Ken Reminisces

Kenny Brown says he can't believe it is 10 years since he scored THAT goal against Manchester United.

With the Hammers already relegated, the unlikeliest of scorers popped up to effectively end the Red Devils' title hopes as Leeds overtook them for the title.

The 1-0 win may have only been temporary comfort in a season that saw West Ham lose top flight status, but the game has gone down in the club's folklore as one of the great nights.

"Is it really 10 years - flipping heck!" is the - censored - reaction of Kenny, when told it is nearly a decade off that famous goal.

"I haven't spoken to Alex since that game but I spoke to Mark Hughes with the Welsh team whose base is near us, and his first words were 'hello Kenny, how is that knee of yours?' - a reference to the fact that some thought it was a lucky strike.

"He has a laugh and we had a bit of fun with that, but as for Alex, I don't think he will even remember me - but I didn't realise it was 10 years ago."

It was reported that Sir Alex had claimed West Ham's effort was 'obscene' that night, but whether that really was said remains to be seen.

"It came out in the press from somewhere, but he doesn't mention it in his book, and whether he actually said it or not, I don't know," says Kenny, now player/boss at Barry Town.

"I get a bit of stick from the players here whenever it is mentioned about them blowing the title, but it is nice to be remembered for something and, with it being a pleasing event, it makes it all the more special.

"It was under the lights, the expectation was there, and the longer the game goes on at 0-0, you are always in with a shout.

"Obviously the crowd was fully behind us and it was nice to give the fans something to shout about after a poor season."

Recalling the goal itself, he says:

"I remember starting on the near post because they had a corner, we cleared it and it went out to Stuart Slater who ran half the pitch, and I was just trying to keep up with play.

"His cross wasn't the best but Gary Pallister had enough time to control it, but took a swing at it as I was still making my way into the box.

"I just opened my foot up and, as there was already pace on the ball, it was just a case of trying to deflect it towards the goal, and fortunately enough it just flew into the corner.

"But it definitely wasn't off my shin, it was smack off the middle of my foot; I tried to guide it in and hope for the best, and fortunately it went into the corner.

"If they had scored an early goal the celebrations might have been a bit more subdued but with all the rivalry between Man U and West Ham, and the national, not exactly hatred, but trying to get one over on them, meant that no one forgets it.

"Our fans hadn't had a lot to cheer that season but it was one night they will recall from it, so it is nice to be remembered for something special like that."

Kenny hopes to see the game on Saturday, and adds:

"I might be coming down to that one because we play on Friday night; all supporters, if they are going to watch one game, watch this one - that's how it is.

"I came over at the beginning of the season for the Newcastle game and my wife tries to get back once a month because family and friends are here.

"But my hands are a little bit tied at Barry, but if I can get over, then brilliant, and this is the first weekend I've been able to get over.

"The home form has been up there with the best of them, and it has got all the makings of a cracker.

"At the moment there is a little 'thing' with them and I am sure the Man United lads will want to readdress it - but I'm sure Glenn and the players have got something up their sleeve."

As for his time at Barry Town - the giants of the Welsh league, he says:

"I came down to Barry about 18 months ago as player coach under Peter Nicholas and they offered me the manager's job when he went to Swansea.

"I have just extended my contract until the summer of 2005.

"The Welsh league is a lot different from the English one, and we are the only full professional one in the League of Wales, although there will be some more next year.

"The day to day stuff is no different from any other league club, and everyone is looking to catch up with our standard."

And, if he doesn't exactly know how Sir Alex feels as boss of Manchester United, he at least has an inkling of being boss of the side teams most want tp beat.

"With the stuff that Barry have won over the years here, we are the team that everyone wants you to beat, and people do compare you with Manchester United - the set up is very professional.

"I have got some good players here, good people around me, and the chairman lets me get on with the football side of things, which is what I want to do.

"Football has changed quite a bit over the years and it is an enjoyable experience learning; results are proving I'm doing a half decent job and we'll see how it goes until the end of the season.

"At the start of the season we are expected to go and win everything and when we have a couple of iffy results everyone jumps on our backs.

"We are going well, and I think that is where the comparison is.

"I wouldn't compare us with them but when we go to grounds in Wales other teams have their best game of the season and want to turn us over.

"But they have it on a massive scale, and you have to take your hat off to them, because they feed off it and churn out results every week."