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18/12/93 v Everton (a) 2-0 Premiership

Cole and Beardsley combined for two classics but Mike Hooper almost got on the scoresheet as well....

"Hoops could really thump the ball and it was no surprise that he tested Neville Southall with a punt upfield in that game. It was a real shame that things went wrong for Mike at United, Pav's popularity always made it difficult for him. He is a really great bloke and intelligent, which obviously set him apart from the rest of the lads...!! After one particular nightmare he had at St. James' (Southampton, I think) he was leaving the ground at the bottom end of the car park when a bloke came up to him and asked if he would sign a ball. As he hands the ball to Hoops, he says, "Watch you don't flippin' drop it," Mike took the ball and hoofed it way over the fence and onto the roundabout on Barrack Road. The bloke just watched. "Nar, I won't drop it," Mike says and walked off. I was in stitches...".

Before the kick-off of the Everton game Hooper thumped one as he goes onto the pitch, which eventually hit the post. The end of season video shows Peter Beardsley watching the effort and giving it an "Ooooh," as it comes back out. I asked John if he had any pre-match rituals:

"Not really, although I never liked to carry a ball out onto the pitch and was usually one of the last out. One thing I learned was never to get changed too quickly. At Barnsley I'd got in the dressing room early one match and started getting changed. When the manager arrived I was fully kitted and ready to go, only to be told I wasn't playing.... Ever since then I waited for the teamsheet before changing. Keegan, for example, would come in and tell us if we were playing straight away. His teamtalks were always very simple and he'd often say, "Just two minutes of your time, lads." Once he came in and was about to speak to us when he went back out again to get his coat. Tino stood up, put on a coat and went, "OK lads just two minutes of your time," in that accent of his. Seconds later KK walked in and just told Tino to carry on! Some managers would have gone spare but Keegan always laughed and joked with the rest of the lads."

All quotes are taken from John Beresford's interviews for