Wembley walk set us up for victory

A WALK on the Wembley pitch an hour before the final helped Ipswich overcome any pre-cup final nerves they may have had, according to goalscorer Roger Osborne.

A WALK on the Wembley pitch an hour before the final helped Ipswich overcome any pre-cup final nerves they may have had, according to goalscorer Roger Osborne.

Osborne, whose job would be to mark Arsenal's talented midfield playmaker Liam Brady, recalled: "It was awesome. We walked out in our suits and when we came out of the tunnel the noise was unbelievable. We spent about 20 minutes on the pitch trying to take it all in and thinking how lucky we were to be involved in such a big occasion.

"If we hadn't gone out at 2 o'clock and instead gone out at ten to three then it would have been mindblowing, but by going out on the pitch at 2 o'clock we got acclimatised to what was going to happen."

Although Ipswich dominated the match they could not breach the Arsenal defence and were left wondering what they had to do to score.

Osborne said: "What helped us was that Arsenal were not creating any chances. It was not in the back of your mind that they were going to score but whether we could score."

With 13 minutes remaining Clive Woods got the ball half-way inside the Arsenal half and tried to pass the ball wide, only for it to be blocked and rebound back to him.

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Osborne, who had snuffed out the threat of Brady, takes up the story: "The fact it got intercepted allowed Brian (Talbot), Warky (John Wark) and myself to get further further up the pitch. The ball was laid to David Geddis who was very quick and was also a very confident boy. He took Sammy Nelson on and drove a low cross into the box and Willie Young, unfortunately for him and fortunately for me, deflected it into my path.

"The only thing I can remember at the time was concentrating on keeping the ball low. It was not a question of trying to find the corner of the goal as I was only eight, nine or ten yards out. It was a question of just trying to hit the target.

"Bobby Robson had been screaming at me for ten years to use my left foot and I had ignored him completely - I was a very one-footed player. When I looked back on the television I thought was it really me who kicked it as it was a pretty good strike."

In the euphoria that followed Osborne was engulfed by team-mates jumping on top of him and when the celebrations died down he was feeling faint.

Osborne recalled that it was very humid because it had rained on the morning of the match and then the sun had come out.

"What with the heat and people jumping on top of me and the fact I had scored, I was overcome. There was no other reason for it.

"It wasn't a case of I couldn't carry on. I have always said if there wasn't such a thing as substitutes and they gave me two or three minutes to recover I would have carried on."

Mick Lambert was sent on in his place and Osborne spent the next 15 minutes sitting on the bench recovering as Ipswich kept Arsenal at bay to record a famous victory.

He said: "The final whistle, obviously apart from personal things like getting married and having my boys, has got to be the pinnacle in my life. Up until that whistle blew we had not won anything, but once it blew it was all over - it was history."

His team-mates were delighted for him that Osborne should score the winning goal at Wembley, but with typical modesty he said: "What they meant in a way was I was one of the least recognised players in the team and the fact that I scored gave me a little bit of recognition which they had enjoyed more than I had before that."

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