The Czech keeper at the Vetch

There is one more incident that really stands out for me and it’s from a Wales v Czechoslovakia European Championship qualifier played on 21st April 1971. Despite being just under 11 years old, it’s stick in my mind every since.

Wales were leading 1 – 0 with less than quarter of an hour to go but eventually lost 3 – 1.

Their goalkeeper, Ivo Viktor, was outstanding on the night and pulled off many great saves. At the time, he was rated about the best in Europe and certainly lived up to the billing that night. I was standing behind the goals on the old bank that had railway sleepers that you stood on. Just before the referee blew the final whistle, an old man shouted to Viktor who turned around. The old man then managed to pick up a piece of one of the sleepers and huled it at the net shouting “You’ve saved everything tonight, see if you can save this?” Viktor looked at the old man and burst in to a smile.

Despite being just under 11 years old at the time, it’s stuck in my mind ever since and at least we had one good memory from the night!

By David Bevan

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Filed under 1970s, Hooliganism

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