Goss, the Canary who knocked Bayern off their perch, is sure Chelsea can do the same
23:44 GMT, 15 May 2012
Jeremy Goss looked down wistfully from the empty banks of Munich’s old Olympic Stadium. Nearly 20 years on, it was still vivid to him. Rob Newman crosses the ball, Lothar Matthaus heads away and it falls invitingly for Goss to volley past a static Raimond Aumann.
The goal cemented Goss’s place in Norwich City folklore. When Mark Bowen added a crucial second 14 minutes later, Mike Walker’s team were on their way to becoming the only British club to beat Bayern Munich in their own backyard.
Two decades later they still are, which underlines the daunting task facing Chelsea on Saturday night.
Token of pride: Jeremy Goss with Lothar Matthaus's shirt
‘No-one gave us a chance,’ says Goss. ‘It was an exceptional achievement for a small group of friends but we had a fantastic mentality. I still feel fortunate to have been part of it but we showed what you can do with hard work and determination.’
Now 47, Goss has sidestepped a career in football to work as a fund-raiser for the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. He is lean and ‘obsessive’ over his fitness but that is unsurprising considering the epic 1,300-mile bike ride he completed last year. It retraced Norwich’s UEFA Cup adventure of 1993, taking in Arnhem, Munich and Milan, and raised 28,000 in the process for the blind.
‘When we got to Munich I took a look around the old stadium. It was surreal. I sat in the stands where the Norwich fans were that night and relived a few memories; Rob Newman’s cross prior to my goal and Mark Bowen heading in Ian Crook’s free-kick. It was really special, I’d dearly love to be able to play that game again.’
Golden guys: (left to right) Chris Sutton, Goss, Rob Newman and Daryl Sutch celebrate victory in Munich
Walker’s game plan had been to isolate Bayern talisman and sweeper Matthaus. ‘It seems crazy but it worked and he struggled to compete in the air with Chris Sutton,’ recalls Goss. Yet Norwich were fortunate to have their star striker on the pitch.
‘Ahead of the game our kit man Jock Robinson always used to look after everything so that all we had to do was walk around the pitch to check which studs we wanted to wear,’ says Goss.
‘That night in Munich, Jock had excelled himself. It was the proudest night in Norwich’s history and he wanted to play his part. The kit had been laid out impeccably. The shirts were perfectly folded with our slips, shorts and socks all pristine and a towel under each pile.
‘It was resplendent. Then Chris Sutton decided he needed the toilet.
‘He came out and his hands were all wet. I could see him looking around for a towel and next minute he leans over and drags one off the bench. As he does, the bench topples and half the kits go flying everywhere. Jock went absolutely nuts.
Well wishers: Goss begins his charity bicycle ride to Munich, cheered by former team-mates Sutton, Darren Eadie, Newman and Ian Butterworth
‘He launched himself at Sutty. They start having a full-blown fight, punches and all. Sutty’s got his hand on Jock’s head trying to keep him at arm’s length and we’re all diving in trying to separate the pair of them. An hour before the biggest game of our lives and we’re trying to stop our kit man knocking the block off our 5million striker. You couldn’t make it up.’
Fortunately, they ironed out their differences and Norwich created history. They afforded themselves a ‘night out and a sing-song around the piano’ before completing the job in the second leg, drawing 1-1 at Carrow Road with Goss scoring again. He swapped shirts with Matthaus and, although the dream ended with defeat to eventual winners Inter Milan in the next round, Goss still beams proudly at being part of arguably Norwich’s best ever team.
‘We had such great spirit which has stayed with us through our lives,’ he says.
Goss glows with positivity — understandable for a man who also holds the distinction of scoring the last goal in front of Anfield’s famous old Kop.
Polished: Goss fondly recalls his UEFA Cup exploits with unfancied Norwich
Polished in his delivery, he puts it to good use as an occasional motivational speaker and firmly believes Chelsea can emulate Norwich’s class of 1993 when they march out at Bayern’s new home the Allianz Arena on Saturday night.
‘When a team have togetherness it has an advantage. Chelsea showed that against Barcelona,’ he says. ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s in Bayern’s backyard. It’s a one-off game. As we showed all those years ago, believe in each other and you can do it.’
Of that Goss is positive.
For further information on Jeremy Goss’s fundraising and Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind log on to: www.nnab.org.uk