Football: Action Replay - Briggs in tears after United's record home defeat
Manchester United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 7
Monday 15 February 1999
He had a nightmare in a dream match and in seven dreadful minutes presented Sheffield Wednesday with three goals. The score zoomed from 1-1 to 4-1 against United as Briggs let a shot from Alan Finney spin out of his arms (30 minutes), grasped with wild inaccuracy at a header from Keith Ellis (33 minutes) and, after diving bravely at the toes of Ellis, failed to grab the ball (37 minutes).
And there were no smiles in the Irish eyes of Briggs when the whistle mercifully ended the slaughter at 7-2, United's worst post-war home defeat.
The boy, in white pants six inches too short for his lanky legs, came off the field last and alone - clutching his cap, covering his tears with his left hand and loping with schoolboy awkwardness towards the players' tunnel.
In his last stride he paused to look up shyly at the packed stand, expecting, perhaps, assault or abuse. He received neither. Manchester, bless its broken, sporting heart, gave him a cheer.
So now Sheffield go to Leyton Orient in the fifth round for London's only Cup tie. Orient manager Les Gore watched this replay and must have been impressed by an all-round side that can play rough or smooth.
They needed their toughness against some of the tackles of United captain Maurice Setters and inside-right Nobby Stiles. But these were jarring notes in the subtle, inventive rhythm of United's attack. I am sure they would have won but for this difference - United were shooting against Ron Springett of England, Wednesday only against shattered Briggs of the `A' team.
Goals: Fantham (3) 0-1; Pearson (4) 1-1; Finney (30) 1-2; Ellis (33) 1-3; Ellis (37) 1-4; Fantham (52) 1-5; Dawson 2-5 (65); Ellis (74) 2- 6; Finney (84) 2-7.
Manchester United: Briggs; Brennan, Cantwell; Setters, Foulkes, Nicholson; Quixall, Stiles, Dawson, Pearson, Charlton.
Sheffield Wednesday: Springett; Johnson, Megson; McAnearney, O'Donnell, Kay; Wilkinson, Craig, Ellis, Fantham, Finney.
Wednesday were eventually knocked out by Burnley in the quarter-finals but went on to claim the runners-up spot behind Tottenham in the First Division championship. Briggs played only 11 games for United (who finished a distant seventh in the League that season) and three years later moved to Swansea City. He also played for Bristol Rovers and won two caps for Northern Ireland.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery NurseI am currently...
£21000 - £34000 per annum + Excellent rates of pay, CPD, Support : Randstad Ed...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...