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6 Ways Sport Was Different On Fergie's First Day At United

Will Slattery
By Will Slattery
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When Alex Ferguson walked into Old Tratford for his first day on the 6th November 1986, nobody could have known the success he would achieve or the length of his stay. But Manchester United isn't the only thing that has changed drastically in the last 26 years, the sporting landscape has also evolved. Here are six ways the world of sport is different from that day in November 1986.

1. Ireland had just finished last in the 5 Nations. 


So Ireland didn't finish last in this year's 6 Nations but the fortunes of the national side in 1986 seem quite similar to today's crop. Coming off a triple crown in 1985, Ireland drastically underperformed losing all four of their games by an average of over 8 points. But as you can see from the photo, at least it was an era of great moustaches. I would go back in a heartbeat, wouldn't you?

2. Ireland almost had Bob Paisley over Jack Charlton

We can all agree that Jack Charlton's reign was a success but how different would that era have been had ex-Liverpool boss Bob Paisley been given the job. It came down to a strange secret ballot where in a typically Irish outcome, Paisley received three times as many votes as Charlton in the first ballot but lost by two votes on a second one. It was a Lisbon Treaty before we even knew what a Lisbon Treaty was.

3. Diego Maradona was still crazy but he wasn't THAT crazy


1986 was Maradona's peak when he wowed the football world with his breathtaking displays at that year's World Cup. This was before the drugs and the surgeries but he wasn't without controversey, isn't that right England?

4. Cycling was Clean. Well, sort of.


1986 was the year cleancut Greg LeMond won his first Tour De France and Paul Kimmage hadn't yet ridden rough. The truth wasn't that far around the corner though. The following year Charles Haughey made an appearence at the Tour. In retrospect, that should have tipped people off.

5. Kerry were still in their golden era


They may not have won five in a row but eight All Irelands in eleven years is a feat that will take some matching. This team gets bonus points for allowing a 19 year old Mick Galwey to win his only All Ireland medal.

6. Jerry Kiernan looked like this


Not quite the tight cropped mullet we know today but I'm sure the wilder style was still well capable of trolling those overweight and underworked GAA players.


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