Back to the Future Day – 1985, a year to remember

Happy Back to the Future day!

The poster advertising Back to the Future Part II.
The poster advertising Back to the Future Part II.

Today – in case you weren’t aware – is the day Marty McFly travelled forward to in the hugely popular second Back to the Future film, the cleverly titled Back to the Future Part II.

The time where Biff rules a chaotic Hill Valley after making a fortune betting on sports games he already knew the results of, thanks to having a 2000 sports almanac given to his younger self by his time-travelling older self in 1955.

And, well, you know the rest (and if you don’t, the trilogy is available from all good DVD stores).

But how much do you remember of 1985, the time Marty original travels from and the real-time setting for the movies’...

In the news:

The border between Spain and Gibraltar reopens for the first time since 1969.

Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of the Soviet Union.

Australian TV soap Neighbours makes its debut

Amadeus wins Best Film Oscar

Fifty-six football fans die in a fire at Bradford City’s Valley Parade game.

Thirty-eight football fans killed in rioting at the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus in Brussels, Belgium.

Manchester United staff and players celebrate winning the 1985 FA Cup.

Fifty-three passengers and two crew members died when a British Airtours flight from Manchester to Corfu caught fire on take-off.

Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia raise more than £50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The wreck of the Titanic is found in the North Atlantic – 73 years after it sank.

The Power of Love, by Jennifer Rush, is the biggest-selling single in the UK.

A scene from Back to the Future Part II.

Manchester United win football’s FA Cup, beating league champions Everton 1-0 in the final, while Norwich City beat Sunderland 1-0 to win the League Cup, then known as the Milk Cup.”

Dennis Taylor won the World Snooker Championship on the final ball against Steve Davis – more than 18 million people tuned in to see the dramatic final, which finished after midnight.

Last Suspect, a 50-1 outsider, won the Grand National.


The rights and wrongs of Back to the Future’s 2015Reporter Tim Cunningham says: “I remember seeing Back to the Future at the pictures which was great fun - except for the foul theme tune by Huey Lewis & the News.

“In those days I sported a mullet and spent most of my time wearing an Adidas top like all my friends.

Fifty-five people died in a fire which engulfed a British Airtours plan on the runway at Manchester airport on August 22, 1985.

“Later this was replaced by a long overcoat, a poor excuse for a quiff and an interest in The Smiths – but I fear my record of 1985 was probably Now That’s What I Call Music 8.

“I have a very clear memory of watching Live Aid and being blown away by the idea that millions of people around the world were watching the same thing.

“After watching the images of the Ethiopian famine I joined Oxfam and was regularly to be found rattling a tin on Saturdays.”

Content editor Andy Done-Johnson said: “1985 was the year I left school – no leavers’ prom, no celebrations, just a long dull summer kicking around and waiting to start college.

“The Cure released their Head on the Door album and The Smiths were at the top of the charts.

“At the cinema I went to see Rambo, Rocky IV and Pale Rider. Roger Moore made his final appearance as James Bond.

“I also got properly drunk for the first time.”

Reporter Kev Rogers says: “I remember wearing an old man’s coat, black suede Dr Martens winklepickers and a paisley shirt and doing the chicken wardance to She Sells Sanctuary by The Cult at Sheffield’s limit Club and Nottingham Rock City with my post punk and goth mates.

“I remember making Boots home-brew cider and having the world’s worst hangover.

“I remember putting 10p pieces into arcade video games to play Post Boy, Donkey Kong and Table Top Galaxians, and also making sure I missed both Phil Colins performances on Live Aid.”

Head of content Jon Ball says: “I remember playing my first ever kids football match, in horrible itchy red shirts. I remember an opposition defender, in an eye-catching light-green polyester number, catching the ball in his area – he usually played goalkeeper – and bursting into tears at what he had done and my dad, the ref, helping the distraught little boy off the pitch.

“I remember leaving first school and the nerves of going to a different middle school a lengthy bus ride away.

“I remember a holiday at a very wet Butlin’s holiday camp in Pwllheli, North Wales,”

Dennis Taylor celebrates after winning the 1985 World Snooker Championship.
Norwich City staff and players celebrate winning the 1985 Milk Cup.