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Butcher on the Best Goal Ever Scored Against Town
Thursday, 9th Apr 2020 10:02

Bolton Wanderers would have been the Blues’ opponents at Portman Road on Good Friday and coincidentally, 41 years ago this month, Frank Worthington netted what’s often regarded as the greatest goal ever scored against Town in a game between the sides at Burnden Park. TWTD had a chat with legend Terry Butcher to talk about that goal, the Blues’ transitional 1978/79 season and some of football’s current issues.

“I remember that goal and I remember I was marking Sam Allardyce and he scored the second, so I didn’t have a particularly good game that day but we still won the game 3-2,” Butcher recalled.

“It was the first goal. They had a throw on the left and it got cleared to the edge of the box and it got played eventually to Frank on the edge of the box with his back to goal and we thought we were OK because he was juggling with the ball as he was wont to do.

“He was a very skilful player on his left foot, he was very left-footed but what a tremendous left foot.

“So we came up to the edge of the box and we thought everything was fine. I was marking him, I had my hand on his back as I do normally but I couldn’t win the ball, I couldn’t really see the ball

“And then he’s flicked it high over me and spun and I thought it was going through to Paul Cooper but it didn’t.

“It was nicely weighted just over the top and he got there on the volley and he hit the volley and Paul Cooper has started to come out but he hit the volley past Paul.

“It wasn’t probably what you would say was the sweetest of connections but it was enough to get the ball past Paul and into the back of the net.

“From a defensive point of view, it wasn’t very good, in fact it was a disaster but we still recovered from it.”

Butcher, 61, says Worthington’s strike, which was named that campaign’s Goal of the Season by ITV’s On the Ball, was very much in character for Division One’s top scorer that season.

“It was typical of Frank Worthington because he was a very skilful centre forward but hard as well,” the 77-times-capped England international reflected.

“He was tough, he was really one of the old school centre forwards. If you hit him, he would hit you back and he would hit you back harder if he could. You knew you were in for a contest with him. As much as his skill, the physicality of him was very good, he was very strong.”

Butcher says even though defenders never like to concede goals they can still appreciate one of quality when it’s scored against them.

“Yes, you do,” he said. “I was part of the England team when we lost to that Maradona goal, one of the greatest goals in World Cup history, so it seems that teams probably had to score great goals against me, that’s what I’m going to say anyway!

“You had to take your hat off to him at the end of the day but very, very begrudgingly from my point of view because I was the one that he beat to the ball.

“I know that Frank when he has done his after dinner speaking on the circuit he has used that, he embellishes the moment and does really well with it and I think he’s dined out a few times with that story, so in the end it’s nice to be part of the folklore, even if it’s the wrong part, if you see what I mean.

“You’re still there because of being on the same pitch with him and marking him and he was very, very good.

“It was a great lesson for me because in 1979 I had just got into the team that season, that was my first real season because of injuries to Big Al [Allan Hunter] and Kevin Beattie.”

Photo: TWTD

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Dissboyitfc added 10:28 - Apr 9
For me one the greatest has to Dean Saunders for Villa in 92!

Dissboyitfc added 10:28 - Apr 9
should say one of the greatest!

Michael101 added 11:12 - Apr 9
The thing I remember is the ref running back to the centre circle clapping, if shall like that was scored now all the tv pundits (more every year) would be going crazy.

Michael101 added 11:17 - Apr 9
If a goal like that sorry. Just watched it and can't get over the haircuts.

Marcus added 11:43 - Apr 9
Agree with Saunders (I was there!) although he would never admit it was a long range hit and hope.

carlisleaway added 12:45 - Apr 9
What about Leighton Baines goal in 2004 prior to Xmas, 30-40 yarder strike in the Churchmans.
We came back to win 2-1 with a late Bent goal.

My favourite Ipswich goal was away to Bolton in the play off semi final with his first 30 yard strike to get us back in the game

Millsey added 13:31 - Apr 9
I was there great goal and the same as Baines

ChrisFelix added 13:41 - Apr 9
Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool season 77/8, at PR.
Along side Denis Law the greatest ever Scottish striker

Dockerblue added 13:48 - Apr 9
Butch was a real legend, one of my favourite players to wear the blue shirt, always gave 100% and cared passionately about the club. 77 England caps as well, l don,t think some of our current defenders are fit to lace TB,s boots! There is an iconic picture of Butch in an England shirt covered in blood and he played on! Our number 4 must be starstruck when Terry enters the room

WeWereZombies added 15:15 - Apr 9
The hair was great back then, wasn't it, Michael101? A few more weeks of quarantine and at least most of us may be back to a decent head of hair.

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