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They Can Be Heroes



FA Cup

The Magic of the FA Cup


They Can Be Heroes

On the eve of Bowie’s debut at Glastonbury in 1971, Charlie George and the Gunners headlined Wembley Stadium. The gig attracted 100,000 colourfully-attired revellers.

The Arsenal frontman pitched the perfect note late in extra-time, securing his place in FA Cup folklore. His unique and often imitated celebration, befitted his new-found rock-star status.

This weekend, these iconic cultural events present themselves to TV audiences craving fresh impetus – supporting the belief that the symbiotic relationship between Music & Sport, continues unabated. The performance by Charlie George and his band proved to be a defining moment in BBC broadcasting, (notably) North of the Border.

The thirty-minute extra-time period was broadcast ‘live’ to a Scottish audience. Previous interaction with English Football, consisted of a late-night highlight package, often bereft of drama.

The impact on the fashion industry in Scotland was also noteworthy, with the sales of cross-border provincial club shirts, highly prevalent. The contemporary ‘retro’ market further supports this testimony.

The FA Cup has long been recognised as the tournament of dreamers, with many of the favoured elite falling victim to clubs from the lower divisions. In ’72, Hereford United outsmarted Newcastle; a year earlier Colchester humbled Don Revie’s Leeds, as did Sunderland in the Final of 1973. Countless other examples exist. However the infrastructure enveloping modern-day A-Listers, has greatly diminished the prospects of breakthrough artists repeating similar feats.

Given the aforementioned financial rewards aligned to Premiership membership, it’s hardly surprising the FA Cup has lost some of its allure.

However, the tournament warrants the utmost respect for entertainment value alone. Who can forget Ricky Villa’s sublime slalom-run, to seal the trophy for Spurs, or Ryan Giggs’ semi-final trickery, to thwart Arsenal? The Football authorities and Broadcast Media have a duty to address the socio-economic constraints placed on supporters/subscribers. The importance of the free live-stream to Scottish audiences in 1971, cannot be overstated.

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have emerged from this weekend’s ties. One step closer to Cup glory.

August’s headliners – TBC


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Born in 1963, Peter attended St Mary's Leith High School. Peter worked within the plumbing industry before studying a degree in journalism within the University of Stirling. Peter has been a lifelong sports fan and has volunteered within the Edinburgh Soccer School's programme on numerous occasions.


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