Aside from his instantly recognisable terrace chant, the most memorable thing about Ludek Miklosko’s West Ham United career was his Premier League title-denying performance against Manchester United in May 1995.
The Hammers had only pride to play for when Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils visited the Boleyn Ground 25 years ago, having beaten Liverpool 3-0 four days previously to end any lingering relegation fears.
Manchester United, meanwhile, knew victory, combined with a Blackburn Rovers draw or defeat at Anfield, would secure their third consecutive title.
Rovers took an early lead at Liverpool through Alan Shearer, and when Michael Hughes put West Ham ahead against Manchester United on 31 minutes, Ferguson’s side needed a Liverpool equaliser and two goals of their own to turn things around.
I have been asked about the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground in May 1995 so many times, but I will never get tired of talking about it!
They got one when Brian McClair levelled seven minutes after half-time and were further boosted when John Barnes pegged Blackburn back midway through the second half.
All Manchester United required was a goal and the title would be theirs, only for Miklosko to produce a performance that was not so much from near Moscow, but out of this world!
The Czech thwarted Andrew Cole and his increasingly desperate teammates time and again and, when the final whistle went, even though West Ham manager Harry Redknapp’s son Jamie had scored a late Liverpool winner at Anfield, it was Blackburn who were crowned champions.
“I have been asked about the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground in May 1995 so many times, but I will never get tired of talking about it!” Miklosko smiled, all these years on.
“In fact, I was at Manchester United’s training ground recently with some young goalkeepers – I am now a player representative – and there were staff members there who remembered that game.
“Some of them came up to me and talked about the game and a few of them said ‘I was there and remember that game and I hated you!’. We had a good laugh about it.
“It was one of those games when everything went for me, but it was also a good team performance, too.
“We scored a good goal and we defended so well to stop Manchester United, who were a very good team and wanted to win the title on the final day of the season!”