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The week that was - 29th May 1987. Charlton 2 Leeds Utd 1

First Division Play-Off Final replay. Charlton Athletic *2 (0) (Shirtliff 113, 117) Leeds United *1 (0) (Sheridan 99) *AET 90 mins 0-0. St Andrews, Birmingham. Att 18,000.

Charlton: Bolder, Humphrey, Reid, Peake, Shirtliff, Miller, Gritt, Lee, Melrose (Stuart 96), Walsh, Crooks.

Leeds: Day, Aspin, McDonald, Aizlewood, Ashurst, Ormsby (Edwards 44), Stiles, Sheridan, Pearson, Baird, Adams.

Referee: Alan Gunn (Burgess Hill).

Booked: Baird and Shirtliff after a second half flare up that followed a Baird tackle on Bolder. Miller for disputing the free-kick that lead to Leeds' goal. Aizlewood for deliberate handball (completing a hat-trick of bookings against his former club in the play off games)

Skipper Shirtliff scored two goals in a game for the first time in his career.

I think that's about it for this season folks. If you have any games you want mentioned next season for any particular reason, send me a whisper and I'll try and fit them in.


  • just want to say thanks and commend you for a great addition to the site

    it is not only appreciated by those that were there and can reminice but also for the younger lads, helps me get a sense of where we have come from and the uniqueness of our football club
  • Well said the boat,these posts always bring back memorys and are also very imformative for the younger supporters,i even find them of interest as they can jog my memeory, being from the older Generation my memeory is not always clear? Keep up the good work home and away.
  • goose pimples whenever i watch shirtliff's goals...... was anyone else on the coach back to well hall ...
    we got suck in a traffic jam on the way back home down M1 or M6 and a leeds coach was beside us on the motorway , as we all started giving them the thumbs down and laughing at them the nutters on the leeds coach jumped out of the emergency exit and started running towards our coach !!
    We all went a bit quiet on the coach until the driver swiftly moved onto the hard shoulder and sped off.
    We then pulled into a service station further on and there was another coach of leeds nutters, the driver asked if we wanted to stop and everyone told him to drive on...i'm sure there were people who must have been dying to use the toilet but didn't want to risk their lives!!
  • what you going to do in the summer months H&A?!
  • I think that the club should retrospectively award bravery medals to all 2,000 Charlton fans who attended this game!!!

    I was only 14 at the time and my old man would not have let myself and my brother go anywhere near it.

    Even now, I must admit, that in the same circumstances I'd have reservations about going because the 10-1 outnumbering in the odds just ain't that much fun....

    On the other hand, being there for Shirtliff's (anyone else remember the expose on him in the Sunday papers in the 88/89 season?) goals would have been well worth it!!!
  • tell you what though look at the posters above. One of them died last year.
  • [cite]Posted By: Goonerhater[/cite]tell you what though look at the posters above. One of them died last year.

    bloody hell that's frightening. God bless the Boat.
  • RIP Adam indeed.
  • oohaahmortimar yes i was there god that was hairy do you remember seeing the players also ?
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  • Great game...
  • Fantastic game (actually it was pretty crap). I can remember sitting down on the terrace after we went 1-0 down in extra-time thinking thats it we're done. One of my mates said we're attacking so I stood up and Mr Peter Shirtliff scored. All of us (in our little corner) went ape-shit. The mood of the Leeds fans changed from one of noisy celebration to stunned silence. When the second goal went in the congas had already stopped and then they were trying to pull down the fences.

    A great night out.
  • I couldn't go. I spent the day trying not to think about it. Hid myself away from radio and TV. At sometime after 9.00pm there was a knock at the door. It was my Dad who had been driving around Bromley listening to the radio. He told me the score was nil nil with a few moments left. I told him I couldn't/wouldn't listen to the radio - my nerves couldn't stand it.

    We sat in my lounge and put on the TV to catch the end of the 9.00 oclock news. It was an extended programme due to the election coverage. They gave the score in extra time with Leeds winning 1-0. I nearly had a seizure. The final result was promised at the end of the programme. I sat their in silence biting my nails trying to take the election twaddle. Finally the result came through 2-1. I shouted so loudly it could have been heard all the way to St Andrews. We danced around the house like a couple of ten year olds.

    Good old ITV carried the Yorkshire TV (Leeds biased) highlights which were shown after 10.30pm. How great it was to be able to watch them knowing the result. I remember the camera focussing on John Humphrey and Paul Miller celebrating at the end. God I wish I could have been there although I always doubted my heart could stand it until the Mackems game scotched that feeling.
  • edited May 2008
    I was tied up at work and arrived home close to midnight ignorant of the result. I immediately looked at teletext and saw that we won and realised that highlights were about to be shown on Thames television. I hurriedly tried to avoid doing a Rod Hull when adjusting my aerial which was set for TVS as it was then and ignored 'er indoors moaning that I'd woken up both her and the girls!

    I then watched snowy but decipherable highlights thinking it strange that we were wearing blue. Shirtliff rightly got most of the praise but from the highlights I saw Gritty was absolutely everywhere closing people down.

    It was a momentous win for the future of our club. Had we gone down I wonder whether we'd be here today.
  • I was on cricket tour, in West Germany ( as it was then) of all places. We played against the RAF and Army at bases like Wedberg and Rhineharland. We listened to the replay on SW radio, BBC World Service.
  • [cite]Posted By: LenGlover[/cite]It was a momentous win for the future of our club. Had we gone down I wonder whether we'd be here today.

    Agreed Len. Where would we have ended up? This was before Richard Murray came along.
  • [cite]Posted By: oohaahmortimer[/cite]goose pimples whenever i watch shirtliff's goals...... !!

    i get them when he knees Iain Baird in the head. Great footballing moment cos Baird was one 'orrible **** and didn't want to know after that.
  • [cite]Posted By: Ledge[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: oohaahmortimer[/cite]goose pimples whenever i watch shirtliff's goals...... !!

    i get them when he knees Iain Baird in the head. Great footballing moment cos Baird was one 'orrible **** and didn't want to know after that.

    I know Ian Baird and his family quite well. Been on holiday etc with them. Have to say on the pitch he did seem nasty. Away from football he is one of the funniest people I've met. I do take the piss though about those play-off games.

    Just to say he's now manager of Eastleigh in the Conference South.
  • I was a student in Leicester and had an exam that finished at 5PM. a few days before I'd gone down to London to buy my ticket rationalising that I might as well revise on the train as as home. On the day of the exam I had my train ticket already booked and sussed out what I had to do - sprint out the exam, get the bus, run to the train station and catch the 6PM (ish) train to Birmingham. My mate Ross was going to meet me and take my books home (he lived next door but one) but he never showed up. Never mind for once everything else went to plan, I even had time to buy one of those traveller's fare burgers that tasted of sawdust and vomit and I made it to Birmingham around 7PM only to find the station full of police. They advised me to get a cab, but being a student and having just forked out for the tickets and train tickets to London and then Birmingham I decided to walk - it was around 30 minutes so I had time, even if I had no idea where I was going.

    The first three quarters of the trek I was on my own and beginning to think I'd gone wrong - literally there were no other football fans of either side or police or any sign that I was going in the right direction. As I got closer I began to see a few fans so panic over, but they were all Leeds - in buses, cars, coaches, walking whatever I looked around and I saw literally no one with a red scarf or top on. In such situations I keep my head down, mouth shut and blend in, but even so I was threatened three times - once by a passenger in a passing car who started singing, when i didn't/couldn't join in that was the give away and he told me I was "fucking dead", only for me to turn a corner. Then arriving at the ground I had no idea where our end was - as it happened it was at the opposite end to where I was standing - i.e. I was at the Leeds end. I asked a steward how to get to the Charlton end and instead of him quietly saying go around the stadium he chose to shout and point adding that the Charlton end was over there, but I'd have to go around the car park as that end was shut. That attracted the attention of some Leeds fans who again wanted to fight but the steward shoved them away. With time running out I ignored his advice, I cut through the car park and then scaled over a reasonably high wall landing awkwardly on the other side literally in the middle of a group of policemen. Apologies all round and fortunately they saw the funny side, a uick search by a still giggling WPC and PC and I was in the ground.

    Around three quarters of the place was Leeds, a small area of seating was Charlton, there were a couple of vacant blocks to our left behind the goal and that was it - around 2,000 Charlton fans and that familiar feeling of malevolence hanging in the air whenever we played Leeds or Millwall. Although it seemed ages to kick off the Leeds fans were singing and never shut up until Shirtliff scored while our fans sung through the game. You know the result but a few things still sick in my mind - Aizlewood being booked for deliberate handball as he jumped up and palmed down a through ball when he was caught out of possession. Brendan Ormsby being subbed after trying to scythe down Garth Crooks - I think he did his ligaments in, and Andy Peake running the show for us in midfield and yet for our dominance we had nothing to show for it. Into extra time, Leeds had a free kick, John Sheridan pointed at the bottom right hand corner of Bolder's goal, took two steps and planted the ball there beyond his grasp. Instant jubilation for Leeds and for us what looked like bitter defeat on a hot night. Leeds passed the ball around, their fans started to celebrate, collectively our hearts sank. The second half began with Leeds kicking off and passing the ball straight back to Mervyn Day in goal and I thought this it, Leeds playing fifteen minutes of pass the ball around, Charlton get relegated and that's that. Then someone heaved the ball into the box, a feature of some Charlton matches was Lenny playing Shirtliff as an emergency centre forward when we were chasing the game and he turned and shot. The Leeds fans shut up, we breathed a sigh of relief and thought at least we have penalties now. Then with time running out the ball was heaved into the box again in the direction of Peter Shirtliff...

    Somehow I made it back to the station, not with out more risk, stumbling along a dark back alley I ran into some Leeds fans and it was obvious which direction I was coming from. Keeping cool as they started to chase me I kept walking head down, turned a corner and pegged it and didn't stop until I made it back to the Bullring. I only stopped because I had no idea where the train station was so i risked asking someone. Before he told me he asked me the result and whether I was Leeds or Charlton. I told him the score and that I was Charlton - I still remember him pausing, looking into the distance, nodding then telling me that he "fucking hated Leeds" before directing me to the station.

    I made it home with no further alarm, but I literally couldn't talk for several days so much had I sung during the match. I was at the Sunderland playoff final, but that was different, then we were stronger and on the crest of a wave with a growing squad and had more fans and we were of course back at the Valley. Lenny's team was made up of journeymen players, plus a couple of rejects and youth team players - for example directly after the match Rob Lee was put on the transfer list - there were no takers. Virtually none of the team had cost money, Peake came in for £80K, Walsh for £125K, Bolder and Shirtliff for low amounts, Thompson was recruited from Lincoln City after coming into pro-football late, we'd lost our captain Aizlewood half-way through the season and at Easter relegation had looked not just inevitable but a mercy killing. Gradually somehow we lifted ourselves off the bottom, picking up points here and there even so we barely scraped through into the playoffs and then had to play first Ipswich and then Leeds. Leeds then were a similarish team to us when we played Sunderland, a good team, strong support and had been pretty much successful all year, they had a bit of belief, while we really only had dogged determination in our favour. Support wise we were outnumbered so for me taking everything into consideration, especially including our status as tenants at Selhurst this match narrowly trumps the later play-off final.
  • great account BFR
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  • Nice one BFR
  • yeah great read that was bfr, nice one
  • BFR said it all there I reckon - funny, I clearly remember a fan (BFR?) asking OB the way to the station after the game, remember thinking I wouldn't fancy that walk one little bit. I went on the coach to this one and we got back about 3.30 in the morning, managed to get some kebabs in Welling (off the last half inch of meat - I'd survived St Andrews, so no kebab could kill me that night) and went into my mates house to watch it on video. Rolled out to go home and the sun was coming up, slightly surreal, but the feeling that night/morning was as good as Wembley I reckon. I often wonder if the club would have kept going if we had gone down that year, because at the time there was no return to the Valley on the cards at all.
  • edited May 2008
    I worked on the railway at the time. A mate and myself went by train which broke down half way there. We waited ages to get another engine to pull us all the way.
    Getting to the ground was ok.
    I can recall running around like mad when the second goal went in, and giving everybody hugs! I don't think I have seen such a big crowd that was loud one minute, go silent so quickly.
    Then the walk (or run) back to the station knowing that if we stopped we'd get a good beating, and not knowing if the people looking at us was Leeds or Brum....either way we would suffer!!!! Also hoping that the Police held the train, which they did thank god.
  • BFR said it all there I reckon - funny, I clearly remember a fan (BFR?) asking OB the way to the station after the game,


    It may have been, we were held back for a around 20-30 minutes as the players came out, Bolder virtually stripped himself throwing boots, his top and gloves etc into the crowd and on leaving the ground I had no idea how to get back to the station. I'd met some friends at the match, they'd travelled up by car and were parked near the Charlton end and anyway there was no room to take me anywhere, let alone back to Birmingham New Street and it's fair to point out they had no inclination to do so either. At that point I was knackered, hoarse from the singing and because I'd climbed the wall in the carpark before the match I had no idea of how to get around the carpark to get back to the station, and of course the Leeds end was between me and the station, meaning I'd have to negotiate several thousand pissed off and very possibly violent with it fans and Leeds fans at that time had a reputation matched only by Leicester, Millwall and Chelsea and maybe one or two others for talking with their fists which I'd discovered of course on the way down to the ground. if they were like that before the match I really didn't want to meet them after. Hey I made it, but another day...
  • I went by coach and after the game they had all gone. I asked the OB and they said dunno, nothing to do with them. I said look pal we're about to get murdered here and they wouldn't have moved unless you lot told them. Reluctantly he found out where they had been moved to.
    I also remember losing a contact lense when the coach arrived back at Catford and had to drive back to Bromley one eyed at 3am. The good old days :-)
  • Went up by train and got there about 5-10 minutes after getting a cab with a Leeds fan.

    Can't remember too much about the game (except the goals!)

    Got a lift home from a mate afterwards and got stuck on the motorway for ages. Still managed to keep awake long enough to watch the recorded highlights when I got home.
  • Oh so different from the Sunderland game and 23 years ago.
  • Being there, the sense of elation was stronger even than for the Sunderland final.

    Probably to do with the dire shape the club was in, it felt like defeat could have been the end.

    I still watch the highlights occasionally, just to relive those memories.
  • I still think this is the most important game I've ever seen. Was living in Crouch End as a student at the time and trained it on my own and, like BFR, walked to St Andrews. Very bizarre atmosphere at times but a great ending. The thing that always sticks in my mind is Bolder throwing his gloves into the crowd. I had no trouble getting back to the bullring but was horrified to see a train pulling out of the station with a BR guard saying 'sorry lads, that was the last train to London' fully expecting 400,000 Leeds fans (or so it appeared) to descend on the station at any time. Fortunately another train turned up and we got back to Euston at silly o'clock (tubes had stopped) and I very happily walked back to North London.
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Roland Out!