CITY 3 AFC BOURNEMOUTH 3
League Division 2
6th May 1989
Ref Vic Callow
City Cooper, Lake, Hinchcliffe, I Brightwell, Megson, Redmond, White, Morley, Moulden, McNab, Gleghorn – used sub Oldfield – unused sub Gayle
…An assured first half performance was capped with a brace of goals from Paul Moulden and a poacher’s strike from Trevor Morley. Our promotion was almost within touching distance, and so bouyant was our mood that we almost danced a Highland fling up the tunnel at half-time. Adding to our glee was the fact that the club had promised us an immediate no-expense spared holiday abroad if we were to secure the three points and as such were prepared to field a second string side for what would be a meaningless final game of the season.
As we back slapped each other in the dressing room and mentally packed our suitcases, a typically low key Mel Machin expressed caution and warned us agaist complacency, but then a mischievious grin played across his face as he informed usthat he’d arranged for one of his pals to give us a quick motivational pep talk. What do we need this for? We’re 3-0 up, for Chrissakes’ I remember thinking, wondering which former colleague of the gaffer’s was going to get wheeled out.
From the direction of Roy Bailey’s physio room toddled Eddie Large, the Mancunian funny man and City fanatic who, in those days was a huge primetime TV star with his weekly sidekick ‘supersonic’ Syd Little. What followed was the most surreal half time team talk I’ve ever experienced. Eddie wearing a shiny grey showbiz suit with rolled up sleeves, proceeded to dole out individual advice to each of the players using his well known repetoire of celebrity impersonations. So Deputy Dawg ordered me to keep tight in defence; Frank Carson told Nelly to use the width and pace of Whitey; Cliff Richard advised Trevor Morley to shoot on sight; Harold Wilson told Bob Brightwell to keep it simple and Benny from Crossroadsntold Andy Dibble to stay awake. If only the cat had heeded Benny’s advice. He conceded three goals in the 2nd half (no thanks to a defensive horror show in the final ten minutes, and a Bournemouth midfielder by the name of Ian Bishop running rings round us) and the sure fire win that we’d assumed at the interval finished up as a sorry score draw. Mel’s mystifying decision to take off in form Paul Moulden at the interval probably hadn’t help matterds, but we were all to blame for a pathetic 2nd half display.
After the match we sat in the changing room dumbstruck, half expecting Eddie Large to com back in and do his Oliver Hardy Impression.
“Well Boys, that’s another fine mess you’ve got yourselves into…?”