Stuart Pearce has claimed that the Portsmouth goalkeeper Dave Beasant was happy to let him score a history-making penalty – but he still put it over the crossbar.
The Manchester City veteran retired after the club's final game of the season, Sunday's 3-1 win over Portsmouth. In injury time, City were awarded a penalty that, had Pearce scored, would have been his 100th career goal and set a new club record of 109 goals for a league season.
As 34,000 fans waited to acclaim their hero, the 43-year-old Beasant had a word in Pearce's ear as he prepared to take the spot-kick.
"Beasant said he wasn't going to move and told me just to put it into the corner – and I go and miss the goal," Pearce said. "That just about sums me up. It was a comical end to the game, but typical of me. When I got a move to West Ham I broke my leg twice, and I took a penalty in a World Cup semi-final and missed it. There is always a sting in the tail when the Pearce does anything."
Meanwhile, the City manager Kevin Keegan will make the Dutch Under-21 centre-half Tyrone Loran his next Manchester City signing this week. Keegan is poised to recruit the strapping Volendam defender in the face of competition from both Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven.