Articles

The truth behind my happy anniversary

I RECEIVED a phone call last week from someone who told me that today marked the 25th anniversary of Liverpool’s famous 5-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park.

The first thing that struck me was I couldn’t believe that a quarter of a century had passed since that day because I can still remember it like it was yesterday.

I was lucky enough to score four goals in that game and doing that ranks as one of my greatest personal achievements, right up there with the goals I scored in cup finals.

Before the game I was really keen to do well because it was my first real involvement in the Merseyside derby and the fact I was playing against the team I supported as a boy only added to my desire.

Bob Paisley had taken me to one side beforehand and told me that no-one had scored a hat-trick in the derby for 40 or 50 years.

He may have just been trying to fire me up but part of me thinks Bob being Bob he had spotted something in the way Everton set up that made him believe I could get at them a bit.

But I don’t think even he could have predicted what followed.

To win a derby 5-0 is an incredible achievement and ever since that day I’ve had Evertonians tell me that the scoreline would have been different if they hadn’t gone down to ten men when Glenn Keeley was sent off.

But I’ve always joked that they are right – we probably would have won by six or seven!

It was just one of those games when you feel you can score with every attack and I was lucky enough to get the four goals and Mark Lawrenson got the other.

What a lot of people don’t remember, though, is Neville Southall was absolutely brilliant that day.

He made some unbelievable saves and without him we probably would have scored even more.

My favourite goal from that game was the one for my hat-trick. I can remember being put through and thinking ‘this is my big chance’ but my shot hit the post.

But before I knew it the ball was back at my feet and I scored the rebound. That was my favourite because I knew how important it was and also because it happened in front of the Liverpool fans in the Park End.

It was a fantastic moment and something that will live with me for ever.

After the game I had to get back home to Wales but I was banned from driving at the time so the funny thing was I had to get a lift off Kevin Ratcliffe.

As we were walking back to his car none of the Evertonians were giving me stick but they were all giving him loads!

We got in the car and there was me, Kevin and the match ball so you can imagine what that journey must have been like for him.

I asked him if he’d get the ball signed by the Everton lads for me and I couldn’t repeat what he told me to do in a family newspaper. But Kevin being the kind of fella he is, he did get it signed for me and that’s a gesture I will always appreciate.

It was a great day and I just hope the anniversary brings back as many happy memories for the Liverpool fans as it has for me.

Copyright - Liverpool Echo

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