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Bright recounts 1990 FA Cup conversation with Ian Wright's mother

24 April 2020

Speaking in a live Q&A on Crystal Palace's Instagram to recount his memories of Palace's iconic 1990 FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, club legend Mark Bright recalled a back-and-forth conversation with teammate Ian Wright's mother as he tried to find out whether he would be playing at Villa Park the following month.

The Eagles were playing Cambridge United in the FA Cup quarter-final, with each side bidding to earn a place in the competition's final four.

But Bright, who finished the 89/90 season as the south Londoners' top scorer, was unable to support his teammates in their push against The U's.

He explained: "I missed the Cambridge game. The Cambridge game was a really strange one because I got sent off against Sheffield Wednesday or someone. I couldn’t believe the timing of it - it was terrible. I’d had a bit of a hamstring injury so the club let me go away. Obviously we were sponsored by Virgin so they got me some flights and I went to Miami.

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"I stayed in Fort Lauderdale in Miami and I did some jogging with [boxer] Nigel Benn who was out there training at the time. I remember being down on the beach, looking at the time and thinking: ‘Cor, the game will have kicked-off by now,’ and going back up the stairs to the room. There are no mobiles then so I’m phoning Wrighty’s mum. The phone rings and she picks up and I go: ‘Mumma, it’s Mark, what was the score?’

"She goes: ‘where are you?’

"I said: ‘What was the score?’

"She says: ‘Where are you?’

"‘I’m in America.’

"‘What you doing there?’

"‘What was the score?’

"‘What you doing in America?’

"‘I’m taking a quick break, what was the score, Mumma?!’

"‘We won. Geoff Thomas scored.’

"I honestly dropped the phone, jumped up and down on the bed and virtually did a somersault!"

Of course, as Palace fans know, Bright's suspension had ended by the time the Eagles travelled to face Liverpool in the Cup semi-final. He may not have known he'd be playing in such a prestigious game while out in Miami, but just a month later Bright would be striking past Bruce Grobbelaar and helping send Palace to Wembley.

You can find out his views on that memorable clash below.

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