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Bez Lifts the Lid...
 Life with United...and beyond   Part XIII

Back from his travels, our man Bez once again delves into his diary for your delectation. Divorce and potential adultery are among the subjects dissected this time - it's getting more like the Old Testament every week....

John Beresford recalls previous tussles with the Sky Blues

18.08.93 Coventry 2 Newcastle 1. Our First game in the Premiership, on a warm Wednesday evening. 

"That was the game I got Pav sent off. I left a back pass short for Pav and although I'm not sure whether he needed to bring down Wegerle [can you confirm] it was all my fault. It was an important game - our first away game in the Premier League - and I was devastated that I'd made such a vital mistake. As it turned out, Mickey Quinn blasted the penalty over but we were down to 10 men and struggling.

We took the lead with a deflected Liam O'Brien free-kick and went in at half time 1-0 up. We were under a lot of pressure in the second half and I was trying so hard to make up for the mistake but we lost 2-1 in the end, Peter Ndlovu and Mick Harford getting a late winner. In the dressing room after the game, Keegan had a bit of a go at me, not for the mistake - that was just one of those things - but for trying too hard to make amends. He said I'd been too cavalier and should have used my head a bit more. He was right.

David Kelly came into the player's lounge after the game. He'd been in the stands watching and had got a great reception from the fans. He never wanted to leave Newcastle but Keegan had told him that he couldn't guarantee him first team football in the Premier League and Ned left on the best terms possible".

17.12.94 Coventry 0 Newcastle 0  

"We got awarded a late penalty and I think Pedro [Peter Beardsley] must have been off the pitch because we weren't sure who would take it. I would normally have volunteered, despite usually taking a lot of stick from the lads about missing one for Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final.

However, the Thursday before the game my daughter had been born and on Thursday night she had been taken into intensive care. I didn't tell anyone, even her mother, and I was sick with worry. I didn't travel down with the team and only met up later with them on Friday night. By that time they had found a blockage and cleared it and Jay was not in any danger but I still couldn't sleep all Friday night. So by the time it came to the game I hadn't slept for three days and although I think I was OK to play at the end of the game I was absolutely shattered.

When it came to the penalty I don't think I was in any mental state to take the pressure of a last minute penalty and Coley reluctantly stepped up. I'm not sure why Rob Lee didn't take it and if Ruel Fox was playing, he'd usually have fancied his chances. Anyway, Cole missed and we went away with just the one point. Penalty taking is definitely more about mental strength than technique. Beardsley and Shearer were the best I've played with - you've got to have no fear about missing and apart from that one this season against you-know-who I've never seen Al nervous or upset if he misses. The other player I'd put in the same category is Matt Le Tissier at Southampton who had a fantastic penalty record."

14.01.96 Coventry 0 Newcastle 1. Highfield Road was covered in sand for this SKY-televised Sunday game and a nervous United took the points thanks to a Watson effort. 

"I was in the middle of my divorce when we played this one - a Sunday game, I think. Earlier that week I'd met someone in a nightclub and they'd given me their number. I rang it the next day but couldn't get a reply and so left a message on their answer machine. I heard nothing for a few days and so just put it down to experience.

Not long before the game I was with Rob Lee and suddenly got a call. There was a bloke ranting and raving on the other end of the phone. He was hurling abuse and threatening me and and after I'd put the phone down Rob looked at me with astonishment and said "Who the hell was that?". "You know that lass I met at the nightclub the other night?" I said, "Well, she forget to mention something." "What?" Rob asked. "She was married...".

Luckily that was the last I heard......

8.11.97 Coventry 2 Newcastle 2. This was the game where Shay put the ball down and Dion Dublin came from behind him to pinch the ball off him and score. A late rasper from Bobby Lee gave us a share of the points.

"I didn't even see it (the Dublin goal). I was jogging back up the pitch concentrating on pushing up and getting tight on whoever was in front of me and suddenly there was this roar from the crowd. I turned round and there was Shay facing the goal with Dion Dublin celebrating in the corner. I couldn't work out what had happened, I thought Shay must have thrown the ball in the net or hit it against Dublin. I asked Rob Lee what was going on and he was just as much in the dark as me. It was only while the ref was consulting with his linesman that one of the lads explained what had happened. It was one of the strangest things, though seeing a goal being celebrated and having no idea what had happened.

After the game we weren't mad at Shay, we just took the mick and gave him stick for being so stupid."

Finally, we asked John about Shay's recent transfer request.

"I was a bit surprised because Steve Harper had only played a few games, it's not as if Shay had been sitting on the bench for half a season. I've heard that Bobby Robson has had a few digs at Shay about his kicking in training and maybe he is worried that Bobby now favours Steve Harper. From what I've seen both have done pretty well this season and there's very little to choose between them."

Niall MacKenzie

Page last updated 24 June, 2009