This is the season that we won 5-0 at the lane and came 7th in the league.
We got bragging rights over the few Spurs fans at school for ages after that.
“We all agree, Rixie is better than Hoddle” was the song (He wasn’t really..)
I was at nearly all the home games plus one away at Loftus Rd, where I’d arranged to meet the only QPR fan in my class, who didn’t show up. Quaint little ground, we won 2-1.
We dropped out of the UEFA cup around this time of year, against Red Star Belgrade. Having beaten us at their place, they got a 1-1 at Highbury with their only attack of the game (if my memory serves me right.)
Hopes had been high, having knocked out Hajduk Split the round before. A team we knew as we’d played them a year or two before for John Radford’s testimonial. The lame excuse for choosing them for this match had been that they had ‘also’ won the double before in their country. We did have a ‘knees up’ on the pitch after the match though, good fun.
In the FA Cup third round we had to play Sheffield Wednesday FIVE times to get past them!
A routine win against Notts County at home in the fourth round, then Nottingham Forest away in the Fifth. They were the hound’s goolies at the time, and listening to the match on the radio was absolute torture…
They were hitting the woodwork, there were goal line clearances, the lot. Commentators going mad.
Next up, we beat Southampton at home, another replay.
For the semi final at Villa Park, the Bro and I had the idea to stay the weekend with our aunt and cousins in Brum (Aston to be precise, so it wasn’t too far to walk to the stadium.)
We were in the big standing area at one end, that was divided right down the middle by a fence….half Wolves half Arsenal. At the end of the match, the Wolves fans starting throwing stuff, including coins (Nothing more than 2p, the cheapo b*stards)
It got quite ugly.
After the match, realizing that all the Arsenal fans were going one way, and that everyone on the road back to our aunt’s was a Wolves fan or an old Bill on a horse, we tried to discreetly slip our scarves into our jackets. Discreet as a wet fart, this enormous effin Black country Welder type says to me:
“No yuse hoiding that mate, you’re DEAD” and punched me on the nose.
The Bro and I (16 and 15 YO respectively) managed a look at each other as we went to ground one hand on head, one on balls, hoping we’d see each other alive again.
The police on their horses did FA, was probably a good laugh for them seeing two ‘cockneys’ getting their heads kicked in.
Then a voice from heaven went:
“Loive’em alowwn, they’re only babbies!”
An old dear had run out of her house to save us and it worked.
They stopped kicking us, and we staggered on to our aunt’s place where there was a party that night. Suffice to say we played the Jack the lad cockneys all night and gave it large to the Wolves fans that were there amongst the mainly Villa contingent.
For the final, we couldn’t get tickets so watched it on telly. All was going smoothly, 2-0 up till near the end, then…….
Our mum walks in and asks “Anyone want tea?” United scored.
We told her ‘no’ and to please go back to the kitchen. The stress was on.
Two minutes later, she walks in and says “The kettle is on, sure you don’t want tea?” (ah, Irish mothers….) United scored again! We screamed ” No! Get out!”
Bewildered, she left us to it, and Sunderland scored the winner.
I seem to remember us sheepishly going to the kitchen saying “Sorry mum…any tea going?”
Written by John Matthews Legend