Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Something personal for a change and at the end a strange symmetry. A sports story.

1993 and I’m supporting Manchester City in the English Football League. Irish internationals Niall Quinn and Terry Phelan are in the side, and for once things are looking good for City. The past few years have been good with solid performances in the league, the future looked rosy for the blues.

The quarter final of the FA Cup and Manchester City are drawn against Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham were having a wretched time in the league. Sheffield United had just beaten them 6-0 so expectations in the Tottenham camp were not high. City in contrast were on a roll and Tottenham were seen as an easy draw.

As for the match well …..

City struck first with a goal from Mike Sheron. Nayim levelled it for Tottenham and Steve Sedgley made it 2-1 for the Spurs. Nayim scored twice more to leave the score 4-1 with a minuet of normal time left.

Then, in the hope of forcing an abandonment and replay of the game, City fans invaded the pitch. Mounted police were called and the pitch was cleared. Within seconds of the restart Terry Phelan took the ball, ran the length of the pitch and scored for city. The score was now 4-2 for Tottenham.

Further drama ensued when Terry Sheringham missed a penalty for Tottenham before the final whistle sounded.

Tottenham were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final. Arsenal went on to beat Sheffield Wednesday in the Cup Final that year.

Manchester United won the league that season (1992-93). Tottenham finished eight, Manchester City finished ninth, Arsenal came tenth and Chelsea finished eleventh. Nottingham Forest were relegated. Brian Clough subsequently resigned as Forest manager.

I’d followed Manchester City since watching them play Tottenham Hotspur in the 1981 FA Cup Final, a match Tottenham won after a replay. After the 1993 FA Cup quarter final loss to Tottenham I never supported Manchester City again. Strange symmetry indeed.

Ah here now! Can't just do that, we need all the fans we can get. It got a little crazy after you stopped, starting to come good again though.
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