Cherries: Trev's big day
ALTHOUGH his memory is not what it was, big Trevor Aylott will never forget the day he won promotion with Cherries. On a baking-hot Bank Holiday Monday in May 1987, Aylott starred as Harry Redknapp's men rewrote the Dean Court record books. His two goals in a memorable 3-1 win at Fulham helped Cherries' clinch a place in the second tier of the Football League for the first and only time in their history. The feat saw Cherries end a 64-year stay in the bottom two divisions and was hailed by the Evening Echo as the greatest sporting achievement in the town's history. Redknapp's heroes had started the season as 33-1 outsiders to win the title and went on to claim the old Division Three championship with a then-record points haul of 97. Aylott, a bargain £15,000 buy from Crystal Palace on the eve of the start of the season, was a talismanic figure during the momentous campaign. A battering ram of a targetman, he often sported a Rambo-style headband and struck fear into opposing defenders. He also scored some crucial goals, not least his brace at Craven Cottage in Cherries' penultimate match of the season. I remember all my goals! he laughed, when contacted by the Daily Echo last night. I scored twice that day and Tony Sealy scored the other one. Is that correct Goalkeeper Gerry Peyton was the first Cherries player to qualify for the hero's laurels when he saved a 36th-minute penalty from Peter Scott with the score at 0-0. I don't remember that! laughed Aylott. I should because I'm still good mates with Gerry. He's a goalkeeping coach at Arsenal so he won't be too pleased with me for forgetting that! Around 4,000 travelling supporters were stunned when Fulham took the lead through an unfortunate own goal from John Willo' Williams in the 57th minute. However, Aylott sent them into raptures when he restored parity from the spot just a minute later before his weak effort made it 2-1 with nine minutes remaining. On-loan Tony Sealy put the finishing touches to Cherries' historic day when he netted a stunner four minutes from time. Aylott recalls: I remember it was a very hot day and a bumpy pitch. I can't remember how the scoring went. I know I scored a penalty and another one that bobbled in off my backside. Sealy's goal was a cracker the one off my backside counted just as much though! Aylott added: I can't remember who we played in our final game (it was Rotherham and Aylott scored!). To get promotion was the main aim and the pressure was off after we had won at Fulham. Middlesbrough pushed us all the way and kept us on our toes. People thought we would blow it but we just kept going and proved everybody wrong. Now 52, Aylott, who has been a cabbie in his native London for the past 15 years, is hoping to see Eddie Howe's charges also defy the odds by securing the club's fifth promotion. He said: It's an achievement in itself for them to be in contention having had the embargo hanging over them all season. The manager must be very proud of himself and the players. We didn't have restraints like that on us. Harry didn't have fortunes to spend but he did spend money. The pressure of trying to win promotion is a lot better than the pressure of trying to avoid relegation. I've experienced both and would take that every time. It's easy to say but they just need to treat it like any other game. There is just more on the outcome. This is their chance to write a new chapter in the club's history and one the supporters would appreciate just as much as ours.
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