On This Day In History - The Ruddock Stomp Is Born !
Wednesday, 1st Apr 2020 18:11
Saints V Newcastle United at the Dell 1st April 1989 a crunch relegation six pointer a hero is born and a goal celebration is born, where you there that day ?
When Newcastle United arrived at the Dell on April 1st 1989, Saints were in trouble near the foot of the table, after beating Aston Villa on 12th November we had gone into 3rd place, but here we where nearly four months later without a win in 17 League games, a run that initially had not seemed too bad as we drew game after game with only the odd defeat, but as we went into April we had picked up only 2 points in 11 games and we were now in 18th position and in the relegation zone.
Things had picked up though with two new signings, Barry Horne from Portsmouth and Neil Ruddock from Millwall and both would play a big part in not only the end of this season but the following year as our young side were the talk of the nation.
But in the pub before the game the talk was not about our young guns, but the fact that we were right in it and Newcastle were the first of four games against those at the bottom and the games against Middlesbrough, West Ham and Aston Villa were away from home.
But if we thought our young guns would swagger to victory we were wrong, for 89 minutes it was a tense nervous game with Newcastle parking the bus and looking like they were about to grab a vital point, but then came one of those moments that changes a season, changes your life even, Rod Wallace was going nowhere when the Newcastle keeper suddenly had a rush of blood, Wallace would probably have ran the ball out for a goal kick, but Kelly in goal charged out and went to ground when he didn't need to.
These days this would definitely have gone to VAR, in fairness It was a penalty and Newcastle's protests were more in frustration than any sort of conviction.
In all the melee the question was who would take it, regular taker Derek Statham was out injured, Matt Le Tissier was not on the field and anyway was not yet our regular taker, Ruddock admitted afterwards that looking around not many of the team looked like they fancied it, so in only his sixth game for the club he grabbed the ball and walked up to the spot.
You could feel the tension, the crowd wondering is Ruddock had even taken a penalty, the answer was known by only one person in the ground, Ruddock himself and it was that he hadn't !
Up he stepped in almost complete silence, he smashed the ball, it went in and the crowd erupted, it was one of those moment's of pure joy both on and off the pitch and Ruddock himself for want of a better celebration just ran along lifting his knees as he went and pumping his arms.
A goal celebration was born and we at the Ugly Inside then only a few weeks off of our first birthday quickly dubbed it the Ruddock Stomp and within a couple of weeks had got the T Shirt out and were selling it by the sack load around the City.
Saints would almost cruise to safety now and things were on the up.
So were you at this game ? What were your memories ? Did you buy a Ruddock Stomp T Shirt ? If you did and you still have the receipt then sorry the guarantee has run out !
Photo: Action Images
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