What Happened To The Crazy Gang?
Liverpool face AFC Wimbledon tonight in what many are billing, despite the politics involved, as a rematch of the 1988 FA Cup Final where the Dons shocked Liverpool with a one-nil win – or as John Motson put it “the Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club”.
We take a look at what happened to 1988’s FA Cup winners.
Beasant became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup final, keeping out John Aldridge’s spot-kick. He went on to win a couple of international caps in a much-travelled career and came out of retirement recently as substitute for Stevenage. His son Sam is also a goalkeeper at the club.
Beasant also spared Clive Goodyear’s blushes as it was the defender’s foul on Aldridge that conceded the penalty. He was never at regular at Wimbledon and a knee injury curtailed a career than ended in a Hong Kong league. Goodyear qualified as a physiotherapist, working for Luton Town, Cardiff City and Chester before establishing his own practice.
Despite being born in Singapore, the headband-donning defender went on to win 21 caps for Wales. He made a big-money move to Crystal Palace in 1990, joining fellow Crazy Gang member Andy Thorn at Selhurst Park. “Ninja” became an accountant when he retired and now works for a construction company in London.
Thorn was a losing finalist with Palace in 1990 before returning to Wimbledon for a second stint. A knee injury forced him to retire at 31, and he then spent a number of years as a scout. He’s since had two unsuccessful attempts at management – with Coventry City and Kidderminster Harriers.
The left-back’s form at Wimbledon led to a £2.7 million move to Manchester City, which equaled the record fee for a defender at that time. Phelan represented Ireland at the 1994 World Cup and went on to play for the likes of Chelsea and Everton. He finished his career playing and coaching in the US and New Zealand, and is now based as a coach in Manchester.
The scorer of the winning goal against Liverpool, Sanchez started in management with Sligo Rovers upon his retirement. He enjoyed further FA Cup success as manager of Wycombe Wanderers – leading them to the 2001 semi-finals – before becoming Northern Ireland boss. He’s also managed Fulham and Barnet and, most recently, Greek club Apollon Smyrni.
The former hod carrier certainly had a colourful career after the Crazy Gang’s FA Cup win. He went on to play for the likes of Leeds United and Chelsea before becoming another to return to Wimbledon for a second stint. He won nine caps for Wales and recently donated his FA Cup winners medal to AFC Wimbledon. He’s since enjoyed a successful acting career, starring in the likes of “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”.
The striker holds the record for first team appearances and goals at Wimbledon, whom he played for in all four divisions of the Football League. Since retiring, he’s had a number of coaching roles and has managed the likes of Swansea City and Cardiff City. His son Jack is an impressive midfielder with Southampton.
Another controversial member of the side, Wise went on to forge a highly successful playing career. He won 21 caps for England and spent 11 years at Chelsea alongside the likes of Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli and Gianfranco Zola.
He captained the Blues to an FA Cup win in 1997 and won another three years later. He even led Millwall to a final as player-manager in 2004, where they were beaten in Manchester United’s last FA Cup triumph. His most recent role in football was his disastrous stint as Executive Director at Newcastle United.
Gibson was one of the first people shown the door at Old Trafford when Sir Alex Ferguson took over, joining the Dons in 1987. He became assistant to former team-mate Sanchez at several clubs before becoming a pundit for Spanish TV.
“Fash the Bash” scored over 100 goals for Wimbledon during an eight-year stay, winning two England caps in the process. He went on to co-host TV show “Gladiators” in the mid-90s and has also appeared on a number of reality shows, including “Fash FC” where he became manager of his own Sunday League team.