The Black And White Years: How New Signings Used To Be Unveiled Back In The Good Old Days (Photos)

Chris Wright

14th, June 2017


In the days before rubber lion masksuncooked supermarket pizzas and social media blow-outs with budgets akin to your average Hollywood blockbuster, the welcoming of a new signing was a much more sedate and earnest affair.

There was minimal pomp, very little circumstance and, generally speaking, a surfeit of sturdy handshaking. It was a simpler time – a better time, you might argue.

Presented here in archive photo form is an exploration of the lost art of the understated player unveiling.

A new arrival at Tottenham, Ralph Ward receives the very stoutest of handshakes from manager George Hardy, 1936

David Herd poses for an introductory photo while unpacking his bags in the Highbury boot room, 1954

Tottenham manager Alf Ramsey formally welcomes Danny Blanchflower to White Hart Lane, 1954

Dennis Jackson leaps over Barry Pierce and Sammy Wilson, new signings for Millwall, 1959

Senior Arsenal players Jack Kelsey and (the aforementioned) David Herd ruffle the hair of new teammate, 17-year-old Terry Neill, 1959

Ipswich manager Alf Ramsey delivers a sermon to a quartet of new signings: Roy Stephenson, Ray Crawford, Doug Moran and Jimmy Leadbetter, 1961

Jimmy Greaves receives a gift from new teammate Tony Marchi in the White Hart Lane carpark after joining Tottenham from AC Milan, 1961

Arsenal manager Billy Wright gives Joe Baker the guided tour of Highbury while Arsenal await a phone call from Torino to ensure that the Scottish forward’s transfer has gone through, 1962

Denis Law and Sir Matt Busby are interviewed outside Old Trafford to help explain the former’s complicated arrival from Torino, 1962

New Tottenham signing Cyril Knowles emerges from White Hart Lane to meet his adoring public, 1964

Millwall’s new signing Eamonn Dunphy points to a huge television screen being constructed on the pitch at The Den, 1966

The screen would then beam back pictures from the club’s away game at Workington

Coventry manager Noel Cantwell welcomes Ian St John to the club, 1971

Nice tie! The ever-flamboyant Malcolm Allison greets Rodney Marsh after the latter’s arrival at Man City, 1972

QPR manager Gordon Jago wastes little time putting new signing Frank McLintock through his paces, 1973

Fulham captain Alan Mullery welcomes his old mucker Bobby Moore to Craven Cottage, 1974

Walsall coach Doug Fraser (right) poses for a photo with new signing Roger Hynd, 1975

Tottenham boss Keith Burkinshaw unveils new signings Ricardo Villa and Osvaldo Ardilles to the press, 1978

Aston Villa newcomer John Gregory gets to work in the laundry room at Bodymoor Heath after signing from Northampton Town, 1978

New Manchester United teammates Gordon McQueen and Ray Wilkins pose for a not-at-all-uncomfortable photo, 1979

Horror hair legends Gerry Francis and Mike Flanagan celebrate the combining of their powers at Crystal Palace, 1979

New signing Garry Birtles surveys the knick-knackery on sale in the Manchester United souvenir shop, 1980

Posted in Featured, Newsnow, Photos, Retro, Top 10s & lists, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Olivier says:

    There it is. I found the brittishest article of the whole website.

  2. Gamblino says:

    I remember when the shops at the big grounds looked like that! And I’m only a child of the 80’s. All hidden behind caged windows and you had to queue for a mile to get to the counter. Who needs a ‘megastore’!

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