ArseWEB presents - Sammy Nelson's bum!
FA won't turn blind eye to Nelson
"SAMMY NELSON, Arsenal's Northern Ireland international left-back, has been
suspended for two weeks by his club and fined two weeks' wages for lowering his
shorts in front of the crowd after equalizing in the 1-1 draw against Coventry
at Highbury on 3 April (1979). He also seems certain to be charged by the FA
with bringing the game into disrepute. Nelson's gesture came after he had been
barracked by the crowd for putting the ball into his own goal in the first
half. The player is extrememly contrite about his behaviour, and the only
charitable thing that can be said is that it appeared to be entirely out of
This incident was fondly recalled by several members of the Arsenal mailing list, including
Julian, who submitted the above report from 1979.
F. Greene remembers the incident...
I was at the match in question and, at the time, it was the subject of much
discussion. The facts of the matter are that, when questioned by schoolmates
on the following day, I could recall no barracking of Sammy whatsoever
during the match despite his initial aberration. Sammy was adored by the
Arsenal crowd for his agressive attacking play (he linked perfectly with
Chippy) and he loved to carve lumps out of opposition ankles. A true Arsenal
superhero who would have been forgiven instantly for the own goal.
My reading of the incident then (and now) was that he mooned out of sheer
delight at having got even with the opposition. I believe the story about
him having been barracked was made up in haste (possibly by the Press) who
could think of no other reason for such a spontaneous display of jubilation.
Their explanation has now become received wisdom but has never really been
My belief is strengthened by the fact that it was the North Bank which
received the full brunt of Sammy's cheek. I suppose it's possible that there
may have been some isolated whingeing in the Upper East Stand for example
but the notion of the North Bank giving Sammy stick is just unimaginable. We
As does Mike Winnett..
My recollextion (excushe the spelling but I'm just back from
Leicester:-( is that it took place near the North-east corner,
right in front of the North Bank, not very far from where I was
standing. Likewise I don't remember any barracking, Sammy was held
in high esteem in the North Bank, and certainly the bum was
definitely aimed in our direction. I'd agree with your
...and Bill Barber.
Remember it well ! it was a midweek game and the attendance was in the region
of 48,000.The reason for that was that the club published the Cup Final
application form in the programme on that night, no terrace season tickets in
those days. The form had a space for each of your 24 vouchers from the home
games, for those that don't know they used to put one in each home programme.
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