When Diss Town FC took home the 1994 FA Vase from Wembley

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Was the fairytale day really 20 years ago?

On May 7, 1994, 10,000 supporters of Diss Town FC made their way to the home of football, Wembley Stadium, to cheer on the Tangerines to FA Vase success.

Diss Town FC FA Vase Winners ANL-140705-145122001

Diss Town FC FA Vase Winners ANL-140705-145122001

The Diss Express reported the news with the first line: ‘They did it!’

And it was a true Roy of the Rovers-style occasion.

All seemed lost for Diss when, trailing one-nil to Westcountry opponents Taunton Town since the 12th minute, the final added minutes were being played.

But dramatically, the Tangerines were awarded a penalty in stoppage time.

Diss Town FC FA Vase Winners ANL-140705-145313001

Diss Town FC FA Vase Winners ANL-140705-145313001

The reporter at the time, Frank Sheehan, described an “awesome hush” around Wembley as Paul Gibbs stepped up to kick the most important ball of his career.

The drama was heightened as Gibbs was made to wait so Diss team captain Garry Smith could receive treatment for cramp.

Agonisingly for the Taunton keeper Kevin Maloy, he got his fingertips to the penalty, but just could not keep it out.

Within seconds the referee blew for full time, with extra time to be played.

Three minutes into the second period of extra time, Diss won a corner.

The resultant header by Peter Mendham was well saved by Maloy, but his failed to hold on to the shot allowing Mendham to quickly volley the ball past the keeper and three Taunton players on the line.

Frank Sheehan wrote: “On my left, the stadium erupted and Mendham was buried under a mound of tangerine shirts.
“Players on both sides were going down with cramp all over the place.”

Thousands more turned out the day after in Diss town centre to welcome home their heroes.

Tangerine flags, scarves and skirts lined the route of the open top bus parade and Diss players triumphantly held aloft the FA Vase.

St Nicholas Street was packed from pavement to pavement - with a peal of bells ringing out from St Mary’s Church.


1. Robert Woodcock

2. Jason Carter

3. Martin Woolsey (sub Robert Musgrave, 59 mins)

4. Tom Casey (sub Phil Bugg, 75 mins)

5. Paul Hartle

6. Garry Smith

7. Kelly Barth

8. Peter Mendham

9. Stephen Miles

10. Paul Warne

11. Paul Gibbs


Goal Attempts: Diss 20, Taunton 13

On Target: Diss 9, Taunton 5

Attendance: 13,450