New Notts County On This Day book out

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Notts County supporters and football fans in general will enjoy a fascinating new book called Notts County FC On This Day, written by freelance journalist Tim Evershed.

Boasting history, facts and figures from every day of the year, the 192-page book is written as a non-chronological order diary and is superbly researched and illustrated with evocative black and white photographs.

All the obvious things are in there with references to promotions and relegations and club legends such as Jimmy Sirrel, Jack Wheeler, Tommy Lawton, Don Masson, Albert Ironmonger, Les Bradd, Tommy Johnson and Jackie Sewell.

But it is some of the lesser know moments and faces that make this such a fascinating read.

It kicks off on New Year’s Day 1892 by highlighting forward John Sharpe’s feat of taking five wickets in an Ashes Test in Melbourne. Talk about an all-rounder!

On January 3 1893, star forward Harry Daft is sacked by the club when they decided he was faking a toe injury over Christmas. But he was back the following season to help them win the FA Cup.

Thursday, March 15 1951 saw Jackie Sewell join Sheffield Wednesday for a then world record fee of £34,500. You wouldn’t get much for that money now.

A Tony Hately hat-trick confirmed County’s promotion from Division Four on Monday, April 12 1971 while on Saturday, April 19 1975 there was crowd trouble and 45 arrests as Manchester United fans ran amok at Meadow Lane after winning the Division Two title.

Amazingly only 2,000 of the 40,000 tickets were sold for a Nottingham Pop and Blues Festival at Meadow Lane on Saturday, May 10 1969. Hosted by John Peel and Ed Stewart, the festival featured Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Status Quo and The Move!

Less than two years after scoring an FA Cup final hat-trick, on Monday, May 25 1896, Jimmy Logan died of pneumonia after playing for Loughborough in the rain and travelling home in sodden clothes. On Tuesday, June 11 1957, former Notts star Hughie Gallacher committed suicide by throwing himself under a train.

One of the worst tragedies was the death from leukaemia at the age of just 35 of skipper Leon Leuty on Monday, December 19 1955. Almost as shocking was the loss of Pedro Richards on Sunday, December 23 2001, who died of pneumonia at the QMC, aged just 45.

On Saturday, September 23, three different Notts players missed the same penalty kick, retaken twice, at Portsmouth.

A superstitious squad, on Saturday, October 28 1950, insisted on unstitching the Magpie from the badge on their shirts, blaming it for bad luck in a poor start to the season, immediately rewarded with a 2-1 win.

Financial crises seem to be a regular theme for the world’s oldest Football League club.

On 10th January 1992 Notts had to sell star striker Paul Rideout to Southampton for £500,000 to stave off a crisis.

On 14th January 2003 fans set up a Supporters’ Trust amid another cash crisis with Notts in administration.

On Friday, August 29 1986, it was revealed Notts’ debts were almost £1.8 million. By Monday, September 15 a crisis meeting was being held in the Astoria nightclub.

More recent worries can be found on 5th January 2010 as the ill-fated ownership of the club by Munto Finance ends up with the Magpies facing a winding-up petition. Again they lived to fight another day.

There is a reference to another crisis on Sunday, December 5 1965 when the club was stabilised by money from local car dealer Bill Hopcroft.

Managers come and go from Sam Allarcdyce and Howard Wilkinson to Neil Warnock and Sven Goran-Eriksson.

Every page is a memory for an older fan or a fascinating insight into the club’s past for younger fans.

The hardback book, published by Pitch (IBSN-13: 978-1785310409) is out now priced £9.99.