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Monday Morning Image #7

The Great Pele takes on the Sheffield Wednesday defence...

Pele takes on the Sheffield Wednesday defence at Hillsborough. Officially there were 37,000 at the game. It looks like there were 37,000 in The Kop (pictured) alone...

Our seventh random Monday morning image comes from Santos’ February /March 1972 tour of Europe.

In it Pele is seen taking on three defenders of English League Division Two side, Sheffield Wednesday.

By the late 1950s Santos, with Pelé in their ranks, realized they had a method of printing money by sending the squad out on the road. And, for the next decade, they sent them to every corner of the globe.

They triumphed in this match by 2-0, the second of a six-match tour which took in four countries; Belgium, England, Ireland and Italy.

Officially 37,000 were at Hillsborough to watch this game, although it looks from the image like that many may have crammed into Hillsborough’s Spion Kop End alone. This despite the game being played at 2.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Energy restrictions brought about by the UK miners’ strike had ensured illuminations and an evening kick-off impossible.
Those present were treated to the vaguely comic sight of the Wednesday midfielder Scotsman, Tommy Craig following Pelé around for the last 10 minutes of the game so that he could get his shirt on the final whistle.

“I told the referee to give me a signal when he was about to blow for time so I could stand beside the great man,” Craig told the Daily Record a few years ago.

“When time up came I grabbed Pelé round the waist until he had parted with the jersey.”

That particular tour had started with Santos’ only-ever defeat on English soil, when Third Division Aston Villa won 2-1 at Villa Park.

The full itinerary and results of Santos’ February/March ‘72 tour were as follows....

21 Feb Aston Villa (England) L1-2
23 Feb Sheffield Wednesday (England) W2-0
26 Feb Bohemians/Drumcondra Select (Ireland) W3-2
1 Mar Anderlecht (Belgium) D0-0
3 Mar AS Roma (Italy) W2-0
5 Mar Napoli (Italy) W3-2