Dons blog: Remembering cup glory
11:00am Thursday 17th May 2012 in AFC Wimbledon
Monday afternoon this week was by now the annual breakout of nervous tics and clock watching sessions for pretty much any AFC Wimbledon fan over the age of 30.
It wasn’t the collective fear of a mass mid-life crisis though, not just yet anyway.
"About now was when the Mexican beat Corky to glance the header into the goal…This must have been when Lurch gracefully saved the Aldridge spot-kick,” could no doubt be heard by friends, loved ones and work colleagues who’ve become used to the events of that day beneath the old Twin Towers of Wembley Stadium.
May 14, 1988 - a date ingrained in our memories as much, of course, as May 21, 2011, is sure to become in years to come.
Turning the clock back 24 years, the regulars of the WDON commentary team were getting to grips O Level results while the most recently crowned player of the year, Sammy Leslie Moore, was only eight months old and mastering dribbling skills of a different kind.
The Dons fans were heavily outnumbered on cup final day, when it was just that: Kicking-off at 3pm, blazing hot sunshine and men were men.
Steve McMahon probably still sits bolt upright in bed at night on occasions, with flashbacks of Vinnie Jones “just letting you know I’m there” introduction to proceedings.
Just a day out and a spanking from an all conquering Red machine dominant for years in European football?
As current boss Terry Brown pointed out though: “No way should the Wimbledon side have beaten one of the best Liverpool sides in the history of football and one of the best club sides in the world, but there was a belief there.”
What followed was so momentous an achievement it still stands out in the history of club football’s greatest and most famous knockout competition.
Never mind “Blue Moon rising“, there was a much more fleshy, but expensive offering presented to the home terrace, a couple of days later at Alan Cork’s testimonial home-coming.
It’s an occasion that is still very much at the heartbeat at TCRRS. It sits proudly on the honours board as you come through the club’s main entrance, Vinnie’s Cup winning medal rests in the club vaults as his image stares out at you from the trophy cabinet, substitute John Scales figured in a 2004 rematch and helped open the main stand extension.
Only this season, goalkeeper and captain Dave Beasant and goal scorer Lawrie Sanchez maintained their regular visits to the rightful legacy and along with manager Bobby Gould, on the opening day, and the man responsible for the line “the Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club” - legendary commentator John Motson - they all had the WDON microphone thrust in front of them.
Next year will mark the 25th anniversary and also the half century mark since Wimbledon collected the FA Amateur Cup at the same venue.
While a final appearance at a redeveloped Wembley maybe just that little bit beyond the current guise, a money-spinning glamour tie would be a fitting way to commemorate both events - and no doubt help with plans to redevelop the East Stand.
That little bit of cup magic can go a long way.
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