John Lennon and a bit of football history

walls and bridges.jpg
Today, 29 years ago Mark David Chapman gunned down John Lennon outside the Dakota. He was 40 years old.
John Lennon’s “Walls and Bridges” album cover shows a depiction of the Newcastle vs Arsenal FA Cup final in 1952, drawn by him when he was 11. The album reached no 1 in the USA and no 6 in England in 1974. Incidentally, Arsenal lost to Newcastle, 0-1 with several injuries on the field (no substitutions allowed then) and ended the game with just seven fit players.
The cover shows the unmistakable black and white stripes of the Toons and the red jerseys and white shorts of the Gunners. It also has a Newcastle footballer with his back turned towards with jersey number 9. Lennon drew this in June, 1952 a month after the final.
Here is Brian Phillips on why Lennon chose this album cover- he was fascinated by the number 9. He was born on October 9th, 1940. His songs Revolution 9, The One After 909, and Dream #9 featured in Walls and Bridges, was its seventh track. It was also recorded as as a single in January 1975.
Who was the footballer with jersey number 9? An educated guess would lead us to Jackie Milburn, a Newcastle legend who scored 177 goals from 1943 to 1957. George Swindin was Arsenal’s goalkeeper at that time. The picture below shows Swindin saving a header from Milburn, resembling Lennon’s rendition of the football match.
FA Cup final 1952.jpg
It is conjectured that Lennon was a Liverpool “fan” probably through his father. He references Matt Busby (“Dig It”) when he was associated with the Merseyside club in the late ’30s. However, that being said – none of the Beatles were overtly passionate about football.
Here is the wistful and dreamy Dream #9 as we remember Lennon today >>
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé
Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé

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