Exclusive preview from PT’s 24-page JPT Wembley Final supplement - out Thursday: Darren Ferguson nearly broke his neck celebrating a goal in the Football League Trophy Final.
The current Peterborough United boss skippered Wrexham in the 2005 Final at the Millennium Stadium and scored the match-clinching second goal in a 2-0 win over Southend.
Ferguson appeared in the Southend penalty area in the last minute of extra time to power home a left-footed shot from 10 yards before embarking on a celebration that Nani and Lua Lua might have found easy, but which the play-making midfielder didn’t.
“I lost my mind a bit,” Ferguson admitted. “It was the 119th minute of a draining game and I have no idea what I was doing in the opposition penalty area at the time.
“A right-wing cross came over, a defender missed it and I slammed it into the net. It obviously meant that we would win the game so I took off to near the corner flag and attempted some sort of somersault.
“It wasn’t how I used to celebrate goals and it was a mistake as I nearly broke my neck!
“There was a lot of emotion surrounding that game though. Wrexham were in the equivalent of League One and we started the season really well, but we then went into administration and suffered a points deduction.
“It knocked the stuffing out of us and we ended up getting relegated, but the Trophy was a great distraction, especially as the final was played in Wales.
“We knew we just had to get there as a club to save the season for the fans at least, but we had a bizarre semi-final against Oldham. We were 5-0 up at their place before they came back and it finished 5-3, which for an Oldham away game sounds familiar!
But we won the second leg 2-0 and we then took about 20,000 fans to the final who created a brilliant atmosphere. It’s right up there with the best moments I’ve had in football, certainly as a player.”
Current Posh assistant boss Kevin Russell was a coach at Wrexham at the time. Craig Morgan, who went on to play for Ferguson at Posh, was one of Wrexham’s centre-halves and their keeper was Ben Foster, a man with an outside chance of making England’s 2014 World Cup squad.
Unfortunately the win didn’t inspire Wrexham who went on to suffer relegation to the bottom division of the Football. Posh were also relegated under Barry Fry that season, finishing 14 points behind Wrexham.
Three seasons later Wrexham were relegated from the Football League.
“That final took place in April,” Ferguson added. “So there wasn’t a lot of time left for us to recover. It was a shame for such a good football club to suffer relegation and it’s disappointing that they haven’t got back into the Football League yet.
“I would hope winning the Trophy would have a different effect on us though. We are in much better shape than Wrexham were.”
Don’t miss... the Peterborough Telegraph’s 24-page JPT Wembley Final supplement - out Thursday, 27 March - and follow Saturday’s match on our Posh Page
Wrexham: Ben Foster, Stephen Roberts, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Craig Morgan, Darren Ferguson, Chris Llewellyn, Matt Crowell, Mark Jones, Andy Holt, Juan Ugarte.
Substitutes: Ryan Harrison, Danny Williams, Dean Bennett, Shaun Pejic, Hector Sam.
Goals: Ugarte (99 mins), Ferguson (119 mins).