Wembley final strike would have been the perfect birthday present for Dagenham’s goal king Kidd
PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 May 2020
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Ricky Kidd netted eight goals to help Dagenham reach the 1980 Trophy final but left Wembley Stadium a little disappointed after missing out on scoring in their 2-1 win over Mossley.
Kidd had topped the club’s goal charts a season earlier with 30, having joined from Sutton United, and scored in four of the six ties leading up to the final.
Following a hat-trick in an impressive 5-0 victory at Stalybridge, he scored the third goal in a 3-2 win over Nuneaton, then netted twice in both legs of the semi-final against Woking.
And he admitted another in the final would have been the perfect finish – on what was his 27th birthday.
“Sutton was a big club, but never really in contention and when I joined Dagenham it was a case of ‘when we get to Wembley, not if,” he said.
“We lost in the semi-final the year before against Kettering. I broke my cheekbone the week before the first leg, spent a few days in hospital, and didn’t play in a 0-0 draw, but I risked it in the second leg at Kettering and we lost 1-0.
“Eddie Presland made a few changes, moving some players out, and we smashed Stalybridge. They were top of their league but we went up on the train and it was a cold, frosty day. The pitch was quite icy but it was defrosting as we played. It was sticky, but we knocked it around well. It could’ve been 10!
“Nuneaton were a good side with good players but I scored the third with a diving header and scored twice in both legs against Woking, who also had a lot of good players.
“Mossley hadn’t been beaten for 30-odd games, but we turned them over. We did well in the first half and came off at half-time and I thought I could’ve had a hat-trick.”
George Duck had given Daggers the lead, but Mossley levelled early in the second half and had Presland’s men hanging on, before Chris Maycock’s winner.
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“It was a close old game,” added Kidd. “George could score for fun and we’d struck up a good relationship. Chris was lightning quick, unorthodox, and popped up with the winner.
“The keeper played well, I didn’t miss anything I should’ve scored, but it was a disappointment not to score. It would’ve been the icing on the cake.
“I’d turned up at the club at 9.30 that morning to get on the coach and the supporters gave me a massive birthday card, wished me happy birthday and were saying ‘we hope you get a goal’.
“They’re great memories. We ended up at an evening dinner at White Hart Lane, due to Terry Dyson’s connections with Tottenham, and then back at the club for a knees-up.”
The celebrations continued into Sunday, before Kidd could head back through the Dartford Tunnel to his Sussex home.
“I was living in Horsham when I went to Dagenham and there was just the one tunnel, which was two-way traffic,” he added.
“I was still living in the Redhill/Crawley area and stayed at Denis Moore’s house the night of the final. On the Sunday morning a few of us got together for nine holes of pitch and putt to clear our heads before the big civic do!”
Kidd was enjoying another good campaign in front of goal the following term and on course for international honours when injury struck.
And he admitted to thoroughly enjoying his time at Dagenham, before returning to Sutton to help them with the Isthmian League title in 1985 and earning a place in their hall of fame.
He said: “I’d scored 18 or 19 by the end of October in the 1980-1 season but had a niggly groin injury.
“I got a letter in the new year calling me up to the England Amateurs for a get-together but then tore the groin badly and neeed an operation.
“I had four great seasons at Dagenham, playing about 180 games and scoring just over 100 goals. I loved it, a fantastic club and fantastic people.”
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