SHOLING manager Dave Diaper revealed it was a North-Easterner who passed on some words of wisdom for the FA Vase winners at Wembley.
Lawrie McMenemy, who previously managed Bishop Auckland in the Northern League, betrayed his local roots and called up Diaper on the morning of Saturday’s game.
Sholing paraded the FA Vase around St Mary’s before Southampton’s final Premier League game yesterday, and with Diaper and many of his team firm Saints fans, the manager-chairman appreciated the manager who led Southampton to a 1976 FA Cup victory taking time out to call him up.
“What made my day today was that I had a phonecall from Lawrie McMenemy, and he just said to me “there’s all the hype and publicity but it all comes down to 90 minutes or 120 minutes of football”,” said Diaper, who announced he was to stand down as manager after the win at Wembley.
“And that’s basically what I said to the lads. So I really appreciate that phone call, it really made my day. There were players in the dressing room that probably won’t have heard of Lawrie McMenemy, but he was great for Southampton Football Club and I really appreciate him calling.”
There were considerably more Sholing fans at Wembley than West Auckland supporters, owing to the short distance from the south coast to the capital, and Diaper was heartened to see many of that number consisting of Southampton fans supporting grass roots football.
“I was really pleased with the support,” said Diaper, whose club will pocket £45,000 for lifting the Vase.
“We’ve got average gates of 120. It’s great that they came out to represent their club and the city. I’m Saints through and through so it was good to see so many come down today.
“Fair play to West Auckland, I feel a bit for Peter and his players because two years ago they lost 2-0, with better finishing they might have taken it to extra time and there probably would have been a different winner.”