Consider this. If it hadn’t been for Paul Dickov’s late, late goal for Manchester City in the Division Two play-off final against Gillingham in 1999, City may have stayed where they are and Gillingham might have risen to the Premier League and been bought out by quadrillionaires from the Middle East. Okay, that was never going happen, but this match was only ten years ago and there are a clutch of clubs currently playing in League One that might be wondering if they will ever see the heights of the Premier League again. Maybe this match will cheer them up. This weekend, by the way, Gillingham entertain Norwich City at Priestfield while Manchester City play West Ham United at the City of Manchester Stadium. Paul Dickov’s goal might just have been the most important in the history of the club. Anyway, in lieu of having the time to say anything else this afternoon (although there will be a match report, as ever, up on here tomorrow evening), here are extended highlights of that extraordinary match.
Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.
When dickov equalised I jumped up and shattered a very expensive chandelier…I mean VERY expensive. I’d been sat there alone with tears in my eyes, when horlick scored I remained still and sad believing it was a token..but that equalizer!! I cannot imagine any goal giving me a greater release of emotion ever again
Vividly recall this one… What would have happened if City hadn’t won this? Would there even be a Manchester City Football Club to be bought out, given that these were the ITV Digital years? (Some of the clubs you implicitly mention do serve as counter-examples – Leeds United in particular, though how they still exist is beyond me.)
And to think they were spared by a questionable amount of added time (albeit not the same as playing more than was signalled, a la last week)… oh, the irony. (Not to mention that Gillingham were denied a stonewall penalty in extra time – yes, City had a penalty shout in 20 seconds, but the Gills defender was practically tugging his shirt, so close was he to Dickov.)
For me, aged not-quite-13 at the time and living without a clear club attachment 30 miles from the nearest League ground, this was the match that made me follow a team for the first time. Not in any meaningful sense, but they were the first team I looked for on the classified results, and I celebrated their promotion the following season with relish.
Tony Pulis takes his Stoke side to Eastlands on Boxing Day, with the return a month later on a Tuesday night. I’ll definitely be cheering for Stoke in those games, and indeed having been reminded of this game will make more of a point of cheering Anyone But City in future…
[…] ticket stubs to qualify for a ticket to Wembley for the play-off final at the end of the season. And what a day that was. I’m a mild-mannered man not prone to emotional overreactions, but when Paul Dickov’s […]
Poor David he just dosent know his own mind David if you take 2 inthe morning and 2 at night it might help but I dont know it’s not looking good for you.
o’ someone wipe those tear’s.
Very nice post,Been looking for this. Thanks.