The 14th of August is a famous date in the Chairboys’ history – not for dull draws at Stockport or Northampton, a League Cup loss at Plymouth or a 1-0 triumph in Scunthorpe – but as the anniversary of their first ever match in the Football League, played on this very date 25 years ago.
The most eagerly-anticipated ‘fixture release day’ in the club’s history would have most likely been met with groans as the computer threw out an opening day trip to Carlisle United – the longest journey of the season. However, that didn’t stop around 1,500 Wanderers fans making the pilgrimage north, to see the Blues – in a green and white striped shirt – taking to the field in a Football League match for the very first time.
Steve Thompson holds the claim to fame for being the first Chairboy to touch the ball in the league, but the first player to score for Wycombe was actually a Carlisle player – defender Chris Curran. After the Cumbrians had opened the scoring through Rod Thomas on 19 minutes, Curran inadvertently steered the ball into his own net after Keith Scott’s header from Dave Carroll’s corner had bounced off the bar and into the defender’s path.
Just as Buzz Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong into the history books, Steve Guppy wrote his own name into Wycombe Wanderers folklore, turning home from close range to make it 2-1 on 76 minutes.
An opening day victory was denied, however, by Curran, who made amends for his own goal by rifling home an equaliser with eight minutes left on the clock to make it 2-2.
After the game, boss Martin O'Neill said: "Before the game I would have settled for not being beaten but when we've got 2-1 in front I'm a bit disappointed we've conceded the goal - it doesn't matter now I suppose - we're off the mark." He then added: "If that's the sort of thing of thing we're in for in this league, then it's going to be hard for us."
Click here for some comprehensive facts and figures about the club's quarter of a century in the Football League via chairboys.co.uk.