A star parade in more ways than one – A brief guide to GOAL Football Annual

Posted: 6th July 2017

The GOAL Football Annual was launched in 1971, or was it?

Actually, yes, the first annual with the title taken from the popular GOAL football magazine was published in 1971/72 (see above).

However, there was an annual published before this which had links with GOAL.

Initially, Football Star Parade, an annual published by Longacre Press which would become part of IPC Magazines, made no mention of GOAL for its first edition covering 1968/69. However, for the next 2 seasons, the title of the annual was supplemented on the annual’s front cover with the phrase, ‘The Soccer Annual by GOAL’ for 1969/70 and ‘The Football Annual by GOAL’ for 1970/71 (see the chronological list of annuals below).

In 1971/72, Football Star Parade ceased and an annual under the GOAL title was published up to and including the 1977 edition making 6 versions of the annual (with a caveat about the 1975 edition which I’ll come to).

So including the Football Star Parade annuals which refereed to GOAL, we can say that there were 8 editions.

Including all Football Star Parade annuals, including the first one with no reference to GOAL, we can say that there were 9 editions.

However, please note that all of the above is written with a caveat about the GOAL Football  Annual for 1975 as I have not seen one and cannot find one anywhere. If indeed, some IPC publishing quirk meant that an annual was not published that year, then the above number on the GOAL annuals and total annuals need to be reduced by one, obviously.

Uncertainty on numbers aside, I’m going to cover all of the annuals (Football Star Parade and GOAL, including the phantom 1975 edition) in this post but will refer specifically to each one where relevant.

The books each looked back at the season before the publishing year with the first Football Star Parade annual for 1968/69, looking back at the 1967/68 season in which Manchester City were 1st Division Champions, West Bromwich Albion, the F.A. Cup winners and Leeds United, winners of the Football League Cup.

Like some other boy’s football annual titles, the content of the GOAL Football Annuals in both forms were a mixture of themed articles about aspects of the game in addition to features on specific clubs and players of the time.

Indeed, by the early 1970’s, the themed approach was probably more popular amongst editors in how they put their annuals together, although the longer the GOAL annuals went on being published, the more they focused on double page spreads about individual players.

GOAL magazine had been launched back in August 1968 and was a very popular one, taking over gradually from Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly, Soccer Star and Jimmy Hill’s Football Weekly as the preferred magazine of choice for many football enthusiasts, especially boys between the ages of 8-15 years-old;

The magazine was merged with SHOOT! in 1974 but the annuals continued to be published until 1977.

Looking back, the magazine was more probably more popular than the annual of its name but that would probably have been the case with most of the annuals published off the back of the good name and popularity of the major football magazine titles.

Indeed, lower sales for annuals as against sales for magazines would not have been a negative for the publishers.

The market for football annuals was a big one, an obvious one and in pre-internet days, annuals provided an additional opportunity for publishers to build loyalty for their title whilst their buyers to got their football ‘fix’.

The content of the Football Star Parade and especially, the GOAL annuals were very strong on photos and although there were plenty of features on the clubs and players of the era, unlike some earlier football annuals, these editions were dominated by excellent action photos of the era.

There was no mention of the name of the editor of the annuals. Alan Hughes was the editor of GOAL magazine for its entirety and he may have been involved with the annual.

All the annuals were laminated hard cover editions and they were published in a time, from the end of the 1960’s to the end of the 1970’s, when dust wrappers were almost extinct in the football annual genre with one or two exceptions like the later David Coleman World of Football books and some of the 1970’s editions of the Topical Times Football Book.

The annuals were all of similar length. The Football Star Parade editions were 126 pages. The 1971/72 edition of the GOAL annual was 110 pages and the editions which followed were printed with as low as 104 pages but then went back p to 126 pages for the last 2 editions.

Let’s have a look at the annuals one by one, starting with the Football Star Parade annuals and then onto the GOAL annuals.

I’ve left a space for the 1975 edition on the assumption that it existed and that at some point, I’ll get hold of a copy.


1. Football Star Parade 1968/69

The front cover showed an action photo from a match at White Hart Lane showing Tottenham Hotspur’s Pat Jennings and Alan Gilzean facing Liverpool’s Tony Hateley.

The back cover showed 4 headshots of top players; (clockwise top right) Gordon Banks (Stoke City), George Best (Manchester United), Jimmy Johnstone (Celtic) and Ron Davies (Southampton);

Although the 2nd and 3rd editions of this annual made reference to GOAL on their front covers (see examples below) whilst this first issue did not.

This edition looked back at the 1967/68 season.

There was a feature with photos on the F.A. Cup Final between Everton and West Bromwich Albion and on the League Cup Final between Arsenal and Leeds United.

There was good Manchester United photo / feature content with articles on the Red Devils’ 1968 European Cup win, one on Bobby Charlton and also one on Nobby Stiles.

Other club / player features included;

Everton – Ray Wilson 

Scotland – Rangers’ Ronnie McKinnon

Stoke City – Gordon Banks

Wales – Tottenham Hotspur’s Mike England

Also included was a player Who’s Who section with pen pictures on 2,000 players;


2. Football Star Parade 1969/70

The front cover showed an action photo from a match at Highbury with Arsenal’s Bobby Gould taking on Coventry City’s Maurice Setters and a team mate.

Also on top right corner of the front cover of this 2nd edition of the annual was a first reference to GOAL (see above).

The back cover showed Manchester United’s Bobby Charlton and Pat Crerand against a backdrop of the stands at Old Trafford;

This edition looked back at the 1968/69 season.

There was a feature with photos on the F.A. Cup Final between Manchester City and Leicester City and on the Scottish League Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers.

Other club / player features included;

Celtic – Jimmy Johnstone

Derby County – Dave Mackay

Leeds United – Billy Bremner

Liverpool – Ron Yeats

Southampton – Ron Davies

Swindon Town – Don Rogers

Tottenham Hotspur – Pat Jennings

West Ham United – Geoff Hurst

Also included was a Fans Guide to English, Welsh and Scottish Clubs; 


3. Football Star Parade 1970/71

The front cover showed an action photo from a match at the Boleyn Ground with West Ham United’s Bobby Ferguson and Alan Stephenson taking on an opponent.

Also on the bottom right corner of the front cover of this 3rd edition of the annual was another reference to GOAL (see above).

The back cover showed an action photo from a Manchester derby with Manchester United’s Alex Stepney, Shay Brennan and Ian Ure taking on Manchester City’s Ian Bowyer;

This edition looked back at the 1969/70 season with features on all the major successes domestically and in Europe;

Aberdeen – Scottish Cup winners

Arsenal – Fairs Cup winners

Celtic – Scottish League champions / League Cup winners / Cup finalists / European Cup finalists 

Chelsea – F. A. Cup winners

Chesterfield – 4th Division champions

Everton – 1st Division champions

Huddersfield Town / Blackpool – 2nd Division champions / runners-up

Leyton Orient – 3rd Division champions

Macclesfield – F.A. Trophy winners

Manchester City – League Cup / European Cup Winners’ Cup winners

Other club / player features included;

Celtic – Bertie Auld

Chelsea – Alan Hudson

Leeds United – Allan Clarke

Liverpool – Emlyn Hughes

Manchester City – Colin Bell

West Ham United – Bobby Moore

There was also good World Cup 1970 content.

An interesting feature towards the back of the annuals was a ‘Get You There’ guide to the location of the big soccer grounds;


4. GOAL Football Annual 1971/72

The front cover showed an action photo from another match at Highbury with Arsenal’s Frank McLintock and John Roberts taking on Everton’s Joe Royle.

The back cover showed 4 headshots of top players; (clockwise from top right) Bobby Moncur (Newcastle United and Scotland), Terry Neil (Hull City and Northern Ireland), Terry Hennessey (Derby County and Wales) and Bobby Moore (West Ham United and England);

This edition looked back at the 1970/71 season with features on some of the major domestic successes;

Arsenal – 1st Division champions / F.A. Cup winners and a feature on Charlie George

Celtic – Scottish League champions / Cup winners

Skelmersdale – F.A. Amateur Cup winners

Other club / player features included;

Birmingham City – Trevor Francis

Chelsea – Alan Hudson

Coventry City – Club feature

Everton – Joe Royle

Liverpool – Brian Hall / Steve Heighway

Luton Town – Viv Busby

Manchester City – Club feature

Manchester United – Brian Kidd

Tottenham Hotspur – Steve Perryman / Jimmy Neighbour

Wales – Focus on Dave Bowen and his team

West Ham United – Johnny Ayris

There was also a Guide to 25 years of British Isles international teams;


5. GOAL Football Annual 1973

The front cover showed an action photo from matches at (clockwise from top right) Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, West Ham United and Queens Park Rangers.

The back cover showed an action photo from a match at the Hawthorns with West Bromwich Albion’s Jeff Astle scoring against Leicester City;

This edition looked back at the 1971/72 season with features on some of the major domestic successes;

Celtic – Scottish League and Cup winners

Derby County – 1st Division champions

Leeds United – F.A. Cup winners

Stoke City – League Cup winners

Other club / player features included;

Arsenal – Brendan Batson

Aston Villa / Birmingham City – Club feature

Celtic – Kenny Dalglish / Lou Macari

Chelsea – David Webb

Crystal Palace – John Jackson

Everton – Club feature

Hereford United – Club feature

Ipswich Town – Allan Hunter

Liverpool – Kevin Keegan

Manchester City – Wyn Davies

Manchester United – Sammy McIlroy

Millwall / Queens Park Rangers – Club feature

Newcastle United – Bobby Moncur

Norwich City – Duncan Forbes

Notts County – Jimmy Sirrell

Partick Thistle – Denis McQuade

Sheffield United – Club feature

Sunderland – Jim Montgomery

Tottenham Hotspur / West Ham United – Club feature

Wolves – Club feature

There was also a feature which included Team photos of all Division 1 winners 1946/47-1970/71;


6. GOAL Football Annual 1974

The front cover showed an action photo from matches at (clockwise from top right) Southampton, Manchester City, Norwich City, Crystal Palace and West Ham United.

The back cover showed an action photos from matches at (left to right) Newcastle United, Southampton and Leeds United;

This edition looked back at the 1972/73 season.

There was good Liverpool content including features on Emlyn Hughes and Bill Shankly.

There was good Sunderland content including a feature on the Black Cats’ F.A. Cup win against Leeds United and a feature on Jim Montgomery.

Other club / player features included;

Aberdeen – Bobby Clark 

Arsenal – Alan Ball

Aston Villa – Jim Cumbes Trevor Hockey

Birmingham City – John Roberts

Bolton Wanderers – Charlie Wright

Burnley – Martin Dobson

Celtic – Billy McNeil / Jock Stein

Chelsea – Peter Osgood

Coventry City – Colin Stein

Crystal Palace – Don Rogers

Derby County – Colin Todd

Dundee – Jocky Scott 

England – Sir Alf Ramsey

Everton – Joe Royle

Fulham – Alan Mullery

Hereford United – Harry Gregory

Hibernian – Pat Stanton

Hull City – Terry Neill

Ipswich Town – Bryan Lambert / Bobby Robson

Leeds United – Billy Bremner / Don Revie

Leicester City – Peter Shilton

Manchester City – Francis Lee

Manchester United – Martin Buchan

Newcastle United – Jim Smith

Notts County – Les Bradd

Queens Park Rangers – Terry Venables

Rangers – John Grieg

Scotland – Willie Ormond

Sheffield United – Tony Currie

Sheffield Wednesday – Dave Clements

Southampton – Mike Channon

Southport – Andy Provan

Stoke City – John Mahoney

Tottenham Hotspur – Pat Jennings

West Bromwich Albion – Asa Hartford

West Ham United – Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson

Wolves – John Richards


7. GOAL Football Annual 1975

This is the annual where there are question marks hanging over its paper head.

I have never owned this edition, have never seen one, nor can I find any details at all about the issue on the internet.

It may well be the case that there was no edition for this year / season, although I think that would be a bit strange as IPC were not in the habit of publishing titles on an inconsistent basis.

Consistent with the content of the other annuals in the series, I would expect that the 1973/74 season was covered by this edition.

Assuming I can acquire a copy of this year’s annual, I’ll edit this section of the post.

Equally, if any kind reader can send me any information about the annual, including, at a basic level, confirmation that one exited for 1975, then I would be most grateful.


8. GOAL Football Annual 1976

The front and back covers showed action photos from matches at (clockwise from top right) West Ham United, Manchester United, Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers.

This edition looked back at the 1974/75 season.

There were features on the 1974 World Cup.

There was good  Arsenal content.

There was good Liverpool content.

Other club / player features included;

Aberdeen – Willie Young

Carlisle United – Joe Laidlaw

Celtic – Dixie Dean

England – 1966

Everton – Roger Kenyon / Martin Dobson

Huddersfield Town – Alan Gowling

Leicester City – Peter Shilton

Manchester City – Francis Lee / Rodney Marsh

Middlesbrough – David Armstrong

Norwich City – Phil Boyer

Queens Park Rangers – David Thomas

Swindon Town – Peter Noble

West Ham United – Bobby Moore


9. GOAL Football Annual 1977

The front and back covers showed action photos from matches at (clockwise from top right) Wolves, West Ham United, Portsmouth and Newcastle United.

This edition looked back at the 1975/76 season.

There were features on

There was good Manchester United content.

Full page photos by club / player features included;

Aston Villa – Dennis Mortimer

Blackpool – Peter Suddaby

Birmingham City – Bob Hatton

Derby County – Colin Todd

Dundee – Thompson Allan

England – Dave Watson

Fulham – Viv Busby

Ipswich Town – Mick Mills and family, Cooper and Kevin Beattie

Liverpool – Phil Neal.

Middlesbrough – David Armstrong / David Mills , Alan Foggon (in action shot).

Newcastle United – Alan Gowling

Northern Ireland – Sammy McIlroy

Sheffield United – Alan Woodward

Sunderland – Bobby Kerr

Rangers – Alex MacDonald

Tottenham Hotspur – John Duncan

Oxford United – Peter Houseman

Queens Park Rangers – Phil Parkes / Frank McLintock, David Webb, Gerry Francis

West Ham United – Alan Taylor

York City – Derrick Downing


Collecting, values and prices

As with many of the boys’ annuals of the period, most of the Football Star Parade and GOAL Football Annuals are reasonably easy to find on the usual sites for a few pounds.

Collectors can watch out for the sort of faults that can be found on the annuals of this era with laminated covers;

  • split spines especially the spine ends
  • scratches, indentations and marks to the covers
  • split front and / or back hinges inside the annual itself
  • annotations from well wishing family members to recipients of the annuals when given as Christmas and / or birthday gifts usually written on the inside front cover pages or the front end pages
  • writing inside the books, often noting player names beneath photos
  • missing pages or photos often cut out to put in separate scrap books or on bedroom walls
  • age fading to the whiteness of the inside pages, especially the borders
  • orange foxing spots and also signs of damp / water damage

As with all annuals, if collectors find ones in very good condition with an absence of the faults listed above, I’d recommend snapping them up, even if that means paying a little bit more.


Final word

Although the Football Star Parade and GOAL Football Annuals had a reasonably short life by the standards of boys’ football annuals, they were a lovely snapshot of their time.

The annuals spanned the period from the end of the 1960’s towards the end of the 1970’s as the game changed quite a bit in just about every aspect.

The annuals were a nice mix of club / player content combined with analysis of various aspects of the game as it evolved.

Finally, the annuals are a good reminder of GOAL magazine, one of the iconic titles of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.


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