They thought it was all over: The year of the photo-finish: A day in fantasy land

THE LEGEND OF JIMMY GLASS
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The Independent Online
THERE WERE votes for Jimmy Glass as BBC sports personality of the year - and not just from addresses with Carlisle postcodes. In the end, though, when it came to prize-giving night, the goalscoring goalkeeper did not even get a mention. "Maybe it shows how people are perceiving the lower leagues now," he pondered. "The way things are now the Premier League's taken the limelight completely. It's like Des Lynam said on Match of the Day the night it happened: `Man of the day would be Jimmy Glass but we only deal with the Premier League'."

To those for whom the football world does not stop south of Sheffield Wednesday in the league tables, Glass is not so much a man of the day as a man for all seasons. Never has there been a fairy-tale of the unexpected quite like that of the on-loan goalkeeper whose 95th-minute goal, on the final day of last season, kept Carlisle United in the Football League and sent Scarborough into the Conference.

The BBC might have hastily consigned it to the cutting room floor, but the half-volley Glass scored from Graham Anthony's half-cleared corner at Brunton Park on 8 May, has a rightful place alongside Ronnie Radford's thunderbolt and the FA Cup-winning shots of Ian Porterfield and Bobby Stokes as one of the all-time classic goals of the romantic footballing genre. Not that the Jimmy Glass Story has been remotely romantic since that memorable afternoon.

He has returned to a life of goalkeeping obscurity, out of the first- team picture of late at Swindon Town. "The fact is it hasn't helped me to get on this season," the former Crystal Palace reserve and Bournemouth first-teamer lamented. "It seems like a million miles away now. But it's still in the back of my mind, obviously.

"I remember looking across at Nigel Pearson when we got the corner, because some managers don't like you going up for them. He waved me up, but I was already half way up the field, to be honest. I remember the ball was in the air when I arrived in the box. I thought of trying to get up for a header but I had no chance, so I kept on going, into the six yard box.

"The header went in. The Plymouth keeper parried it. And the ball just fell straight to me. I couldn't miss.

"It didn't hit me until I was under that pile of people. I said to the captain, Dave Brightwell, `I've just scored. I've just scored the winner'. He said, `Yeah, I know'. There seemed to be about 200 people on top of us.

"It's still there. It's still up there in my mind. But I've got to forget about it and get on with the rest of my career. It's not so much other people reminding me of it. It's myself. If things aren't going well for me, I've got to stop going back to it and thinking about it. I've got to get on with being a goalkeeper. And goalkeepers don't score goals. Goalkeepers save them."

Not that any goalkeeper is ever likely to save his team quite like Jimmy Glass did last May.

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