Star-studded line-ups from two of the Wanderers’ most successful eras were the top attractions at the Wycombe Ex-Players Association’s ninth annual dinner at Adams Park last Friday.
And to cap a great night for over 200 former players, family, fans and friends, they were joined by two of the biggest names to have managed the Blues.
Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert linked up with other former Wycombe bosses Brian Lee, Peter Suddaby and Alan Gane as the Association paid tribute to the Boys of ’57 and the 2007 squad which did wonders to reach the semi-final of the League Cup.
Although there was half a century separating the two groups, there was real camaraderie between them as they settled back to relive on video a couple of the most significant events in the club’s history. Both sets of players recounted special moments from those two Cup runs – many which had the audience rocking with laughter or enthralled by the memories.
Five of Wycombe’s surviving six squad members from that trip to Wembley against Bishop Auckland – Dennis Syrett, Mike Wicks, Dennis Atkins, Jim Truett and Len Worley – were there 60 years on. And their evening was topped off as Club Chairman Trevor Stroud presented them with WWEPA’s highest honour, Lifetime Membership awards. Cliff Trott, not quite fit enough at 88 to travel from his home in Suffolk, will receive his in due course.
Bringing things slightly more up-to-date, there was plenty of applause too for those players from a decade ago who had battled through six epic rounds to face Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the semi-final of the League Cup. Skipper Tommy Mooney returned along with Sergio Torres, Will Antwi, Kevin Betsy and goal hero Jermaine Easter, the first man to score in every round of the competition up to and including the semi-final.
A star-studded backroom staff also turned up in force including Steve Brown, Keith Ryan, Scott Marshall, Terry Evans, physio Dave Jones, club doctor Gina Allan plus groundsman and kitman Jim Gardner. Along with Paul Lambert, returning to the club for the first time in ten years, they watched every goal from that memorable run. Matt Bloomfield, the only player still at Wycombe a decade on, provided highlights and inside stories on tape.
Although Bloomers couldn’t attend because of playing duties the following day, Assistant boss Richard Dobson and Coach Barry Richardson represented the current club along with Directors from the Club and Trust boards and there were players from every era from the 50s onwards. They were given a final treat when Martin O’Neill flew back specially from Dublin and talks with his Republic of Ireland bosses to add his own special brand of humour to close a fantastic evening.
See Sunday's programme for a photo gallery from the night, via Anita Ross Marshall.