New York Cosmos: Malcolm Dawes Reflects on His Time in the NASL with the Cosmos

40 years on from their birth, the power of the New York Cosmos can still be seen today. Last month’s screening of Once in a Lifetime at Kicking and Screening, London’s first football film festival, was a sell-out. It’s certainly not the first time the club have caused a sell-out, and it probably won’t be the last time either. The command of the club can simply be summed up from a quote from supporter Tom Watt who was speaking to BBC Radio 4, alongside former player Charlie Aitken. “They remain the biggest name in American football despite the fact they haven’t existed since the mid-80s.” During its heyday, the NASL had on show some of the greatest footballers on the planet. George Best, Johan Cryuff, Eusebio, Bobby Moore and Gerd Muller all sampled the American lifestyle for a while, but it was the New York Cosmos who stole all the headlines with their signings. Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Carlos Alberto all helped the club become the hottest ticket in town, but it was Pele, the greatest player in the world at that time, who not only promoted Cosmos’ profile, but that of the NASL as well. Whilst there ...
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