After 92 years during which greats like Wilf Mannion and George Hardwick trod the turf with dignity and panache, it was an emotional farewell to Ayresome Park.

Shaun Wilson


Balloons and flags bedecked the grand old stadium as former players took one last round of applause before the game.

The game itself had real meaning as Boro were fighting to reach the Premier League under new manager Bryan Robson.

Boro attacked with menace and determination but were rueing spurned chances by Robson himself and a penalty miss from the unlikely Neil Cox.

However the breakthrough came just a minute before the break when John Hendrie’s shot took a deflection of former Boro loanee Dwight Marshall and the ball sailed into the net.

Luton striker John Taylor temporarily quelled the celebrations when heading home a free kick in the second half.

Boro weren’t to be denied though and Hendrie scored the winner after 71 minutes following a mazy run into the box by left back Derek Whyte.

Promotion was secured the following midweek when Bolton Wanderers failed to beat Stoke City. Boro were going up!