Football has changed. In The Age of Innocence: Football in the 1970s, we hark back to the era when footballers wore glasses and could smoke without being castigated, the game wasn’t a bloated global brand, fans supported their local clubs, footballers’ wives were nurses called ‘Anne’, England footballers off to the World Cup scored a free Ford Cortina (each!), and the official match-day programme contained not platitudes about ‘respect’ but heartfelt words unfiltered by media handlers, like when English footballer Steve Kember’s response to the question “If I ruled the world…?” was “I’d bring back hanging.” It wasn’t all ultra-violence and regret.
Leeds United’s Jack Charlton puffs on a cigarette during a training session, August 1970. Mirrorpix
George Best is fouled by an unrepentant Wolves defender. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty ImagesPhotograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Pelea and a Mercedes. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images
Berti Vogts of West Germany challenges a Mexican opponent at the 1978 World Cup finals
England’s Alan Ball, Geoff Hurst, Bobby Moore and Peter Osgood in Mexico for the World Cup tournament in 1970. No media handlers.
Liverpool winger Steve Heighway at Spurs 1970. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images
Liverpool FC and Scotland’s Kenny Dalglish, 1978. Mirrorpix
West Ham and England star Bobby Moore on holiday in Brazil, July 1971. Photograph: Mirrorpix
Pele before the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. Photograph: Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport
Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best at his Manchester boutique. Photograph: PA Archive
Chelsea fans in Slaidburn Street, London before their FA Cup final match against the mighty Leeds, 11 April 1970. Photograph: Gerry Cranham/Offside
England captain Bobby Moore with his wife Tina – 1972. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Getty Images
From: The Age of Innocence is published by Taschen