Michael Gray: 'All people want to hear about is that bloody penalty'

23 May 2019 12:19
The former Sunderland player talks about play-offs heartbreak, the kindness of fans and having a giggle with Clive MendoncaBy Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the EcstasyWhen Doncaster Rovers captain Tommy Rowe sliced his kick wide of the goal in the penalty shootout at The Valley last Friday, Charlton fans invaded the pitch and gleefully celebrated with the players. They were going to Wembley for a play-offs final against Sunderland. The younger fans cavorting on the field will not remember the time the two clubs met at the old Wembley in 1998, but they will surely have heard stories from the older generation about what is perhaps the greatest play-offs final of them all.That match 21 year ago also ended in a Charlton victory after a penalty shootout, with lifelong Sunderland fan Clive Mendonca the hero after scoring the first ever play-offs final hat-trick at Wembley in a pulsating 4-4 draw to deny his hometown club. Michael Gray was the man who missed his penalty in that shootout, feebly striking the ball into the waiting arms of Sasa Ilic after the previous 13 kicks had all been successful. He has never been allowed to forget that heartbreaking moment.It’s happening again! pic.twitter.com/92FdFHAv4u Related: Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly Related: The Joy of Six: Football League play-off finals | Barry Glendenning Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian