4-year old Liam Scott urgently needs your help

Firstly, I understand that there have been precious few updates to the patch – I hope to restore it sooner or later, and you’d think the lockdown would give me ample chance to do it, but given how much time we spend staring at screens at the moment, I’ve struggled to find much enthusiasm for the thought of giving over time to the CM Editor. Equally those of you that have been in touch, I appreciate your help and feedback even if I may be slow to reply.

However, there are more important things at play. My friend’s son, Liam, is 4, and has Neuroblastoma, a rare and potentially fatal form of cancer. The only cure is a vaccine available in the USA, and his family are desperately trying to raise the money to get him there.

Liam is an extremely brave boy, and his family and their friends have done amazing work in raising money and awareness, but there’s still a long way to go. Please donate here if you can https://www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/Appeal/liam, and share the link. Any help would be hugely appreciated. You can follow Liam’s story at https://twitter.com/mamaslilwarrior

Liverpool and adidas II

Updates to CM 89/90 have been thin om the ground lately, but will hopefully resume soon. I hope you’re enjoying it so far. Meanwhile, Denis Hurley of the incomparable Museum of Jerseys website, has allowed me to disappear into fantasy again – this time imagining if Liverpool were still with adidas, and indeed had been since they parted ways in 2012. Here are the ideas I came up with, and even if I say so myself, there are some beauties here. Of the 21 kits, I’ve selected a few of my favourites below, but please look at the full post.

A digression – and a dive into football kit fantasy

I’m not one of those football fans who spends his whole time looking back. Oh who am I kidding, of course I am, that’s why you’re here. Updates on the patch will resume shortly, but meanwhile I’ve given my wistfulness a different outlet, on Denis Hurley’s brilliant Museum of Jerseys site (Denis writes about a lot of subjects I find interesting – I wrote a post about CM 89/90 on his squad numbers blog).

I’m a Liverpool fan, and that’s why I wish every season could be 1989/90 – not just because that was the last league title, but because they had great adidas kits, as I believe the club always should. That particular spell with adidas ended in 1996, so I imagined – with the help of Denis’s brilliant illustrations – what the kits would have been like had that hiatus not happened.

Read the post on Museum of Jerseys to see what I came up with. I’m planning

to cover the current, hopefully temporary hiatus, in another post soon.

Background pictures

Thanks to the brilliant work of Twitter user @golton, you can now play CM 89/90 with a set of background images from the era. Gaz has worked on the top two four divisions of English football, with the promise of more to come.

This is a huge enhancement to CM 89/90, and something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but wouldn’t know where to start. Gaz has made the files available for download here. To install, extract the files to the Pictures folder in your CM 01/02 installation (you will need to download WinRAR to open the file).

To get a taster, here’s a set of screenshots from the second season of a campaign I’m currently playing.

Update: This now includes all four divisions of the English League

News from Across the Park

Martyn Green, from the excellent Across the Park football blog, has begun a challenge using the CM 89/90 database. He’s attempting to get Newcastle back up to the top flight, and is chronicling his exploits month-by-month. You can read about his pre-season and opening games – keep checking his site for regular updates.

It’s great to see the update brought to life like this – the names bring about the sort of nostalgic feelings that drove me to do all this, and Martyn summarises his exploits very entertainingly.

Do take a look – and if you want to chronicle a season of your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Beta 4 now available

A new beta is available for download – I’ve made significant progress in the past few months, particularly in English football – I’ve checked through most players in the English league, and gave them more realistic player attributes. In addition, there are large numbers of updated squads in Belgium, France, Japan, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, among others.

Also included is the legendary – almost mythical – Croatian midfielder Jovica Strok.

See previous posts for details of what else has been completed, and do follow me on Twitter for regular screenshots.

Download beta 4 here

Jovica Strok

I’d like to break from the normal patternof this blog, and focus on a particular player who’ll feature in the next release of Championship Manager 89/90. Jovica Strok is a veteran Croatian attacking midfielder at NK Zagreb, a middling club in that was then Yugoslavia. So what, you may be wondering, makes Jovica Strok notable? Well, it’s the fact that he isn’t real – and not just that, he’s the grandfather of Ivica Strok, one of the most famous fictional footballers of all time.

Having battled with mental health issues – and Football Manager – myself, I was moved by Johnny Sharples’ story about how Ivica’s Football Manager exploits helped him through am extremely difficult time in his life, and decided to break my 100% accuracy rule in this patch and include Ivica’s Granddad, Jovica (his Dad, Hrvoje, is somehow a real player).

So who is Jovica Strok? Born in 1956, the attacking midfielder began his career with NK Zagreb, the second club from Croatia’s largest city. He broke into the team in the late 1970s, before joining Hajduk Split, where he broke into the Yugoslav national team, for whom he would win seven caps, which would surely have been more but for the fearsome competition in that team.

In 1984, having won the Yugoslav Cup with Hajduk, he joined Dundee United, at a time when foreign players were a rarity in the UK. He settled well in Scotland, playing in two cup finals, and his positive experience in this league surely had an influence on his grandson’s decision to join Celtic some decades later. After an injury-hit last season with the Tangerines, Strok Senior rejoined Zagreb in 1988, where he remains at the start of the 1980/90 season.

As much fun as it was to imagine Jovica’s story, the real aim is to achieve a small part of what Ivica Strok has: to raise awareness of CALM, a superb campaign which promotes better mental health awareness in men, encouraging and helping them to get the help they need. Find more info about the work they do – and donate if you can – here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/