Football In The 1970s: When Footballers Wanted A Pint, A Smoke And To Bring Back Hanging

Most of the old match-day rituals have passed but we can relive football's glory days with these terrific photos

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 smoking a cigarette during a training session, August 1970. Mirrorpix

Leeds United’s Jack Charlton puffs on a cigarette during a training session, August 1970. Mirrorpix

football George Best writhes in agony after being fouled by a Wolves defender. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

George Best is fouled by an unrepentant Wolves defender. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty ImagesPhotograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Pele, the star of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning team, poses in front of a Mercedes. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Pelea and a Mercedes. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Berti Vogts of West Germany takes a bath tackling a Mexican opponent at the 1978 World Cup finals

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

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 takes on a Spurs defender in 1970. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

Liverpool winger Steve Heighway at Spurs  1970. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish, 1978. Mirrorpix

Liverpool FC and Scotland’s Kenny Dalglish, 1978. Mirrorpix

West Ham and England star Bobby Moore on holiday in Brazil, July 1971. Photograph: Mirrorpix

West Ham and England star Bobby Moore on holiday in Brazil, July 1971. Photograph: Mirrorpix

Pele is surrounded by photographers before the 1970 World Cup final against Italy. Photograph: Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport

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

Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best at his Manchester boutique. Photograph: PA Archive

Chelsea fans hang banners across Slaidburn Street, west London ahead of their FA Cup final match against Leeds, 11 April 1970. Photograph: Gerry Cranham/Offside

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 circa 1972. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Getty Images

England captain Bobby Moore with his wife Tina – 1972. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Getty Images

 

From: The Age of Innocence is published by Taschen