"The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture club!" John Motson's memorable commentary line which perfectly summed up the 1988 FA Cup final as little, unfancied Wimbledon stunned mighty Liverpool to triumph 1-0 under the Twin Towers, thanks to Lawrie Sanchez's goal and Dave Beasant's penalty save.
As AFC Wimbledon prepare to host Coventry in Friday's FA Cup first round clash (live and exclusive on BT Sport 1 from 7pm) we take at what became of the class of '88.
Dave Beasant (age 54) The first goalkeeper ever to captain an FA Cup-winning side and the first to save a penalty in the final – when he stopped John Aldridge’s effort for Liverpool. After leaving Wimbledon, he was on the books of 14 different clubs, playing for the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle and Southampton and is currently the part-time goalkeeping coach at Bristol Rovers. Once ruptured his ankle ligaments trying to control a bottle of salad cream he had dropped.
Clive Goodyear (52) Only made 26 appearances for Wimbledon, one of which was in the FA Cup final, and fouled Aldridge for the penalty saved by Beasant. After being forced out of the game with a knee injury he retrained as a physiotherapist. Every month was Movember for Goodyear, who boasted a magnificent moustache.
Andy Thorn (46) One of the younger members of the team who had two spells with the Dons, clocking up more than 140 appearances. Scored Wimbledon’s first ever goal in the First Division following their promotion in 1986. Went on to manage Coventry but was sacked at the beginning of last season. Was once sent off for a bit of argy-bargy at Liverpool but was recalled from the dressing room when the referee realised he’d got him mixed up with Vinnie Jones.
Eric Young (53) Giant of a man who formed a useful central defensive partnership with Thorn. Signed from Brighton, Young went on to join Crystal Palace after falling one appearance short of his century for Wimbledon. Now works as an accountant. Nicknamed ‘Ninja’ because of his omnipresent brown headband.
Terry Phelan (46) Pint-sized left back who spent five years at Plough Lane, playing 159 games for the Dons and twice helping them to seventh place in the top-flight. Phelan joined Manchester City for £2.5m – equalling the then-British transfer record for a defender. He went on to play for Chelsea and Everton before playing and coaching in the USA and New Zealand. Nicknamed Scuttler for his darting runs, we think – although the word can also mean Victorian gang member or a girl who gets drunk and snogs anyone in sight.
Vinnie Jones (48) The most infamous member of the Crazy Gang. A former hod carrier-turned hard-tackling midfielder who made more than 300 appearances for the Dons in two spells. Sandwiched in between were stints with Leeds, Sheffield United and Chelsea. Jones, who played nine times for Wales and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, was fined £20,000 for making the video Soccer’s Hard Men, in which he demonstrated a series of techniques on how to commit fouls and get away with them.
After a spell as player-coach at QPR, Jones made the unlikely switch to Hollywood, starring in Gangster flick Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels before landing roles in dozens of other films including Snatch, Swordfish and Gone in 60 Seconds – a title which mirrored his chequered career, where he was sent off 12 times and holds the record for the fastest-ever booking – three seconds, in a clash between Chelsea and Sheffield United in 1992.
Dennis Wise (46) Tenacious midfielder who enjoyed a hugely successfully playing career spanning more than 20 years – 11 of them at Chelsea. Wise, who won 21 caps for England, spent five years at Plough Lane, supplying the cross for Lawrie Sanchez’s FA Cup final winner against Liverpool, and ended his playing career with Saturday’s opponents Coventry.
He then turned to management, leading Millwall to their first ever FA Cup final before moving on to Swindon and Leeds, which was followed by a disastrous spell as director of football at Newcastle, where fans dubbed him and owner Mike Ashley the ‘Cockney Mafia’ following the resignation of manager Kevin Keegan. Wise’s career was littered with controversy, from assaulting a taxi driver to breaking the jaw of a team-mate at Leicester. As a kid growing up in Shepherd’s Bush he and Les Ferdinand were allegedly part of a gang who vandalised the Blue Peter Garden. Not to be confused with Dennis ‘Cutty’ Wise from The Wire.
Lawrie Sanchez (54) The hero of the hour, who scored the winning goal in the final. Sanchez played over 300 times for the Dons after joining from Reading in 1984. Went into management after retiring, with Northern Ireland, Fulham and Wycombe - who he led to the 2001 FA Cup semi-final - among the clubs he took charge of. Sacked by Barnet last year. Beasant said of Sanchez: "Lawrie scored the goal but he moans 'They always talk about you!'"
Alan Cork (54) Bald-headed striker who made a record 430 appearances between 1978 and 1992 for Wimbledon, representing them in all four divisions. The only player to have scored in the Premier League and all four divisions of the pre-1972 Football League, Cork went on to manage both Swansea and Cardiff. Assisted Micky Adams at four clubs, including Sheffield United, where the pair were sacked in 2010. The father of Southampton player Jack, Cork was famously serenaded by Dons fans with the ditty “He’s got no hair but we don’t care – Alan, Alan Cork!”
John Fashanu (51) Up and at ‘em striker, who was one of Wimbledon’s greatest servants, scoring more than 100 goals in an eight-year stay with the club which led to two England appearances. Known for his physical approach, he was a paid-up member of the Crazy Gang and was chastised for breaking Gary Mabbutt’s eye socket during a challenge.
The only player to have played in both an English and New Zealand Cup final, he went on to host Gladiators, where he became known for his ‘Awooga’ catchphrase. He was also runner-up in the 2003 series of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here and is currently the host of Deal or No Deal Nigeria.
Terry Gibson (50) 5ft 4in striker who made his name at Coventry and had a brief spell at Manchester United before heading to Plough Lane, where he spent six years. He ended his playing days at Barnet and worked as Lawrie Sanchez’s managerial assistant at a number of clubs, including Fulham and Wycombe, who they took to the FA Cup semi-final in 2001. Now working as a Spanish football pundit for Sky Sports, he said of covering his first El Clasico game from the Nou Camp: “I felt like a competition winner!”
John Scales (47) Defender who racked up nearly 300 appearances for Wimbledon before spells at Tottenham and Liverpool. Capped three times by England, he is now company chairman for an event management company that organises tournaments for schools.
Laurie Cunningham – only played eight times for Wimbledon, one of which was a substitute appearance in the 1988 FA Cup final. He made his name at West Brom before joining Real Madrid, becoming the Spanish giants’ first black player. He played in the 1981 European Cup final, when Madrid were beaten by Liverpool and returned to Spain after his brief spell at Wimbledon to play for Rayo Vallecano. Cunningham was tragically killed in a car crash in Madrid on 15 July 1989. He was just 33.