THE ALTERNATIVE TOP 12… Goal Celebrations
|In 20 years will we all remember Italian Stallion Bernado Cribbins knighting Joey Barton after his Fulham goals or playing a strangely effeminate guitar piece with the same Joey Barton after the latter had scored at Villa Park? Well, maybe, and maybe we’ll remember some of these other humdingers as well and not a single swinging baby routine amongst them:|
1. THE SLIGHT OVERREACTION - April 1979, Highbury: Mike Channon, in the midst of a death-defyingly average stint at Maine Road, has just popped one in the onion bag at Highbury, then as now, a place City get about as much return as Prince Andrew on the Big Dippy at Courtney Love’s house. Channon, probably fearing this might be his one and only opportunity to celebrate a goal before the curtain comes down on his inglorious City career, wheels away with his right arm doing the famous windmill in a hurricane impersonation. No one can catch him. No one wants to.
2. NO ONE SEES US, WE DON’T CARE - January 2001, The New Den: It’s a tasty night at The New Den and there are officially zero City fans there to see a sparkling 3-2 win and Shaun Wright-Phillips’ first ever City goal. There are undercover Blues present, but for all intents and purposes, this is home fans only. When City cut a giant swathe through the home side and wallop in a cracking breakaway goal, Huckerby, Tiatto and Horlock run to the empty away end and start celebrating with the imaginary City support. Priceless entertainment for the swathes of empty seats and puzzling behaviour for the New Cross Neanderthals to work out.
3. ITS NO BIG DEAL - October 1970, Stamford Bridge, in the days when it was (sparsely) populated by nutters and urchins in blue and white bar scarves. Colin Bell gets on the end of a giant swinging left foot cross by Alan Oakes and pings in a majestic first time volley that fair cracks past Peter Bonetti. As the City fans spin into excited hyperbole in the stands, at this Van Basten Before His Time effort, Bell trots back to the centre circle, one arm briefly raised to wipe sweat from his brow. Maybe he does it every week, everybody is left thinking.
4. LETS ALL DO THE CHICKEN JERKY - January 1985, Maine Road: Watford in the cup and Gordon Davies’ slow motion progress down the right produces a curling right wing cross for slow motion Mark Lillis to batter home with his pan lid-shaped head. Cue the most embarrassing knees and elbows fandango the Kippax has ever seen. The crowd stops celebrating to ask itself what the dickens two fully grown professional sportsmen are doing dancing like Zippy and George after the naughty glove puppet man had paid a night time visit.
5. OH JEEPERS, HE’S COMING THIS WAY - February 1975, Maine Road: City finish off ‘Boro in the second leg of the semi final of the League Cup. Its done and dusted with Royle’s breakaway 4th and he wheels away, a great lumbering figure, charging towards the bench with his arms out wide like he’s just spotted long lost Uncle Zoltan with his bag of hobnobs three rows back from the front in the Main Stand crowd.
|Stand right to one side please|
6. AH BEJAYZUZ, HE’S COMING THIS WAY AGAIN - May 2000, Ewood Park: Fast forward 25 years and Royle is on the bench managing City as the Blues batter Blackburn to go up to the Premiership. The 3rd is a Kennedy tap in at the far post and leads to the Irishman running full pelt back to the half-way line, to a very pleased Joe Royle, who still has his arms out waiting for Uncle Zoltan’s hobnobs to be handed out. Instead he gets a very excited Irishman in his lap, closely followed by ten other fully grown adult males. Watch me hip, watch me hip!
7. SLIPERY DIPPERY DEE - November 1987, Maine Road: Huddersfield are taken to the cleaners and along the way, Tony Adcock snaffles a hat-trick for himself. In completing the barely believable feat, he runs deliriously to the North Stand corner flag, jumps ecstatically and comes to a two-footed halt in the wet turf. Only wet turf doesn’t lend itself to this kind of Torvill & Dean performance and he slides ingloriously onto his posterior in front of hordes of laughing children.
8. YES! NO! OH BUT YES! - May 1988, Valley Parade: Quiet man Trevor Morley is singled out by fate’s fickle finger to be City’s unforgettable figure on another special promotion rollercoaster in Yorkshire. There are only a few minutes to go as he slots the equaliser which will take City up. As the away end bubbles and froths, Morley does a two-arms in the air sweep along the razor wire fencing until he gets to the corner, turns round and finds nobody has followed him. A classic moment of uncertainty stops him in his tracks whilst he searches for the killer linesman flag, which doesn’t come. Morley’s smile drops off, reappears and City are up.
9. COUNT MY FINGERS - September 1989, Maine Road: The Platt Lane is already beginning to look a little threadbare as the United fans head back towards the airport, as a majestic sweeping move sends the ball careering from one side of the pitch to the other and then onto Hinchcliffe’s head and in. As the United fans turn to have another look, Hinchcliffe is mobbed, just managing to stick an arm up through the agitated heap of humanity to slam five fingers high into the air.
|Dennis is ecstatic after the back-heel|
10. DON’T BE SAD, DENIS! - May 1974, Old Trafford: Another lovely day. Minutes to go and the Lawman backheels a beauty right on time. As he turns around, ashen faced, he cannot even raise an arm in celebration. The usually inanimate Bell’s excited slapping of his face will do nicely though, as Mike Doyle piles in with the much needed enthusiasm. Cue bedlam in the bell bottoms department.
11. RINKY DINKY DOO - February1990 Old Trafford: Ian Brightwell does the Macarena, as his piledriver hits the back of the United net from a very long way out. “I just wellied It”, he says afterwards, and afterwards does not arrive until the rest of the team have caught up with the cavorting, wide-open legs jumping Brightwell, somewhere down in front of the dugouts, where Howard Kendall and the subs are already doing the hokey kokey amongst themselves.
12. Also mentioned in dispatches: Berko twirls his shirt v Norwich; Steve Daley climbing the barricades at Goodison; Simmo’s knees up v Charlton; First ever badge kiss by Clive Allen at Notts County; Barney Daniels on the Pans People audition v Leicester; Berko again at Ipswich (and live on the BBC) in the cup with a loud and excited “you fucking beauty” to celebrate his volley from a corner; Paul Power’s hopscotch in the cup at Goodison; Brian Kidd’s jet heeled scamper down the front of the Kippax after scoring 4 v Leicester; Kinky in the North Stand v Villa; Anelka shows some emotion in the final Maine Road derby and Big Paolo takes to the mike at St Mary’s