KEANE INSPIRED BY PORTERFIELD’S HEROICSSEP 13 2007
by Paul Gilder, The Journal
ic Newcastle.co.uk, UK
Thursday 13th September 2007
ROY Keane last night admitted that Ian Porterfield’s memorable
exploits in the 1973 FA Cup final would inspire him in his attempts
to end Sunderland’s long wait for more significant silverware.
Porterfield lost his fight against cancer on Tuesday evening, but
having scored the winning goal against Don Revie’s Leeds United
beneath Wembley’s twin towers 34 years ago, a prominent place in
Wearside folklore is assured.
As he paid tribute to a man he described as a ‘legend’, Keane insisted
that the popular Scot’s immense contribution to the club will never
And the Black Cats boss will use the midfielder’s achievements to
set an example to Sunderland’s present players, with Keane last night
adamant that what Porterfield did in North London in 1973 should give
all at the club ‘a bit of hope’.
"It was a cup final that a lot of people remember because of the
shock," said the Irishman, who was still awaiting his second birthday
when Porterfield fired his Second Division side to a remarkable
triumph against esteemed opponents.
"People talk about the goal and the save (that Jim Montgomery made
from Peter Lorimer) and it will always be remembered.
"There are other cup finals that I don’t remember too much about. But,
like most people, I know about that one. It was an upset and that’s
the beauty of football, you don’t know what’s going to happen.
" Everyone thought that Leeds were going to walk it.
It gives us all a bit of hope."
Sunderland have not won major silverware since Porterfield guided
Bob Stokoe’s team to the result that few had forecast and although he
remains a relative newcomer to Wearside, Keane understands the esteem
in which a player who spent 10 years at Roker Park is still held.
The flags outside the Stadium of Light were flying at half-mast
yesterday and Stokoe’s statue was designated as a suitable place for
tributes to be paid.
"I was (already) aware of the 1973 cup final, but more so since I
came to Sunderland," said the Black Cats boss, whose players will pay
their respects prior to Saturday’s important Premier League fixture
against Reading. A man who, until three weeks ago was coaching the
Armenian national team, also played for and managed the Royals during
a colourful career that took him all over the world.
"It’s very sad news," added Keane. "The word ‘legend’ is over-used
in football, but having scored the goal he did, Ian Porterfield is
a Sunderland legend. He will always be remembered by the Sunderland
fans so it’s a very sad time for the club – 61 is no age."
Porterfield was diagnosed with colon cancer in February, but following
intensive treatment in Armenia, he continued to work. His final
contribution to football came last month when his little-fancied team
held Portugal during a memorable European Championship qualifier in
Yerevan. For that he will long be remembered in Armenia. For what he
did on May 5, 1973, he will always be remembered on Wearside.
Nine of Porterfield’s FA Cup-winning team-mates (Montgomery, Micky
Horswill, Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Ritchie Pitt, Ron Guthrie, Dennis
Tueart, Billy Hughes and David Young) will be at the Stadium of Light
this weekend. It promises to be an emotional occasion.
Players and supporters will celebrate Porterfield’s life with a moment
of applause before kick-off and Brian Moore’s famous commentary will
be played over the public address system. Players from both sides
will wear black armbands during the subsequent game.