WE BEAT PALACE AND WEST HAM TOO -The unbelievable Facts !
Record-breaking heroes of 1972 will be reunited on November 14
Any discussion on the best-ever games at Edgeley Park since 1970 is always a vibrant and emotional topic of conversation amongst the county faithful.
Who will ever forget the Carlisle game in 2006, when the Hatters miraculously preserved their Football League status in nail-biting fashion?
The Championship adventure threw up more games to savour, with victories over current top-flight teams, Watford and Norwich. And we’d also better mention Manchester City?!!
What about the League Cup games in the Dave Jones era, the epic victory over West Ham United or the thrill-a-minute quarter-final against Southampton?
And where do you start with Danny Bergara? From the promotion-winning game against Scunthorpe United in 1991 through to the never-to-be-forgotten FA Cup demolition of Premiership high-flyers QPR, to the phenomenal tussles against the likes of Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.
Further back, the almost unbelievable goalless draw against European Champions Liverpool in 1984 must feature on any list of memorable games in SK3, as does the clash with the other Merseyside club, Everton, eight years earlier when 5,000 supporters were locked out!
Fans of a certain age will tell you there is another game, though. A game when the old ground literally shook to the vociferous chant of ‘COUNTY, COUNTY, COUNTY’ as Brian Doyle’s side battled heroically to hang onto their 2-1 lead against West Ham United.
That never-to-be-forgotten night occurred 43 years ago earlier this month, when England World Cup skipper Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking, Frank Lampard senior, plus a host of other household names were sent packing on one of the most emotional, action-packed nights EP has ever seen.
Malcolm Russell smashed County in front with a 25-yard screamer that brought the house down. But the ecstatic fans were stunned into silence when Clyde Best levelled for the Hammers.
Then, the Hatters were awarded a penalty for a foul on Hughie Ryden. Eddie Garbett was County’s normal penalty taker, but the whole occasion and atmosphere had caught up with him and he declined to step forward. Skipper Tommy Spratt took responsibility and smashed the ball into the roof of the net ... cue hysteria all around Edgeley Park.
The second half saw the East Londoners press strongly for an equaliser but, with Paul Hart and Joe Ashworth imperious in the heart of the County defence, and their magnificent fans roaring them on, it looked as though the Hatters were going to see the game out.
Then, with seconds remaining, Best, the Hammers’ powerful striker, intercepted a back pass and rounded County ‘keeper, Alan Ogley and looked certain to score.
But cometh the moment, cometh the man. Ogley, almost on the ground and struggling manfully after picking up an earlier injury, dived backwards and somehow got a hand to the shot and diverted the ball over the bar. In 2002, to celebrate 100 years of football at Edgeley Park, the Edgeley faithful voted it ‘the save of the century’.
A minute or so later the final whistle went and Edgeley Park was flooded with a sea of ecstatic fans overcome with the emotion of a wonderful night.
That famous League Cup victory wasn’t County’s first win against Division One opposition in 1972, though. In the previous round they had become the first Fourth Division side to win a League Cup tie at top-flight opposition thanks to a Hugh Ryden goal at Crystal Palace.
Another First Division side, Norwich City, may have ended our interest in round four, but the memories from the earlier victories, particularly West Ham, still burn brightly.
Now, the Stockport County Appearance Scheme (SCAN) are delighted to announce County fans can pay tribute to the heroes from 1972 as the team will be reunited for the first time in 43 years when Neil Young’s side host Tamworth on November 14.
Led by Sir Alan Ogley, skipper Tommy Spratt, Mal Russell, Hughie Ryden, Paul Hart, Ian Broomfield, Eddie Garbett, Les Ormrod and Johnny Griffiths are all returning. And they will be joined by family representatives of Ian Lawther, a true County legend from the 1970s,
|Hugh Ryden in 2015|
Special mention must be made of Ray Charter as well who is flying back from his home in Australia to meet up with his old teammates.
Assistant manager, Steve Fleet, has also confirmed his attendance, and Steve will be joined by family representatives of manager Brian Doyle and coach Jim Mulvaney.
And, to complete the celebrations, Steve Crowther and Tony Keyes will also be present, representing the young County team that ended the 10-year dominance of Everton and Liverpool by gloriously winning the prestigious Lancashire League title in the 1972-73 season.
This special reunion will be held in the Bungalow after the Tamworth game – please do your very best to come a long and pay tribute to our history-making heroes.