Those Halcyon Days

It's hard to believe that almost thirty years have flown by since Mossley reached the FA Trophy Final at Wembley.

It doesn't half make you feel old either! Way back then I was only nipper but, unlike most other occasions in my childhood, it's an event I still have strong memories of to this very day.

Not of the match mind you. The infamous problems with the sight lines at the old Wembley Stadium were rendered considerably worse for me given my tiny stature at that young age (I know, I haven't gotten much bigger since!), meaning that I struggled to see lengthy spells of the game as the people sat in front stood up to see for themselves what was going on at the opposite end of the pitch.

So what memories I have are of the events that surrounded the game: getting your photo taken for the national press in the week leading up to the final, the team coach driving past school as they set off for Wembley, the special Mossley jacket my mum had made for me, the atmosphere at Mossley station on the morning of the game, the train trip down, the singing on the streets surrounding the stadium, the hairs on the neck moment when Abide With Me was sung, Mossley scoring, Kevin Keelan somehow heading over the cross bar, the surprisingly upbeat trip home, listening to Leo Skeete's goal again on the Radio Manchester commentary that had been recorded to reel to reel tape, the teams homecoming the next day on the crowded market ground... to name but half a dozen or more vivid recollections of the day.

Anyway, the reason for this trip down memory lane (a whole four months before the 30th anniversary of that very day) is because the documentary that Granada TV filmed that day - imaginatively titled 'Mossley Goes To Wembley' - has been put on YouTube by Lilywhites fan Steve B. And what follows this paragraph is that half hour long programme, shown just once, split into three easily digestible parts:

I'm not ashamed to admit that watching that documentary again brought a hint of moisture to my eye and for a multitude of reasons too.

Will we see those days again? The obvious answer is "no, probably not" but logical reasoning and being a football fan don't sit well together. Instead I'll go with the tried and trusted response of the seasoned supporter - "there's always next year!"