Steve Sherwood on being in goal for Watford in the 1984 FA Cup final

Steve Sherwood is putting his profession as a financial adviser to use as he counts the cost of conceding that header to Andy Gray in the 1984 FA Cup
We are in his office in Grimsby and on a laptop in front of us is grainy footage of Watford against Everton
, with Elton John watching from the stands among a Wembley crowd of 100,000.
A cross flies in from Trevor Steven and, well, Sherwood can take it from here.
'Andy Gray didn't head the ball — he headed my arm,' he says. 'I don't class that as a mistake. I class that as a refereeing error.
'I had the ball in my hands. I remember Bob Wilson (the Arsenal goalkeeper-turned-BBC pundit) coming round to the back of the goal after it had happened and saying, "That shouldn't have counted". 
'I've got nothing against Andy Gray. If I was a manager of a team, I'd want my centre forward to be like that. But it should have been a foul. It killed the contest.'
He still remembers the name of the referee, who retired after the game — 'Mr John Hunting' — and recalls being dubbed 'Stevie Blunder' by newspapers the day after the 2-0 defeat.
Some 35 years later, Sherwood, now 65, is still imposing at 6ft 4in and as enthusiastic as ever about Watford and that final.
On Saturday, the club have the chance to go one better than finishing FA Cup runners-up, though they face a formidable team in Manchester City.
Sherwood's advice? 'Get in their faces! You hear people say, "Go and enjoy the experience",' he adds, sitting with a Watford mug in front of him. 'Well, there are two experiences at Wembley — winning and losing.
'You don't want to be the loser. It's a horrible place to lose. You're going round clapping your supporters, but you feel like you've failed. You've let them down. You don't want that.
'If Watford show that same desire and get in City's faces, you never know. You've got to go there believing you can win, otherwise it's not worth turning up. This is their chance to make history.'
In Troy Deeney and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, he sees two footballers who truly care for the club. Sherwood felt that connection, too.
In an old newspaper cutting from the Daily Mail
on the day of the 1984 final, there was a feature called 'The Clough Report' — a player-by-player guide to Watford, written by Brian Clough.
Clough managed Nottingham Forest at the time. On Sherwood, he summarised: 'We've put more goals past him at Forest than I've had hot dinners — but he still strikes me as a totally honest player.' 
Sherwood takes that as a compliment. In his 11 years at the club, he always gave his all.
Watford were a Division Four club when Sherwood joined in 1976. In 1983, they finished runners-up in Division One to a fine Liverpool team.
In 1987, he left for Grimsby. Supporters remember him wearing an all-red kit - 'l looked like a post box,' he says now - and some suspected it was in the hope that strikers might direct their shots towards him.
In fact, it was at the request of Graham Taylor's wife, Rita, who simply preferred that colour to green. He said yes, of course, because Taylor was special. 
'He got inside your head,' he says of the Watford great who died in 2017. 'You'd do things for him. You'd run through a hawthorn hedge for him.
'Different to Brian Clough, but that sort of man-management. You had that respect. I look back on that first year in the top flight, we'd go out confident we could beat anybody. We got one or two stuffings on our travels because his philosophy was if they score one, we'll score two.'
Sherwood received £1,000 in bonuses for reaching the FA Cup final and never stepped foot inside the old Wembley again.
In 1987, however, Watford were a semi-final win away from returning. But in the build-up to facing Tottenham, Sherwood dislocated a little finger. He insisted he was fine but Taylor refused to take the risk, while Watford's other goalkeeper, Tony Coton, was also sidelined. So Taylor called on Gary Plumley - son of the club's chief executive, Eddie, and a waiter in a wine bar. Watford let in three inside 35 minutes, then a fourth in the second half.
'There are two moments in my life I look back on with regret,' he says. 'One was losing the final. The other was being told I wasn't playing in the semi-final. Graham said when he retired he'd tell me why he did it, but I never got that!'
Sherwood was born in Selby, North Yorkshire, and seemed destined to become a sportsman, judging by the family tree.
His father was a footballer, his mother liked her athletics and his older brother, John, won bronze in the 400metres hurdles at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. At the time, BBC commentator David Coleman was so excited to see Britain's David Hemery win gold, he exclaimed: 'Hemery wins! Who care's who's third? It doesn't matter.'
What also helped Sherwood in his quest to become a goalkeeper were the large hands that run in the family. You can see why when we shake hands. His right mitt swallows mine whole.
'I could talk about Watford for hours,' he says, smiling. By Saturday evening in his Wembley seat, he'll be hoping to be talking about them doing what he was denied - lifting the famous old trophy.

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