“ Sports: Sports Venues „
As a now rather dodgey Welsh comedian used to say. I was there! For some reason the anticipation for the last match of the 1999 five nations competition, between Wales and England, was unusually high. Wales were no longer in the tournement and had nothing to play for but pride, and of course, to beat the English. Oh to be an English rugby fan, is there a more lonely occupation in sport. I doubt it. Anyway, what makes the anticipation and build to the match even more amazing was the fact that is was being played on a Sunday. There would be no wild parties afterwards or drunken staggering around the streets of London, even if Wales were to win. Or so we thought. England were their usual swaggering self. "Just turn up lads, we'll see these upstarts from the valleys off". Braken sat smugly in the TV studio laughing at Jonathen Davies every time he hinted at an upset. The game was tough. England were on top right through the first half and the Welsh fans were subdued. The only thing to cheer, a barnstrming run up the touchline by man mountain Craig Quinnell. Halftime drinks were downed and toilet runs were made. Hopes wern't high. The pre-match tension seemed to have trickled away. But then, Neil Jenkins threw a miss pass, dead flat along the entire Welsh back line, that found Shane Howarth on the wing and completely cancelled out the entire English back line. Oh joy, this is it. Lets go Wales. The game started to pick up, Jenkins kept us in touch with his deadly kicking and then, jsut as Welsh men thought it was to late, and England would claim the Grand Slam, Wembley threw up it's finest ever moment. From a line out close to the English line, Wales won the ball, Scott Quinnell juggeled with it (just enough to throw the English tacklers into disaray) and off loaded to the charging Gibbs. One side step, two, a hand off and all the stadium held its collective breath. Time slowed
down, four English players lay sprawled out on the floor and Scott Gibbs punched the air as he dived over the line for the match winning try. The crowd went wild. I personally almost tumbled from the upper level while jumping in the air and hugging anyone within four feet. Wales had won. They saw down the clock and survived a slight scare when Mike Catt fluffed a drop at goal, but they won. England were started on the roll of three lost grand slams in the last game of the championship. Welsh fans all through the stadium stayed behind and sang their appreciation of a truely great sporting moment. It will live in the heart of all those that were there, and like I said, I was one.
Well there has been some truely great moments at wembley stadium, London. Like when england beat Holland 4-1 in Euro '96, or when David Seaman made an excellent save in a penalty shoot out against spain in that very same tournament. ??? Who knows!!!. But i personally think that in that very same tournament again was gazza's tremendous run from the half way through two players amd slotting the ball madjestically past andy goram was the best goal in wembley history!! I remember it as if it was yesterday, the whole country anticipating the score and hoping for a win, but also the nerves of a shocking defeat that could be on the cards. Playin on home soil, england preparing for their biggest game in the tournament so far against rivals, Scotland. The crowd getting anxious and waiting for kick off all eating their pies and coca cola awaiting the REF to blow his whistle for the start of the game. As the game rolled on england started to dominate and then McCallister missed a penalty with a great save from David Seaman, Scotland hearts sank as they saw their team go down to a crushing defeat at the hands of England. This just has to be the greatest moment in Wembley history!!
Them good old Twin Towers, gone but never forgotten, saw a lot of history over the years since Wembley Stadium first came into use in the early 1920's, with the famous White Horse FA Cup final of 1923 being the first big occasion, right on through to last year's closer, which saw Germany beat England 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier. It's very, very difficult to pick a greatest moment from that 78 year history, so I'm not even going to try - what I will do is pick a number of excellent moments, with no apologies or excuses - come with me and wallow in the glory. PS I wasn't alive for all of them, I hasten to add, but you have to guess which... <:0 1953 - The Matthews Final Blackpool winger Stanley Matthews finally got his FA Cup winners medal at the grand old age of 38 when he inspired Blackpool's amazing fightback from 3-1 down with 22 nminutes to go to beat Bolton 4-3 with centre forward Stan Mortensen smashing a hat trick. Matthews had been on the losing side at Wembley in 1948 and 1951, but it looked like he would never win his elusive medal. 1953 - England overturned by Hungary The England team had never lost at home to Continental opposition until Ference Puskas brought an amazing Hungary side to Wembley. Playing with centre forward Hidegkuti in a withdrawn role, they simply murdered England and ran out 6-3 victors. 1956 - Trautmann broken neck Manchester City's German keeper Bert Trautmann broke his neck when diving at the feet of Birmingham forward Peter Murphy. He played on through the last 15 minutes through intense agony as City won 3-1 thanks to the Revie Plan 1966 - England World Champions Alf Ramsey's wingless wonders, captained by the superb Bobby Moore, won the World Cup against West Germany by 4-2 thanks to a hat trick by West Ham's Geoff Hurst. Hurst's second goal was controversially allowed after appearaing
to bounce down from the bar onto the goal line and clear. 1968 - Busby's Dream Matt Busby built a new Manchester United team following the Munich air disaster of 1958 around one of the survivors Bobby Charlton. Busby had kllong cherished the dream of European glory and two goals from Charlton, plus an individual dribble and goal from the inimitable George Best and a goal from 18 year old Brian Kidd on his birthday saw them achieve the dream by beating Portugal's Benfica 4-1. 1970 - FA Cup final deadlock Don Revie's powerful Leeds side gave Chelsea the drubbing of their lives in the mud of Wembley with Eddie Gray superb on the wing, but they couldn't finish them off and WEmbley saw its first drawn FA Cup final. 1973 - The Clown defies England Controversial Derby boss Brian Clough condemns Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski a clown before the vital World Cup qualifier against England, but the keeper ha dthe last laugh as he resisted everything that the England forwards could throw at him to earn a 1-1 draw and eliminate England from The tournament. 1988 - Dons triumphant Tiny South London upstarts Wimbledon beat mighty Liverpool 1-0 in a major FA Cup final shock with a first half header from Lawrie Sanchez. Goalkeeper Dave Beasant saves a penalty from John Aldridge in the second half. 1996 - Gazza the king England threaten to go all the way in Euro 96 as Paul Gascoigne scores a wonder goal to finish off Scotland after Gary McAllister's missed penalty. Goals from Shearer and Sheringham see England thrash Holland 4-0 and Stuart Pearce and David Seaman are the heroes of a penalty shoot out win against Spain, before England lose out to old enemies Germany on penalties in the semi finals Sorry, if I've left out your Wembley memory, but these nine historic moments are my pick of the bunch for sport and the Live Aid concert in 1985 completes my te
rrific ten. PS I also once got lost on the way to wembley and ended up near Millwall, now that was actually Wembley's real greatest moment - missing the dave27 entrance!
In the nearly 80 years that wembley has been standing it cannot be said that this majestic and captivating stadium has had a single greatest moment. in my own short lifetime i have seen many and there are some images which i can only associate with that stadium. Now i will be the first to admit that wembley is not the most attractive of grounds. Heck the inside of the place looks like an old dilapitated bus station and the seating was somewhat archaic. but did people ever complain? not really. And why?. Because people only went to wmbley on special occassions. cup finals, huge concerts and the like. Each of those events was probably one of the most memorable of their lives. I can rememember every single time i went there, and always will. For me the most enduring images of wembley will be footballing ones. Tony Adams collecting the F.A cup for Arsenal in 1997 to complete that fantastic double. Stuart pearces' 'roar' when he buried that penalty against spain. Paul Gascoignes glorious goal against the scots, the 4-1 win over holland, the 66 cup final the list goes on. But there are other images too. Queen live at wembley 1986 is undoubtably the greatest musical event that wembley has ever hosted. the acoustics were excellent, the atmosphere was electric and the greatest band of all time excited thousands and thousands of people. Live aid also another fantastic event held at the venue of legends. Each time i set foot in wembley there was a deep passion inside me that was stirred. even approaching the stadium and reading the plaques placed there for the london olympic games. I will be deeply deeply sorry to see it go. i have a great view of it from my office window in alperton actually and the day that stadium falls will be a dark one. whatever is built tro replace it will never hold that special place in peoples hearts or conjure up the images that wembley has done in it's long and glorious exiistence. we
9;re on our way to cardiff just doesn't have the same ring... does it?
Not just my opinion, but actually the title of the video that went on sale to commemorate this epic thriller. Monday 25th May, 1998 Nationwide First Division Playoff Final. Charlton Athletic 4 Sunderland 4 (aet) Charlton won 7 – 6 on penalties. An amazing encounter which ended in delirious celebrations for myself and the other 35,000 fans inside the famous old stadium. It was the first time a Premiership place has ever been decided on penalties, in front of the highest crowd for a play-off final. Certainly the stadium had never witnessed 21 goals in one encounter, nor had a hat trick ever been scored in a play-off final. But all that was about to change as Charlton claimed a coveted place in the Premiership in the most dramatic fashion. Goalkeeper Sasa Ilic completed a remarkable journey from non-league unknown to national fame with the crucial penalty save, Richard Rufus scored his first ever goal for the club in 165 appearances and Clive Mendonca his tally to 28 goals in his first season with the Addicks. Both sides had led the game, but it finished 3-3, and even extra time failed to produce a decisive result with the score standing at 4-4. So it was down to the cruellest of conclusions, the penalty shoot out. With the score at 6-6, Shaun Newton tucked away the 13th successful kick of the sequence, leaving Michael Gray needing to score in order to keep Sunderland in the tie. But to the disbelief of the near 78,000 crowd, Sasa Ilic plunged to his left to keep out Gray’s kick and send Charlton into the premiership. The trophy was handed to Mark Kinsella, the Charlton captain, in front of a sea of red as the 35,000 Charlton supporters celebrated emphatically beneath the famous twin towers.
I wouldn't pretend this was Wembley's *greatest* moment. So whatcha posting here for? I hear you cry. Well, I think it's appropriate to nod to this moment of sublime skill, followed by theatrics par excellence, all in the cauldron of one of sport's most bitter enmities, surrounded by a potfull of media calumny. (Hey, that's a good sentence. Must make a note of it and reuse it when I do my Scooby Doo review. B****r, it's not appropriate.) OK... let's go back to 1996 and a glorious summer for England. Almost. (By the way, FIFA think this tournament has yet to happen - see http://www.fifa.com/tourn/index.euro96.html and be amazed) England was to host the European Championships. What an opening ceremony - I wonder if that parachutist who completely missed the stadium felt as stupid as he looked. The expectation of the country weighed heavily on the shoulders of Terry Venables and his men. England were hosts. Football was "coming home". Thirty years of hurt... surely this time, we could find a way. (OK, that's 2 different songs from 2 different decades mixed together, but you get the drift.) In the run-up to the tournament, England were murdered in the press because a number of players got absolutely hammered on a pre-tournament tour. Famously, Paul Gascoigne had endured "the dentist's chair" - where beer was poured down his gullet by his friends, while he was held down, spreadeagled in a chair. This pre-tournament England-bashing is a national tradition, now extended to post-tournament, mid-tournament and just whenever the manager has been in place more than a month. Following a drab encounter with Switzerland in the tournament opener, England's second match was the eagerly awaited match against the old enemy, Scotland. At Wembley. Ah... so many memories. The match itself was a fine one, marked by one moment of special
Wembley magic. Seaman saved a penalty and England flowed up to the Scotland end. Gascoigne received the ball on the left of the Scotland box, with "Braveheart" Hendry in front of him. He flicked the ball over Hendry's head with his left foot, skipped round the bemused defender and buried the ball with his right. As if this outrageous goal were not enough, Gazza charged for the touchline and lay on his back next to a UEFA standard issue waterbottle. The rest of the England team went through the Dentist Chair routine once more, this time to roars of approval from (half) the stadium. Magic. England won the match and went on to demolish the Netherlands in the last group game. This was possibly England's most devastasting and accomplished performance in a modern competitive match. They were awesome, a memory that only slightly lessens the pain of that semi-final defeat on penalties to Germany.
King Kenny (Dalglish) surges forward the goalkeeper comes out to meet him and he deftly chips it over into the net. This was a special Wembley moment for me. Why? Because it was the first and only time a British team (Liverpool FC) had retained the European Cup. The game itself was a bit of a let down- it wasn't the highest quality. Bruges seemed to have capitulated even before they kicked off. This was in stark contrast to the rip-roaring final the previous year between Liverpool and Supercalifragilistic Borussia Munchengladbach. But it was the result that mattered and the achievement that this represented.Of course Liverpool went on to win old big ears twice more and the run of unprecedented success (in British terms) was only cut short by the Heysel tragedy in 1985. Who knows how many more times LFC could have won it had they not been suspended from the competition. They would have qualified on several more occasions.
Although organic farming seems the preferable method of agriculture in the twenty-first century, there are various drawbacks concerning environmental issues. Organic farming imposes a very expensive cost for farmers converting to farm using this method. A farmer wishing to convert, must buy new equipment, find more costly means of killing pests such as weeds, and must buy all the land in the surrounding area to ensure no cross-contamination of crops or livestock from other non organic farms. Another detrimental factor is that all the substitutes for the traditional chemicals such as pesticides are very, very expensive, so even when you are farming organically, the price is very high for environmentally friendly chemicals. There are regular checks on the farm to ensure that all the rules of the E.E.C are obeyed, and the standard set is very high. Other, non organic farmers are angry that their products are not as readily bought at the shops, and people are starting to lean towards an organic preference. This could lean towards a greater profit in organic foods and a partial disliking of normal farm products. There are very few problems with organic farming apart from the near extortionate prices charged for the equipment and maintenance of organic status.
Its hard to believe that they are pulling down the old stadium.if it was some poets house in North London or an old mansion in the sticks the blue plaques and National Trust wouldn't let the builders get any where near it.I would love to see it kept as museum in some form.I don't think its less important to our history than other landmarks. I suppose because its a symbol of the working man and not someone or thing more "arts" related its not going to gather enough influential interlectual support to keep the towers standing.Surely the lottery money could buy the land and turn it into a football museum or an American style hall of fame. I have travelled alot and people know about The Cup Final and Manchester United,its part of our history and they are going to smash it down as if its some kind of embarrassment. My best memories off the great stadium would have to be the 1979 final when United lost to the Arsenal 3-2.Incredible finish to a cup final.1981 Spurs Man City 3-2 was also a classic. Ok the 1979 match up until then was an a typical cup final but the last 5 minutes were un real with Man U cancelling out Stapletons two goals through Macilroy(87) and i think Macqueen(89)then Alan Sunderland and the Leo Sayer perm going up the other end to nick it back in the 92nd minute!.I was gutted. The thing with the Cup Final at Wembley in the old days was the build up from about 11pm with the coaches setting out to the ground.Then the Question of Sport special,the days when money and football went together like Vinnie Jones and University challenge.
To all the sincere sports fans out there - I apologise. This isn't a proper Wembley moment, because for all the matches of various sports I have watched on telly, I have only been to Wembley once, so I'm not loaded down with reminiscences. My one time was to watch a Great Britain / Australia international Rugby League match in 1994. I don't know if you were there, but it's an experience I will never forget. I think UK Rugby League was having one of those psychotic episodes when it wanted to introduce some razzle-dazzle and glamour into the sport, and yet, because it was run by lunatics like Maurice Lindsay, didn't have a clue how to achieve this. I was only there as part of a long-running campaign by friends to convert me to the sport, and frankly, while the game and the atmosphere were fine, that's not what I remember. It was the pre-match spectacular starring none other than Sir Cliff Richard. Picture the scene: 40 - 50000 slightly merry, largely northern rugby fans (with a small but exuberant bevy of Australians) watching as Cliff Richard emerged in a pink Cadillac, and proceeded to do a circuit of the stadium in it. He then bounded out of the Caddy and proceeded to tell us how udderly fabulous it was to be here, and how we were all gonna have a gread time, and it really didn't madder who won. He had this problem with hard consonants, Cliff, it was very distracting. Anyway, perhaps you can imagine how the spectators reacted to being told that the outcome of this titanic struggle was irrelevant. Call me cynical, but the outburst of boos and loud noises may have taken a certain amount of swagger from the Cliffster's demeanour, but the man had some Motown songs to crucify, so he got on, surrounded by tiny cheerleaders with inflatable guitars. He waggled his bum and bopped around like a child at a primary school disco, except a lot older, and with an unconvincing bouffant hairdo which saw a few str
ands of hair fluffed up into a thick mane of brown fur. We worried that the drizzle might ruin Cliff's 'do, but he scarpered quite quickly after that, waving and grinning, despite having completely ruined the mood. Matters weren't helped by the fact that the huge macho inflatable mascots (each about 20 feet high) were deflated before being removed from the pitch, and they wilted as if writhing in agony. Anyway, I will always remember the Peter Pan of Pop, besporting himself like a crazy man on the Wembley pitch, it was a noble sight. May the new Wembley be just as capable of staging such farces.
Wembley's greatest moment has got to be a football one and for most English people will have to be the world cup of 1966. However I don't class that as Wembley's greatest moment (I am very biased though!). Although I wasn't born then,I think that Wembley's greatest moment came two years after the world cup victory, in 1968, when Manchester United became the first English club to be crowned champions of Europe. It was important in the sense of English football but it was vital to Manchester United the club and to Matt Busby. After the Munich air crash in 1958 it seemed unlikely that Busby and United could ever go on to achieve their aim of being the first English champions of Europe. 8 united players died in the crash - their average age just 23. Matt Busby himself was in hospital for months and at one point fighting for his life. That season, as one would expect, didn't hold much success for the team. Although they did make it to the fa cup final and Busby managed to make it home from the German hospital in time for match day. They lost. Busby didn't give up and continued the policy he had adopted before the crash of bringing up young players through the youth teams to play for United rather than buying them. Gradually they became a force again and in the 66/67 season won the league. This meant that they found themselves again in the European Cup. Busby was getting older and the stresses of management were beginning to show. Players who had survived the crash were still playing, searching after the prize that would lay that ghost to rest, but were reaching the end of there careers. If they didn't win it now the chances were they never would. The final at Wembley was an average football match. But it was so much more than that. The United players weren't just playing for themselves but for their dead team mates. The supporters hadn't just come to yell their team to victory. They had
turned out on mass to show support for the club and to Busby and to recognise their drive and dertemination and courage. I've only seen videos but even from them it's possible to sense the electricity of excitment and anticipation that sparked in the croud and was transmitted to the pitch and to the players. After normal time the score was 1:1 and the United players looked shattered. Matt Busby though walked out on to the pitch and despite what he must have been thinking and his memories managed to find the words to motivate his team of tired men and instilled in them a belief of victory. United went on to win 4:1 and nobody watching Busby and Charlton (captain of United and Munich survivor) embrace on the pitch at the final whistle in tears could hold the victory against United or wish it any other way. Wembley has had many wonderful moments and each person will have their favourite but this is mine.
The old stadium is going - and let's face it, the colosseum in Rome is in better condition than England's national stadium. The crumbling facade of Wembley has that kind of derelict, haunted look seaside piers tend to have in the winter, and the facilities are worse than most First Division grounds. Yet what is the point in listing Wembley's flaws? It's like calling into question Pele's defensive capabilities. The reason to visit Wembley is to watch your team play on the hallowed turf...and us Town fans finally got our chance, after a hiatus of 22years, in the last ever Play Off final. For those of us who were too young to remember our glorious Cup Final win in '78, this was the last gasp fulfilment of a dream - to watch Town play at Wembley. I had been twice before, for England games, and hadn't even seen a goal. On those two occasions, we had discovered just how poor the view was - against Norway, we were up in the rafters, and needed a telescope to follow the action, and against Italy, we were at the front and level with the penalty box, which meant we couldn't see any of the action the other end. (Which was a good thing - Zola scored the only goal there after about 15 minutes) For the Play Offs, Wembley way was a divided strip of blue and red, and there was a definite sense of camaraderie between the Town and Barnsley fans. Inside, the atmosphere was electric as the two sets of supporters tried to outsing each other - and from where I was bellowing, the Blue half was definitely winning. The noise level erupted as the two teams marched out amid showers of fireworks, balloons and confetti. The game was one of the most thrilling I've seen from the point of view of a supporter. The view wasn't great from behind the goal, but we saw all we needed to...Naylor and Stewart putting us 3-1 up after Barnsley had taken an early lead. They pulled it back to 3-2 with around 15 minutes
to go, and the next quarter of an hour before Reuser's last gasp comforter were the most nerve-wracking of my life. The final whistle blew, Matt Holland lifted our trophy, and the curtain came down on our glorious season, and on the stadium itself. Whether the new Wembley will be able to generate such an electric, magical atmosphere remains to be seen...
For me there will always be 2 moments in Wembley history which will stand out. The first is the greatest sporting moment to take place at Wembley which was the 1966 World Cup Final. Yes I know it's an obvious choice but in sporting terms it doesn't get much bigger than the World Cup Final. On top of that it was one of the most, if no the most dramatic final ever. And of course most importantly England won and beat the Germans. It doesn't get much better than that does it? I'm only 25 so wasn't around in 1966, hell I wasn't even a glint in my parents eyes yet but I've seen the match on TV many times and of course the most famous goal in Wembley's history, Geoff Hurst's hat-trick goal. I would love to have been around during the World Cup in '66. If the atmosphere around the country was anything like it was during Euro 96 then it must have been amazing. My other choice is Live Aid in 1985. It's very rare that the whole world joins together in something like they did for Live Aid. Much of the credit has to go to Bob Geldof for organising it and getting his fellow pop stars together for such a good cause. If you take the concert on it's own it has to be considered the greatest ever musical event. To get so many of the biggest pop stars of the time together to perform in front of an audience which filled Wembley, both the pitch and stands plus millions if not billions of viewers all over the world. But add to that the fact that they were doing it for a great cause not just to further line their own pockets. It goes to show what we as a human race can do if we put our minds to it. I doubt if we ever see another event like Live Aid which unites the world in the same way.
As has already been the theme of this discussion page it is very hard to choosed one greates momment be it a match (like winning the World Cup) or a single goal (Gazza against Scotland) or if your Scottish a pitch invasion. For me the greates memory I have of Wembley is the 1992 Zenith Data Systems Cup Final. Not a popular choice I am guessing, in fact I expect no-one else will agree with me, as my reasons are very personal but at the same time highlight what Wembley means to most people. I feel I must explain at this point, I am a Saints fan and in 1992 we played Nottingham Forest in the final. Even though we lost 3-2 in extra time it is still my best memory, perhaps solely because I was there. Not yet born when we lifted the FA Cup in 1976 I supported Saints while all my friends supported bigger, richer and more succesful clubs. However I saw my team at Wembley, I was there, most of my friends teams have been to Wembley many times, we've been once in my lifetime. I however have seen my time play at Wembley, now its going most of my friends never will have that honour. So as I've said we lost, it was only the ZDS Cup and it took hours to get out of the place after the match but getting to Wembley has always been a dream, it is seen as the pinnacle of footballing achievement and so a match I was at, supporting my club who had earned the right to play there exemplifies what Wembley was about to me and is something I will never forget.
My only ever visit to the twin towers was in April 1994.The occasion being the Autoglass Trorhy final between Swansea City and Huddersfield Town.This was surely Wembley,s finest hour,the first welsh club since 1927 to visit the home of English football.30,000 passionate Swans fans roaring their side to victory,rumour has it we could be heard from Twickenham,another area where Welsh voices are commonly heard,well at least once every two years.To see our captain,John Cornforth lift the trophy head high brought tears to my eyes,even more than the poor Huddersfield fans whose side had just been beaten on penalties.This was my best and only Wembley experiance,hopefully we,ll be back when the new stadium is built.
What was Wembley's greatest moment, and in which field - football, rugby league, athletics, speedway, boxing?