Adver Sport spoke to Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens about the games that shaped his footballing life.


May 18, 1985 – FA Cup Final

“The 1985 FA Cup final was the first game that I remember watching on TV. United won the game, and it’s famous for Kevin Moran being the first person to ever be sent off in an FA Cup final. Norman Whiteside scored a fantastic goal where he checked onto his left foot and curled it into the top corner. That was the first game I remember watching, and I used to have it on cassette tape, so I could replay it time after time. That was the game that really got me into football.”


October 13, 1999 – League Cup first round

“My debut for Manchester United was so memorable. I’d grown up supporting United, and I was at the club from nine years old. In 2000, I made my debut away at Villa Park. I was a young lad in an era at the club where it was probably the most successful era United has ever had. Only three or four months before this game, we’d beaten Bayern Munich at Camp Nou to win the treble. So that shows you the calibre of the players at the club at the time. So to make my debut in that team was a fantastic achievement. It was just very difficult to build on that debut and get other games because there were world-class players in every position. It was difficult, but growing up as a Man United fan – to make my debut away at Villa Park, that was fantastic.”


May 25, 2008 – League One play-off final

“One of the biggest games of my career was when I played in the play-off final, for Doncaster, against Leeds at Wembley. I think there was about 80,000 fans there at this huge game, a local derby too against a massive club in Leeds. We won the game, got promoted, and then we did really well the next season in the Championship. Off the back of that, three or four clubs came in for me, but I decided to go to Leicester. But that play-off final was memorable for me because it was a big game, it got me a promotion on my C.V. and it got me that move to Leicester. My career went onwards and upwards from there.”


October 14, 2017 – League One

“I think my most important game as manager was shortly after I got flung into the job at Oldham. We played Peterborough, who were second, in the first game and won. We played Portsmouth away on the Saturday and won that – Pompey were fourth or fifth – and then we won an EFL Trophy game away at Crewe. After that, people were starting to want me to get the job. Then we played against Blackburn at home. They were mid-table at the time but they went on to get promoted easily with Wigan. They were the best team, they had the biggest budget by far, but we went and scored a 90th minute winner to make it four on the bounce. So I think that game was crucial for me because it got me the job. Even though it was a job that in hindsight I didn’t really want, but it got my foot on the ladder and it gave me that platform to start learning my trade as a manager. So that Blackburn game was massive because it got me into being a manager.”