TRAVELLING man Andy Dibble won't forget his debut for Wrexham in the Isle of Man. The big Welshman thought he had broken a leg in his first game for his new club and then found himself replaced by an unknown Manx tyre-fitter.
Dibble's deputy, Kelvin Dawson, who plays for the Isle of Man national side, stepped in as an emergency goalkeeper for the Dragons because they had no other keeper in their squad. It was real Roy of the Rovers stuff for Dawson and Wrexham manager Denis Smith also made his day just before the end of Saturday's showpiece final victory over Darlington.
Smith said, "Dibs was fit to play, but the lad volunteered to play for us so I thought why not and put him on the bench." Smith took his gesture even further by using Dawson as an injury-time substitute for Dibble. That meant he became the first Manxman to get a winners' memento for the island's international football festival.
Wrexham also made history by winning the tournament for a record fifth time, thanks to a second-half winner by Lee Jones against the Quakers. His 67th minute header was set up by Lee Trundle, who won the man of the match award.
Dibble also played his part despite being rescued by the woodwork in a dour first half. Smith, who had rotated his side all week, made three changes for the second half, but the two Lees linked to create and score the match-winner.
That was enough for Wrexham to sail home with the trophy they won last year - and forgot to bring it back with them. It was flown over with Wrexham website manager Geraint Parry. Wrexham will now be invited back to defend their title next year.
Wrexham: Dibble (Dawson, 90), Barrett, Holmes (P Edwards, 46), Roberts, Carey, Pejic (Lawrence, 46), C Edwards (Phillips, 46), Jones, Trundle, Sam (Russell, 79), Thomas. Darlington: Collett, Betts (Campbell,
77), Rundle, McGurk, Clarke, Maddison, Ford, Clark (Sheeran, 67), Conlon, Nichols, Naylor (Wainwright, 62).