Look Back to the Boro's Great Escape; Exhibition: Back from the Brink

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), January 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Look Back to the Boro's Great Escape; Exhibition: Back from the Brink


APIVOTAL moment in Boro's history has taken centre stage at Middlesbrough's Dorman Museum, The Back From The Brink exhibition features Middlesbrough FC memorabilia from 1986, the year the club was just minutes away from liquidation.

But there's a huge array of artifacts from before and after that momentous year as well.

Partly funded through a pounds 42,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the three-month exhibition is part of the Middlesbrough 86 project that is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Boro's rebirth.

Boro manager Tony Mowbray and former Boro stars Gary Pallister, Steve Vickers and Bernie Slaven all helped officially launch the new exhibition.

Gary Pallister, a member of Boro's back-to-back promotion winning teams of 1986/87 and 1987/88, said: "There are a lot of people still around from that period and this exhibition brings back a lot of memories.

"It was a pivotal period in the club's history, it's probably up there with Middlesbrough's founding in terms of importance.

"It was a renaissance after the club came as close as it will come to extinction.

"Living through it helped us players appreciate the living we made from football.

"We nearly lost our jobs, we were given a second chance and grasped it with both hands."

Fans can see signed shirts from the mid-1980s, a variety of medals, mint condition programmes, seven Bernie Slaven hat-trick balls, 19th century club records, paintings, Alf Common's England cap and Juninho's boots.

There's even a selection of press passes collected by Eric Paylor, who covered Boro for the Evening Gazette for 25 years.

Perhaps the most valuable item on display is an England international cap awarded to Alf Common, who became the world's first pounds 1,000 footballer when he joined Boro from Sunderland in February 1905.

The cap, which was awarded to the forward after he played for his country in a 1-0 victory over Wales in March 1906, was loaned to the exhibition by an anonymous local man who bought it a London auction for pounds 1,200 in November last year. …

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