Reunion at the Banks's this Friday...On Friday 18th November, we will be hosting a reunion of the famous 1988 Walsall team.
Tommy Coakley’s Saddlers finished third in the Old Division Three during the 1987/88 season and won promotion in the play-offs after thrashing Bristol City 4-0 in a replay.
Club legend David Kelly scored a hat-trick, with Phil Hawker also on target in front of more than 13,000 at Fellows Park – a fitting way to mark our centenary year!
Walsall also played a Manchester United team featuring the likes of Bryan Robson and Paul McGrath in a special 100-year anniversary fixture.
Ahead of this month’s reunion, we caught up with two members of that promotion-winning squad, Chris Marsh and Mark Rees, to get a flavour of what is to come…
Q: So first of all, how much are you both looking forward to the reunion?
CM: Very much so. It was an idea that I had with Mark Rees and the response we’ve had off the lads – some we haven’t spoken to for years – has been really good. They’re looking forward to coming down and we’re hoping to have around 20-25 lads from that team, so it should be a great night.
MR: I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve got people coming back from Scotland for it and it’ll be great to see everyone of what that team achieved. It was a great time for the club and all the players.
Q: What are your main memories of that season?
CM: I was in the second year of my apprenticeship and Tommy Coakley came in and liked me. He put me in the squad and in January I made my debut and scored with my first touch. I played a few times that season and it was a fantastic achievement to win promotion.
MR: I remember how well the team played. Some of the football we played was second to none and we kept the ball so well. We had some great players. Tommy Coakley came on board and brought some lads over from Scotland which just tweaked the team a little bit more. David Kelly was scoring goals for fun so they’re great memories.
Q: Winning promotion as well really was the perfect way to mark our centenary year…
CM: You couldn’t have written it! We played well and had some good players. David Kelly scored goals, we had creative players in Willie Naughton and Craig Shakespeare, and we had a great defence as well. We had the spine of a very good team and we proved it that year.
MR: It was just unbelievable. It was great that we won promotion at home as well against Bristol City and we played very well on the day. It was a big party atmosphere and the celebrations probably lasted for about a month!
Tickets for the evening are just £15 for season ticket holders and £20 for non-season ticket holders.
The price includes a pie, chips and a pint. There will also be an opportunity to meet the players and ask them questions in a Q&A.
To book your ticket, please contact the Ticket Office on 01922 651 416 or contact Wayne Thomas, our Commercial Manager, on 01922 651 400.