Rogers' winner, direct from a corner.
the fans had gone home. Only a pair of moving eyes betrayed that the
crumpled, shaggy heap still tethered to the railings wasn’t a stuffed
and discarded Derby mascot.
William the ram was real enough but stood forlorn and forgotten in the
cold, empty Baseball Stadium.
the pitch a single arc light shone through the darkness like a halo on
John Hore’s head before the BBC cameras.
is just one more question", said Barrie Davies when the recording
stopped. "Any chance of travelling on your bus on Cup Final
OK, Barrie, we’ve already asked him," shouted a voice from the
smiled apologetically and had to admit that the other side had already
popped the same question.
in the corridors of the stadium the emotional scenes in and around the
Argyle dressing room were unforgettable.
embraced the manager, directors embraced the players and their eyes were
filled with tears.
were too choked to speak. So much happiness and joy and yet they didn’t
know how to express the feeling in words.
three days and four nights hundreds of Argyle fans with video gadgets had
been fiddling with the freeze frame trying to force Gordon Staniforth’s
shot over the line off the posts.
ball still wouldn’t go in. Now, only 17 minutes into the replay, and
Argyle’s first corner was swinging up over Steve Cherry’s head and
into the net for eternity.
Poetic and so perfect. "An absolute fluke," Andy Rogers beamed
at the cameras after being virtually dragged from the dressing room to
talk through his goal in the time-honoured fashion.
why me"?" he protested. "Because you scored the bloody
goal, you daft sod . . ." screamed a team mate.
Peter Taylor put it: "These Plymouth lads are so honest I can’t
Rogers, watching at home, couldn’t believe it either when Andy revealed
his new telly image.
lot of wives were surprised. Mrs. Harrison was flabbergasted when Chris,
the quiet, reserved one, was the first to race over to the ecstatic Green
Army singing and leaping up and down like demented monkeys in a cage.
one leap Harrison was up on the fence, clinging to the bars and
precariously raising one arm in triumph.
Smith stood with a clenched fist salute. What a great Viking warrior to
have on your side. Put a helmet on his head, a shield in his hand and he
looks as if he’s prepared to smash and pillage his way across Britain to
win the Cup.
his face almost hidden in the dug-out minutes before, appeared, slowly at
first, then running to his players and on into the penalty area to the
goal where the fans had their close-up view of Rogers’ fantastic fluke.
never forget that moment for as long as I live," Hore reflected.
"To think that my team had made all those fans so happy. It couldn’t
be better at Wembley . . ."
few yards down the corridor, Derby players were making almost as quick an
exit as Mr Taylor.
Robertson, who had been the victim of the most personal abuse I’ve ever
heard at any football match, brushed past, his eyes bleary red with the
tears of a loser.
Gemmill, head bowed, strode away - a sad figure whose vast experience had
not been enough in two matches to curb or counteract the faster, fitter
and more organised approach of players he had never heard of until a week
Burns, another seasoned professional, had done more in both games than
most of his team mates together to deserve a shred of sympathy.
as Hore moved away from the scene of Argyle’s wonderful triumph, Burns
wished him luck.
three weeks earlier Nobby Stiles and Norman Hunter had made a similar
gesture, taking a hand each to congratulate the Cornishman on the
touchline at The Hawthorns.
was surprised they even knew me," Hore joked afterwards. "I
certainly knew who they were and felt really chuffed when they suddenly
appeared on either side of me. I didn’t know what no say, except
Hore is not slow to speak when the Press inquisition begins. For a manager
of such limited experience he rolls out his china clay country lingo and
week ago he sat on the edge of the main stand at Home Park and spoke up
loud and clear to a directors’ box gallery filled with journalists.
far from despondent," he told them. "We didn’t get our breaks
today but we might on Wednesday and we’ll give in all we’ve got up
there . . ."
so they did. It wasn’t the superior attacking soccer that clinched the
West Brom victory on merit; it wasn’t the fast-flowing machine that
almost swept Derby out past the Breakwater at the first attempt in
was the Three G’s this time - grit, graft and guts. Put them together
and you have a vision of only one player who has worn the green shirt of
Argyle during the last 15 years.
he’s in charge and is enjoying every second of it. He knows you need
more than the Three G’s to win prizes. But, without them, you haven’t
got a prayer.
on Cup days Argyle can produce the quality stuff as well. Put it all
together and the formula is working a charm on the Wembley trail.
if you’ve already got two television channels fighting to get on the
bus, Hore just can’t help sharing the Green Army’s dream that they
could all be staging another whopping knees-up on May 19.
– Cherry; Barton, Buckley, Gemmill, Burns, Powell, Futcher, Davison
(Watson), Wilson, Plummer, Robertson.
– Crudgington; Nisbet, Uzzell, Harrison, Smith, Cooper, Hodges,
Phillips, Tynan, Staniforth, Rogers. Sub: Rowe.
Argyle - Rogers.
Mr. B. T. Stevens (Stonehouse, Glos).