That man was Wayne Burnett, the former Dagenham & Redbridge manager, now in charge of our Under-23s.
A midfielder in his playing days, Wayne started for Grimsby Town as they took on Bournemouth at the national stadium on April 19, 1998, in front of 32,432 excited fans. With the scores level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, the match went to extra time under the ‘golden goal’ rule, whereby the team to score next would be declared the winners.
Cue Wayne. With 112 minutes gone, a corner came in, the ball was flicked on and he arrived at the back post to rifle home.
“I remember Eddie Howe, obviously their current manager, was playing,” smiled Wayne. “He was at the back, they had Steve Fletcher, the big centre-forward (pictured, below) up front and Ian Cox was also in defence so they had some decent players in that team. We were both in the old Division Two (third tier) and Bournemouth were well-organised – an attacking team.
“I played in midfield up against Stephen Robinson, who actually started his career at Spurs and went on to play for Northern Ireland at international level. He’s now the Motherwell manager. It was quite a close game – they scored first, we equalised and then we managed to score the golden goal in the second period of extra time.
“There was a decent crowd there as well – both sets of fans were vocal and it was the first time at Wembley for both clubs so it was a special occasion for everyone. The atmosphere was electric.”
While we get ready to face Bournemouth at Wembley in the Premier League this weekend, Wayne is preparing his Under-23 side for a tough game at home to Leicester City in the Premier League 2 on Friday afternoon.
“They’re on a really good run of form at the moment so it’s going to be a tough game and we know what to expect,” he added. “We’ve got players back who have been away on international duty, though, and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ve had a good week in training and hopefully we can carry that on into the game.”