11th December 1978
Alan Beer Testimonial
West Bromwich Albion (h)
Alan Beer Testimonial
Exeter v West Bromwich Albion
December 11th 1978
This was a long promised testimonial match in aid of the former City favourite, who was forced out of the game after being so badly injured early last season, and the Exeter City supporters who braved the freezing cold night to sit in the grandstand or stand on the terraces to watch the West Bromwich Albion stars in action were not disappointed.
The Albion gave them a real treat, displaying many of their stylish moves and producing a stunning team performance at breathtaking pace which has turned them into one of the top sides in Europe, let alone England. The Albion with goals from Regis and Johnston led by 2-0 at half time but eased off considerably after the interval, and Roberts with a header and Neville the same brought the scores level.
City: Main; Templeman, Giles, Roberts, Hore; Forbes, Mitchell, Hatch; Neville, Kellow (Blackpool), Pearson.
Albion:- Stewart; Batson, Wile, Robertson, Statham; T. Brown, Robson, Johnston; Cunningham, Regis, A.Brown.
Referee:- Mr A.J.Ellis of Exeter. Linesmen: Messrs L. Regan and O.Clark.
The match thus ended satisfactorily at 2-2, and considering the cold night the attendance figure of 4,467 was not too bad. At least, the gate receipts should help to compensate for the tragic injury which was suffered 14 months ago by the former City favourite, Alan Beer, which put a premature end to a career which was about to take off in a big way. For it is certain that had not Alan been laid low just at that time he would have gone to Leicester City, who were prepared to pay Exeter £80,000 for his transfer, and he would also have won his place in the Welsh International team.
He was given a marvellous reception by the crowd when he strolled on to the pitch just before the kick-off, and no doubt they were still recalling some of his many goals when the Albion opened up Exeter's defence after three minutes with a goal by Cyril Regis of the sort Alan Beer would have been proud to score, a stunning left-foot shot which flew into the net at lightning speed. Ian Main, the Exeter University student, who is signed by Exeter as reserve to O'Keefe, had not the slightest chance, even if he saw the ball. The Albion's football was stylish, yet urgent, and they always went forward. The electrifying pace of Cunningham and the ferocious shooting of Regis had the crowd gasping, and it also had the City defence in a bit of difficulty early on until Roberts settled down.
The Albion's speedway attacks continued to cause trouble even after Johnston, the Scottish International, had scored their second goal, and Cunningham crashed one shot against the upright and had another one kept out by a diving save by Main.