Retro Football: The Evening Standard London 5-A-Sides – Competitive Cup Played With First Team Players, 1993

Chris Wright

2nd, August 2013


By Chris Wright

Here’s a corking bit of footballing miscellany with footage from the 1993 Evening Standard London 5-a-sides tournament, which saw professional clubs from in and around the capital – we’re talking Watford, Millwall, West Ham, Brentford, Chelsea, Leyton Orient, Tottenham, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Barnet, Fulham, QPR and Luton Town – all putting out five-a-side teams made up of first-team/fringe players and squaring off against each other at Wembley Arena, and all before the actual football season had technically finished.

The whole thing was televised on Thames TV and presented by John Salako (who was playing for Palace at the time), with commentary provided by none other than Peter Brackley…

Here’s a copy of the programme…


For the record, Watford beat Wimbledon (who named the likes of Warren Barton, Robbie Earle and Vincent Jones in their side) on penalties in the final – possibly the last thing the Hornets won.

The tournament was a yearly event throughout the late 1970s, 80s and early 90s – though after Wycombe Wanderers were allowed to enter and duly won it, the organisers felt things were getting just a little bit silly and put the competition out of its misery in 1995.

(Many thanks to @DavidHartrick for doing the donkey work in the football goldmine with this one)

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  1. JJ says:

    This is bloody brilliant!!! Great find! They need to bring this back!….Be great to get a North v South tournament also or and ‘All Star” team or a State of Origin thing…..But this is great!

  2. Phil says:

    Are the goals always that short in 5 a side matches? In the states most of the indoor facilities are regulation height and maybe a little wider.

    • Chris says:

      @Phil: Yeah, that’s pretty much standard over here, though you don’t see many “square” posts anymore – real blast from the past there.

  3. Chairboy says:

    Leave off Wycombe Wanderers!

    They won this twice under the guidance of Martin O’Neil and I own a VHS (remember them) called High Fives documenting both wins.

    It also includes a bizarre interview with an ex-boxer in Adams Park which is nothing more than obvious padding.

  4. Austin Blues says:

    @phil… yeah, we all know, everything is bigger in the USA..

  5. Chris says:

    Is that Stock Aitken and Watermann on the tunes?? real 80s there. Great footage!!!

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