Dave's Sunday Toast - #2 Derek Showers
Let's start today's Toast with the answer to last week's competition. The good news is no one got it wrong as unfortunately there were no entries.
The question was how did Peter Knowles celebrate scoring the winner at Fratton Park in February 1967 in a 3-2 victory? The game was screened that night on Match of the Day - Pompey on MOTD was as rare in those days as it is now unless you are awake for the last five minutes.
Let me tell the story. The previous week Pompey had been at White Hart Lane and been knocked out of the FA Cup by the G men - Greaves and Gilzean in front of a crowd of nearly 58,000 (for those who like records Spurs have not had a crowd that size since!) Manager George Smith made two changes notably bringing Cliff Portwood in to replace Dennis Edwards.
Wolves were flying high and the biggest league crowd of the season of over 23,000 were present to see a topsy-turvy match. Pompey attacked the Fratton End in the first half and Portwood showed that his manager's faith was not misplaced by scoring twice as Pompey went in 2-0 to the good at the break.
In the second half Wolves came storming back. With a few minutes on the clock the ball was hit high into the Pompey box and John Milkins came through a crowd of bodies to punch clear. He collapsed in a heap clutching his arm and ball was half cleared out to the Wolves left flank. The Pompey players and crowd were screaming at the referee to stop the game but he refused. The ball was crossed back into the box and with no goalkeeper Knowles scored a simple goal. The Fratton End were not best pleased and what followed made them even angrier. Knowles reached forward and plucked the ball out of the net and preceded to boot it clean over the Fratton end stand and into the goods yard.
Action was taken against Knowles for his exploits the next week - cannot remember exactly what. Milkins had broken his arm and missed the remainder of the season - Ron Tindall took over in goal.
Thanks to Chix for providing details of Pompey players birthdays both past and present.
This week's birthdays are
26th January - the late Brian Lewis would have been 65.
28th January - Derek Showers will be 55 & Kenny Swain 56
30th January - Peter Crouch 27 & the late Bobby Stokes would have been 57
1st February - Dave Bamber 49
Of those players, I have talked about Brian Lewis in the past as he was one of my favourite players. In fact in a link to the game above if he had been playing he would have taken Milkins place in goal but he had been sold to Coventry City a month before. The gangly Dave Bamber played only four games in the middle of the 1984/85 season. Kenny Swain was a member of the promotion winning side of 1987/88. Kenny is a rarity having played over 100 games for five different clubs. Kenny is also the current England U-16 manager. Peter Crouch of course we know all about so let's have a quick look at the career of Derek Showers.
Born in Merthyr Tydfil he played all his early football in Wales at Cardiff City. He was also lucky enough to play twice for the full Welsh team during that period. One of them coming on as a substitute at Wembley in 1975, in a 2-2 draw. Interestingly four of the England team that day would have future ties with Pompey; Gerry Francis, Mike Channon and Dave Thomas as players and the late Alan Ball as manager.
Derek moved to Bournemouth in 1977 and then moved on to Pompey in 1979. He made his debut as a substitute at Wigan in February 1979 and scored his first goal with a 90th minute winner at home to Torquay the following month. The next season 1979/80 was our promotion season and Derek started the season well only to suffer a serious injury at home to Stockport County, which kept him out for the rest of the season. Pompey struggled to replace him but just escaped back to Division Three on the final day at Northampton.
The new season saw a fit again Showers starting on the bench and getting occasional games and then came his immortal Pompey moment. Anfield - 28th October 1980, Pompey 1-0 down and win a corner. The ball comes over and Showers challenges Alan Kennedy who turns the ball into his own net. All of the 13,000 plus Blue fans there will always remember that moment. Of course we lost 4-1 but Derek had his moment of glory.
Three weeks later another cup game was to mark the end of Derek's Pompey career. It followed the debacle of the 3-0 defeat at Colchester and he was on his way to Hereford United. In 39 games Derek had netted just eight times.
This week's competition is can you tell me what Derek Showers nickname was?
I must finish by saying how much we all enjoyed the Vital impromptu get together in The Brewers Arms yesterday. Present were Rug, UKTony, Chix, Plymouth Graham, Storagematt, Pomepy4me, Pfc123 and a gathering of fathers, wives, brothers and children. Hope I have not left anybody out there, if I have my sincere apologies.
Watched the game with Rug from the front row of North Stand upper; Not a bad view but you can take it from Rug and I that the guy behind was the biggest moaner you could ever hope to meet.
It was great to faces to names and I hope to see all of you again soon.
Written by eastneydave.
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