Few moments in sport offer the chance to go from zero to hero on anything like the scale of the Emirates FA Cup Third Round.
Arguably the most famous footballing weekend on Earth, the Third Round offers relative minnows a shot at the big time, and over the years, many a football giant have been stung.
So ahead of this weekend’s latest dose of David versus Goliath, Ladbrokes News has taken a look back at five of the greatest Emirates FA Cup Third Round heroes…
Ronnie Radford & Hereford United – 1972
Where else could we start? The game and the goal that launched Radford into folklore and John Motson into our living rooms for the next 40-odd years.
After needing six matches to reach the Third Round, Hereford took Newcastle to Edgar Street after a 2-2 draw on Tyneside.
The Replay was delayed due to rain time and time again, and it all seemed for nothing when the great Malcolm MacDonald put the Magpies 1-0 up with eight minutes to go.
But just three minutes later Radford became a hero with a rocket strike into the top corner. Liam George then stunned the Toon in extra-time to complete one of the Cup’s greatest upsets.
Matthew Hanlan & Sutton United – 1989
Coventry City had won the FA Cup just two years prior, when they headed south to face Non-League Sutton United.
But any ideas the Sky Blues had of an easy day out were quickly erased at a packed Gander Green Lane.
Skipper Tony Rains put the hosts ahead just before the break, only for David Phillips to level.
But the U’s weren’t done yet, and Matthew Hanlan dumped the First Division side out on the hour.
To put the result into context, it would be 23 years before another top-tier side lost to Non-League opposition.
Tim Buzaglo & Woking United – 1991
We’re surprised Tim Buzaglo wasn’t handed the keys to Woking after his sterling performance in 1991.
Handed a Third Round trip to West Brom, the Non-League outfit found themselves down and out at half-time, trailing 1-0.
But that didn’t deter Buzaglo, who stormed to a second-half hat-trick, and a place in Emirates FA Cup legend.
The Londoner was placed in the FA’s Team of Heroes to commemorate the 125 years of the Cup in 2006.
Mickey Thomas & Wrexham – 1992
He’d been an FA Cup runner-up with Manchester United in 1979, but by 1992 Mickey Thomas’ career was entering its winter with hometown club Wrexham.
There was still some magic left in the Welshman however, and he had one more trick up his sleeve when his old team Arsenal visited in 1992.
Alan Smith had put the Gunners ahead in the first-half, but a simple cruise into the Fourth Round came to an abrupt halt thanks to Thomas.
With eight minutes left on the clock, the Welsh international pinged a free-kick beyond a hapless David Seaman, and the First Division side were too stunned to notice Steve Watkin complete the remarkable turnaround two minutes later.
Nigel Jemson & Shrewsbury Town – 2003
Wayne Rooney, look away now.
Shrewsbury Town had drawn Everton in the Third Round of FA Cup, and there was plenty of intrigue for the clash at the old-school Gay Meadow.
Not only was Salop boss Kevin Ratcliffe an Everton legend – lifting the Cup in 1984 – Toffees manager David Moyes was well-known in Shropshire too for his three-year stint in the 1980s.
And of course, Moyes’ line-up included a teenage Rooney, still in his first season with the senior squad.
But it was an experienced hand who would steal the show.
Nigel Jemson – at a ripe 33 – netted both goals – including a fine free-kick – to knock the Premier League, and England’s future record goalscorer, out.
Head to the FA’s official YouTube channel to re-live those historic Emirates FA Cup moments.
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