Six years on, were now in 1985, and not much has changed, United were flattering to deceive in our quest for the league title…But it wasn’t for the want of trying, three times between the 1979 and 1985 semi finals, we have smashed our record transfer fee, buying Ray Wilkins from Chelsea for £825,000 and breaking the million pound barrier to get Gary Birtles from Nottingham Forest and then breaking the world transfer fee record, when we signed Bryan Robson for £1,500,000, which makes now having to sit back watching the Glazier’s finacially rape the club, absolutly heartbreaking. We as fans then accepted United not winning the League, we didnt like it, but we could see the club was pulling out all stops to change things. Now from a position of real monetry strength, we are not using that muscle to improve the team, over £70 million every year is spent servicing those parasites interest payments on their debts. Back then we used the power and name of Manchester United to get the best, admittedly in Birtles’s case it never worked out, you could say we shopped at Harrods, if we were Glazer free we could attract the best players in the world, but now just can’t compete with any of the big boy’s and the most galling, watching City spending money like some Chav that’s won the lottery. We are pretty close to having to shop at the equivalent of a Car Boot Sale, looking for some young talent that we’ll be able to sell on for profit! Anyway back to 1985, admittedly in those intervening years we’d had an FA Cup Final victory against Brighton, and an exciting run in the Cup Winners Cup, eventually going out to Juventus in the semi-final to fall back on. What made life worse for us, was that Liverpool were going from strength to strength ,still sweeping all before them, only Everton the blue half of Murkeydive giving them a serious challenge…….. So it was inevitabe in 1985 after victories in the earlier rounds against Bournemouth,Coventry,Blackburn and West Ham we were to be drawn against Liverpool once again in the FA cup semi-final.
13th April at Goodison Park, surprisingly if I remember correctly United might have been slight favourites this time as we’d drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford and only two weeks prior to the semi final had managed a 1-0 victory at Anfield. Getting tickets was the usual hassle and Paul eventually got ours from that famous old ticket tout Stan Flashman. We went round his house in Whetstone North London to collect the tickets; unfortunately they were in Liverpool’s end (Glwadys Street)……We decided to get a mini bus into Manchester and then take the special into Liverpool. The Old Bill made all the specials pull into a God forsaken place called Edge Hill, where we’d be bussed into Goodison Park; obviously they didn’t want a repetition of our previous semi final visit. The bus trip from Edge Hill was free of any incident apart from seeing the scousers lining the streets gawping at us. I remember seeing one dad stood with his little lad, couldn’t have been more than three or four and his dad was trying to teach him to do the aeroplane, don’t you just love them! We got to the ground and were making our way to the Glwadys Street, when we heard a copper offering a Man United end ticket; I swapped mine with him, pissing off Big Al because I had beaten him to it.
With unashamed relief I went into the Bullens Road and quickly made my way to the corner section adjacent to the Glwadys Street, where we arranged to meet to see how long Pete, Big Al, Mick Hurley and my brother Paul would survive. I saw them weaving their way through the throng of vermin heading for the corner where I was standing. Paul and Pete Yeardley quickly climbed the heavily greased fence and jumped into our end. The scousers soon noticed and were onto it like a pack of hyena’s; I mean its perfect odds for them, four against five thousand. As you can guess by his name Big Al is a huge lump, and he has a AL of MUFC tattooed on his neck, the scousers were making a beeline for him, watching him climb onto the fence was an hilarious sight , he seemed to loose his balance swaying back and forth, for what seemed an age he was hanging precariously, about to fall back onto the scousers one second or into the refuge of United’s end the next. Luckily for him, he fell on top of us. Mick Hurley though was still trying to make his escape and the scousers attempted to pull him back in amongst them, Mick hung off the fence, gave one a quick dig and hopped over.
With everyone together in the Bullens Road, the match was about to begin. It was once again as a TV pundit would say ‘a great game for the neutral’ and eventually finished 2-2, with United twice been ahead, Gutting! What made it worse though, as usual the scousers cheated and got the luck they didn’t deserve, United were 2-1 up in the last minute of extra time, Paul Walsh was clearly flagged off side, the referee completely ignored his linesman and the little shit equalised. Can you imagine the fuss, if that had been us……Nothing happened afterwards that I can remember, except how disappointed and choked everybody was, you would have thought we had lost, Four days later we had the chance to put the record straight.
Semi-Final 1985 Replay
Maine Road that night was heaving, and full for a change! United had two thirds of the stadium completely out numbering the vermin. We were sat in the North stand when battle commenced….Things didn’t go to plan and the usually reliable and faultless Paul McGrath headed in his own goal, giving United a real uphill battle. But cometh the time cometh the man….Bryan Robson ran from the halfway line, leaving the Liverpool defence in his wake and smashed the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, it was without doubt one of the top five goals I’ve witnessed following United all these years. We completely outplayed them and justice was done when Mark Hughes hit the winner.
At the final whistle emotions ran high, it seemed as if everybody ran on the pitch to celebrate, with some of the players been carried off shoulder high, and Captain Fantastic Bryan Robson needing police assistance to leave the pitch… Everyone except my twin Paul who couldn’t miss the opportunity to agitate all the scousers in the Kippax, running up and down the touch line tormenting the great unwashed!
A few beers in the Vine (Sale) rounded off another great night SCOUSEBUSTING..
(Of course i never have condoned violence at football matches, this is just an account written for true historical records)