On a dreary, Saturday afternoon in January 1994, I sat with a young Daniel Lewis and our parents watching Birmingham City take on Kidderminster Harriers in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. As a nine year old boy I remember being excited as we may actually see ‘The Blues’ win. Struggling in the First Division, our new manager Barry Fry was struggling to turn things around. With a non league team visiting St Andrews there was genuine optimism that a 4th round tie awaited. Kidderminster Harriers were flying though, three points clear at the top of the Conference and and only one defeat in 16, so this was by no means a given.
For those that remember or were at the game, you won’t need reminding that Kidderminster Harriers won 2-1. The second goal was worthy of winning any cup tie, scored by Jon Purdie, who was a phone salesman. I heard a rumour shortly after that Barry Fry was told by Karen Brady, who was then Birmingham’s Chief Executive, “If we don’t win today we might as well pack our bags and go home!” Why our Parents didn’t heed that advice and throw our season tickets away at the final whistle I will never know. We endured the last five painstaking months of the season, where we were eventually relegated on the final day. Thanks Dad.
Fast forward 20 years and I will be sitting in the stands again with family and friends witnessing an FA Cup game this weekend, this time there is a big difference; my mate Danny Lewis won’t be sat next to me like in 1994, he will be on the pitch playing against Premiership side Sunderland.
“Play the game, not the occasion”
Frank Patcham – Dream Team.
Danny in his 2nd spell at the Harriers admits this is the biggest game of his career, that he ‘cannot wait for’. When travelling around the country with L&R delivering and collecting files, we would have regular conversations about the FA Cup. We would dream of different scenarios “Imagine playing at Wembley”……..”What about saving a penalty” or “Coming up for a corner and scoring an equaliser in the last minute”. We were dreaming. On Saturday, Danny gets to live his dream.
The Goalkeeper for Kidderminster back in 1994 was a chap named Kevin Rose, (no relation, that I am aware of!) He had an absolute stormer that day, making a number of fine saves. I am hoping that Saturday’s game will have a similar outcome, but whatever happens this will be a day to cherish. Lets not forget Harriers knocked out high flying Peterborough United in the last round. Saturday’s game presents an enormous challenge but by no means an impossible one, let us not forget Ronnie Radford!
I never expect to lose. Even when I’m the underdog, I still prepare a victory speech.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.n, Jr.
This is David and Goliath stuff, Kidderminster can’t actually go to the Stadium of Light and win on Saturday can they? I will be getting on the mini bus at 7.00am on Saturday morning and heading to Sunderland with a tear in my eye and hope in my heart. This is the FA Cup after all, we are allowed to dream, aren’t we?