Jack Charlton’s little black book

When Jack Charlton admitted to having a little black book during a television interview in 1970, viewers perhaps wondered if they were about to be made privy to some scandalous secrets by the seemingly happily married World Cup winner. But instead of providing juicy stories for the gossip pages, Charlton’s disclosure ended up sparking a scandal that would dominate the back pages for weeks, as journalists and officials tumbled over one another in self righteously denouncing the tough as nails veteran defender.

Charlton had made it clear that his little black book did not contain women’s telephone numbers, but names of players that he would do on the field if he got the chance because they had committed bad fouls on him. Charlton really hadn’t said much wrong. He had explicitly denounced bad or nasty fouls. It did not lessen the media frenzy that followed. “These sickening comments,” ran a headline in the Daily Express, above an article that called on Leeds to sack Charlton. Even Bobby Charlton was trotted out to denounce his older brother. The Football Association dutifully charged the man with 35 caps to his name with bringing the game into disrepute.

In Pictures - Michel Platini during Euro 1984

It’s stated quite often that Diego Maradona won the 1986 Wold Cup single handedly. But insofar as anyone can actually win a tournament on his own, that distinction would apply to Michel Platini at Euro 1984 much more than to Maradona two years later. The gifted French playmaker scored in every one of his team’s five matches. In total Platini scored an astonishing number of nine goals in the course of the tournament, including hattricks against Belgium and Yugoslavia.

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Platini celebrates his goal in the opener against Denmark (1-0)