Notts County On This Day includes hundreds of quirky anecdotes, legendary characters and big-match highlights – it’s an irresistibly dippable Magpies diary, with an entry for every day of the year.
The book is also a triumph of painstaking research on the part of author Tim Evershed. Local Nottingham journalist Tim is captured here in his natural habitat, enjoying the fruits of his labour out in the centre circle at the County Ground!
We asked Tim for his pick of entries from This Week in Notts County History. He looks back on previous opening weeks to judge how the Magpies will fare in the 2015/16 season, after their impressive opening away win… followed by a disappointing home draw on Friday.
Monday 18th August 2014
Just three matches into the season and the injury list at Meadow Lane was so lengthy that manager Shaun Derry was forced to register himself as a player. An experienced campaigner who had played at all four levels of the English game, Derry had not featured in a match for almost a year. But, at the age of 36 he was actually a year younger than squad member Gary Jones.
Tuesday 19th August 1890
The first meeting of the club’s Board, after it became a limited company called ‘The Notts Incorporated Football Club’, took place at the Lion Hotel on Clumber Street in Nottingham. The minutes of the meeting show that A Williams was elected as the company’s first chairman. They also show that the club was paying rent of £50 a year for the Castle Cricket Ground while top scorer James Oswald was the best paid player on £5 a week plus insurance. Also minuted was the alleged approach of a Forest official to a Notts player while director A Barlow was to arrange assistance for left-half Alf Shelton in order that he could visit the “seaside as to re-establish his health”.
Saturday 20th August 1949
A heatwave did not deter over 30,000 from coming to Meadow Lane to see the first match of a record-breaking season for Notts. The first step to promotion as champions from the Third Division (South) was taken, as Southend United were overcome 2-0 with goals from Fred Evans and Jackie Sewell. The large crowds continued throughout the campaign and the season’s average attendance of 35,176 over 21 home matches is the largest in the club’s history. Tommy Lawton said: “Season 1949/50 was the year… the year we sailed away to promotion, and not even our worst enemy could deny that we were always favourites for the title. We got off to a flying start and never looked like losing our grip.”
Tuesday 20th August 1991
Top-flight football returned to Meadow Lane after an absence of seven years as County welcomed Southampton. The Magpies had lost their first match back in the First Division, to eventual runnersup Manchester United 2-0, at Old Trafford three days earlier. A Dean Yates goal sealed victory over the Saints, the first of 10 wins
during the campaign.
Saturday 22nd August 2009
Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet on his debut, a 3-0 win against Dagenham & Redbridge. It was the first of 24 clean sheets in a record-breaking season for the stopper. Goals from Lee Hughes, Karl Hawley and Johnnie Jackson comfortably saw off the challenge of the Essex side.
Saturday 23rd August 1958
Notts County hosted Accrington Stanley in its first ever match in the newly combined Division Three after the League had been restructured to include a fourth tier. Stan Newsham got the club’s first goal at the new level but they were held 1-1 at Meadow Lane.
Saturday 25th August 1973
Notts County returned to the Second Division in style after a 15-year hiatus. Despite Palace taking an early lead through Don Rogers the Magpies fought back with an equaliser from an unlikely source, central defender Brian Stubbs. Notts sealed victory in the second half with two goals from Kevin Randall and another from Mick Vinter.
Click here for more information, or to read a free sample from Notts County On This Day – History, Facts & Figures from Every Day of the Year.