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Wednesday 15 September 2004
Weird and Wonderful rematch in words and pictures

BY Ben Hunt

Memories of 14th May 1988 came flooding back at Kingsmeadow as Liverpool hoped for revenge in the Weird and Wonderful ?88 rematch.

Original ?Carlsberg? shirts were squeezed into and yellow and blue rosettes were dug out of from the loft, as close to 3,000 fans made Jack Goodchild Way their very own Wembley Way for the afternoon.

Players including John Aldridge, Ronnie Whelan, Steve McMahon, John Scales, Dickie Guy and Efan Ekoku dusted off their football boots and limbered up their joints to star alongside a host of legendary representatives from both clubs.

Under the tactical guidance of former Wimbledon boss, Terry Burton, the Dons produced the silky pass and move style that was made famous by their opponents during the 80s. Dean Thomas masterminded the midfield leaving McMahon with that same sinking feeling he undoubtedly felt when Vinny Jones scythed him down just seconds after kick-off in 88.

John Scales produced a classic display, spraying the ball out from defence, while Warren Barton showed why he could not continue playing for Franchise by proving that he can actually play quite well, unlike the MK outfit.

Unsurprisingly it was AFC Wimbledon?s highest goal scorer who broke the deadlock. Kevin Cooper (the second one) opened the scoring with a low drive past Bob Boulder in the Liverpool goal to send the Dons 1-0 up.

With twenty minutes remaining referee Brian Hill, who of course presided over the game in ?88, retired from the match leaving his assistant in charge. In true FA Cup tradition the inevitable penalty was awarded, handing John Aldridge the chance to make some kind of amends for his miss 16 years earlier.

Unperturbed by the streaker who moments earlier had elegantly run on to the pitch with nothing but a flag, the former Republic of Ireland International made no mistake from 12 yards, although Dickie Guy was unlucky not to have recreated his save from Peter Lorimer?s penalty kick.

Liverpool worked hard but found AFC Wimbledon?s President in man-of-the-match form and the game finished with honours even.

Despite his goal, Aldridge confessed that he would never get over seeing his penalty saved by Dave Beasant. He said: ?Today was just a bit of fun. It was for a good cause and it was good to have a run out, but the goal was no consolation. I will never get rid of those ghosts.?

Dickie Guy was making only his second appearance between the sticks in 10 years and despite having practiced at work earlier in the week, he admitted to having some pre-match jitters. ?I was a little nervous about playing,? he said ?it was a great day and I really enjoyed it. We all really appreciate the Liverpool boys for coming down.?

Prior to the game the crowd were entertained by a match featuring fans and celebrities. Ralph Little, Lee from Steps, and Eastenders duo, Dean Gaffney and Mohammed George all showed off their ?skills? with the match ending level at 2-2.

It was an enjoyable day, especially for fans Ian Morgan and Nigel Shanon, who made successful bids in order to play in the commemorative fixture. The proceeds made from whole day went to the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Fund with a donation being made to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Other representatives who came to support the event included players from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s including FA Cup goal scorer and Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez.

Wimbledon Squad:

Dickie Guy, Glyn Shimell, Andy Clement, Alan Kimble, John Scales, Roger Joseph, Warren Barton, John Leslie, Andy Sayer, Efan Ekoku, Wally Downes, Ian Morgan, Dean Thomas, Glen Aitken, Kevin Cooper, Dave Donaldson, Glen ?Trigger? Mulcaire, Andy Sullivan, Bobby Stockley, Kieron Somers.

Liverpool Squad:

Bob Boulder, Gary Gillespie, Alan Kennedy, Jimmy Case, John Wark, Dave Watson, Nigel Spackman, John Aldridge, Michael Thomas, Mark Walters, Steve McMahon, Paul Walsh, David Fairclough, Ronnie Whelan, Nigel Shanon.