yugoslavia.

During the 1972/73 season Arsenal only lost four times with Blockley in the side. 0-1 v Sheffield United (a); 0-2 v Coventry City (h); 1-2 v Sunderland (FAC SF - Hillsborough); and 1-6 (a) Leeds United.

Dismantling of the Double team 

Clipping. George Graham makes his Manchester United debut at Highbury.

Bertie Mee treat George Graham disgracefully of that there was no doubt. Graham was playing some exceptional football when Mee dropped him  - But how Mee treat George Graham the player mirrored how George Graham the manager treat Anders Limpar some 23 years later.

Photograph. Arsenal's 'Captain Fantastic' Frank McLintock. Bertie Mee had a lot to thank Frank for as his leadership qualities were second to none. Player power didn't wash with Mee and he wanted shut. However, it would turn out to be Mee's worst ever decision.

Arsenal Transfer makes front page 

Press Clipping. Arsenal buy Len Julians from Leyton Orient prior to the Christmas game away to Luton Town.
Mr. Arsenal - The David Beckham Doppelgänger !

'ITV 7' is the follow up story to 'I Am Sam' and the second part of what will be an Arsenal-based trilogy and hopefullywill both fill a lot of holes and provide answers to a lot of questions surrounding the characters in 'I Am Sam'.

Photo. Jaime Hudson holding up one of the very first copies of 'I Am Sam'.

Who is Jaime Hudson? Wait for ITV 7

The Leyton Orient Connection - 1958 

Photograph. During early 1958 Arsenal were looking at Leyton Orient's classy Welsh international inside right, Phil Woosnam who they sawhit a hat-trick during his sides 5-1 demolition of Barnsley. West Ham United however had first option on him, so Arsenal bought their inside left,  Len Julians (No. 10).


The Lille Connection - 2011

In 2011 Arsenal were tracking Lille's classy attacking midfielder Eden Hazard, but who went to Chelsea one year later for around £32M.

Arsenal - well they ended up buying Lille's enigmatic albeit erratic winger Gervais Yao Kouassi for £10.8M


Parallel's - The Arsenal manager's.  

Photograph. George Swindin 1958/59. Pictured with John Charles (right) prior to a friendly match at Highbury against Juventus in 1958. The press labelled George - Mr. Arsenal.

Photograph. Bertie Mee 1972/73. Pictured in the marble halls of Highbury. By 1973 Mee had lost the plot.

George Swindin had been a successful player with Arsenal, winning the League in 1938, 1948 and 1953 as well as the F.A Cup in 1950 - even getting a losers medal in 1952, whereas Bertie Mee was like Arsene Wenger in the present - a rather underwhelming player. 

George Swindin nearly broke the British Transfer record when he bought Mel Charles from Swansea, as did Bertie Mee with Jeff Blockley. Charles was about as 'successful' as Blockley was and whereas Mee said signing Blockley was his biggest mistake, Charles said signing for Arsenal was his. 

History will tell you that Mee struggled to sign players for Arsenal, however when Swindin was the manager they were queuing up to join the club.

The Bogey Team of 1972/73 season 

Video. Derby County 5 Arsenal 0. A Bob Wilson master-class. Wilson was back in the team at the expense of Geoff Barnett who had dropped two clangers in the Quarter Final League Cup defeat at home against Norwich City. Barnett would only play a further 5 times for Arsenal.

How different history would have been if Charlie George would have scored his two early chances?

Video. A mistake by McLintock in the 1st minute and Arsenal are one down. Big Frank had to be carried off after 41 minutes, which set the precedent for the horror semi-final show where Mee had to play an unfit Blockley. Why? Because Mee had sold John Roberts to Birmingham City for £140,000.

Beating the eventual champions Liverpool, on their own turf 

Video. 10th February, 1973. Probably Arsenal's best performance of the 1970's - They go top by beating a brilliant Liverpool side 2-0 at Anfield in front of a crowd of  49,898.
Video. 11th November, 1972. Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Arsenal 3. A great Arsenal performance capped by three good goals.

The Most Controversial Game of 1972/73? 

Video. 21st October, 1972.

Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 3.

Was it or wasn't it. Over the line, offsides and the best handball of the season and no booking.

 Missed Opportunities and what could have been?

Photograph. Gordon Banks. On 13th December, 1958 a contingent from Arsenal ran the rule over Chesterfield's goalkeeper during their 1-1 draw with Norwich City and passed on him. Arsenal's goalkeeper Jack Kelsey got injured in the FA Cup replay with Sheffield United on 18th February, 1959 and missed the run in for the league.

Leicester City bought Banks for £7,000 in July 1959.


Photograph. Bobby Collins. On 12th September, 1958 Everton, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Cardiff City and Bristol City were among the clubs chasing Celtic's transfer listed Scottish international and diminutive midfielderBobby Collins. Arsenal were also interested and Arsenal's manager George Swindin told the Daily Express' Bob Pennington: "We have asked Celtic to name their price for Collins and are still waiting to hear from them. I will never take part in any auction - Whatever the player and whatever his reputation, you don't break principles."

Everton bought him for £23,500 in September, 1958.

Photograph. According to the Daily Express' Bob Pennington, Arsenal wanted John Grant of Hibernian and put a bid in for the Scottish international right back on 5th September, 1958.

Hibs' manager Jock Stein refused the transfer and eventually released Grant in 1964.

Photograph Above. According to the Daily Express' Roger Malone, Arsenal made enquires about the Golden Boy of British football -Albert Quixall of Sheffield Wednesday.

Quixall went to Man Utd for a thenrecord breaking £45,000 on 18th September, 1958.

Photograph Above. According to the Daily Express Arsenal had trailed Huddersfield Town's 18-year old striker Denis Law during the 1958/59 season, however during the winter he became injured amidst his club seeking £45-50,000 for him. 

In March 1960, Manchester City bought him for £53,000 and a year later went to Torino for £115,000.

Too Little, Too Late 

Video. 28th April, 1973.

West Ham United 1, Arsenal 2. However the Double had already gone.

1-2 and 1-2

On 23rd August, 1958 the opening game of the season saw Arsenal take the lead against Preston North End after just 13 minutes through Jimmy Bloomfield, however goals by Dennis Hatsell and Tommy Thompson gave Preston the points.

Arsenal bought Tommy Docherty before the match for £20,000 and he would help drive them towards the league title, however on 20th December, 1958, his former club came to the capital - this time looking rather depleted with a 16-year old amateur goalkeeper John Barton (above right) between the sticks and Dublin-born reserve John O'Neill (above left) filling in at left back.

Arsenal were frustrated throughout the game in which Barton made a string of great saves from Jimmy Bloomfield, Len Wills and most notably from Scottish international left winger Jackie Henderson two minutes from time. Two goals by Preston centre forward Dennis Hatsell had given Arsenal a mountain to climb, and only a speculative shot by Henderson managed to beat man of the match John Barton. 

The Curse of the Canaries

Arsenal's free-flowing football came a cropper on two occasions versus Ron Saunders' newly promoted Norwich City.

On 23rd September, 1972 in a fixture at Carrow Road, Scottish international Jimmy Bone (above right) was their chief tormentor in Arsenal's 2-3 defeat, where a draw could have been salvaged after a last minute header by John Roberts cannoned off the bar.

On 21st November, 1972 Norwich travelled to Highbury for a League Cup Quarter Final which saw Arsenal reserve goalkeeper Geoff Barnett gift Norwich City's schemer Graham Paddon (above left) with two goals in the first half. Paddon added a third early in the second half and the tie was lost.

Soon after that game Norwich City's pressing and hassling style was found out and their season imploded whereby they went 20 games without a win anddropped from a creditable sixth in the league table (21/11/72) down to 20th (02/05/73) and just 2pts from relegation.

Parallel Seasons - 1958/59 and 1972/73 - Pre-season defeats away in Germany 

9th August, 1958. Schalke 3 Arsenal 1
4th August, 1972. SV Hamburg 4 Arsenal 0

Parallel Seasons - 1958/59 and 1972/73. Getting knocked out of 

the F.A Cup by Second Division sides.

Will 2014/15 be another Parallel season? Remember, history has a tendency to repeat itself?