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hendrie's awesome ayresome farewell; middlesbrough memories 25 YEARS AGO TODAY: Scottish striker John scores the last ever goal at Boro's famous old ground to send Bryan Robson's men into the Prem.

Byline: IAN MURTAGH EXCLUSIVE

TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, Middlesbrough striker John Hendrie wrote himself into the history books with the last-ever goal at Ayresome Park.

It was the perfect afternoon for the Scot and Bryan Robson's Boro, who clinched promotion back to the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Luton.

And while the result capped a fairytale first season in management for Manchester United legend Robbo, Hendrie's two goals that day earned him hero status on Teesside.

Yet, within months, the man of the moment on April 30, 1995, had become yesterday's man - a bit-part player in a much-changed Boro squad whose plush new ground a mile down the road now hosted superstars like Juninho, Fabrizio Ravanelli and Emerson.

It was a new era for the upwardly-mobile Teessiders, who swapped their dilapidated home of 92 years for one of the game's most impressive stadia.

Hendrie, however, had to wait until October that year to make his debut at the Riverside and within 12 months he was on his way to Barnsley having been usurped by Juninho and his fellow Galacticos.

"I tore my groin in a pre-season friendly in Norway and missed the first few weeks of the season," recalled Hendrie.

"But I remember when I eventually started, Viv Anderson, who was Robbo's No.2, coming up to me and asking me to look after Juninho who was still getting accustomed to the English game.

"I took that as a real compliment asking to mentor someone who was one of the world's best players.

"But in reality, I knew Boro was a very different club now, on another stratosphere from a few years earlier with a bright, young manager, big signings and a spanking new home. I was still part of the squad if not the main man anymore. I never felt my nose was put out of joint the following year.

"My attitude was 'I'm going to enjoy the ride' and I did." But nothing topped that late-April afternoon the previous campaign. Hendrie, now 56, said: "Under Bryan, there were no shackles on or off the pitch. It was a fun time to be at Boro.

"And that afternoon of the Luton game was like a carnival, red and white everywhere and a parade of club legends before kick-off.

"I remember sitting in the dressing room thinking we couldn't afford to be distracted by at Iall that razzamatazz as we still had to see off Bolton for the title."

ride." In the end, the game, in front of a crowd of 23,903, could not have worked out any better for Hendrie, who followed up his first-half goa with the winner, a tap-in from six yards after Derek Whyte put it on a plate for him.

"It was one of the easiest goals I've ever scored," added the ex-Newcastle and Leeds forward, who admits it was only in later years he realised the significance of that goal.

A week after scoring Ayresome Park's last goal, Hendrie was being chaired off the pitch by celebrating away fans at Tranmere when he lost his right boot - the one which had stroked the ball into the net at the Holgate End.

He wasn't reunited with it until last year when a fan came up to him when he was visiting the Riverside. Hendrie said: "He approached me and said, 'I've your boot from Tranmere'.

got T 95 "The left boot had always been on display at the ground, but I presumed the right one had ended up in a skip.

oi "When it was eventually returned, my kids got it encased and presented it to me at Christmas.

wrgaiC F A GDPTS 21 67 82 23 58 79 32 67 77 43 77 76 35 67 76 33 63 72 29 52 70 34 74 68 28 66 66 37 62 65 32 50 63 38 60 62 48 54 62 39 60 61 41 58 59 34 61 58 40 58 58 35 53 58 33 5158 23 41 54 46 54 48 41 49 46 35 42 45 38 45 40 "My wife says it's like something out of Cinderella - the lost slipper - and I suppose it is because that boot is part of Boro folklore."

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it is Toi rgaiC io- - ibB PW DL F AWD L F A GDPTS 1 Middlesbrough.. 46 15 44 41 19 8 9 6 26 21 67 82 2 Reading............ 46 12 74 34 21 11 39 24 23 58 79 3 Bolton .............. 46 16 61 43 13 58 10 24 32 67 77 4 Wolves.............. 46 15 53 39 18 68 9 38 43 77 76 5 Tranmere.......... 46 17 42 51 23 5 6 12 16 35 67 76 6 Barnsley........... 46 15 62 42 19 5 6 12 21 33 63 72 7 Watford............. 46 14 63 33 17 5 7 11 19 29 52 70 8 Sheffield Utd.... 46 12 92 41 21 58 10 33 34 74 68 9 Derby ............... 46 12 65 44 23 66 11 22 28 66 66 10 Grimsby .......... 46 12 74 36 19 5 7 11 26 37 62 65 11 Stoke ............... 46 10 76 31 21 68 9 19 32 50 63 12 Millwall ........... 46 11 8 4 36 22 5 6 12 24 38 60 62 13 Southend ........ 46 13 28 33 25 5 6 12 21 48 54 62 14 Oldham ........... 46 12 74 34 21 46 13 26 39 60 61 15 Charlton.......... 46 11 66 33 25 5 5 13 25 41 58 59 16Luton..............46 8 69353077 92634 61 58 17 Port Vale ......... 46 11 5 7 30 24 48 11 28 40 58 58 18 Portsmouth .... 46 9 8 6 31 28 65 12 22 35 53 58 19WestBrom......4613 37332437131833 5158 20Sunderland....46 512622227610 1923 41 54 21 Swindon..........46 9 68 28 27 36 14 26 46 54 48 22 Burnley .......... 46 8 7 8 36 33 36 14 13 41 49 46 23 Bristol City..... 46 8 8 7 26 28 34 16 16 35 42 45 24 Notts County . 46 7 8 8 26 28 25 16 19 38 45 40 DIVISION ONE TABLE 1994-95Under Bryan Robson there were no shackles on or off the pitch. It was a fun time to be at Middlesbrough. I enjoyed the rideMIDDLESBROUGH: Miller, Cox, Whyte, Vickers, Pearson, Blackmore, Robson, Pollock, Fjortoft, Hendrie, Moore. LUTON: Davies, Linton, Johnson, Waddock, Harvey, Peake, Telfer, Oakes, Taylor, Preece, Marshall. THE TEAMS BORO 2 LUTON 1

CAPTION(S):

GETTING THE BOOT FOR XMAS Hendrie shows off the famous boot which was returned to him long after scoring the final Ayresome Park goal

START THE HEN PARTY Boro's John Hendrie taps home the final goal scored at Ayresome Park
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN MURTAGH EXCLUSIVE
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 30, 2020
Words:1130
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