Geoff Thomas: Spare a thought for football's whipping boys

24 November 2009 12:02
On September 12, 1989, Geoff Thomas was captain of Crystal Palace in their 9-0 defeat at Liverpool. Here, the ex-England midfielder remembers that night of pain.

Losing 9-0 at Anfield 20 years ago hurt. But it proved to be a real motivation for the rest of our season.

We even pinned up a cartoon that was published in the Daily Mail (right) in the dressing room to inspire us.

We went in 3-0 down at half-time and our manager Steve Coppell was really down. We went out desperate to put things right in the second half. It didn't take long for that plan to back-fire - we were soon 6-0 down.

Ian Wright was running around almost in tears, screaming: 'This is embarrassing!'I even missed a penalty. I could tell by the look on Bruce Grobbelaar's face that as long as I hit it either side of him, I'd be sure to score.

I was intent on hitting the leather off the ball. I did that, but my shot flew into Row Z.

The best way we found of dealing with that thrashing was to take the mick out of ourselves - the Mail's cartoonist helped with that.

Last laugh: Geoff Thomas (L) led Palace to a 4-3 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool en route to the 1990 Final against Manchester United at Wembley

We had the last laugh, though, beating Liverpool 4-3 in the FA Cup semi-final seven months later.

Visit Geoff's charitable foundation at: www.geoffthomasfoundation.com

 Wigan players vow to refund supporters who sat through 9-1 thrashing at TottenhamSpurs, United, Arsenal and Newcastle - the biggest Premier League winsTottenham strikers rule the Premier League roost with four hat-tricks and 27 goals - while Stoke's hit-men manage just one goal every nine games.

 Explore more:People:Geoff Thomas, Bruce Grobbelaar, Ian WrightPlaces:United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail