The 1984-85 European campaign is one I would remember for all the wrong reasons as an FC Bayern fan. I was back in the UK and resident at a boarding school in the south-west, tucked away in the forest in deepest Somerset – where many a late night would be spent sneaking into the common room to get a glimpse of those all-important midweek European games. Risking punishment – anything from washing up hundreds of filthy plates after dinner to chopping logs and a couple of hefty blows across the palm of the hand with a heavy duty nautical ruler – would be no great deterrent.
If there was even the slightest chance that Bayern would be on, it just could not be missed.
Bayern’s victory in the previous year’s DFB-Pokal earned them a place in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and they would ease into the competition with a straightforward 6-2 aggregate victory over Norwegian side Moss FK. The second round encounter provided more testing agaist Bulgarians Trakia Plovdiv, who, after going down 4-1 in Munich, threatened a comeback by taking a two-goal lead thirteen minutes either side of half-time. Plovdiv needed just one more to snatch the tie on away goals, but Bayern did enough to hold firm and make their way into the last eight.
The quarter-final pitted Udo Lattek’s side against Italian cup winners, and the previous year’s European Cup runners-up, AS Roma, and would be my first actual sighting that season – courtesy of a sneaky night-time visit to the common room at the end of the corridor. Bayern created plenty of chances throughout the first half, but would have to wait until a minute before the break for the opening goal, which was worth the wait, as Norbert Nachtweih would roll the ball into the path of skipper Klaus Augenthaler, who sent in a 30 yard piledriver into the top left-hand corner of the Roma net. More chances were created in the second half, as the pressure from the home side finally paid off with a second from Dieter Hoeneß thirteen mnutes from time. The big blond striker would collect an inswinging cross from the left, and would show great skill in rounding ‘keeper Franco Tancredi before stabbing the ball home from six yards.
It would be the same scenario for the second leg. I quietly sneaked out of my dormitory – trying desperately to avoid making too much of a noise with the squeaking door – before making my way to the common room. It was be a relatively short walk, but one filled with danger: should the house master sneakily turn around the corner, there would be no place to hide. Thankfully, the unmistakable flash of light from his torch would offer a clear signal of any impending danger.
Having made it inside – opening the door ever so slightly to squeeze inside and avoid making a noise – I made my way to the television. There was no remote control, but the advantage was that you could turn down the volume before actually switching the thing on, avoiding the sudden burst of noise that would bring an end to the proceedings. Despite being tempted to raise the sound a little, I’d stand by the television, finger hovering over the off button.
I tuned into BBC1 and Sportsnight – the midweek sports show that, among other things, featured potted highlights from all of the European club tournaments and, if I was lucky, a few minutes of the Bayern match. (This setup would only really work from the quarter-finals onwards, unless Bayern were playing a British team in one of the earlier rounds). Of course, not knowing what was actually going to be on would be one of the biggest problems: I could stand there in fear of being rumbled for well over an hour without actually getting to see anything.
Having seen highlights of the first leg, I lived in hope of seeing the return and waited patiently. Liverpool versus Austria Wien, followed by highlights of some of the other European Cup matches. Then – if my memory serves me correctly – Manchester United’s UEFA Cup quarter-final against Hungarian side Videoton, resulting in a penalty shootout. Then, finally, the Cup Winners’ Cup, and Everton’s meeting with Fortuna Sittard. I waited for highlights of the Bayern match, but nothing came. The programme ended, and I found myself sloping back to bed, trying not to drag my feet along the way. I found out the next morning that Bayern triumphed 2-1 with goals from Lothar Matthäus and Ludwig Kögl, completing a 4-1 aggregate win and sealing a place in the semi-finals.
I was able to watch the first leg of the semi-final at home during the Easter break, which ended goalless – not a bad result to take to Goodison Park a fortnight later. The second leg, on the other hand, was a nervy encounter – for me, in more ways than one, as I found myself sneaking once again into the common room to catch that unmissable quarter of an hour of Sportsnight, and the kind and welcoming moon-shaped face of the late Tony Gubba.
After almost getting caught and having to swiftly dive behind the sofa with the score at 0-0, I switched the television back on to find Bayern a goal up. Yes! I would not see Dieter Hoeneß’ 37th minute strike until my return home – my younger brother recorded all of the games for me – but I trying my best to keep silent and at the same time have one eye looking out for a flash of a torch from the corridor.
Half-time arrived, and the Toffees would need two goals to make it into the final. A headed equaliser from an unmarked Graeme Sharp would bring the FA Cup winners level just three minutes after the restart, but that would be the end of the semi-final for me. Taking my own eye off the ball, I simply forgot where I was and what crime I was committing. Suddenly, the door swung open, the light from the torch caught me almost straight in the face – standing and unable to move like a startled fawn – with my finger glued in panic to the off button.
I had been well and truly rumbled. This time, there would be no escape.
With nary a word, I found myself being frogmarched to the dormitory master’s room where I was administered a swift strike across the palm of each hand with a service issue nautical ruler. Now if you haven’t seen a service issue nautical ruler, you should try looking one up on the Internet: it is a long, well-made piece of heavy-duty plastic, and some of us service kids would have one. Unfortunately, our dorm master was equipped with one too.
Each stroke – imagine a full-blooded Klaus Augenthaler shot cracking against the crossbar – would be accompanied by the slightest wince, but no sound. If Bayern won win the game, it would be more than worth it. I could have tried sneaking in to the common room again to catch the final few minutes of the action at Goodison Park – some braver souls may well have done – but not even I was that suicidal.
With my palms still stinging I was hastily sent back to my dormitory to await the remainder of my punishment the following day, but this was the least of my worries. Well, let’s just say that I would have taken another couple of slapped palms and whole month’s washing up in return for a Bayern win after I saw the final result the next day. Everton 3, Bayern Munich 1.
Yes, Bayern were out and I would end up spending two evening after-dinner days with my hands in lukewarm greasy soap suds. I met a similar fate during the World Cup finals the following year, but this one would be particularly painful. With every greasy plate and food-encrusted fork, I visualised the annoying Andy Gray putting Everton 2-1 in front, before seeing Trevor Steven deliver what would be the coup de grâce.
The newly-crowned Bundesliga champions would then miss out on retaining the DFB-Pokal with a 2-1 defeat against unheralded Bayer 05 Uerdingen in the final, and all of the talk of a trophy treble would quickly disappear down the memory hole. Everton meanwhile would go on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup final at De Kuip in Rotterdam – the scene of Bayern’s 1982 Champions’ Cup defeat – with a 3-1 demolition of Austrian side Rapid Wien.
Highlights of the first leg in Munich:
Highlights of Everton’s 3-1 win in the second leg:
Extended highlights of Everton’s 3-1 win.
24th April 1985, Goodison Park, Liverpool
Everton – FC Bayern München 3:1 (0:1)
Sharp 47, Gray 73, Steven 87 / D. Hoeneß 37
Everton win 3-1 on aggregate
Everton: Southall, Stevens, Mountfield, Ratcliffe (c), van den Hauwe, Reid, Sheedy, Bracewell, Steven, Sharp, Gray
FC Bayern: Pfaff, Dremmler, Augenthaler (c), Eder (73. M. Rummenigge), Willmer (66. Beierlorzer), Nachtweih, Matthäus, Pflügler, Lerby, D. Hoeneß, Kögl
Yellow Cards: – / Pflügler
Referee: Erik Fredriksson (Sweden)
(This piece is adapted from Rick’s work in progress, The Pain and the Glory: My Thirty-Three Years as a Fan of FC Bayern München)
Header courtesy of footballzone.co.uk
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