Letters from fans ahead of tonight's event at the club
anniversary celebrations to publish a selection of them.thFollowing a fantastic response from supporters for their memories of Wimbledon’s historic 1988 FA Cup win, we decided to wait until today’s 25
Dons fans all around the world stopped what they were doing at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 14 May, 1988 and what followed was Wimbledon’s greatest day – and a result that stunned the football world.
The Crazy Gang toppled Liverpool towards the end of a decade that had seen Wimbledon rise through the leagues at the same time as the Reds dominated English football.
for more information.FA Cup event We will be showing a re-run of the match at the Cherry Red Records Stadium tonight (Tuesday) with FA Cup-winning manager Bobby Gould taking us through the full 90 minutes. Click on
Wimbledon fan Michael Padmanathan can’t wait until tonight to watch the full match again for the first time.
Michael said: “I remember it was a scorching day. I had my £6 ticket if I remember rightly and I was surrounded by Liverpool fans. They were everywhere. I can remember that Peter Beardsley scored for them (disallowed) and ‘Lurch’ kept out John Barnes. My heart stopped twice – for the penalty and in the dying seconds they had a header just over the bar. I have not seen the game since that day. I bought a copy of the match six months ago, but I have not watched it as I am waiting for Tuesday!”
Dons supporter Trevor Musk watched the match in Jakarta, Indonesia, because he was working overseas at the time.
“The final was televised live and I watched it with friends in Jakarta. My Dad did manage to attend and I still have his hat, scarf and programme from the match. My son-in-law is a Liverpool supporter so he has heard my story a few times since then! He said:
“Having been unable to get to the FA Cup FinaI I was back on leave in August 1988 and attended the first game of the 88/89 season and I still have the programme from the Arsenal game. Having just looked at it again I was amused to see a photo of a very young Neil Sullivan in the reserve team news! I also vividly remember we were played off the park and lost 5-1!
I am planning on bringing my two-year-old grandson to a match in the not too distant future and that will make five generations of Wimbledon supporters in our family! I cannot really be sure what my first match was but it was a long time ago. My Grandad and my Dad started to take me to Plough Lane, I remember being in short trousers and being pretty cold at times!”
Stephen Gould, who now lives in Long Island, New York, attended the FA Cup Final all those years ago and he remembers being completely outnumbered by Liverpool fans on the day.
“ I didn’t care. We were seated in an area almost entirely occupied by Liverpool fans, and I was conspicuous in my Dons cap. I was a Wimbledon fan from when I moved to London in 1979," he recalled. "I was 31 when I went to the Final – and I took one of my brothers who, though a Spurs fan, had never been to a Wembley final before.
(I always remember that whenever I hear of Liverpool fans being accused of a lack of sportsmanship.)” They all said that they thought we deserved it. “At the end of the match, almost every Liverpool fan near me, and while I was leaving, reached over to shake my hand, and congratulate us.
Dons fans Nigel Drew can remember that his beloved Wimbledon’s cup exploits won him enough money to replace the carpets that he wrecked in an after-match party.
“It was my girlfriend's (now wife’s) 30th Birthday and I had planned a party with lots of her old friends coming. When I got back from Wembley events had overtaken my plans. My Dad called from Spain and said that it was wild there at his sister’s place in Fuengirola, Costa del Sol, because everyone had wanted Wimbledon to win. All the downstairs carpets at my house were ruined by cigarette burns and the house smelt of stale beer for about six weeks afterwards!!
"At least I had backed the Dons £25 each-way at 33-1 before we played Watford and had £10 each-way at 25-1 before Newcastle away. I put on another £10 e/w at 16-1 after we won that match and would you believe I got 4-1 for us to beat Liverpool after 90mins on the day. So I was eventually able to replace the carpets from the winnings! There was so much booze left over that we had another party a couple of weeks later.
“Memories of the day were of drinking a bottle of rum very quickly with a Liverpool fan from our local pub on the train there because the police were confiscating alcohol. He had backed Liverpool to win the double earlier at the start of the season and was set to win about £8,000 if Liverpool won but he refused to hedge his bet on the day and have £500 on the Dons to win. He disappeared after ‘Disco Dave’ saved the Aldridge penalty and we did not see him for about 6 months after that!”
Wimbledon supporter Julian Ferreira was lucky enough to attend the final and he made the trek over from Bristol on a train full of Liverpool fans – to begin with anyway!
“Unsurprisingly, there were quite a number of Liverpool fans on the train – and I was the only Womble," he recalled. "My friend, who was a Liverpool fan, said I would be the only Wimbledon fan in the stadium ! Then we had to change at Edgware Rd, where a train from Wimbledon had just come in and suddenly we were in a sea of blue and yellow. It was great to see the look on my friend’s face when she looked around and realised she was outnumbered and the day might not turn out the way she expected!
The moment I remember vividly was the penalty. There was a Liverpool fan just in front of us who couldn’t watch. He shut his eyes, turned his back, knelt down and started praying. When John Aldridge missed, everyone in the Wimbledon section went wild. I guess the Liverpool fan must have worked out what had happened – I did not see him again. It just goes to show that prayers are not always answered!
Obviously, I felt duty bound to join in. I am sure that Harry Bassett, then manager of Sheffield United appreciated the moment too!” “The final memory I have was a few days after the final when I went to see Bristol City play Sheff Utd in a Third Division Play-off match. Kenny Dalglish was presented to the crowd at half-time. The whole of Aston Gate erupted with chants of ‘Wimbledon’.
: “I can remember the train journey and it was packed with Liverpool fans. Wembley way was packed with them too all saying 'any spares lads?'. I was right behind the goal and hugely nervous. When Laurie scored we went crashing down the terracing and from then on I checked my watch every 30 seconds.Martyn Nayman, a Wimbledon supporter for 35 years, said
“When the penalty was awarded I turned to the bloke behind me who I had never seen before or after and said that Dave would save it. I recall the relief at the final whistle and the cheer when Dave lifted the Cup. I had too much beer for a 13-year-old and remember the parade the next day with my first ever full-on hangover! I still have my car keys on my 1988 FA Cup Winners key ring. They are great memories.”
We will be featuring more of your memories of the 1988 win on the official website later today.