This article is part of our latest feature “Guest Stars” with football personalities taking time out of their busy schedules and contributing to our website.
Andy Penders is a TV Presenter with ESPN-Star Sports (now Fox Sports Asia) in the South East Asian and South Asian region. Andy has been one of the most recognisable faces of the ESPN broadcasting team for the last decade debuting with the highly popular magazine show ‘Nokia Football Crazy’. Since then he has gone on to host a variety of preview and review shows of the Barclays Premier League while also presenting live games to tens of millions of viewers across the region. He has also presented for ESPN-Star Sports from the UK, most recently visiting Anfield.
Andy Penders is a Southampton fan and has made no secret of this, here he shares his greatest football moment from his childhood, experienced at the old Saint’s stadium “The Dell”.
There was no better experience than, as a ten year old, going to the home of Southampton FC and watching one of the best sides in the country in action. My memories of The Dell are still very vivid but I am still very bitter about one particular incident which often consumes my daydreams, even at the age of forty.
Make no mistake, the Saints team of the early 80’s (yup, I am that old) was a great one to watch.
My Dad would drive me to a friend’s house, park the car, have some lunch and then we would walk to the Milton Road End at one of the smallest ground in the top division. The stand was the only two tier terrace in the land and the Family Enclosure gave a great view from behind the goal.
And it was at that end of The Dell that I witnessed the greatest goals I have ever seen.
Around that time, Southampton had some of the best talents in the land. Kevin Keegan had arrived from Hamburg where he was named European Footballer of the Year. The press conference for his unveiling was held at a pub that I frequented many years later. I can still recall the gasps of surprise from the waiting media as the manager Lawrie McMenemy brought out his surprise transfer from behind a screen. It was a real shock to have such a player in the red and white stripes. Not that we weren’t used to greatness. Alan Ball was captaining the side, Ted MacDougall with the goals, Phil Bowyer, Mick Channon and Charlie George were also stealing the limelight. Keegan might have been sold by the time we reached our highest ever position in the top flight but by then the team boasted Danny Wallace, Steve Moran, Peter Shilton, Nick Holmes and David Armstrong. My footballing memories are rich from that time: I remember seeing Sporting Lisbon at The Dell, Ivan Katalinić was in goal, Ivan Golac at full back, Mark Dennis commanding at the back, Frank Worthington, Dave Watson and Steve Williams bossing midfields. Indeed, Williams used to live around the corner from me in a town called Eastleigh. It took me a few years to muster up the courage to go around with my autograph book and knock on the door. When I did, however, I got told to F**k Off! It was probably not a good time, he may have been involved in some argument, but I got my chance a few weeks later when a friend’s Dad invited me around to William’s back garden and we had a kick around and he was the nicest bloke in the world. And I got my autograph.
But back to that amazing goal. You might have thought it was Danny Wallace’s overhead kick against Liverpool on a Friday night, in the first ever live televised game from the Dell on Match of the Day. Well that was in 1984 and although I was there, watching it from the opposite end of the ground, I saw something better, much better a few years earlier. Although that wasn’t my greatest moment, it is well worth a look.
No, the best goal ever that I saw at the Dell was never even chalked up. The most amazing goal I had ever seen was not even allowed to stand. But I saw it as close as anyone could be, eyes wide open and as the ball slammed the net, the whole Milton End exploded, pies were dropped, drinks were spilt and we hugged the next person along from us.
Until the goal was disallowed.
Brian Moore’s commentary of the goal is brilliant: “Here’s Armstrong. And here’s Williams. Played in for Channon. A little touch here for Ball. Cross in once more, Armstrong was right there. Keegan is there. Ohh! An amazing goal! Oh an astonishing goal by Kevin Keegan……” And that is where the commentary should have ended, with more plaudits for our star number 7 and a Goal of the Season Award in the bank.
The commentary unfortunately continued: “But I don’t think it is going to be allowed. The linesman is there with his arms on his hips. Now what can that be for?”
Exactly Brian, exactly. What on earth could the greatest goal ever scored not be given for?
Keegan saw the ball looping over his left shoulder before jumping high and executing the most amazing move to scissor kick the ball in the opposite direction, right into the top right hand corner.
No one was interfering with play, it would have been impossible to have got anywhere near the ball!
Apparently, David Armstrong was offside.
He might have been, but in the following link below, please check out the view of the goal. My view is the one in the replay. That view is exactly the same view I had as a ten year old, watching my favourite team and falling in love with the beautiful game.
Can you see any offside?
I was gutted for days, weeks, months and as you can quite clearly see, some 30 years later! I might have seen better goals in my time (remember Matt Le Tissier) but for me, that Kevin Keegan goal was, and still is, the greatest goal I have ever seen.