‘I put Bayern Munich to bed for the last 25 years but you’ve reminded me this wasn’t something ordinary’: Norwich legend Jeremy Goss in conversation with former team-mate Chris Sutton
- In October 1993 Norwich City beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the Olympiastadion
- The game was the first leg of a UEFA Cup tie which City won 3-2 on aggregate
- Chris Sutton and Jeremy Goss, who scored in Munich, remember the night well
Jeremy Goss and Chris Sutton have reunited to relive the incredible night 25 years ago this month when Norwich City stunned Europe by slaying Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup.
No sooner have they arrived at Norwich’s Benedicts restaurant than Sutton’s attention has turned to a well-worn pair of football boots that his former team-mate has brought with him.
Sitting in a custom-made display case, the size 6½ Nike Tiempos are arguably the most famous boots in the club’s history.
Jeremy Goss (right) and Chris Sutton met to discuss Norwich’s famous win over Bayern Munich
They struck the flying volley that propelled the Canaries to that 2-1 victory over Bayern, the Germans’ only defeat by a British club at their Olympic Stadium.
But the story of these boots — and the man who wore them — can wait. Right now, Sutton is struck by just how small they look.
‘I wanted them to be dead, dead tight,’ explains Goss. ‘I put them in hot water and would play in them wet. It meant I could feel the ball better. When I came to strike it I didn’t slip in my boot.’
There were no slip-ups when the ball fell to Goss in Munich. Having finished third in the Premier League, Norwich were embarking on their first European campaign.
A trip to Bayern was reward for knocking out Vitesse Arnhem in the first round. With the Germans boasting World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus and Holland legend Jan Wouters, few gave Mike Walker’s side a prayer.
That all changed 12 minutes into the first leg when Rob Newman swung in a cross from the left, a back-pedalling Matthaus headed the ball up and Goss burst on to it at blistering pace. Sutton and Goss pick up the story…
Goss scored to help Norwich beat Bayern 2-1 in the Olympic Stadium in the UEFA Cup in 1993
SUTTON: What was going through your mind the second you hit that ball?
GOSS: A year previously I’d have brought that ball down, got it under control and then hit it. But you haven’t got time, especially against a team like that. I was full of confidence, so I just hit the thing. I didn’t have to break stride. It’s hard to articulate how it felt, other than the shivers that go down your spine and the huge surge of energy and adrenaline.
SUTTON: I didn’t realise your volley was as early as it was. It was a shock. Inside you’re feeling, ‘It doesn’t get much better than this’, and I didn’t even score it!
GOSS: You’re looking up at that huge scoreboard and it reads: Bayern Munich 0 Norwich 1. It gives you so much energy. You could have told me to run through a brick wall and I’d have tried to do it.
SUTTON: Then the second goal goes in and you’re wetting yourself. Bayern got a goal back before half-time but there was no point panicking. I always felt Mike knew which buttons to press. He said, ‘This is unbelievable, let’s see it through’.
GOSS: Bryan Gunn’s save (from Adolfo Valencia’s close-range header) at the end was terrific. It should have been 2-2 but he pulled a rabbit out of the hat.
SUTTON: Were we really that surprised we beat them?
GOSS: Not on the day. People were saying, ‘Tune in to watch Norwich get beat 10-0’, but we had created such a winning environment. We had Ian Culverhouse, Ian Crook and Mark Bowen from Spurs. Youngsters like you and Ruel Fox. Everyone from the kitman to Barry the bus driver was part of it. It was the same spirit Leicester had when they won the Premier League.
A young Sutton also played the full 90 minutes of what is arguably Norwich’s most famous win
SUTTON: The balance of the team was important. Crook couldn’t run very far, tackle or head it but he was a brilliant technician. He could see a pass. You had to do all his running in midfield!
GOSS: But he could nutmeg me in every session! He would have 20 fags and a beefburger and was still our best player. I roomed with Rob Newman but on one trip I shared with Crook. He stood on a chair smoking out of the window. Who would get away with that today? People thought we didn’t care, but that was far from the truth.
SUTTON: Your goal in Munich is the most iconic moment in Norwich history but people forget you equalised in the second leg. Talk about belief. To hit back and draw 1-1 after going a goal down early on was proof we were a good side.
GOSS: The last thing Mike said before was, ‘Don’t concede early!’
SUTTON: We weren’t a team that froze. Earlier that season we smashed Leeds 4-0 and you scored the goal of the season. We weren’t fussed with who we played.
GOSS: Even when we drew Milan in the third round I thought we’d beat them. I thought we were going to win the UEFA Cup.
Mike Walker (right) was the manager who masterminded Norwich’s stunning win over Bayern
To understand the significance of Munich for Goss, you have to trace his 12-year journey from an apprenticeship at Carrow Road. It is a tale of rejection, hard graft and little reward as he played 500-odd games in the reserves and spent two years out on loan.
‘I thought it was going to be Colchester,’ quips Goss, ‘but it was Lulea in north Sweden. Next stop Father Christmas!’
That time in Scandinavia nearly led to a permanent move. There was also a chance to link up with Mel Machin at Manchester City. So Sutton asks, ‘Did you ever think you weren’t going to make it?’
GOSS: I was going to give it up. I was going to be a triathlete and run around the world. It was Oxford away when I made my mind up. It was on that sloping pitch, a reserve game, wet, windy, horrible. I’d covered every blade of grass again and we’d still lost.
SUTTON: We played a lot together in the reserves. I got sent off in that game. I called the linesman a bald, speckie so-and-so…
GOSS: Dave Stringer, the Norwich manager, said come and see me Monday if you’ve got a problem. I told him I’d had enough. I’d argue that I should be playing ahead of Crook and Andy Townsend. But Townsend was full of confidence and self-belief — the opposite to me at that time. I was the easy lad to drop. Dave walked me round Carrow Road and promised me that my time would come.
SUTTON: Did you believe him?
GOSS: No, but it gave me hope. There was an honesty I could see that no other person had given me. But I was still making the coffee for the first-team lads on the bus.
Goss sprinted across the pitch, followed by his team-mates, to celebrate his goal in Munich
SUTTON: Walker was our reserve-team manager. Was he the difference?
GOSS: He was. The day he became manager he came up to me and said, ‘Gossy, I’m going to build my midfield around you’. He saw how despondent I’d become. Suddenly my chest was puffed out.
SUTTON: Mike was underrated as a manager. Often reserve-team managers are quite pally with the players and the transition to first-team manager can be tough. Those were the days when you’d have a crate of beer on the bus home. One trip, we played a game where we would hold on to the rails with both hands and someone else hit you in the stomach to see how long you could hold on.
GOSS: That was all part of the bonding process. Mike let you have a glass of wine on a Friday night. Some had two or three but it wasn’t an issue if you performed well. Every trip was a jolly-up but it was how we dealt with the pressure.
SUTTON: It sounds like we were totally unprofessional but you only had to look at how we trained.
GOSS: My dad was in the army and he always said, ‘If you’re dead, you’ve got another 10 per cent’. When I first came to the club in 1981, we were hopping up sandbanks for three weeks in pre-season. We didn’t touch a ball. If you spew, they’ll pick you up, pat you on the back, kick you up the a*** and say, ‘Get on with it’. That method of getting people fit did not change for 10 years.
The game is remembered for the Goss goal, but victory was earned by City’s relentless effort
Such a gruelling road to the top goes a long way to explaining why Goss has kept so much memorabilia from the 1993 UEFA Cup run.
The boots are not his only mementos. One frame contains signed shirts from each opponent on the European tour. Others display jerseys worn by Matthaus and Inter’s Dennis Bergkamp.
‘It was my testimonial year and I got both their shirts,’ says Goss. ‘Dennis was different class. He and Foxy got nominated for drug tests and were upstairs waiting to p*** in a bottle. I went into the room, asked him for his shirt and got him to sign it while he was waiting.
‘After the Bayern second leg, I got Matthaus’s shirt but he chucked mine on the floor. A fan picked it up, gave it to someone who knew me and they gave it back to me. I may have it. I’d better look in my loft a bit deeper…’
There is also a blown-up front page of the Eastern Daily Press depicting Goss, distinctive blond curls flowing, going head to head with Bergkamp.
‘My barnet was outstandingly good,’ he grins. ‘It was almost my brand. It was falling out for fun but I thought I couldn’t cut it because then people would think, “Who is he?” There were five lads who turned up to games with G-O-S-S-Y on their front and wearing wigs. Even something as silly as that, I was soaking it all up. I had spent so long attempting to get to this moment.
‘When I look at all this, I just see my mates. I see the boys and the things we achieved as a squad of players.’
Lothar Matthaus (pictured stooping in front of Sutton) was among the Bayern stars on show
There is a feeling that, at 28, the glory days arrived too late for Goss. Things quickly unravelled at Norwich and less than a month after Bergkamp and eventual champions Inter had ended their European dream, Walker left for Everton.
Soon afterwards, Fox went to Newcastle and Sutton became the most expensive player in English football that summer when he joined Blackburn for £5million.
Norwich were relegated in 1995 and Goss left the club for Hearts the following year. He called time on his career three years later after a spell at King’s Lynn.
He still lives in Norfolk with wife Margaret. His twin boys Joseph and Jacob, who have just turned 20, play table tennis at national level and are keen to pursue careers in the sport. Goss now works as head of fund-raising for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind. Like many former players, he struggled to find the right role in football once he retired.
He ended up back at Norwich as sales and sponsorship manager, a role which he found uncomfortable. ‘I worked hard to get a car sponsored for this one player,’ he says. ‘His response when I introduced him to the guy who had just given him a free car was, “Have you got it in another colour?'”
Local hero Goss lives in Norfolk, working for the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind
He then became the club’s community ambassador, which involved visiting schools, coaching and public speaking. He enjoyed the job but it was cut short.
‘Norwich are a fantastic club but it is not the club I remember or know any more,’ he says. ‘I appreciate my time there, even though my exit was not welcome.’
He turns to Sutton. ‘It gets quite emotional, talking about Munich,’ says Goss. ‘Those were such good times for me. I can’t describe how good they were and what we went through. But it will never happen again. It’s parked and you’ve got your own problems that you have to deal with now. It’s as though it never happened.
‘I have put it to bed for 25 years but coming here today, I’m bloody pleased. You, Chris, have reminded me of what I’ve done and I’ve enjoyed talking about it for a change. You understand that this wasn’t something ordinary.’
For more information on the Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind, go to: www.nnab.org.uk
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