Saturday, August 21, 2010

21 August 1965 - He Looks Pretty Tall But His Heels Are High

On 21 August 1965, Charlton Athletic midfielder Keith Peacock became the Football League's first-ever substitute when he entered their match against Bolton in the 11th minute. Unfortunately for Peacock, he replaced Charlton's injured goalkeeper and Charlton lost 4-2.

For most if its existence, the League did not allow substitutions under any circumstances. But they decided for the 1965-66 season to allow a single substitution for injuries only. Charlton opened that season in Division Two away at Bolton and lost starting goalkeeper Mike Rose to an injury after only 11 minutes. Newly-appointed manager Bob Stokoe sent Peacock in and moved left back John Hewie into goal. Unfortunately for Charlton, the move did not prevent Bolton from winning by the score of 4-2.

After two seasons, the League again changed the substitution rule to allow switches for tactical reasons as well as injuries.

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