Another Everton FA Cup hero Matt Jackson has revealed that his biggest fear against Manchester United in 1995 final was avoiding the embarrassment of collapsing of exhaustion in front of the nation. Everton right-back knew he’d be having to blunt the threat of some of the most talented wingers in English football at the time that afternoon but despite his apprehension, he found himself marauding up the pitch on a lung-busting run to play a key role in the only goal of the game.
Matt Jackson said “I remember my first touch which was a back-pass to Neville [Southall] that I got good contact on and thought ‘right, that settles us down’. I always had in my head that Ryan Giggs was on the bench and would be probably coming on at some point. So having to come up against Lee Sharpe and then Giggs was something that I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to. I also had in my head that one of my first FA Cup memories was Roger Osborne in 1978 final (he had to be substituted after his celebration of scoring the winning goal for Ipswich Town against Arsenal caused him to faint) going off with exhaustion so I thought I don’t want to be that player at Wembley who is down with cramp after 65 minutes. However, I then found myself overlapping Anders [Limpar] for no particular reason and using up much of that energy in creating the goal (it was Jackson’s low pass across the area that found Stuart who struck the crossbar before Rideout headed in the rebound). They had much smaller first-team squads in those days. The person who we all felt for was John Ebbrell who more than anyone deserved to be a starting part of the team for the final but wasn’t even on the bench. He was a great professional and was super-close to the lads. There were only three substitutes allowed then (one of which was typically a goalkeeper) and you weren’t going around the country with a squad of 30, it wasn’t like that.”
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