MATCH OF YOUR DAY – Swindon legend Don Rogers in scoring against Arsenal at Wembley

Don Rogers (far right) marks the second Swindon in his 3-1 victory over the final of the League Cup over Arsenal

Don Rogers is reliving the moment in the 1969 League Cup final when he escaped from Arsenal four, ran towards goalkeeper Bob Wilson, sent him the wrong way and slid the ball quietly into the back of the net. Wembley.

"Those few seconds," says Rogers, "were probably the best of my life."

What Rogers had done in overtime scored two goals for Third Division Swindon Town that took the game away from the mighty Arsenal and a great trophy to Wiltshire for the first and only time. Rogers and Swindon made history.

Don Rogers (far right) marks the second Swindon in his 3-1 victory over the final of the League Cup over Arsenal

Don Rogers (far right) marks the second Swindon in his 3-1 victory over the final of the League Cup over Arsenal

"I scored at both ends in overtime," recalls Rogers, 72. "The first one was better than people think." I dragged it back with my right foot away from a few players and hit it with my left.

"The second one was a quality target, running from the middle line, I put Bob Wilson on the ground, he's a good man, Bob, I've seen him a couple of times since then, he kind of took pride in his record. One against one.

Then I hit him. I knew I was inside and I knew we had won. It was not about the quality of the goal, but about what it meant. There was barely a minute left. I told the first player I saw – Willie Penman – "We won!" After that, everything is a blur. "

Program of the final of the League Cup of 1969

Swindon's triumph was one of the most unexpected final cup results in history. Arsenal, Wilson said, would use it as motivation for his career at Double 1971.

Don Rogers was 23 years old at the time and had been in the Swindon books since he was 15 years old. It was a mercurial extreme with a distinctive gait and mustache, and then he would play for Crystal Palace and QPR in the former First Division.

He scored famous goals for Palace, especially against Manchester United, but it is March 1969 at Wembley, which shines the most for him. Swindon was his first club and County Ground is where he still participates in all home games. There is a support that bears his name.

It began, as he says, with a knock at the door of Swindon's manager, Bert Head. An hour later, the manager of Bristol City, Fred Ford, appeared, but Rogers had given his word to Head.

Don's brother, Robert, had a trial with Swindon and did not succeed, but, as Rogers explains, he ran away when Head played. "I left school at Christmas 1960," he says. "I was 15. On January 1, 1961, I signed up in Swindon Town and moved to a new shelter that the club had established."

The shelter was evidence of Swindon's innovative youth development policy. Mike Summerbee, Ernie Hunt and Rogers were just three of those who emerged. "Bert Head already had four young people of 17 and 18 in the first team. If you were young and pretty good, you have your chance, "says Rogers.

Rogers (center, holding a cup) is still a legend of Swindon with a stand that bears his name

Rogers (center, holding a cup) is still a legend of Swindon with a stand that bears his name

Rogers (center, holding a cup) is still a legend of Swindon with a stand that bears his name

In 1968, Head had given way to Danny Williams and Rogers had experienced promotion and relegation. When Swindon was 1-0 down at home to Torquay in the first round of the League Cup, none of the players were thinking about Wembley.

Even after they recovered to win, and beat Bradford, Blackburn and Coventry, to face Derby in the fifth round, Wembley was not mentioned, but Rogers' shot, which deviated from Dave Mackay's back, beat him to Derby and two semifinal legs against Burnley.

It was so tight that there had to be a third game, in Hawthorns. He went to overtime, too, Swindon winning 3-2.

It was not very sudden, but Swindon was at Wembley. Rogers had been there once to watch an England-Scotland game. He had never played Arsenal above the youth level. The field of Wembley, drenched by the rain and cut by the show Horse of the year, fitted to Swindon.

Former end Rogers still lives in Swindon, running his own sports store (photo from 2008)

Former end Rogers still lives in Swindon, running his own sports store (photo from 2008)

Former end Rogers still lives in Swindon, running his own sports store (photo from 2008)

"We were used to it," says Rogers. "It was like that at the County Ground every week … Shocking … From the end of September to March, I played in the mud."

Arsenal was one of the favorites, but he was hit by a flu virus and a goal in the first half by Roger Smart of Swindon. The Gunners recovered, Bobby Gould scored a goal in the 86th minute. Then came the extra time and Rogers goals.

That night he brought a dinner offered by Bob Monkhouse, the beginning of a week of celebration. Swindon lost his next game, against Plymouth, but in May they won the promotion. It was a season.

Rogers then opened a sports shop in the city. He works there today, he was still asked about 1969.

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