Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Morgue Comes Alive as the Rocking Robins Spread Their Wings for Wembley

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Morgue Comes Alive as the Rocking Robins Spread Their Wings for Wembley

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

KIDS clung precariously to the branches of willowy trees buffeted by high winds off the North Sea. Others peered from upstairs windows of houses overlooking the stadium.

With the clock ticking down to quarter of an hour and less to play, North Shields launched a two-goal assault and at last a nervy crowd could give vent to their feelings.

"Tell me ma, me ma, I won't be home for tea, I'm going to Wemberlee..." they chorused in a mixture of elation and relief.

Plenty of chirpy Robins watching pitch-side have glorious memories of their day in the Wembley sun and are praying the 2015 squad will be similarly blessed come the FA Vase final on May 9. First was club president Malcolm Macdonald, who scored a recordequalling five goals for England in a single match against Cyprus.

Next came North Shields manager Graham Fenton, who helped Aston Villa gun down mighty Manchester United 3-1 in the League Cup final of 1994, and then there were the grand heroes of North Shields' last Wembley victors, the 1969 FA Amateur Cup winners.

With me mingling in a 1,500 crowd, limited by safety standards, were '69 skipper Ron Tatum, plus his fellow winners Tommy Orrick, Bobby Wake, Ray Wrightson, Mike Lister and John Twaddle. All of us bellowed our relief at a job well done.

If the current squad can enjoy the sort of day out SuperMac and Fenton savoured all those years ago, they will indeed by blessed by victory.

Shields chairman Alan Matthews, who raised the club from bankruptcy to Wembley, had his hour-and-a-half of bliss brilliantly topped off when unexpected news arrived during the social-club celebrations up the road that he had become a grandad, six weeks earlier than expected. Welcome young lady on a special evening.

This was not an occasion for sweet flowing, one-touch football to captivate a crowd craving excitement. …

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