LION CUBS COME OF AGE IN WEMBLEY FIVE-A-SIDE TRIUMPH
Wynter Wonder Hots Up London's All-Star Show!
A Slip of a Kid called Roger Wynter demolished some of the big names in London
football and rescued a season of gloom for Millwall at the Wembley Arena
By Michael Hart
Wynter, a 17-year-old midfield player from Brixton has not figured in Millwall's
season-long fight against relegation from Division Three, but, on last
night's evidence, his first team debut cannot be far away.
He has spent his fledgling career in reserve and youth team football, yet last
night revelled in the big-time atmosphere and endeared himself to a wall
to wall crowd with eight goals.
Those goals played a major role in securing The Standard's London five-a-side
title for Millwall for the third time in six years.
Until last night, Wynter was practically unknown.
But his performance prompted watching England manager Bobby
Robson to ask: “Is he English?”
Well, he is English and, in fact is no stranger to Wembley. He played for England
schoolboys against Northern Ireland in the stadium just a few, hundred
yards away from his triumph last night.
He signed Professional terms with Millwall only last month and was due to
return to earth with a bump this afternoon in a reserve against
Tottenham at the Den.
But, in the jubilant, Millwall dressing room after last night’s pulsating 3-2
win over Brentford in the final, he was able to savour the moment.
Clutching the trophy he had won for being voted Player of the Night he said:
“I've never experienced anything quite like this.”
“The atmosphere was tremendous and I think the crowd got behind us from the
start because we were the youngest side and, in all our matches, we were
Wynter who had previously scored only eight goals all season for Millwall youth
and reserve teams, hit two in the 3-2 win over Charlton in round one.
Alan McLeary scored the other.
He then scored both goals in the 2-0 win that put out fancied West Ham side and
two more as Arsenal collapsed in the semi-final. Andy Massey, who had an
outstanding night as Millwall's captain, added the third in a 3-1 win.
Then Millwall faced their Third Division rivals, Brentford, in the final.
Brentford, beaten semi-finalists last year, went a stage further this
time largely because of the goalkeeping of Paddy Roche and the subtle
talent of Stan Bowles.
They beat Wimbledon 3-1 in the first round and a save by Roche from Gary Mabbutt's
penalty gave them a 2-1 win over Spurs after a penalty play-off in round two.
The semi-final against Crystal Palace was an unusually bad-tempered affair
but again Roche produced the crucial save, this time from David Giles,
to earn a 4-3 victory after penalties and a place In the final.
Brentford’s vastly more experienced, started favourites. But after Massey and Wynter
had both struck a post, Massey scored the opening goal.
Chris Kamara equalised for Brentford and Wynter confessed afterwards : “We
were pretty tired at that stage and I was beginning to have doubts about
But, Wynter stuck doggedly to his task and surprise, surprise, came up with
his now customary brace of goals to give Mllwall a 3-1 lead. The ageless
Bowles struck back to make it 3-2, but for Brentford it was too little, too late.
Theo Foley, Millwall's assistant manager, said: “They had a very difficult
path to the final and considering the average age was only 18, I think
they played superbly.”
Goalkeeper Paul Sansome and Massey were the oldest players at 21. McLeary is 18 and
John-Neal, Wynter and substitute Teddy Sheringham are all 17.
It was a spectacular night of goals an high octane thrills. In all 59 goals were
scored with Brentford’s Gary Roberts, Crystal Palace's Paul
Hinshelwood and Arsenal’s McDermott each hitting four.
Ironically, it was McDermott's penalty in the second round that put out the holders,
Fulham, the club with whom he has spent the last month on loan.
But the night belonged to little Roger Wynter, who had the pace and vision to
take up good positions and the skill to beat defenders in
“What I liked about him was his patience, said Robson. He was never hurried.
He tooktime and made sure with his shots.”
He certainly did that. It was a night he will not forget in a hurry either.
The Victorious Millwall team celebrate their Wembley success with
England -manager Bobby Robson (back, second left) and Standard
editor Louis Kirby (back, second right). And Roger Wynter (centre,
front) had plenty to celebrate - as Robson had just judged him
Player of the Night.
The other Millwall players are Andy Massey-the skipper-goalkeeper Paul
Sansome, Teddy Sheringham, John Neal and Alan McLeary.
Standard Picture: Stuart Robinson
Orient 1, Spurs 2
Wimbledon 1, Brentford 3
Arsenal 4, Chelsea 2
Fulham 2, QPR 1
Millwall 3, Charlton 2
Luton 2, West Ham 3
Palace 4, Watford 3 (pens)
Spurs 1, Brentford 2 (pens)
Arsenal 4, Fulham 3 (pens)
Millwall 2, West Ham 0
Palace 3, Brentford 4 (pens)
Arsenal 1, Millwall 3
Brentford 2, Millwall 3