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On This Day In History 29th March Part 2
Sunday, 29th Mar 2020 11:42

So what were you doing on this very day in past years, in our second part of today's look back we try to jog a few memories and show a younger generation what they missed.

40 years ago today it was matchday at the Dell and hopes were high in the supporter base as all the talk was not only about Kevin Keegan's arrival for the next season, but that Saints had ended their three year quest to build a new stadium on Western Esplanade, on land that had the old power station and lido on it, roughly were the old Toys R Us building and coach station are now.

The plans had been derailed by the City Council who could not agree anything back then and it saw the City become a cultural wasteland before a decade later they finally started to get their act together and realise that new buildings etc had to be built or the City would die.

But 29th March saw the debut of Ivan Katalinic in goal a signing from Hadjuk Split, a team from Yugoslavia that sounded more like an ice cream sundae and whom no one knew if they were from Hadjuk or Split.

Katalinic had already had trials at West Brom & Derby but we saw something that we didn't, perhaps the gloves. he was big white ones, perhaps the first goalkeeper in England to do so with most keepers still wearing cotton gloves when wet, gloves with rubber pimples when muddy and just their hands when dry, it would be a year before gloves became big business.

He kept a clean sheet on his debut, Saints won it in the last 20 mins with a Chris Nicholl header and a Graham Baker strike.

In 1986 mid table Saints travelled to the Hawthorns to take on relegation strugglers West Brom, the Baggies were already virtually relegated hence only 7,324 would turn out, this would not be the lowest crowd to see us, a few weeks later only 5,833 would see us at Birmingham City who would also go down with West Brom, both clubs cast adrift.

This game would be 1 of the 4 League wins West Brom would achieve this season, but we really should have won it, Glenn Cockerill missed a penalty on 10 mins, the home side had a player sent off on 56 minutes and we hit the bar 3 times, but the home side won it with 20 minutes to go with the only goal of the game.

In other news Tim Flowers was signed from Wolves.

From the early 1990's there was the introduction of an International break at the end of March in case you are wondering why some of our reflections back of late seem to have had little for a 20 year period until our relegation to League One.

So it would be 2008 before we played again on the 29th March and it would be a trip to Cardiff again and another 1-0 defeat again, Saints had been dropping like a stone and looking like relegation fodder as news of financial problems surfaced, the home side again scored early this time in the 6th minute to win the game.

Fast forward to 2014 and a lot of things had changed Mauricio Pochettino's team were hosting Newcastle and heading for a top 8 finish, goals from Jay Rodriguez in the final minute of each half and Rickie Lambert & Adam Lallana in between gave us a great win, but Saints being Saints little did we know that the Roller Coaster was about to begin again.

Photo: Action Images

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dirk_doone added 12:47 - Mar 29
I was at that game in 1980 too. You forgot to mention who the opposition was. It was Norwich. Earlier that month, we saw Jimmy Greaves play his only game in a Saints shirt v Vancouver Whitecaps.

The rejection of our new stadium plans may have had something to do with the fact that the city council at the time was headed by John Deacon, who also happened to be the chairman of Portsmouth Football Club, after having been turned down for a place on the board at Southampton FC.

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