25 years next week since Wembley 1996

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Nimrod
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25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Nimrod » Fri May 21, 2021 6:41 am

Struck me that next week (25 May) it’s 25 years since Darlo’s first trip to Wembley. The summer of Euro 96 and Oasis at Knebworth, a year before Princess Diana died, to me that year felt like the last year before life started to get a bit less care free. Perhaps because I was 16 at the time and it was the last year where I didn’t have to think about s*** like getting a job etc...
I remember the day itself as being like one of those classic Wembley cup finals you watched on the tv as a kid - glorious sunshine and a walk down Wembley way (where I bought an unofficial Darlo hat - the writing all fell off before the end of the game!). Both my Grandad’s came to the game (the only time I ever saw them together) and became Darlo fans for the day (their normal clubs were Everton & Burnley). The game itself is a bit of a blur though I remember Matty Appleby coming very close in the first half and also coming away with a general feeling that we could have played better and that perhaps if David Hodgson has stayed we might have won more home games and then achieved automatic promotion. Within days I think Appleby went to Barnsley and Gary Bannister retired and it was obvious at that point that next season might not be a repeat of 95/96. Great memories though.

norwich darlo
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by norwich darlo » Fri May 21, 2021 8:29 am

every time I see Matty's effort I still think it's going in. A great day out still lives on in the memory bank.

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don'tbuythesun
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by don'tbuythesun » Fri May 21, 2021 8:36 am

Where does the time go?! You're right, a great day out, five of us in a car from Merseyside, shirts, caps, scarves, foam Darlington hands and the lads aged 10/11 all face painted. We even had rosettes made by a grandma. People at the services asking who we were! We had a terrible pitch level view and so much space in the empty upper tiers. That was a great team and we gave it a decent go in beautiful sunshine. Think we took about 11,000 there? Plymouth had a huge following and it all seemed pretty friendly.
I still wonder who the big groups of casuals were on the way out and now you've got me thinking maybe they were meeting up for the Euros?

Comfortably_numb
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Comfortably_numb » Fri May 21, 2021 9:11 am

great day out. I thought we had about 13,000 there. (Darlo_pete would've predicted 25,000 turning up :) )

though we lost I left with immense pride that we'd played at Wembley and Plymouth a run for their money.

Old Git
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Old Git » Fri May 21, 2021 9:23 am

Had a good day out and just enjoyed the experience of seeing Darlo at Wembley. It seemed more important that we were there than the actual result of the game. Different feeling in 2000 when gutted at losing to Peterborough after dominating most of the match.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Fri May 21, 2021 11:16 am

I know what you mean Old Git.

During the second Trophy semi final at Gateshead I was nervous all through the match. I just wanted the chance of seeing Darlo at Wembley.

Going to Wembley was more important to me than beating Mansfield on the day, which we did :D
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

Piggy_
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Piggy_ » Fri May 21, 2021 11:52 am

Was right behind that Appleby shot.. agonisingly wide!
Who was the streaker though?!

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Geordie Quaker
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Geordie Quaker » Fri May 21, 2021 12:23 pm

Nimrod wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 6:41 am
coming away with a general feeling that we could have played better and that perhaps if David Hodgson has stayed we might have won more home games and then achieved automatic promotion. Within days I think Appleby went to Barnsley and Gary Bannister retired and it was obvious at that point that next season might not be a repeat of 95/96. Great memories though.
I think I am stil heartbroken from the Plymouth game. I was 14 and it absolutely broke me.

I don't think for a second Hodgson would have made a diference that season however. Platt had a superb points per game record after Hodgy legged it, and if he had stayed and made us more expansive at home we would have dropped far more points away. With respect to Hodgy, his other tenures don't suggest we was necessarily the man to get a team over the line.

I admit I speak from a totally biased pro-Platt view here - I thought he was a great man manager, softly spoken but inspirational to what as a very young team.

eddie-rowles
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by eddie-rowles » Fri May 21, 2021 12:51 pm

Geordie Quaker wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 12:23 pm
Nimrod wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 6:41 am
coming away with a general feeling that we could have played better and that perhaps if David Hodgson has stayed we might have won more home games and then achieved automatic promotion. Within days I think Appleby went to Barnsley and Gary Bannister retired and it was obvious at that point that next season might not be a repeat of 95/96. Great memories though.
I think I am stil heartbroken from the Plymouth game. I was 14 and it absolutely broke me.

I don't think for a second Hodgson would have made a diference that season however. Platt had a superb points per game record after Hodgy legged it, and if he had stayed and made us more expansive at home we would have dropped far more points away. With respect to Hodgy, his other tenures don't suggest we was necessarily the man to get a team over the line.

I admit I speak from a totally biased pro-Platt view here - I thought he was a great man manager, softly spoken but inspirational to what as a very young team.
Have to agree about him being a great man, couple of weeks after the playoff loss I wrote a letter to Mr Platt and when I came home next from sea several months later I had a lovely hand written reply thanking me for my support but he had already left for Gateshead. Was sure he could have done one better the following season or maybe time blurs the memory.

bga
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by bga » Fri May 21, 2021 1:51 pm

Comfortably_numb wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 9:11 am
great day out. I thought we had about 13,000 there. (Darlo_pete would've predicted 25,000 turning up :) )

though we lost I left with immense pride that we'd played at Wembley and Plymouth a run for their money.
Wickpedia has attendance as 43,431 so your figure probably about right. Think Plymouth sold just over 30,000 tickets. I just remember their fans were everywhere before the match.

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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by liamsears » Fri May 21, 2021 1:54 pm

We wandered down an empty Wembley Way about 10 minutes after kick off as we hadn't realised how long it took to get to Wembley from the boozer in Central London on the tube.
Couldn't understand what all the hype was about the atmosphere on Wembley Way until I returned later in the summer for the England v Scotland match.

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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by liamsears » Fri May 21, 2021 1:57 pm

Oh and those annoying shouts of "Green Army" all night in the centre of London, even after midnight. They got everywhere but I was too pissed to care!

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Makka Pakka
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Makka Pakka » Fri May 21, 2021 3:46 pm

Piggy_ wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 11:52 am
Was right behind that Appleby shot.. agonisingly wide!
Who was the streaker though?!
Got a photo of the streak somewhere, might try to find it.
"At a meeting held at the Grammar School on Friday last - Mr Phillip Wood M.A., in the chair - it was resolved to form an Association Football Club for Darlington and neighbourhood. The opinions of those present were so unanimous as to the desirability of this step, that a committee was formed to complete the organisation of the club, and Mr Craven, 17, Garden Street, was appointed secretary pro tem." - The Northern Echo, Monday 23rd July 1883

Darlo_Pete
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Darlo_Pete » Fri May 21, 2021 10:56 pm

My abiding memory of that day, was the terrible news that fan from Yarm, got run over on the way home between Doncaster & Wetherby and sadly lost his life. It put a bit if a dampner on the whole day for me. Everytime I pass the spot where he was killed I think about him.

boorman
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by boorman » Sat May 22, 2021 9:49 am

Geordie Quaker wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 12:23 pm
Nimrod wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 6:41 am
coming away with a general feeling that we could have played better and that perhaps if David Hodgson has stayed we might have won more home games and then achieved automatic promotion. Within days I think Appleby went to Barnsley and Gary Bannister retired and it was obvious at that point that next season might not be a repeat of 95/96. Great memories though.
I think I am stil heartbroken from the Plymouth game. I was 14 and it absolutely broke me.

I don't think for a second Hodgson would have made a diference that season however. Platt had a superb points per game record after Hodgy legged it, and if he had stayed and made us more expansive at home we would have dropped far more points away. With respect to Hodgy, his other tenures don't suggest we was necessarily the man to get a team over the line.

I admit I speak from a totally biased pro-Platt view here - I thought he was a great man manager, softly spoken but inspirational to what as a very young team.
I have to agree with this. We were mid-table when Hodgson left. Credit to him for putting Appleby as sweeper - I think that was absolutely key - but if he'd have stayed I bet he'd have kept tinkering with it and we wouldn't have gone on that surge up the table. Platt just let them play, which for the most part was ideal for a team with so much flair in it. What if Simon Shaw hadn't had his jaw broken before the final? I know it sounds odd to cite this because Shaw was hardly a superstar, but I think we really missed his pace in the final. Brumwell barely got over the halfway line. Also, what if Blake hadn't missed that sitter at Scunthorpe? We'd have got it done and then no one would even suggest that we'd have done better if Hodgson had stayed.

I do accept that Platt got outwitted by Warnock on the day. They stopped Bannister, made it a scrap and we had no answer. But it was still a pretty even game that we'd have probably won if Appleby had scored.

Great times though. Even when we had our all-star team with people like Gabbiadini and Heaney in it, we didn't play football as well as we did in 95/96. Same with the Dave Penney playoff team and Brian Little's promotion teams. There were some great players in those, but I don't think we ever topped the entertainment value of Appleby, Bannister and Blake.

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don'tbuythesun
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by don'tbuythesun » Sat May 22, 2021 9:59 am

And not forgetting that fantastic central defence pairing of Crosby and Gregan!

boorman
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by boorman » Sat May 22, 2021 10:07 am

It was just immense - they were both monumental! There's one particular game that stands out to me. It was away at Plymouth, we got quite an early goal on the break and Crosby & Gregan were absolute man mountains. Plymouth were bombing the box with long balls but Crosby & Gregan gobbled them up, and they were equal to all the rough-house tactics from the big lumps up-top for Plymouth. It was legendary rearguard action.

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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by swadquaker » Sat May 22, 2021 2:41 pm

Applebys run before the shot was amazing. I was down at that corner as it rolled into the net. I never saw it cross the line as about 10000 fans leapt up. When they sat down I couldn’t work out how the ball was behind the goal. Hole in the net. I never believed it had missed until I saw a video. I lived in Plymouth at the time so work on Monday was difficult to say the least

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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Wiseacre » Sun May 23, 2021 4:03 pm

I was late in thanks to Wembley's lousy stewarding and the first thing I saw was Matty running at their defence - he was so good and it must have been a just few inches wide. I think Painter went close with a header later on but their goal was well worked, Ronnie Mauge was fit as a fiddle after training at Her Majesty's Pleasure until the week before. It was all so unfair - we'd beaten them twice that season and I think that was a really good Quakers team, with a good manager. It wasn't coincidence that we clicked after Platt had the job to himself - we only lost once away from home and very nearly went up after the Scunthorpe epic so I 'm not sure about Hodgson's capacity to manage more home wins - for all his charm and obvious commitment to the club I wonder if it might have been better if things had worked out for Jim.
Like England's might have been in the Euros at Wembley two months later, once the disappointment lifts a more lasting feeling of something achieved can emerge. It was a good Darlo team and a great event - great memories.

Nimrod
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Re: 25 years next week since Wembley 1996

Post by Nimrod » Wed May 26, 2021 5:19 pm

Platt was a good guy for sure but didn’t seem to be able to carry on the optimism into 96-97. No idea why he sold Robbie Painter to Rochdale

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