Exciting winger Danny Wallace, who lit up The Dell in the 1980s, shares his favourite Southampton memories...
I think it’s got to be the overhead kick against Liverpool – even though I thought the header in the same game was better! The overhead kick won the Goal of the Season that year and that’s the one most people talk about, so I would have to say that one.
Scoring my first hat-trick against Coventry in the 8-2 win towards the end of the 1983/84 season. Steve Moran also scored a hat-trick, but he’d scored a couple before, so when we went into the dressing room all the players said I should have the matchball! I scored three hat-tricks for Southampton – the one against Coventry, one against Middlesbrough and one against Stoke – and I’ve still got all three matchballs at home.
Signing for Southampton as an apprentice, making my Southampton debut and winning my one and only England cap. I scored as well, so that gives me a one hundred per cent record! I thought I was good enough to get in a lot more squads than I did, so it was disappointing that I was never able to kick on after that first cap – that’s probably the only real disappointment I ever had in football. The likes of John Barnes and Chris Waddle were absolutely tremendous players and maybe the manager at the time, Bobby Robson, didn’t like me, but even to play for your country once is brilliant. I got 14 caps for the Under-21s, so I can’t complain really – I had a good career.
For me, because these players made a few goals for me, I would say Jimmy Case and Steve Williams. They were the midfielders that used to fire in the balls for me to run on to. Jimmy was just incredible – a great passer of the ball and I loved the way we gelled on the pitch. I could just flick my head and he’d know I’d be running, and he’d put the ball right in front of me. He was definitely one of the best players I played with in my career – not just at Southampton.
‘Chicken George’ (Lawrence) was one of my best friends and we still keep in touch now. We’ve been speaking almost non-stop for 40 years! I used to room with David Armstrong and we got on really, really well. He was another tremendous player for Southampton and really funny to be around.
Lawrie (McMenemy) and Sir Alex (Ferguson) were very similar characters. I couldn’t choose one over the other, but I was at Southampton for nine years and Lawrie was brilliant with me as a man-manager – just a really lovely person. Sir Alex was the same, you could speak to him about anything. At the time that I signed for Manchester United, he was struggling, but you could see the players that were coming up behind us, like David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, and you knew they were going to come in and take over. They went on to win a lot of trophies and Sir Alex is remembered as one of the best managers in English football history.
I think the 1982/83 season, when I was top scorer. It was my first full season, I was scoring goals and I could really feel myself getting into it. I was pleased with the nine years I had at Southampton, and I was always looking to get into double figures for goals.
Best opposition player?
Paul Parker, who later became a teammate at Manchester United. When he was at Queens Park Rangers, we always had a really good tussle. His pace was on a par with mine, so we had some good battles. He later became a friend, but it was always good to pit our skills against each other.
Best opposition team?
Definitely Liverpool – they were the team of the 80s with the players they had and the amount of times they won the league. I remember the FA Cup semi-final when they beat us 2-0 – they were so organised and hard to beat, and there were times when we really struggled against them.
Best away day?
Obviously Old Trafford was a great place, with loads of fans there. The atmosphere made it a really nice place to play. White Hart Lane was another one I enjoyed, and I scored a few goals at Highbury, so I liked playing there too. The London ones were always good for me because I could go home after the majority of the games!