The result of today's Premier League game between Liverpool and Arsenal might have ramifications, but it can never get close to this classic in 1989. Just ask these fans who had their hopes shattered and their dreams answered...
The 17-year-old Virgin by Darren Ford
If the words “I gotta go see about a girl” mean anything to you, you’ll have a headstart on what’s about to unfold. Just bear in mind things never go as well as they do in the movies…
Nothing comes between a fan and his football. Unless that fan happens to be a 17-year-old virgin. Friday May 26th 1989 and I was on a promise. What a quandary: watch the Liverpool Arsenal game and risk my penis suing me for dereliction of duty, or bow to libidinous urges, go to a hastily arranged piss-up on a beach and risk blaming myself for the most unthinkable of defeats for the rest of my natural life.
In the end, having convinced me that secreting a small radio about my person would yield the best of both worlds, my penis won. And we lost. Not only that, the girl I was set to bequeath my cherry to turned up so late I ended up listening to the whole f*****g game alone, contorted in rictus misery at my Blaupunkt’s sputtering description of hell opening up in injury time. My only option was to take Bluto’s advice.
When the tardy bint eventually took custody of my parts I was so tw*tted my faculties shut down moments from glory (draw your own parallels). She left me there unconscious in a sand dune, my sorry manhood cresting the waistband of my grundies like a cheaply-concealed chipolata at a vegan barbecue, and promptly got off with a bloke called Gareth instead.
I will never forgive myself. For either result.
I listened to the game until she threw the phone in the bin when Alan smith scored
The £250 phone bill by Geoff LeGrove
The Hillsborough tragedy ensured the season went on two weeks longer than it should have and I had already booked my family holiday. So I was in Spain when we played Liverpool in May of 1989. In those days there was no Sky and you couldn't get UK channels overseas, well not live anyway.
So I went to the hotel and asked them to connect me to my office, where my staff were all watching the game live, my secretary was a Liverpool fan. Silly cow!
I listened to the game until she threw the phone in the bin when Alan smith scored, she was big time p*ssed off but I couldn't afford the second half, so far it cost me £250 with phone charges.
The most amazing game in the history of football and I missed half of it
I was at La Manga Club and went to the Sportsmans bar to see if they had a wireless on. They didn't but by then it was full time and he offered me his phone to find out the score. I declined.
I knew we would win but 1 nil, and the first team to win in 18 years at Anfield 2nil wasn't going to happen, so I went to bed thinking we had won 1 nil and that was it.
The next day I was leaving for home but had a message stuffed under the door that said we won the league, there were also problems with mobile phone signals in Spain in those days so I had no way of confirming the note.
I got to the airport and bought all the National newspapers, they were all northern editions so they were in mourning, I had to really search for news of the game as some other bloke from up there died that day.
When I got back I watched the entire game 6 times as someone had made me a video.
It was the greatest game in the history of football, last game and goals scored would win it, the most amazing game in the history of football and I missed half of it.
This was a great example of a young team but with a great defence, this was the greatest game of all time and we won it.
God I miss George Graham. Take note Wenger.
Crying in my pillow by Owen Blackhurst
10 is too young to suffer crushing disappointment twice in one week. The week previous to this match I had been due to go to the FA Cup Final victory over Everton but my Dad had to work at the last minute and the tickets got sold. I have glossed over that sentence because every time I think about it my heart hurts. At least we won I suppose.
You're Arsenal, Thomas, and you should've stayed there
Everytime I think about the title decider I want to punch Michael Thomas and his stupid, wriggling body. I want to jump back in time and boot him as he enters the box. My position didn't change at all that night. I sat cross-legged right in front of the TV clutching a massive cushion for comfort. In the house I lived in at the time the fire had an exposed chimney, it was hideous, and really hurt when you banged your head against it doing bicycle kicks with balloons. My left knee was just touching the edge of it and as the match wore on and no Liverpool goals were forthcoming I started to nervously twitch my leg which led to the stone grazing it.
When Thomas scored I burst into tears and buried my head in the cushion. I remember my Mum for ages telling me not to worry and that there woud be other games. I can't remember how long I stayed there, it seemed like hours. On the park the next day lads who supported United or Everton were all pretending to be Michael Thomas. I never liked him when he signed, or even when he scored in the FA Cup Final over Sunderland. Some things are unforgivable. It galls me that he regularly plays for a Liverpool Legends team. You're Arsenal, Thomas, and you should've stayed there.
Mum, what are you doing? by Joe Mardon
In the glorious May of 1989 I was six years old. With my old man watching it in work with his lovingly missed Scouse mate, I can still remember sitting on the edge of my bed watching, as Alan Smtih flicks it on to put Arsenal one up.
I ran into the living room to share the excited news with my Mum, who quickly dampened my enthusiasm, "you still need another one". Even Mum had written us off.
What jars is the fact I don't remember anything else from the game. If I can remember Smudger giving us the lead surely I'd have some recollection of Michael Thomas scoring the greatest goal in English league football history?
Every time I watch it back, goose bumps shiver through my body
I've come to the conclusion over the years that Mum must have said it was time for the six year old me to go to bed before Mickey struck. I've not really forgiven her for it.
The commentary to Thomas' goal beautifully stains every Arsenal fans memory and shall never fade. The images of Barnes and McMahon shaking each others hands, a job assumed done too early. "One minute" emphasis McMahon, with a spit to the ground. Arsenal fans would sing it to him every time he came to Highbury thereafter.
"And suddenly it was Michael Thomas bursting through the midfield."
It was the greatest Arsenal game that there will ever be. I have regrets that it occurred whilst I was six, rendering me unable to fully appreciate it at the time.
Every time I watch it back, goose bumps shiver through my body. The mass celebration of the away end as Thomas scores is the greatest image in the world. It proves football is beautiful.
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