Class of 92’ lead celebrations as Salford City cause FA Cup upset
‘You had Gary Neville and Nicky Butt part of the pitch invasion like normal fans’
Joint Salford City owner Paul Scholes celebrates victory in the changing room after the FA Cup first round win over Notts County at Moor Lane. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Rather than freeze, Salford embraced the opportunity to shine on their maiden appearance in the first round of the FA Cup.
Danny Webber and Richie Allen handed the part-time non-league outfit a thrilling 2-0 win over their League Two opponents in front of the TV cameras.
Scholes, who part-owns the club along with Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and Gary Neville, ignored pleas to stay off the grass and stormed on to the pitch after the final whistle along with the rest of the 1,400 Salford fans inside the ground.
And the former Manchester United midfielder, who bought the club along with his four friends last year, continued to celebrate after the game had ended.
“When the final whistle went, you had Gary Neville and Nicky Butt part of the pitch invasion like normal fans and Scholesy is dancing and singing in the changing room — I’m sure it was Rick Astley he was singing in there,” said Anthony Johnson, who manages the first team along with Bernard Morley.
“It matters to them like it does to normal fans. We’re under no illusions that we’ve got to win games but we’re enjoying it and working for five of the best players this country has ever produced.
“But I thought for 90 per cent of the game we dominated it.
“I don’t want that to sound arrogant or brash but we felt we were the better side.”
Unlike his brother Phil, who could not attend due to his work commitments with Valencia, where he is a coach, Gary Neville was there to experience the shock first hand.
The former United captain won 20 competitions during his long and illustrious career at Old Trafford, but on Friday night he experienced his first major high as a co-owner of the Evo-Stik Premier League club.
“It is an absolutely unbelievable night,” the England coach said.
“You never get too excited at football anymore because you’re working in a professional capacity but when we come down here it’s an escape for us and it makes us love football more.
“Sometimes in last 18 months you think there’s a lot to do here but this just makes it all worthwhile.
“Tonight was for all those people who work there. I’ve not felt like that for a long time in football and that’s not over egging it. I felt like a kid again in a football ground. I’ve never seen Scholesy jump so high in celebration in my life.”
Johnson led Salford to promotion after being appointed co-manager along with Morley in January.
With the backing of the Class of ‘92 stars, he feels the sky is the limit for Salford.
“I don’t think there’s a ceiling on where this club can go,” said Johnson, who sprinted down the touchline to celebrate with his players after Allen scored the final goal.
“As a one-off, I’ve never felt like that in football.”