"The Best Goal Winning Goal In A Cup Final Since Carlos Alberto In 1970”
The Welsh FSA Sixes (Friendly Frog) 1997
Our love affair with South Wales started in 1989 when we first visited
This became an annual event and we were also invited to the Welsh FSA Sixes which we won in 1991 at our first attempt. It was an excellent event and had a wonderfully iconic trophy, The Friendly Frog.
By 1997 we’d still only won the Frog once and made the journey in hope rather than expectation.
St.Johnstone accompanied us in a minibus from
The journey was largely uneventful although we did have a wee run in with the police at a service station after Phil Greenwell (on loan from
Saturday was tournament day in
We managed to get a nine man squad together and it looked strong on paper; Martin Harvey, Tam Moon, George Gordon, John MacKay, Paul Stormonth, David Ferguson, Phil Greenwell, Colin Shepherd and Iain Campbell.
Back Row: Paul Stormonth, David Ferguson, Tam Moon, George Gordon and Phil Greenwell
Front Row: Colin Shepherd, Martin Harvey, John MacKay and Iain Campbell
There were twelve teams taking part and they were split into two groups of six.
On a surface with very long grass our first game was a comfortable 4-1 win over Bristol Rovers then we drew with Everton who we reckoned were a pretty good team but strangely this was their only point in the group.
Next came the all Scottish clash against Saintees and we came out on top 2-1. A 3-0 win over Birmingham A put us in the Semi Finals so in the last game we allowed Mister C a full game as a Posh/Leyton team were swept aside 4-1.
Our place in the Final was assured after a nerve wracking Semi against the hosts
Our opponents in the Final were
The game was goalless and looked to be heading for penalties when we finally managed to create some space…………….
The ball got passed down the right wing to Jazza and he glided past a defender before chipping the ball over the out rushing keeper and into the six a side nets.
Off ran Jazza to the touchline to high five his team mates before getting engulfed by those on the park.
There were only seconds remaining and when the final whistle blew we were the Friendly Frog Champions once again.
After getting changed we headed to the local pub for the presentations and the people in the pub stood and applauded us in (we’d been in the pub between every game during the day, as is the norm).
Mister Mark Evans, or Wolvesy to his friends, made the presentation and Jazza went forward to pick up the Frog and made an emotional speech which still brings a tear to the eye.
A night of celebration followed and during the evening somebody went up to Jazza and said, “that’s the best goal I’ve seen in a Cup Final since Carlos Alberto in the 1970 World Cup”.
Who could possibly disagree !!!
We headed home on the Sunday and we finished the weekend in style...…….by breaking down at Lockerbie and having to get the AA to take us all to
The breakdown meant that the Saintees guys missed their last train home so we put them up for the night. This also meant that some of us spent most of the day in the Horseshoe as the
This was the last time the Friendly Frog has been played for so far and the goal, one of Jazza’s finest, in the Final was a fitting way to end any competition.
Unfortunately the whereabouts of the Frog are a bit of a mystery and rumours that Jazza has it stored away in a safety deposit box are probably true.
A wee view from the Saintees perspective from Kevin Heller.
“I always remember meeting Jazza and thinking "he's scary" but I got to know him better and realised he's just a gentle giant (or so I thought!!).
"We were coming back from The
"With time to kill waiting on the recovery vehicle in a service station, we resorted to a water-fight. Jazza got sprayed a couple of times, and wasn't best pleased. Even in my drunken haze, I quickly realised he was off limits. Sadly, young Neil MacDonald didn't click this and snuck up to wet him again, but rather than a spray with a water-pistol, he had a bucket!!!
"Cue an hour of Jazza roaring and chasing Neil round the forecourt, ready to maul him. He eventually calmed down and gave up the chase. But Neil was bricking it so much that he hid in a bush until it was confirmed that Jazza had left in the first pick-up truck !!”
4-1 Bristol Rovers (MacKay 2, Gordon 2)
1-1 Everton (Greenwell)
2-1 St.Johnstone (Stormonth, MacKay)
3-0 Birmingham A (Stormonth, Gordon, MacKay)
4-1 Leyton/Peterborough (Ferguson 2, Stormonth, MacKay)
2-2 Merthyr Tydfil (Ferguson, Stormonth (p))
won 4-2 on penalties (Greenwell, Stormonth, Gordon, MacKay)
1-0 Birmingham A (Stormonth)