Heroes & Villains, the Aston Villa fanzine

Heroes & Villains => Villa Memories => Topic started by: eamonn on February 27, 2019, 02:39:29 PM

Title: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: eamonn on February 27, 2019, 02:39:29 PM
A quarter of a century...did you ever notice your life flashing past in all that time?

I know this belongs in Memories and it can move there tomorrow but this is, for many of us, our Roy of the Rovers moment, rarely beaten before or since:

Main match highlights:


Dalian attempts to outdo his Wimbledon goal plus the penalties:

Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Duncan Shaw on February 27, 2019, 02:41:54 PM
Thanks, that's my afternoon's work out of the window :-)
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: AV82EC on February 27, 2019, 03:04:07 PM
Why can I remember this like it was yesterday and yet can’t remember half the stuff I did last week.

My initial feeling on entering the ground was one of trepidation and you could feel it around the stadium (amazingly it wasn’t a full house). The feeling when it started to flip when we scored the first was like nothing I’ve experienced since. The flip flopping of my emotions for the rest of that afternoon was extraordinary and I doubt I’ll ever experience anything like it at Villa Park again.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: mamuu on February 27, 2019, 03:21:11 PM
for me it was firstly the interminable trip on the minibus up from Euston with the London Lions. When we eventually reached Prenton Park we were greeted by lots of lovable scamps who welcomed us the traditional way by throwing stones and questioning some of our parentage. The game itself was awful - the away terrace was little more than a muddy bank in places and the fog was pretty bad i seem to recall. You couldn't see a lot but we did glimpse Yorke's lifeline towards the end. The way back took forever - we stopped at a pub en route once we'd ducked a few bottles and bricks on the way to the minibus. I think we got back to London about 4AM and i just went to work.
The VP leg is the stuff of legend of course - one of only a handful of times ive felt the place shake. I was front row of the upper deck of the trinity for that game and oh, my. Happy days.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: The Left Side on February 27, 2019, 03:23:34 PM
An amazing game, I doubt we will see its like again.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: PeterWithe on February 27, 2019, 03:34:28 PM
My initial feeling on entering the ground was one of trepidation and you could feel it around the stadium (amazingly it wasn’t a full house).

My powers of recall are similarly fading but I seem to mind it was the biggest attendance in England up to that point in the season?

As background , a lot of other stadiums were going through building works to make them all seater so stands were closed at Highbury, Anfield, OT etc reducing capacity.

We’d just finished the WL so that was open as well as the still standing Holte.

Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: DB on February 27, 2019, 03:38:39 PM
Why was I getting nervous just watching the pen shoot-out after 25 years?
God knows what I was like in the Holte, happy days.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: eamonn on February 27, 2019, 03:51:49 PM
for me it was firstly the interminable trip on the minibus up from Euston with the London Lions. When we eventually reached Prenton Park we were greeted by lots of lovable scamps who welcomed us the traditional way by throwing stones and questioning some of our parentage. The game itself was awful - the away terrace was little more than a muddy bank in places and the fog was pretty bad i seem to recall. You couldn't see a lot but we did glimpse Yorke's lifeline towards the end.

The "consolation" was by Dalian, not Dwight.

Was this the first year of two-legged semi finals?
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: luke95 on February 27, 2019, 04:12:20 PM
for me it was firstly the interminable trip on the minibus up from Euston with the London Lions. When we eventually reached Prenton Park we were greeted by lots of lovable scamps who welcomed us the traditional way by throwing stones and questioning some of our parentage. The game itself was awful - the away terrace was little more than a muddy bank in places and the fog was pretty bad i seem to recall. You couldn't see a lot but we did glimpse Yorke's lifeline towards the end.

The "consolation" was by Dalian, not Dwight.

Was this the first year of two-legged semi finals?

Pretty sure they've always been 2 legged semis .
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: eamonn on February 27, 2019, 04:13:52 PM
Ha, really? I was only a nipper, it all seemed alien and exciting to me.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Lastfootstamper on February 27, 2019, 04:20:12 PM
For reasons that escape me now, I was in the lower Trinity, towards the Holte. Right behind Daley when he put the cross in for the third.

I can still see it now. Best cross he ever hit. There was no way it wasn't ending up in the net, no way in the world. Sweet as. If anyone's got a good enough picture, if you can see a bloke going mental before Atkinson's buried it, that's most likely me.

Mental night, absolutely mental.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Chris Smith on February 27, 2019, 04:23:01 PM
I took my son who was 9 at the time and he still says it’s the best game he’s ever been to.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: eamonn on February 27, 2019, 04:42:31 PM
I was 9 too! Had to make do with catching extra-time and pens only at my babysitter's house in Cork.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Richard E on February 27, 2019, 04:55:33 PM
What a game! I think I had the highest heart rate of my life that afternoon.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: PeterWithesShin on February 27, 2019, 05:01:47 PM
Dalian's header going in is the greatest single feeling of joy i've ever had at a Villa game. And it led to the last proper big terrace mental in this country.

A few years ago I was in a Facebook group and got talking to a Tranmere fan on a post, he was at the game and said as sickening a moment as it was for him he'll never forget what The Holte looked liked at that moment.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Exeter 77 on February 27, 2019, 05:46:11 PM
I was living in Crewe at the time and got to the station just in time to see the last train which would get me to New Street in time for kick off pulling out. A quick sprint back home found Mark, my landlady's boyfriend, just coming out of the front door. As a (then) long-suffering Man City fan he understood what a chance to get to Wembley meant. He pushed me into his Renault 5 and did a passable impression of Ayrton Senna down the M6 to Stafford station where the train was just pulling in and I just about made it into a carriage. I haven't see Mark in several years but I'm forever grateful.

This was followed by the game itself and all the associated drama. I'm still convinced that Dalian Atkinson thought we needed another goal which is why he didn't celebrate his goal and collected the ball from the net while the celebratory carnage was happening on the Holte in front of him.

If my trip to the game was eventful the one back was awkward as the train back to Crewe was full of disappointed Tranmere fans going back to Merseyside.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Legion on February 27, 2019, 05:53:16 PM
25 years? Surely it was only yesterday?
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Marlon From Bearwood on February 27, 2019, 06:03:36 PM
Dalian definitely thought we still needed another goal, hence his lack of celebrations. I remember it being mentioned after, possibly by Big Ron.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Villan For Life on February 27, 2019, 06:14:44 PM
I’d forgotten just what a run up Deano took for his penalty. Almost right arm over the wicket in its length!
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: West Derby Villan on February 27, 2019, 06:58:30 PM
Watching that has set my heart racing and goosebumps. What a sensational match and yes the Holte was bouncing, probably the last great "standing" matches at VP. Great memories thanks Eamonn
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Pat McMahon on February 27, 2019, 07:36:06 PM
I was living in Paris and played football that Sunday afternoon. At least it distracted me.

I called a mate at home from a payphone outside St Lazare station and he told me it was going to extra time. I called him again when i got home a short while later and it was during the penalties. He was talking me through them and I nearly had a heart attack when Richardson missed and told him to call me back when it was over.

I spent a few minutes pacing around the room, desperately seeking my lucky spot before he called me back. Very matter of fact told me to relax, we had won and we were going to Wembley. He did a lot of work for the Schools FA at the time so was 90% certain he could get us tickets. He did.

For the away game I was working in Lyon so  called my mom to find the score from my hotel. I almost cried with disappointment - I had never seen the Villa in a final at Wembley, and had only seen us in the 1981 Charity Shield. Better than nothing but not the real thing. My boss had a go at me for making an international call from a hotel room. I told him it was an emergency - which it was! Always thought it was strange that he never pursued  this- how would i know there was an emergency until I called?
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: CT on February 27, 2019, 07:59:23 PM
25 years, holy shit.

Preston Park, laughing as they went a goal up. Still smug when they went two up - we'll come back, easily. Not laughing at all at 3-0 and thinking we've blown it. Dalian gets his goal at the death and we've got a chance.

I could write a book on the home leg. It is still my favourite ever game at Villa Park.

Happy times.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: dave shelley on February 27, 2019, 08:27:39 PM
We had her our old cat back then and she always seemed to find her way to sit on my lap when I least wanted it.  That day, she decided to take up her position.  I'm a very nervous watcher of the Villa on the television and the joy and despair in equal measures during that match was unreal.  We were out as far as I was concerned when we went into that last five minutes of normal time and when Dalian Atkinson got that final equaliser  I swear the poor old cat hit the ceiling!   It must have been such a shock to her that she never came near me in that chair for a very long time. 

I've looked at those penalty highlights many, many times and I can't make up my mind whether or not Liam O'Brien was grinning as he went up to take the penalty that would have put them through.  If he was, he soon had the smile wiped off his face.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Chico Hamilton III on February 28, 2019, 11:01:56 AM
Went to the away leg with Alex Alex Cropley from here. We managed to get tickets from Paul McGrath, who left them at the ticket office at Prenton Park. We ended up sitting with the players’ wives/ fancy pieces. A shambles of an evening.

We were on the Holte  for the second leg and then on the pitch at the final whistle. Fantastic. Incredible atmosphere

Liam O’Brian hitting the bar for Tranmere nearly caused me to black out.
 
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Chico Hamilton III on February 28, 2019, 11:24:11 AM
for me it was firstly the interminable trip on the minibus up from Euston with the London Lions. When we eventually reached Prenton Park we were greeted by lots of lovable scamps who welcomed us the traditional way by throwing stones and questioning some of our parentage. The game itself was awful - the away terrace was little more than a muddy bank in places and the fog was pretty bad i seem to recall. You couldn't see a lot but we did glimpse Yorke's lifeline towards the end.

The "consolation" was by Dalian, not Dwight.

Was this the first year of two-legged semi finals?

Pretty sure they've always been 2 legged semis .

The finals used to be 2 legged as well.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: AV82EC on February 28, 2019, 11:34:43 AM
My initial feeling on entering the ground was one of trepidation and you could feel it around the stadium (amazingly it wasn’t a full house).

My powers of recall are similarly fading but I seem to mind it was the biggest attendance in England up to that point in the season?

As background , a lot of other stadiums were going through building works to make them all seater so stands were closed at Highbury, Anfield, OT etc reducing capacity.

We’d just finished the WL so that was open as well as the still standing Holte.

I think you may be right on the Best attendance at that point as you rightly say there was building and reduced capacities going on all over the show. I think we got just over 40k for this game but the capacity at the time was 45-46k that season. I recall quite a lot of people at the time saying they wouldn’t go as we’d blown it and others electing to watch on TV.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Archbishop Herbert Cockthrottle on February 28, 2019, 11:44:20 AM
We were in the chip shop when our goal went in at Tranmere. There was a mix of disappointment that we'd missed a goal and absurd belief that we could actually do them at Villa Park as we went back home in the car.
At home we bagged some front row seats upstairs in the Trinity if I remember - we were Holtenders at the time - and I just remember hitting my knees so many times as we jumped up to celebrate. At one point my glasses landed about four rows behind.
It was my favourite game - I've just tried to watch the penalties but I've had to stop, my fucking heart is banging too much. I'll try later.
What a team. What an atmosphere.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: AV82EC on February 28, 2019, 12:03:34 PM
We were in the chip shop when our goal went in at Tranmere. There was a mix of disappointment that we'd missed a goal and absurd belief that we could actually do them at Villa Park as we went back home in the car.
At home we bagged some front row seats upstairs in the Trinity if I remember - we were Holtenders at the time - and I just remember hitting my knees so many times as we jumped up to celebrate. At one point my glasses landed about four rows behind.
It was my favourite game - I've just tried to watch the penalties but I've had to stop, my fucking heart is banging too much. I'll try later.
What a team. What an atmosphere.

The bit in between full time and extra time with the whole ground singing Big Fat Ron’s Claret and Blue Army was......words can’t describe, up there in my top Villa supporting moments.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Archbishop Herbert Cockthrottle on February 28, 2019, 01:02:55 PM
We were in the chip shop when our goal went in at Tranmere. There was a mix of disappointment that we'd missed a goal and absurd belief that we could actually do them at Villa Park as we went back home in the car.
At home we bagged some front row seats upstairs in the Trinity if I remember - we were Holtenders at the time - and I just remember hitting my knees so many times as we jumped up to celebrate. At one point my glasses landed about four rows behind.
It was my favourite game - I've just tried to watch the penalties but I've had to stop, my fucking heart is banging too much. I'll try later.
What a team. What an atmosphere.

The bit in between full time and extra time with the whole ground singing Big Fat Ron’s Claret and Blue Army was......words can’t describe, up there in my top Villa supporting moments.


Too true. Wonderful stuff and what football dreams are made of.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Richie on February 28, 2019, 01:59:22 PM
An absolute rollercoaster of a match, the likes of which I've never seen since. I vividly remember walking back to the car up at their place after the first leg, obviously looking well pissed off and being greeted by a Tranmere fan telling me "looks like we're off to Wembley then". Wish I'd of bumped into him after the second leg.

I can honestly say I've never been more desperate for a Villa goal than I was for that 3rd goal in the last couple of minutes. When Dalian headed it in, I couldn't even celebrate it. I was physically and mentally gone.

The atmosphere that day was off the scale.   
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: usav on February 28, 2019, 04:28:34 PM
We almost went to the game thinking we have to go because we already have tickets, not because we thought we would win.  On our walk up to the Holte End past Aston Church, one of our group suggested we walk around the ground to "soak in the atmosphere" and for good luck.   Needless to say, we did a similar lap of the stadium at Wembley a few weeks later and at every big game for several years to come!

The emotions at that game can't be put into writing, sorry youngsters or anyone who missed it, you had to be there.

The Holte End probably went as crazy as I have ever seen it for Dalian's header.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Kevin Dawson on February 28, 2019, 05:46:41 PM
It's strange watching Dalian's goal celebration now.....I just remember diving forward and roaring uncontrollably. At the end of normal time I had to go downstairs on the Holte.......I was totally overcome by the emotion of it all.....and as for the penalties? I was actually quite calm.....knew Bosnich would save a couple.......just an amazing day.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: mamuu on March 01, 2019, 02:09:24 PM
for me it was firstly the interminable trip on the minibus up from Euston with the London Lions. When we eventually reached Prenton Park we were greeted by lots of lovable scamps who welcomed us the traditional way by throwing stones and questioning some of our parentage. The game itself was awful - the away terrace was little more than a muddy bank in places and the fog was pretty bad i seem to recall. You couldn't see a lot but we did glimpse Yorke's lifeline towards the end.

The "consolation" was by Dalian, not Dwight.

Was this the first year of two-legged semi finals?

of course. age and all that.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Nev on March 01, 2019, 03:25:31 PM
I remember driving to both legs. At Prenton Park we were scrambling up that muddy bank to leave in disgust when we heard the cheer of our goal it didn't really cheer us up on the way home.

But the first part of the home leg with those two goals really set the scene, we'd left the Holte in advance of it's closure so it was a rare view from the Witton Lane of the place I had stood for years. Magic.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Deano's Mullet on March 04, 2019, 07:15:41 PM
I think it was the most nervy game I've ever been to and that included the final.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: Brazilian Villain on March 15, 2019, 01:15:24 AM
I listened to the first leg in my darkened bedroom in Dublin on BBC radio and cried after asking why I can't get tosee Villa at the Wembley. Watched the second leg with some Liverpool supporting mates in our house who shook my hand after the game as if I'd played in it as I was so emotional. Spur of the moment the Friday before the final I booked a Ryanair ticket for 69 quid. Got a ticket of a tout for 95 quid (43 face value) about 10 mins before the game started. Best money I've ever spent.
Title: Re: 25 Year Throwback - The Taking of Tranmere
Post by: GXVilla on March 15, 2019, 05:05:50 PM
Had tickets in the Tranmere section at Prenton Park and felt very smug after negotiating our way into the Villa section. And then the game started and we were shocking. Dalian's late goal was completely out of the blue.Very long way back to Harrow after that.
Took my nephew to the second leg as my brother had given up-what an afternoon that was. Even when they had a penalty to win it, still trusted in Bosnich to save us.
Downside was I'd booked a holiday which clashed with the final and hadn't bothered to change it after the first leg. Got all the family tickets and had to suffer on a beach in Portugal as it wasn't on Sky. As everyone else was at the game had to phone my Bluenose brother for the result, and had the pleasure of him hating every moment of telling us we'd won!!