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Video: Thirteen-year-old Dennis Wise on Record Breakers

Vintage Ratboy footage marks anniversary of FA Cup giant killing

While Liverpool supporters will pay their respects at the Hillsborough Memorial game at Anfield tonight, today represents a very different kind of anniversary for Wimbledon fans.

It is 21 years to the day that the Dons caused one of the biggest upsets in English football history, by beating League Champions Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final. The Crazy Gang – whose members included Dennis Wise, Vinnie Jones and John Fashanu – proved too strong for the likes of Alan Hansen, John Barnes and Peter Beardsley on the day, coming out 1-0 winners thanks to a Lawrie Sanchez header. Unfortunately, the Wombles were denied the opportunity to compete in Europe, thanks to the ban on English teams caused by the actions of Liverpool supporters in the 1985 Heysel disaster.

It’s amazing to think that just eleven seasons earlier, top flight Wimbledon were a non league side. If such a fairytale rise through the leagues is ever to be repeated, it will probably be done by the club’s current incarnation, AFC Wimbledon. Started by fans when the original club was brutally murdered by Adam Crozier’s FA and sold to a Milton Keynes franchise in 2002, AFC will begin next season with the likes of Luton and Oxford Utd in the Blue Square Premier.

The video above is taken from the BBC’s coverage of the 1988 final (the last one to be screened on both the BBC and ITV), and shows Dennis Wise getting thoroughly embarrassed on the coach journey to Wembley. Say what you like about Wise and Vinnie Jones (who used to affectionately refer to his aforementioned colleague as ‘Ratboy’), but footballers simply aren’t as funny and honest as this when interviewed on camera any more.


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