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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 08:26 GMT
Saluting football's local heroes
By Francis Keogh

Paul HayesWayne ThomasScott VernonDelroy PreddiePaul Jones

They are the little-known stars who helped bring the magic back to the FA Cup.

A collection of lower league players left their millionaire opponents stunned in a dramatic third round.

Not all of them won, but all won the praise of fans and pundits alike.

And in the process, they earned at least 15 minutes of fame...


Delroy Preddie
Goalkeeper, Yeading
Yeading 0-2 Newcastle

League: Ryman Premier Division

Positions below opposition: 123

Did you know? The civil servant is short for a stopper - he's only 5ft 10ins tall. Normally drives an 800 L-reg Ford Escort.

Why he made news: Kept first-half clean sheet despite broken finger, and won a performance-related motoring prize offered by a national newspaper.

Earned fluffy dice and alloy wheels for beloved Escort before 51st minute goal meant he missed out on owning a new 14,000 Ford Focus.

Got the Focus on a three-month loan for his heroics, anyway. This time next year, you'll be a millionaire, Delboy. Maybe....

Minutes of Fame: 50 (Then Lee Bowyer scored)

Headline: Steady Preddie Go (The Sun)

Next opponents: Harrow Borough Saturday, Ryman League

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League: League Two

Positions below opposition: 68

Did you know: His brother Martin played for Arsenal.

Why he made news: Shot Scunthorpe ahead at Stamford Bridge to delight 6,000 travelling fans - an estimated tenth of the steel town's population.

Minutes of Fame: 26 (Then Mateja Kezman equalised)

Headline: Iron Kings For A Day
(Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph)

Next opponents: Bury League Two, Saturday

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Division: League Two

Positions below opposition: 50

Did you know? Vernon was at Man Utd's school of excellence from the age of nine to 11, where he was trained by World Cup winner Nobby Stiles.

Why he made news: Fine finish dumped local Premiership rivals out of the Cup, meaning Oldham were the only team from the Manchester area guaranteed a fourth-round spot.

Minutes of Fame: 90+ (Earned home tie against Bolton)

Headline: Majestic spirit carries Latics to victory
(Oldham Evening Chronicle)

Next opponents: Doncaster League One, Saturday

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Division: Conference

Positions below opposition: 94

Did you know? It was only his fifth appearance for the Grecians, having joined on loan from Leyton Orient.

Why he made news: A string of save as the non-league west country side held holders United at Old Trafford.

Minutes of Fame: 90+ (Home replay on BBC, 19 January)

Headline: Stairway to Devon (Mirror)

Next opponents: Billericay FA Trophy, Saturday

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Division: Championship

Positions below opposition: 30

Did you know? Dyed his hair a Stoke shade of red when joining from Torquay.

Why he made news: Stunned Highbury when he smashed opener into the roof of the net on the stroke of half-time.

Minutes of Fame: 20 (Then Jose Antonio Reyes equalised just after half-time)

Headline: We were so lucky, admits Wenger (Metro)

Next opponents: QPR Championship, Friday




SEE ALSO
FA Cup shows the old magic
10 Jan 05 |  FA Cup
Quotes of the round
10 Jan 05 |  Quotes of Week
Yeading 0-2 Newcastle
09 Jan 05 |  FA Cup
Man Utd 0-0 Exeter
08 Jan 05 |  FA Cup
Chelsea 3-1 Scunthorpe
08 Jan 05 |  FA Cup
Oldham 1-0 Man City
08 Jan 05 |  FA Cup
Arsenal 2-1 Stoke
09 Jan 05 |  FA Cup


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