are they now?
1970-71 Footballers is moving!
to the intransigence of dial.pipex it has become
necessary to move the site for the first time in its 8
with me whilst the move is being made, I'm trying to do
it as quick as I can, but I am allowing myself 6 months
to complete the process.
there are going to be NO MORE UPDATES on this original
site. And in the month of the site's 9th birthday it will
cease to exist at all
now visit www.bob7071.co.uk
Online Oddity or Wonder
of the Web ?
I am the web
master for a web site Bob and 1970-71 Footballers. Robert
Jeffrey, from a national UK Football Magazine
'FourFourTwo' wrote to me so that I could be featured in
an article about odd football sites.
The feature appeared in the October 2000 issue no. 74, pp
140-141. Here is the complete (very mildly updated)
Jeffrey : It'd be great to know a bit about the
background to the site. How did you get started ?
Bob : The lie : I was sat at work feeling that there was
a greater purpose to my life, when Billy Bremner appeared
to me in angelic form and with a wave of his arm and
flutter of his wings uttered, 'Bob from this day forth
you shall be known as "Bob of the 1970-71
Footballers" and you shall spend every waking hour
obsessively finding out and writing about footballers
from that season', and as the awe of his pure heavenly
white presence had rendered me speechless, I found I
could not utter the question, 'Why ???????'
And as suddenly as he had appeared so it was that he
began to fade. Before he faded altogether he said 'Go
forth Bob, and do as I say and your reward will be great.
Incidentally, tell Craig Brown all he needs to do to win
the next World Cup is ...' and he was gone.
The truth : I bought a book on HTML code, and on the 4th
April 1999 sent my first page to the Internet which is an
early form of the page that is still there now, and I
haven't looked back since. The nature of my site is that
it can be built up without essentially changing anything,
other than making the information more accurate and
complete. Hence it evolves rather than changes. It
gathers information like a rolling snowball getting
bigger and bigger (and more and more out of control !).
: Why you have a particular interest in 1970-71 ?
Bob : When I was 6 years old, the turn of the decade felt
very much like the change of the Millennium. Commentators
today talk so much bosh when they say that 1970 was like
the closing chapter of the Sixties. At six it wasn't
about endings, to me it was like a fresh new beginning to
everything that was about to happen. And I was beginning
to become aware of the wider world around me. And in
footballing terms, of course, there was the World Cup in
The earliest game I know for a fact that I watched in my
life was England v Brazil - what a great start ! Football
wasn't on the telly live in the same way back then, very
few matches were live, so the World Cup was extra special
... and there was a Soccer Stamps album that went with
it. At six the competition itself was only played out to
see how well the stars in your stamp album did !!! I got
a complete set, and I truly loved that album. I played
with the pictures in games I invented for myself which
essentially involved re-running the World Cup again and
again using tiddleywinks, or blow football (subbeuteo
wasn't around in our street then).
When the new season came along, a new album came with it,
and I liked collecting the stamps, no differently to the
way my son collects Pokemon now - the only difference was
these players really existed. Every Sunday I would rush
to the Sports section of the paper and 'update the book',
which meant writing down all the transfers from one club,
and marking down anyone who had scored. This web page is
an extension of that exact same thing. The Next
Generation News page is a direct descendent of what I did
for those players' fathers back in 1970 !!!
And I didn't stop at the end of the season, I carried on
2-3 years until the book itself had fallen apart at the
seams and was scribbled to bits. As I was older, I just
did it in more grown up ways, using Rothmans Football
Yearbooks, and ultimately Barry Hugman's books. If I
couldn't get to a real match, I would listen to the live
commentaries and update my figures. I would do yearly
updates, but gradually, of course they all retired, so
that wasn't necessary any more. (Still awake ???)
Anyway, in 1998 I got a computer, and I thought I'd get
my information all typed up for once and for all. And
then it occurred to me, if I did it for me why not do it
for the whole world ? Somebody, somewhere out there might
just want to see it. I figured if only one person looked
at it, that was one more than if it was sat in my
cupboard at home. So it began. In fact I get way over
40,000 hits a month. Monster!
: Why didn't you extend the site to cover other years ?
Bob : Time.
didn't even have everyone from the 70-71 season, and my
job was a lot easier ... What happened was people wrote
e-mails to me asking about so-and-so who was a Plymouth
player in the Sixties, and I just got curious to find out
more. It fitted in with other people's idea about what
the site should be about, so I guess it was in response
It makes the pages a lot
more illogical and bizarre, players suddenly get loads of
news stories about them, when the previous week they
weren't on it at all ! Initially I wanted to avoid that,
then I just changed my mind, the idea of chaos began to
appeal. I did always hope that someone would help me out
by writing their own team's 70-71 page which I could
either link to or put up on my own site, but funnily
enough, no-one else is similarly obsessed !! *(See note below.) It also has allowed
Kevin Keegan, Alex Ferguson, Michael Owen on the site,
for instance, which means loads of news stories can be
given a 70-71 twist that no-one would have believed was
But to extend further and do other years also, would just
be too much. Maybe someone else would like to do them !
That said, if
anyone emails me about a player from another era, I do my
best to answer the query or include their information on
the site. The 70-71 season, is just my way of saying, 'a
site on football history'
: What is your own background ?
Bob: I'm actually a psychiatric nurse, working in the
community. (N.B. See more at www.bobdunning.net)
: What sort of reaction have you had to the site ?
Bob : One person wrote to me to say that it reminded them
of when they were young and cutting out pictures to stick
in a scrap book and I wrote back saying it reminded me of
that too !
: Do people consider it odd?
Bob : Well I do. Some people who write have very
sincerely written that they've felt quite moved by the
site (honestly) because it's brought back such good
memories. I get many letters from ex-pats, and I think it
hits a nostalgia button. I try to make the site as
forward looking as a site about football from over 30
years ago can be, hence the emphasis on 'where are they
now?' and all the news pages.
Only friends have come out and said 'it's odd'. I had an
e-mail from a friend with the subject title, 'you sad
man' which is very true.
: Which other sites do you find strange?
Bob : To be honest, on the football front, there aren't
that many, I'll look forward to your site to find some.
Christian Kelly's www.onthecross.co.uk/ was the first person
who collaborated with me so he has a good sense of
1970-71 fun, although I'm not sure he was even born then.
He's very funny in his e-mails, but the sight isn't odd
www.hometown.aol.com/ironopolis/index.htm always struck me as
superbly minority interest because I can't imaging there
are many active fans left.
www.angelfire.com/de/craigboardmansboots/index.html The bloke is off his
rocker and you can't get a straight e-mail out of him.
www.footie51.co.uk/feature_nostalgia.htm and it's links. footie
51 is a big favourite of mine and sometimes comes from a
similar angle to myself.
Fanzines are as close as you get to oddness, but like I
say I've not come across too much myself yet. Humour
often means a figure p*ssing on a Man U badge, which was
probably funny the first me.
There is that site on footballers haircuts, I never did
go to that, I must do, I'm not sure of the address.
So how's all that going to fit into 25 words for your
magazine ???? I look forward to reading it if you do use
any of it. Thanks for showing an interest, if you want to
know the real, real reason I started the website, it was
for just that, to get someone's attention for 2 minutes
who might otherwise never have heard of me !
On 20/11/2001 and
23'4/03I very mildly brought one or two of the answers up
to date, so that it can be read as a current article.
* Note (from above) This is not quite so true now
as there 2 more exclusive 1970-71 sites, plus others very
closely relevent. Go to Links, and check