1991. New Year’s Eve in a bedsit on Gravelly Hill in Birmingham. Beautiful vistas of Spaghetti Junction and, erm, Spaghetti Junction.
No fridge, a one-bar fire and 50p in the meter to power the telly. Pot Noodle and warm beer, the staple ingredients of bedsit life. Not the most glamorous venue to see in the New Year for a recently married couple, but that was all we could manage back then.
Those were the days of occasional live league matches appearing on TV. Man United were busy topping the First Division and my beloved QPR were away at Old Trafford, but live on TV on New Year’s Day. Result! I’d finally get to see Alan McDonald play for a few minutes before being sent off for looking at Mark Hughes.
United were unbeaten at home and the whole country expected them to win, me included. Armed with my usual sense of doom and impending slaughter when watching QPR on TV, we settled down to see how many we could keep the league leaders down to.
Three minutes in and something strange happened: Wegerle to Barker onto Sinton. GOAL!
Two more minutes and Schmeichel lets Dennis Bailey’s shot through his hands and the R’s are two up.
Chance upon chance is created by the Super Hoops who are passing the ball around like world beaters, playing the league leaders off the pitch. It won’t last, this is QPR after all.
Second half starts and I’m predicting we lose 4-2 at best but no, same as first half, the Rs keep going. 59 minutes in, Sinton to Bailey and it’s 3-0.
McClair grabs one back before Dennis Bailey gets his hat-trick to inflict Man United’s first home defeat of the season and their worst defeat at Old Trafford in 15 years. The quote from Alex Ferguson? “On my 50th birthday, we lost 4-1 to QPR…”
Happy Birthday Sir Alex – and Happy New Year!
Watch the New Year’s Day massacre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35SXBpIyG_k&feature=fvsr