Clattering ram

Jones shares some Crazy Gang memories with Ben and Kammy

The Crazy Gang

Jones: recalls famous FA Cup win

Vinnie Jones told Goals on Sunday the story of the tackle that "won" the 1988 FA Cup Final.

"Steve was a tough lad to play against, so it wasn't as much for him, but it was the players around him that the tackle shook up more than him."

Steve McMahon

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Few people fancied Wimbledon to beat the mighty Liverpool at Wembley that day, but after a famous goal from Lawrie Sanchez and a penalty save from Dave Beasant the Crazy Gang pulled off a remarkable upset.

Jones was the heartbeat of the Wimbledon midfield and told Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara about his crunching foul on Steve McMahon a few moments into the match.

He said it was intended as a message to the Liverpool players and he feels it had a significant impact on the final result.

"It was slightly mis-timed," he admitted.

"There was a load of hype that we shouldn't be on the same pitch as them and we just didn't want to embarrass ourselves on the day and get done 6-0 or 7-0.

"That's the thing that got us through it, really, and when Sanchez scored we had a bit of belief there.

"The press hammered us with different people saying we shouldn't be on the same pitch as them and Stevie Mac had said a couple of things. I thought: 'We'll see how this game is going to get on. I'll give you a lively tackle and go from there'.

"Steve was a tough lad to play against, so it wasn't as much for him, but it was the players around him that the tackle shook up more than him.

"A lot of people say that tackle won the Cup Final."

Journey

Jones believes the FA Cup victory was the culmination of a "fairytale" that had seen the unfashionable club climb from Division Four to Division One.

But he says some of his favourite moments from that season came in the earlier rounds as Wimbledon edged closer and closer to Wembley.

"It was the end of the journey, the end of the fairytale really," he said.

"It was always survival with us; even our win bonuses were for where we ended up at the end of the season, so if we got relegated there was no win bonuses. If we came fourth or fifth we got eight quid more win bonus from Harry Bassett!

"It was total survival. We all thought the day that Wimbledon got relegated would be the demise of the club and the players took that on board. That's why we played every game like our own Cup Final, really and it was no surprise when we won it.

"We beat Watford and went up to Newcastle and beat them 3-1. That probably won the Cup for us. To go there and win 3-1 was probably the big turning point.

"Then we played Luton at White Hart Lane, were hammering them and then Mick Harford scored and we came back to win 2-1.

"That was the most I enjoyed about the whole run; when it actually dawns on you that in a few weeks' time you'll be running out in front of 100,000 people. It was a great buzz.

"It was all fairytale stuff. I can't see it happening again."