UTD Unscripted with John Gidman


Just look at the goal he scored to equalise, and that tells you everything you need to know, answers every single question anybody could have about Bryan Robson. He picks the ball up and surges through the Liverpool defence. He’s not going through a bunch of amateurs on a snooker table, he’s going through mud and water against a great team, and then he cracks an unbelievable shot into the top corner. To have the strength to play like he played for 90 minutes on those surfaces was insane; if you didn’t play on those pitches then you won’t understand what they were like. Robbo could run on them all day long. He was just the embodiment of fitness.

Sparky got the winner and we went through to the final, but I always think back to Robbo’s goal that night. I was running alongside him on the right, watching him cut through the Liverpool team and smash in that goal, and I just thought to myself: My God. That’s the man.

We had some laughs off the pitch as well.

As captain, Robbo organised the parties more or less. He sorted one out where we were going to a comedy club in Oldham, then onto a party in Haydock. We all piled on to the club coach – a beautiful coach – there were beers had and we were soon all the worse for wear. There’s a bridge that you’ve got to go over to reach the club and Derek, the driver, says to Bryan: “I’m not going to get the coach over the bridge, Bryan. It won’t fit.”

Robbo asks Derek to check, so he gets out and goes to measure the bridge.

Robbo turns to me, smirks and says: “Go on, Giddy. Get the thing across.”

I’d never driven a coach in my life, but I didn’t need telling twice. Captain’s orders!

So I jumped in the driver’s seat, put it in first, closed the doors with the clutch… pssssh, you hear the doors close, and off I went.

All the boys are yelling: “Go on, Giddy!”

I got it f****** stuck, didn’t I.

Ohhh, there was murder from Derek.

“You t***, you’ve ruined me f****** coach.” We clambered out of the emergency exit, shouted: “Sorry Derek, you sort it. We’re off,” and we went into the club.

It was Robbo’s fault. He was the captain, he told me to do it because he knew I was the one who would do anything. He knew I was a bit of a nutter and he told me to have a go. What did he expect?


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