Former Chelsea Stopper on Wimbledon, Liverpool, the FA Cup and the Mariners

FROM WIMBLEDON to Wembley to the World Cup, goalkeeper Dave Beasant will forever be remembered for being the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup Final, when he denied John Aldridge on the way to the Dons’ famous 1-0 victory in 1988.

What many football fans outside North East Lincolnshire will forget is that the stopper, affectionately referred to as ‘Lurch’, had to resurrect his career with Grimsby Town after being cast onto the scrap heap at Chelsea.

In 2006, I was fortunate enough to sit down with the former England international, who talked about everything from the ’88 Final to his spell in Cleethorpes to the fortunes of then-club Fulham. Continue reading

Euro Champs: Ronnie Whelan

If Ray Houghton’s winning header against bitter rivals England wasn’t enough for Jack Charlton’s Republic of Ireland side then Houghton’s Liverpool team-mate Ronnie Whelan went one better with a stupendous strike against the Soviet Union.

It all came from a goal out of the Stoke City play-book. Big Mick McCarthy launched, and I mean propelled a long throw from level with the 18-yard box, despite some shameful gamesmanship from the Russian defender stood directly in the Celtic defender’s path.

Nonetheless the ball travelled a full 50 yards through the air and Whelan, who hadn’t score a goal of this quality since the 1983 League Cup Final, watched it intently.

The ball dropped and the Liverpool man flung himself backwards, fully off the ground and connected with a sumptious volley that flew into the top corner and remains one of the European Championship’s best-ever goals.

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Premier League Team of the Year

The Premier League season took about six months to get going but when it did, it presented us with plenty of memorable moments – most notably from teams outside the top four.

Of course there was Sergio Aguero’s injury-time winner in one of the most dramatic last days ever as the title went to Eastlands but then there was also the great escape of Wigan, Newcastle’s march up the table and the entertaining football played by new boys Swansea and Paul Lambert’s rejuvenated Norwich City side, who carried on the momentum of back-to-back promotions with some stirring displays.

It is the usual drill for team of the season; only one player from each team and a standard 4-4-2 formation.

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