Football

John Aldridge Recalls The Agony And The Ecstasy Of The FA Cup

John Aldridge Recalls The Agony And The Ecstasy Of The FA Cup

The FA Cup is a competition rich in history - giant killings, late comebacks, unlikely heroes - and one man who experienced all in which the tournament has to offer is John Aldridge. To continue our buildup to each round of the FA Cup, the Liverpool legend talked to us about  fondest memories and those which he wishes he could forget.

Having grown up in Liverpool, 'Aldo' often fantasised about winning the Cup in the famous red jersey. In late May 1989, that dream became a reality but not before the striker suffered heartbreak the previous season.

Aldridge stood opposite to Wimbedon's goalkeeper, Dave Beasant, presented with the opportunity to draw the sides level in the second half. The Irish international aimed the ball into the left hand corner of the goal before it was remarkably saved. Subsequently, it proved to be Aldridge's final touch of the afternoon.

He left the field that day feeling like the opportunity to get his hands on the trophy had passed. Yet, like so many great players, the Liverpool attacker persevered.

Following the Hillsborough tragedy, Aldridge and his teammates were determined to do the city of Liverpool proud as they qualified for a second successive final.

That afternoon, circumstances would be different. With just four minutes on the clock, Aldridge opened the scoring for Kenny Dalglish's team. Four goals would follow and the 1989 final would cement its place as one of the truly memorable finals.  For John Aldridge, it meant he could breath a sigh of relief as he finally got to raise the FA Cup above a sea of red inside of Wembley.

In his own words; "we went on to win it for the families of the bereaved". 

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However, John Aldridge would cement his place as a synonymous figure of the tournament when he guided Tranmere Rovers to the FA Cup quarterfinal as they were narrowly defeated by 3-2 by Newcastle United over a decade later.

John Aldridge discusses it all in this video. Enjoy it and visit Balls ahead of every FA Cup round for another installment of the 'A Pint With...'

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Darren Holland

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