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

24 Nov 2009 00:02:22

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

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:  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


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