Retro Day: Tomorrow We’re Going To Party Like It’s 1979

Tomorrow is Retro Day at Swangard Stadium and it’s going to be rowdy.

With Vancouver Whitecaps taking on Tampa Bay in the NASL, it’s hard not to cast our minds back 31 years to the Caps NASL Soccer Bowl triumph against Tampa Bay Rowdies on September 8th 1979.

Different incarnations of the teams, different league altogether now of course, but the memories still linger, especially for those amongst us that were watching the Whitecaps the first time around, which sadly doesn’t include myself.

Vancouver won the 79 Soccer Bowl by a score of 2-1 in front of 64,045 fans at Giants Stadium, home of the mighty New York Cosmos. With the Caps having disposed of the Cosmos to reach the Championship final, the pro Cosmos crowd were pretty anti Vancouver, but that didn’t stop the trophy heading west to Van and a homecoming parade of over 100,000 fervent fans.

You can savour some of the excitement of the time with this vintage article from Sports Illustrated.

The Caps had averaged 22,962 in attendance that season, the fourth highest in the NASL, as they wrapped up a Western Division consisting of Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Los Angeles Aztex.

Times may have changed, but you can’t help but excitedly look forward to renewing these rivalries in the “major leagues” once again next year. The whole thing gives you a strange nostalgia for an age yet to come.

Before all that we still have this season to ‘excite’ us, so tomorrow the Southsiders, with the Caps backing, are having a retro day to celebrate our most famous triumph and to look forward to the future at the same time.

So for one day only, it’s 1979 all over again (although feel free to be any retro year you fancy!).

Ah September 8th 1979. I remember it like it was only yesterday. “My Sharona” by The Knack (a football tune if ever I heard one!) was number one in the US Billboard and Canadian RPM charts, whilst Cliff Richard’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore” held that honour unfortunately in the UK.

Other big hit songs that year, for those that want to enter into the spirit and sing along, were Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, “Tragedy” by the Bee Gees (good if we go a goal down) and “Le Freak” by Chic, whilst Donna Summer was “Hot Stuff” and Amii Stewart wanted to “Ring My Bell”. We might save “YMCA” for Evil Bert to belt out though.

Singer Marianne Faithfull married Ben Brieley of UK punk rock band The Vibrators, who coincidentally were playing in Vancouver last Saturday evening! It’s all tying in.

Alien was the top film at the box office the day the Caps won the Soccer Bowl, whilst M*A*S*H, Dallas and Three’s Company were amongst the top rated TV shows.

For Retro Day, the Southsiders want to see everyone in their best outfits from 1979. For some that’ll mean retro kits and for some that means big sunglasses and even bigger moustaches and hair. For others, just having that hair again would be nice! Be sure to raid your closets or hit the costume shop before coming to the match. The Club will be offering prizes to the best dressed fans.

There will also be 70’s music played on the concourse behind Swangard’s main grandstand and throughout the stadium before the game and at half time.

Before the game kicks off, we’re thrilled to invite you all to our pre-game tailgate festivities. It’s the Southsiders Retro BBQ Boogaloo, where we’ll have the much-anticipated return of Good Ol’ Uncle Arne’s AMAZING pulled pork BBQ sandwiches!

The tailgate gets underway at 1:30 pm and all newcomers are welcome. You’ll find us in Central Park, to the southeast corner of Swangard Stadium.

This match coincides with our “Bring A Friend” Southside ticket promo. For each $16 ticket purchased in advance, the Whitecaps will donate $3 to the Southsiders tifo fund. To access these special tickets, please contact our Director of Events, Massimo Cusano at

Even the Whitecaps players will be entering in the retro spirit by having shots on target and scoring goals! How can you miss all that!!!

So dig out your old clothes and kits, get those afros going and relive the worst style decade known to man!

And in the meantime…

Authored by: Michael McColl

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Anonymous at 02:15

    hmmm couple of thoughts…

    – Jim McKay calling Vancouver a village (and British)
    – The crappy pitch they played on
    – Love the old ABC blazers for the broadcast crew
    – Goodenall produced… if only MLS had big producers like Emersol nowadays…
    – Willie is artistic.. heh especially when drinking at the matches!!!

    GAWD this brings back great memories -Rasta

  2. royalcity at 13:56

    … and Phil Parkes getting booed by the fans

  3. Arne Salvesen at 14:56

    Lofty was awesome! Especially during the game against the Cosmos where he forced the NY player to take too long on the PK. Good times!

  4. Krammerhead at 23:30

    I disagree. The worst style decade known to man was the 80s.

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