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Sat 2 May 1992


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Plymouth Argyle 1 Rovers 3

This was my first ever away game. As I remember, Rovers had to win to guarantee a play-off spot and Plymouth had to win to avoid relegation, so this really was a massive game for both sides.

My family were on holiday staying at a nearby Haven caravan park. It was a bizarre holiday camp in which both Phil Parks and Geoff Capes made special appearances! Anyway before we went to the game it came out that one of the entertainers on the site was a Plymouth fan and was going to the game but had no transport so we game him a lift to the game.

Before the game some kids were shouting to the warming up players to get their autographs and them some little swine with no shame whatsoever shouted for Chris Price to come over and he trotted over ready to give autographs to his adoring fans but was put firmly in his place when the kid said "will you get Speedie to come over and give us his autograph". David Speedie scored a hattrick on the day. My dad and I were right at the back of the Rovers fans leaving the ground because we were in no rush as we were staying nearby so we took our time leaving. As were milling around the away end I saw David Speedie on the otherside of the fence supping a pint outside what must have been the players bar! A fine way to celebrate a hattrick! My dad forbade me from asking Speedie for his autograph because it would have spoilt his pint if everyone else had seen us getting his autograph and then rushed over.

In the away end we were joined by two Plymouth fans who couldnt get into the home stands so they came and watched with us. Rather bizarre fan segragation going on there but I remember in the same season when we played Newcastle at Ewood that when Newcastle scored first all these little Geordies were dancing in the Walkersteel Stand. They just appeared from nowhere. Anyway they were good sports and took the defeat with a brave face unlike the rest of the crowd. As the final whistle blew, onto the pitch ran all these Argyle skin heads who looked determined to get some revenge. I remember one in particular because he seemed to be running directly over to me and my dad with a brick in his hand. Fortunately the police weren't as fat and easily outran them to get between us and them. I was 9 years old at the time and that was really scary and put me off going to away games for a long time.

As the crowd filed out and we were led through the home side stand all the seats had been smashed to smitherines, I can only assume as some sort of retribution by the Rovers fans for attempted attack by the greenies.

In the car driving back to the caravan my dad said once again said I wasn't allowed to do something when he forbade me from hanging my scarf out of the window afterwards because it wasnt fair to the Argyle chap who was sat in the back with a face on him, so I had to hide my glee.


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I was working on Deansgate in Bolton at the time, and couldn't get any decent reception on the shop radio. So I had to keep running out of the shop, and looking into the shop next doors window, which was Granada TV Rentals I think, and look at the video printer or teleprinter as it may be still been then. What a long season that felt like, long trips to Cambridge (twice), and what felt like around a dozen defeats in a row. In a subsequent edition of When Saturday Comes, a Plymouth fan had written a letter in wondering why thousands of Rovers fans referred to the manager as Kinky Knees!

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I was there with my mates. A fantastic weekend was had by all. Spent the night raving in the senior rates mess in one of the Navy bars. then onto Bournemouth the following day where we had a ball.

Always will remember David Speedie and the walk around the pitch afterwards.

The red Sierrra we hired for that weekend went back in some state and we never ever got our deposit back tongue.gif

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Very happy day! We travelled down on an "Aspdens" coach when they jumped on the Rovers bandwagon and ran coaches to all away trips. No membership, and the Drivers pretty much turned a blind eye to booze. The coach had a puncture on the M5 so we made the game with a few minutes to spare.

That gamed summed up Speedie's immense contribution to the promotion campaign. At times he seemed on a one man mission to take us up. Pete "tight perm" Shilton who was in goal didn't stand a chance.

Huge Chin, I think the home fans smashed up their stand in frustration as we had just relegated them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We went down the day before to "make sure we didn't miss the kick-off" and perhaps check out a couple of beers etc.

What a great weekend, once again when the going got tough David Speedie got going. But the best bit was walking along Torquay seafront on Sunday morning feeling a bit foggy when I bump into a bloke in the shirt buying fudge - the conversation goes:

Me: It's a bit early for that isn't it?

Him: It's for the wife not me

Me: Oh, is she here?

Him: No, I took the dog for a walk yesterday and got offered a ticket while out - she hasn't seen me since!!

Me: Where's the dog?

Him: Near the Infirmary


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Great trip - prematch pubs full of Rovers fans paying vocal tribute to King Kenny! Speedie was magnificent...

Seem to recall a massive inflatable crocodile bouncing around the open away terrace.

Also, after the momentous victory, we were back in Blackburn having a pint in the Woodlands well before 9:00pm (I wasn't the driver of the nippy Ford Escort, I hasten to add)!

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My Bestest Favourite Ever Away Trip tongue.gif

91/92 season as everyone knows, was a roller coaster from the moment Don Mackay was sacked. A group of us from the Alex (Alexandra Hotel) had been going to loads of away games, often hiring a minibus. We booked 2 nights in a Torquay Hotel for around 12 of us at Christmas, around the same time the bookies stopped taking bets on Rovers for automatic promotion……this was our promotion party weekend….Oops

Friday morn we loaded up, snacks and the obligatory Cans, the journey just seemed to fly by as we drank and laughed all the way to the English Riviera. After checking in and a quick change we hit the town, had a great night met a few ladies and planned to hit a club, all went pear shaped after hitting the Scrumpy cider, remember Bernard crawling up the main pedestrian street like it was the north face of the Eiger

Full English, walk to clear the head before heading for Plymouth, near the ground we stopped at a watering hole……bugger we’d just missed Uncle Jack, he’d called in and bought everyone a pint.

The match past by in a blur….Speedie Speedie, missed two of the goals, one I was under a flag, the other while talking to a Torquay fan, he’d come to see Plymouth relegated, telling me about the funniest day in his life stood on T’turf watching our plane circle above.

Back in Torquay, quick wash and brush up, time to celebrate….a bit to hard, on the old scrumpy again we failed to make said club.

Slowly but surly we all appeared for a late breakfast, the proprietor had set a TV up in the dinning room when we were all seated over our bacon and eggs we fell around laughing as we watched ourselves coming back over two nights in different degrees of drunkenness……how we laughed when one of the guy’s spent 30 minutes trying to open the main door with his home key.

Bring on the play-offs…..hang-on I’m booked to fly to Rhodes the week before the final!!!

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The Guardian 4th May 1992

Plymouth Argyle 1, Blackburn Rovers3

Shilton’s sleeping giant suffers Speedie exit

Jeremy Alexander

AS THINGS turned out elsewhere the result at Home Park was needlessly beastly, If Blackburn had lost they would still have gained the last play-off place. If. Plymouth had- won they would still he in the Second Division.

In the programme Peter Shilton wrote that, after two months there as manager, he and his assistant John McGovern “realised in which direction we need to go”. Down was not what they had in mind. He believed Plymouth are “essentially a First Division club”.

On his arrival he described them as “a sleeping giant”. The crowd was 17,459, three times the average before he started. Instead of sleeping at home they slept at Home Park. The sun was too comfortable.

So, strangely, was the ease of Plymouth’s first-half superiority. Guided by Smith’s left foot on the right, they edged forward like children at grand- mother’s footsteps. Blackburn, expensively assembled by Kenny Dalglish, saw only the shadows.

After 10 minutes Mimms, diving like a granny, was too late even for the ball’s shadow and Smith’s half-hit cross-shot rolled under him. It would have been a fitting epitaph to Blackburn’s bungled season.

In fact another point was cruelly made. Plymouth had not the firepower to -press home their advantage. Blackburn, meanwhile, had no place even on the bench for Wegerle or Shearer, more than £1.5 million worth of newly signed strike force,

They did, however, have Speedle. For half an hour Plymouth held their lead without anxiety. It hardly seemed that destinies were at stake, Blackburn’s objets d’arts were a jumble without harmony. Then the little Scot struck thrice in 25 minutes overall—a simple nod between two blinding flashes beyond the last, faulty defender.

As with Manchester United, there has been something greedy about Blackburn’s spending this season. When they led the table by seven points it could at least be justified. Lately, after six successive defeats, it has looked gross.

Financially, Blackburn are ostentatiously a Premier League club, but promotion, which might always have been seen as ill-gotten, would now be ill-deserved escape for a manager who has woven himself another cocoon- Dalglish is still unproved. Comparative reactions after Saturday suggest that, given a fair chance, the real First Division manager is now in the Third.

SCORERS1 Plymouth, Smith (12mb). Blackhurrn Speedie (45, 45, 67).

Plvmouifl AraviOs Sillon Cross, Morgan, Morrison, Marker. Lee. Garner, Mccall, Evans (Nugent, 80), Marshall (Flare. 69), Smllh, Blackburn Rovers Mimms Brown, Wright, Cowens, Moran. t’tendry. Witcok (Price, 2$, Atkins, Speedbe (Richardson, 70), Newell. Sellers.

Referee, K Barge (Tonypandy),

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"Dalglish is still unproved. Comparative reactions after Saturday suggest that, given a fair chance, the real First Division manager is now in the Third."

Blimey! They loved us even back then didn't they? I'm surprised you kept either of those reports (Derby 4-2) Colin, they weren't exactly flattering were they! Thanks for posting them though.

It's strange looking back that when considering a new manager Liverpool never made a move for Peter Shilton.

Great day out that was at Argyle. Speedie was legendary. I'll never forget, as most of you know it's a ruddy long way to Plymouth - easily 4.5 / 5 hours (unless your with Billinge End Blue - see above) - there was a bloke there on the terracing who couldn't bring himself to watch the second half. He sat down all the way through it. Too nervous to even watch.

That was what it was like back then - the Plymouth game, the Derby play offs and the Leicester final - it would have be too much for many if we blew it again.

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  • 2 months later...

Too nervous to even watch.

That was what it was like back then - the Plymouth game, the Derby play offs and the Leicester final - it would have be too much for many if we blew it again.


Too right Bob. Having gone down to the Plymouth game and both legs of semi v Derby, and the having to undergo that nervous nail bitting final in such heat, I swore that I will NEVER EVER go to another play off final.


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Well that Guardian reporter looks a right melon now. Laying into Dalglish as being unreliable and useless just 3 years before he produced arguably the greatest achievement in modern football.

Didn't go to many away games back then but on the season video (back when Rovers could be bothered to do them) is my favourite ever bit of Rovers commentary:

"Its Speedie, he's on his way, he's on his hat-trick...he beats Peter Shilton!"

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My favourite season as a Rovers fan (perverse i know - but used to love trapsing around the lower leagues - same old faces at away matches - proper football !)

Plymouth away was a fantastic day. Down on the train from London - hooked up with another blue - and formed Berkshire Blues that day ! (Lost the flag at Wimbledon away following season after 1 too many sherberts).

Down there early doors - chating to a couple of Plymoth fans on train who advised us not to avoid a couple of pubs - the Strawberry and Cherry Tree. Walked past both en route to ground - both were taken over by Rovers fans. Godd few beers in there before walking through a funfair if i remember rightly at back of away end to get onto ground.

Game was extremely memorable - a wrench of emotions - them going 1 up and then Speedie doing the Business. 'Ei Ei Ei Ei Oh, Up the football league we go......'

throughout the second half.

Their fans gutted - on the pitch at the end with the police dogs.

Got ran most of the way back to the Station by the Central Element. Got ###### on train - chatted to Michael Foot who looked about 107 even then!

Game of football on the train with empty beer cans with some Plymouth lads - good lads they were too ! Some sore shins on the way home from both sides.

Big exodous off train at Newton Abbott as many Rovers were staying over in Torquay.

What a day ! Nearly as good as the rest of the season !

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