Snatching an FA Cup goal against mighty Liverpool in front of 42,000 fans. Happy memories!

Torbay Weekly

The FA Cup draw saw all the top tier clubs in the Premier League and Championship enter the competition

The third round will take place over the weekend of Friday 7 to Monday 10 January 2022

Following Plymouth Argyles 2nd round away victory over Rochdale (1-2) I’m sure they were hoping to be drawn against one of the big named Premier League clubs but unfortunately, that wasn’t to be as they now face Birmingham City away in the third round tie – not long after the draw we saw their manager Ryan Lowe surprisingly resign from his post as the manager to take charge of Preston North End.

Lowe leaves Argyle after guiding them to promotion from League Two to League One in the 2019/20 season, and they currently sit fourth in the third tier. Lowe whose family are based in the North West had a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to clubs in a higher division and the pull of a Championship club based in the North was an opportunity for him to manage a club at a higher level and be closer to his family.

The FA Cup is a very special competition – I can remember as a child watching the FA Cup finals from start to finish. The coverage would start at the team hotels followed by the journey into Wembley where the teams were greeted by their supporters this was something that always stuck in my mind. You could sense the atmosphere and when the teams stepped out onto Wembley dressed in their Wembley suits prior to entering the changing rooms it was something very special. Following the game regardless of the score, it was a trip to the local park with a ball under my arm where I met friends and using our jumpers for goalposts we would attempt to mirror the Cup Final we had just witnessed. (Great memories).

In my professional career, I was fortunate enough to play in the FA Cup on several occasions but the one game that comes to mind was a fifth-round tie versus Liverpool which took place at Stamford Bridge on February 13, 1982. We were lying 8th in the Second Division (Championship), while Liverpool were the reigning European Champions and would go on to win the league title that season.

Early in the game winger Peter Rhodes- Brown latched onto a loose ball in midfield and after a clear run at goal slid the ball past Bruce Grobbelaar for the opener. Six minutes from time saw a cross from Clive Walker drop to me after a mix-up between Phil Neal and Grobbelaar and I scored left-footed from close range to seal a famous upset.

The Liverpool Team on the day:  Bruce Grobbelaar, Phil Neal,. Mark Lawrenson, Alan Kennedy,  Ronnie Whelan,. Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish,. Sammy Lee,. Ian Rush, Terry McDermott, Graeme Souness Substitutes: Craig Johnston. Manager: Bob Paisley

A few names you will probably recognise? Attendance: 41,422. What a day and memories I’ll never forget.

Some interesting Cristiano Ronaldo facts/ stats I came across and wanted to share with you :

This is insane. If you score 25 goals a season for 13 consecutive seasons, you’d retire with 325 career goals. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 325 goals since his 30th Birthday. Ronaldo has now scored 101 goals for Portugal in 165 games. He is just the second man in the history of the game to hit more than 100 career international goals, after Iran’s Ali Daei (who has 109) and he is the first European ever to hit three figures the next closest is Ference Puskas, with 84.

Ronaldo has now scored 9 hat tricks for Portugal. This has only been equalled by one other European man – Sweden’s Sven Rydell (who played between 1923-1932).

International goals scored by Ronaldo before turning 30 – 52 in 118 games. Goals scored by Ronaldo after turning 30 – 49 in 47.

Ronaldo has now scored more goals as a 30+-year-old than Sergio Aguero has in his whole international career (41). Ali Daei’s world record of 109 international goals is not going to stand for much longer.

Wishing all the readers a Merry Christmas and a peaceful, healthy, and enjoyable New Year