FESTIVE FIXTURES: THE BEAUTIFUL GAMES, MOST BEAUTIFUL DAYS
With Christmas approaching, I looked at some of the best football fixtures to ever take place.
The festive period is the time that brings people together the most. Boxing day football is one annual game which people look forward to the most, the atmosphere at these games tend to be more joyous, more relaxed and all in all better. Given the Christmas period, many people attend these games with family members or those that they might not see as often throughout the year, bringing them closer. For some, Boxing day football has become a tradition. Games with a high number of goals are able to brighten people's mood (unless you are a fan of the conceding team of course) especially during the Christmas period.
Boxing day, 1963:
Some of the best festive football came from Boxing day in 1963. This day alone saw a total of 66 goals being scored in the 10 games from the first division of football.
The highest-scoring team this day was Fulham where they beat Ipswich Town at home, with the final score being 10-1. This game saw Fulham’s Graham Leggat score not only his 100th goal for the club but also score 4 of the 10 goals scored in the game.
Blackburn Rovers also scored a whopping 8 goals at Upton Park against West Ham. The final score here ended at 2-8, with both of West Ham’s goals being scored by Johnny Byrne.
Liverpool and Burney both scored 6 this day, with both scores ending 6-1.
Liverpool welcomed Stoke City to Anfield. Liverpool's Roger Hunt scored 4 out of the 6 goals for Liverpool, and was the assist for the other 2. Half time here saw the score at 1-1, before Liverpool scored 5 goals in the remaining 45 minutes.
Burney welcomed Manchester United. By half time, it was merely 2-1 at Turf Moor, with United conceding 4 alone in the second half. Andy Lochhead, who played for Burnley, scored a simple 4 out of the 6 goals for Burnley, scoring in the 7’, 42’, 72’ and 85’ minutes.
David Herd scored the one and only goal for United that day, scoring in the 30’ minute.
The remaining games this day saw Blackpool lose 5-1 to Chelsea at home, Leicester win 2-0 at home against Everton, Nottingham Forest drew 3-3 to Sheffield United at home, Bolton Wanderers lost away 3-0 to Sheffield Wednesday, West Brom drew 4-4 to Tottenham Hotspurs at home, and finally, Wolves also drew 3-3 to West Ham at home.
Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle - 29th December 2012
Looking at a more modern game, we saw Arsenal win 7-3 at home to Newcastle, being one of the best games that day goal wise. This game saw, at the time, 23-year-old Theo Walcott score 3 of the 7 goals, this being his first Premier League hat-trick of the season, while also getting the assist for the 5th and 6th goal. Arsenal had to take the lead 4 times during this game before them finally winning 7-3 due to their fourth goal being scored in the 73rd minute, and then the following goals scored in the 84th, 87th, and 90+1st minutes pushing them to a bigger lead.
The Christmas day war game
An honourable mention for a game full of festive spirit is the Christmas truce of 1914.
During the first world war, five months into it, a Christmas truce happened between the soldiers. It is said that on Christmas day, the Germans and the English soldiers put the war aside, met in no-man's land, and played a game of football with one another while sharing food, sharing stories and spreading Christmas cheer.
The 2014 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert brought light to this for most people, and was able to bring to life a game that may have taken place. There is no solid proof that the game itself took place, but a few letters from soldiers match and add up that there was a kick around in certain locations. Implying that the game of football helped bring these sets of people together even for a small amount of time and in even in the worst circumstances.
These are some of the most festive games that provided the most goal action and christmas spirit, highlighting how well this game can bring even the complete opposite people together to celebrate.