John Motson’s Bayern Munich memento to former Norwich City physio Tim Sheppard
- Credit: PA
With the announcement that football commentator John Motson is to end his 50-year association with the BBC, we bring you an article from 2013 when David Freezer spoke to the commentary legend as we marked the 20th anniversary of Norwich City’s famous Uefa Cup run.
“This is almost fantasy football” said commentator John Motson as Norwich City Football Club’s team of 1993-94 soared to the most famous victory in the club’s history.
It is a phrase which is almost certain to bring a smile to the face of any Canaries fan, almost encapsulating the magic of the club’s fairytale first European campaign.
Legendary BBC commentator Motson said the phrase in the aftermath of Goss scoring a spectacular volley to put City 1-0 up against German giants Bayern Munich on August 19, 1993.
The Canaries went on to win 2-1 on the night, becoming the only ever British team to beat Bayern at the Olympic Stadium, before securing a 1-1 draw in the second leg at Carrow Road to seal their progress to the third round of the UEFA Cup.
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Now a special memento of that magical time has been unearthed, thanks to City’s former physiotherapist Tim Sheppard.
The physio was suspended for the Carrow Road match, after having been cruelly adjudged to have breached match regulations during the first leg by staying at the side of the pitch to check winger Ruel Fox was okay after giving him treatment.
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It meant Sheppard had to watch the game from the directors box but saw him given a gift by Motson that will enthrall City fans now looking back on the famous victory of 20 years ago.
Motson, famed for his statistics and meticulous preparation for matches, handed Sheppard his commentary notes after the game and signed them: “To Tim, best wishes, John Motson.”
It gives a fascinating insight into how he prepared for a night that was broadcast live to the nation on BBC as one of the biggest cheers ever heard at Carrow Road went up.
Bayern had levelled the aggregate score in the fifth minute of the match through Adolfo Valencia, to lead 1-0 on the night.
And as City pushed forward to try and equalise, the Carrow Road crowd unleashed a rendition of the club’s famous song On the Ball City, as Motson said: “The Norwich crowd really doing all they can to lift their side, and I think they won that tackle for Jerry Goss!
“Now here’s Darren Eadie, just a bit too far ahead of himself, Crook though will find Bowen.”
As left-back Bowen crossed from the left Motson then excitedly shouted: “One over here, Sutton, Goss, yes!
“You don’t need to ask who’s scored it, Jeremy Goss, once more the hero of Norwich.”
Motson has gone on to become the most famous of British football commentators and is still going strong on Match of the Day at the age of 68, although has decided to step back from England commentaries.
Looking back on his commentary of the two Norwich games against Bayern, as well as the first round matches against Vitesse Arnhem, Motson said: “We certainly made a big production of it, there’s no doubt about that, and when Norwich were knocked out we were very disappointed.
“I only really remember the famous Jeremy Goss and Mark Bowen goals to be honest, but I remember the trip to Vitesse Arnhem in the first round and of course Bayern Munich was the big one.
“I remember Mike Walker holding a training session on the morning of the game (in Munich) and it was wonderful for a club like Norwich, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
“I remember the chairman Robert Chase organising a flight over there and manager Mike Walker being very obliging with his press interviews and the players were very accessible, much more than they are now.”
Motty’s notes on the big match players
NORWICH CITY (physio Sheppard suspended, seven players on a yellow card but Efan (Ekoku) still injured, 500 inflatable canaries)
1 Bryan Gunn: Damaged shoulder making fine save at Highbury but no sign in training today.
2 Ian Culverhouse: Will start as sweeper-system, has served Norwich well, UEFA 1984.
3 Mark Bowen: Scored second goal in Munich, header on far post, UEFA 1984 with Spurs, pushes forward.
4 Ian Butterworth: Captain and central defender, one of seven on yellow cards, marker.
5 John Polston: Back after abdominal strain, missed first leg in Munich, right of three, missed five games, ex-Spurs.
6 Rob Newman: Left of three defenders but can switch anywhere, made a goal in Munich.
7 Darren Eadie: Made debut as sub here against Vitesse, scored at QPR, left foot, up front with Sutton.
8 Ian Crook: Free-kicks with right foot, created havoc against Vitesse here, UEFA 1984.
9 Chris Sutton: Scored two in friendly against Bayern here in Jan 1992, top scorer joint.
10 Ruel Fox: Will play on right against Ziege, caused damage against Vitesse, work rate high in Munich.
11 Jeremy Goss: Brilliant goal in first leg, goal of month at Leeds, has come good this season.
12 Gary Megson: Played in last round against Vitesse, oldest man in squad.
13 Scott Howie: Reserve keeper signed from Clyde at start of season, yet to play but Gunn shoulder doubt.
14 Spencer Prior: Played in Munich for Polston, signed from Southend C/Half.
15 Daryl Sutch: Groin injury has cleared up, came in early for Robins in Munich.
16 Ade Akinbiyi: 19 year old striker with 33 goals last season, London born *all rest unclear*
BAYERN MUNICH (Trained at a rugby club! 650 supporters, Franz Beckenbauer played golf this morning)
1 Raimond Aumann: Captain who was rooted to the spot by Goss volley in Munich, 4 caps, Euro, ex-German number two.
2 Jorginho: Probably their best player in first leg, made goal and bags of crosses. Brazilian given freedom in system.
3 Christian Ziege: Scored again on Saturday against Kaiserslautern and three against Twente Enschede over two legs, taken off against Norwich in Munich.
4 Oliver Kreuzer: Suffering from cold overnight.
5 Thomas Helmer: Centre-back, dangerous at near post when he goes up for corners but marking not always tight, German first choice.
6 Christian Nerlinger: Scored the Bayern goal in the first leg (header), left side m/f, good forward runs.
7 Jan Wouters: England’s World Cup adversary, did not play well in first leg but digs in, keeping quiet on his age, quote on his pace.
8 Markus Schupp: Missed the first leg through suspension, returns to right side m/f, does he replace Scholl from first leg.
9 Marcel Witeczek: Was born in Poland but came to Bayern from Kaiserslautern, left footer who holds up play well.
10 Lothar Matthaus: Played against Bayern for Inter when the Germans turned 0-2 into a victory in UEFA 88, what role tonight? Mutiny?
11 Adolfo Valencia: Scored two in 4-0 win over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, missed chances though in first leg.
15 Mehmet Scholl: Missed Saturday through injury, top scorer who was taken off in first leg after making no impression.
12 Uwe Gospodarek: Played in the 2-2 draw against E Frankfurt recently but barely gets a game, never in Europe.
14 Olaf Thon: Six European goals for Bayern, scored decider in penalty shoot out in Turin but has been injured recently. Born 1966! 40 caps.
16 Bruno Labbadia: Top scorer last season, has strike rate of one in three, usually used as sub.
13 Michael Sternkopf: Came on as sub in Munich, can play full back/midfield.