From the keyboard of our very own ‘Harry Potter’ Gareth Coates back in 1999, this is the story of the Stimulus Cup.
We all knew the Stimulus Cup was going to be a unique event when we saw this. The never-seen before, once in a lifetime event : Mick O’Neill starting a game! Richard Whitty hadn’t arrived, so Mick was forced to name himself so that the All-Stars could field a full side.
He needn’t have bothered – Richard “Tenbellies” Whitty (nickname © Mrs Whitty) turned up at 11.58am, and Mick was spared the ordeal of actually having to play.
This bunch of reprobates, apparently known as the All-Stars, did themselves proud over the two days. They had little chance of upsetting a strong Camberley side, who were 4-0 up before anyone noticed, Paul Harkness scoring the first three. However, after that, the game was considerably tighter, with Steve Finnieston and Louis Barrett looking dangerous up front, along with the afforementioned Mr W. Losing 5-0 was probably a bit harsh on the All-Stars, who worked very hard throughout the 90 minutes.
After the first semi-final came the main event – Bracknell Town v Frassati CEP. Mickey Parker’s side (above) were obviously well up for this game, as they had the lead inside two minutes. A corner was dealt with badly by the visiting defence, and Liam Woozley bundled it home.
Robins captain Brian Bere added a second midway through the first half and the Robins held that advantage at half-time.
An early second half goal for Frassati gave them hope, and they had a good spell of pressure. The turning point of the game came when Frassati were awarded a penalty. Mattia Pagni sent it flying over the crossbar, and from then onward, Bracknell had the upper hand. John Finnieston added a third goal later on to ensure some home representation in the Final.
The clamping of the Frassati bus in London set the schedule back two hours late, and the two games were shortened to 35 minutes each way as a result. Much praise is due to the match officials and the All-Stars for their patience, and the same applies to everyone involved in the Final.
However, when we did get going, the All-Stars surprised most people (but apparently not Mick O’Neill) by beating Frassati 4-2.
Much of the credit is apparently due to Louis “Silver Fox” Barrett, (above, not on ball) who scored a marvellous third goal for the All-Stars after the Italian side had come from behind to lead 2-1. The other goalscoring All-Stars were Jon-Daniel Hargreaves, Anton Allera and Steve Finnieston.
The shortened Final kicked off at 4:15pm and was expected to be a close game. But it wasn’t, really.
Which was a bit of a shock, because Camberley had looked impressive against the All-Stars. Against the hosts, though, they never really got out of first gear.
Micky Parker and Geoff Jones had got their side playing confident, simple football. The team looked relaxed from the beginning of both games and once Brian Bere had blasted a free-kick into the Camberley net there was only going to be one winner.
Dave Prior, the treble winner in the Player of the Year awards (see below) scored a fine second and John Finnieston emulated his Dad’s earlier feat by scoring a late goal to seal victory.
A good time was apparently had by all, and plans are already afoot for Bracknell Town to travel to Milan in May 2000 to defend their trophy against Frassati and as yet unamed opponents.
Dave Prior, scorer of 18 first team goals, recieves the Player of the Year trophy from Club President Jack Quinton. One week later, he helped the Club lift the Stimulus Cup.