Memory Lane - A look back at Walsall's Valentine fixtures
One game above all however really stands out in the memory. In 1984 Walsall FC had reached the dizzy heights of the Milk Cup Semi Final against the mighty Liverpool. Against all odds, the team had made a 2-2 draw at Anfield that won many admirers from the country for Alan Buckley's magnificent heroes who had performed so well on the night. The goals came from a Phil Neal own goal and a chip from super-sub Kevin Summerfield who scored with his first kick of the game.
So the second leg had been eagerly awaited by the Saddlers supporters who were praying for a win to see the lads in their first ever appearance at Wembley and what would have been the club's first ever appearance in a domestic cup final. 19,951 packed into Fellows Park for this match. First half chances had fallen to Richard O'Kelly who in the first minute had a snapshot saved by Bruce Grobbelaar and to Ally Brown who after being put through by David Preece shot wide of the far post.
Ian Rush gave the visitors the lead on 13 minutes. On 52 minutes Ronnie Whelan doubled the lead but Saddlers had three great chances to get back into the match. Mark Rees shot wide when put clean through. Ally Brown had a shot saved on the line and Kevin Summerfield failed to fire home from ten yards. So sadly Walsall, despite their five chances and pressure throughout the game, lost 0-2 but were not disgraced.
One disappointing aspect of this match was that 24 people were injured when a section of the wall collapsed at the Railway end due to pressure when Liverpool scored their first goal. Play was held up for 13 minutes as the injured were attended to. Liverpool captain Graeme Souness joined in the rescue with the police and carried one injured fan to safety. He was concerned as he could hear the injured youngsters crying out in pain. Manager Buckley said after the game, "I am not going to decry other teams, but had we faced any other side than the the most ruthlessly professional outfit in Great Britain, with wonderful skills to boot, I believe Walsall would have been at Wembley."
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