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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 17:01 UK

Swindon Town's Wembley goal heroes recall their heroics

Paul Bodin
Bodin left Leicester keeper Kevin Poole stranded with his dramatic spot kick

It all seems a long time ago now but, to Paul Bodin and Alan McLoughlin, the memories of scoring winning goals for Swindon Town at Wembley are still vivid.

As the Robins approach their League One play-off final against Millwall on Saturday, the pair were eager to recall their glory in the shadow of the twin towers.

Today's Swindon team are striving to return to the Championship but in the early 1990s the stakes were much higher.

Wales international Bodin played in both Swindon teams who won play-off finals at Wembley in 1990 and 1993, clinching a place among English football's elite on both occasions.

Bodin had to hold his nerve while stepping up to score the late penalty which sealed a 4-3 win over Leicester City in 1993 - a moment he will never forget.

"When you're winning 3-0 you automatically think 'that's it'. You can't see a way back for Leicester.

"They really did give it everything to get back into the game but it took a penalty to actually decide it."

On the day Swindon had raced into what looked like an unassailable 3-0 lead with goals from player-manager Glenn Hoddle, Craig Maskell and Shaun Taylor before Leicester battled back through Julian Joachim, Steve Walsh and Steve Thompson.

When Swindon striker Steve White was brought down by Leicester keeper Kevin Poole, Bodin stepped up to the penalty spot.

"Some people say he didn't get caught but he certainly did from our perspective," he said. "He's brushed him aside and then it's the penalty.

"You blank everything out. It's only afterwards when you look back that you realise the enormity of it.

"A lot of the fans said afterwards they couldn't look so I'm glad I didn't look to the crowd on that occasion."

Bodin can still recall the aftermath of a match which saw Swindon enter the Premier League for the first time.

"Coming back on the bus, down the M4, the bridges were draped in flags, towels, anything that was red and white.

"We came off junction 15 and everyone was out in the street. We had a police escort in front of us to the County Ground.

"You can never tire of remembering those days, they were wonderful times."

Three years earlier, McLoughlin was the hero of Swindon's 1-0 win over Sunderland, which should have taken the Robins into the old First Division for the first time in their history.

Around 35,000 fans roared their team on at a sun-soaked Wembley, blissfully ignorant that their dreams would be shattered in little over a week.

Just ten days later, the club were demoted two divisions after being found guilty of making illegal payments to players.

McLoughlin's 30-yard shot in the 26th-minute sailed past Sunderland goalkeeper Tony Norman.

"As I hit it I knew it wasn't the best strike in the world but I knew it was on target but not sure it had the pace to go in," he recalled.

"People said, 'it was a deflection, it's not yours'. But it is mine, I looked up at the scoreboard and there it was - my name in lights."

Like Bodin, McLoughlin has his day at Wembley with Swindon seared into his memory.

"The day, the occasion, my parents being there. Debbie my girlfriend, who is now my wife, and my sister watching on. All the significant people in my life were there and I had achieved something.

"It was a schoolboy dream come true."

Now both men hope that the current crop of Robins players can add to the club's Wembley honours come Saturday afternoon.



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