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December 1963 (Oh What A Night)

Incredible find 'reunites' Morecambe football hero with winner's medal 50 years after Wembley win

Dave Roberts, player-manager of Morecambe FC when they won the FA Trophy in 1974, receives the medal from Shrimps co-chairman Rod Taylor

A chance discovery 'reunited' a Morecambe FC legend with a winner's medal from a famous match at Wembley 50 years ago.

Dave Roberts was player-manager of the Shrimps when they triumphed in the FA Trophy Final at the national stadium in 1974.

But Dave's winner's medal from that day was stolen years ago from his mother's house.

Many years later, current Morecambe FC co-chairman Rod Taylor stumbled across a medal in an auction of sports memorabilia.

Realising it was an FA Trophy medal from the Morecambe vs Dartford match, Rod bought it.

This past weekend, Dave and many of his team-mates from the Wembley victory were back at Morecambe FC on Friday for a celebratory dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the match, which was played on April 27 1974.

Then on Saturday, just before Morecambe's final League 2 home game of the season against Forest Green, Rod surprised Dave by presenting him with the medal in the club's Local Choice Suite.

They can't be sure if the medal is the same one which was stolen, but Rod believes it might be.

Dave, who now lives in Sussex, said he was incredibly moved by the gesture, telling Rod: "You don't know what this means to me."

Speaking to Beyond Radio afterwards, Dave said: "I feel absolutely wonderful about it.

"I had a medal similar to that from my time at Macclesfield, and they were stolen from my mother's house while I was overseas, maybe in the 90s.

"It's been very very annoying and upsetting for me. I thought I'd be able to give my medals to my grandchildren. But I'd resigned myself to never seeing them again.

"So I was absolutely shocked when he approached me with the medal. Tears were coming into my eyes.

"He thinks it could be my medal. I don't know. It could well be mine.

"I think Rod is absolutely fantastic for doing that."

Dave also said he'd had a fabulous time over the entire weekend, on his return to Morecambe FC.

"The Friday night event was absolutely stunning, I don't think they could have bettered it.

"I haven't seen some of the lads for nearly 50 years.

"Thanks go to everybody involved, including Les Taylor (from the Former Players Association) who got in touch with everyone and brought everyone together."

 

Morecambe's journey to FA Trophy glory

In the 1973-74 season, under the reign of Dave Roberts, the Shrimps competed in the Northern Premier League, which was at the time the top flight of non-league football.

The league campaign was pretty unremarkable, with Morecambe finishing 17th in the table, but despite this, the Shrimps came to be a very useful cup side.

The Trophy campaign began with a 3-0 victory over Mexborough Town, but round two was delayed because of a floodlight ban imposed as part of restrictions of the three-day week.

Eventually, Morecambe played Bangor City at Christie Park on a Sunday morning, winning 2-1.

That set up a home tie with Southern League champions Kettering Town, and player-manager Ron Atkinson. The Shrimps won a replay 2-1, before beating Bedford in a fourth-round tie 1-0.

South Shields were next in a two-legged semi-final.

Morecambe won 3-0 on aggregate to book the club’s place at Wembley.

On April 27, 1974, a crowd of 19,000 saw the Shrimps take on Southern League side Dartford.

Malcolm Richmond put the Shrimps ahead, before Jimmy Sutton helped to ensure that the dreams of all Morecambe fans in the stadium came true when he scored the second and vital goal.

Morecambe held out despite a late Dartford consolation and the game was won 2-1, to seal their place in the history books.

Morecambe’s team: Coates, Pearson, Bennett, Sutton, Street, Baldwin, Done, Webber, Roberts (Galley), Kershaw and Richmond.

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