Leyland Daf Final - Blues 3 - Tranmere 2

By Brian Cartlidge
Last updated : 23 October 2008
John Gayle
It was also fitting that this was a Birmingham side in more ways than one, with eight of the 13 man squad heralding from the West Midlands.

26th May, 1991 was an historic day for Blues fans as, for the first time in the clubs long history, a Blues captain, Vince Overson, climbed the steps at Wembley and held a cup aloft.

The star of the show was a 6ft 4in giant from Kings Heath by the name of John Gayle.

The former Wimbledon man scored two and set up the other goal in undoubtedly his best performance in a Blues shirt.

Blues started the game off at a frenetic pace with Tranmere's keeper Nixon having to make a couple of vital saves, before Gayle flicked the ball onto Sturridge who at the second attempt hooked home Blues 20th minute opener.

The rest of the first-half was all Blues and it was only fitting that they increased their lead just before the break.

Mark Yates played the ball into Gayle on the right hand side of the area. He dummied Vickers then hit a thunderous drive past the helpless Nixon.
Nixon then had to produce another save before the break as Rovers looked in danger of being embarrassed.

However, after the restart the game changed dramatically.
Irons came close for Tranmere before Rovers introduced Malkin and Martindale as substitutes.

Within a minute of their arrival Tranmere had pulled a goal back.

Malkin crossed for former Blues man Steve Cooper who turned the ball past Martin Thomas.

Tranmere were now in the ascendency and eight minutes later the Blues fans were silenced when Morrisey crossed for Steele to power a header home.

Having seen their two goal lead evaporate Blues panicked and Thomas had to save with his legs to prevent Irons from putting The Merseysiders in front.

But with time running out Clarkson sent over a free-kick which Overson headed on for the giant Gayle who turned and hooked a marvelous drive behond the flailing Nixon.

It was a moment of sheer inspiration and just six minutes later the referees whistle signalled Blues first trophy for 28 years.

LINE-UP:
Thomas; Clarkson, Overson, Matthewson, Frain, Yates, Peer, Robinson, Gleghorn, Gayle, Sturridge ( Bailey ). Sub. unused: Hopkins.

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