PICTURE SPECIAL Pre-season in the 60s and 70s
Teams around Europe are returning to pre-season training. These days it's all BMI indexes and sports science calibration, but in ye olde dayse it wasn't all just cross-country running...
Alright, maybe there was quite a lot of cross-country running. Here's Arsenal at a very much pre-Wenger London Colney in 1961 Ã¢ÂÂ although it could be between the wars, judging by the gate-based urchin watching Billy McCullough, Gerry Ward and Danny Clapton rumble past.
At the same time, further round where the M25 wasn't, Chelsea players were lining up at Ewell in Surrey for a spot of simultaneous ball-belting.
Meanwhile across the metropolis at Grange Farm in Chigwell, West Ham's Bobby Moore showed the poise that promised much for later in the decade.
The following year, Mark Lazarus and Roy Bentley vaulted the benches at White City Ã¢ÂÂ where QPR were to be based that season. (They moved back to Loftus Road after a year.)
Over in Cheshunt, Jimmy Greaves was preparing for his first full season at Spurs with, well, this:
...and the following season, Dave Mackay and Cliff Jones enjoyed a spot of tennis as a warm-up.
And so to 1965. But this bizarre pic is no Swinging Sixties, Austin Powers groovy icon up to some crazy proto-acid-trip high-jinks. It's local-born left-back Brian Kinsey, halfway through a 15-year career at the Valley. Go figure.
Also in 1965, press photographers finally made it out of London, perhaps taking advantage of the newly-appearing northern extensions of the M1. In this instance, they've made it as far as Port Vale, where Sir Stanley Matthews had taken an unpaid general-manager role after retiring as a player at Stoke. Couldn't resist taking the lads on, though...
And so to the summer of '67. To pop-culture historians, it's the Summer of Love, LSD and Sgt Pepper. Here, it's new Millwall winger Derek Possee given a push on an Eltham roundabout by Lawrie Leslie, Keith Weller and Billy Neil. If you can remember it, you weren't there, maaaaan...
Into 1968 and here's Frank McLintock, vaulting a pair of chairs which some idiot had left on the Highbury pitch.
In 1969, Matt Busby moved upstairs at Manchester United and Wilf McGuinness was promoted to manager. Here, he takes charge of the players who 15 months earlier conquered Europe. Within another 16 months he would be sacked as Busby retook the reins.
Fast-forward to 1972 and a sliding United met the press at Old Trafford. Denis Law, starting what turned out to be his last season as a Red, turned the camera on George Best, who had just been suspended by the club for disciplinary reasons.
By 1973, the third member of United's Holy Trinity had moved into management at Preston. He spent his first season watching from the sidelines as they slipped into the third tier; despite putting the boots back on he couldn't get them higher than 9th and left in 1975.
In summer 1975, as 37-year-old Charlton was retiring, 18-year-old "Butch" Wilkins was made captain of newly-relegated Chelsea. Here, he perhaps unwisely agrees to clamber onto Chopper Ã¢ÂÂ not deposed club captain Harris, but the new must-have bicycle.
...and in 1976, near-neighbours QPR went one better by getting Stan Bowles and Ian Gillard on a motorbike. Not something you can imagine Djibril Cisse doing... or maybe you can...