DVD Review: 'It's Up For Grabs Now'

Last updated : 19 March 2006 By Brian Dawes
Because of the entire English league games ever played this is the most dramatic ever seen by anyone, in any place and in any era. Roy of the Rovers would not have dared to script such a surreal Championship clinching steal in the final throws of an emotionally charged season. Should you by some miracle be watching for the first time, even if you already know the result, I still strongly recommend you wear brown trousers and find a seat that you can comfortably perch on the edge of. If you have a tendency to bite your nails wear gloves, and if you have ever even vaguely considered laughing at Steve McMahon then I can promise you unbridled pleasure.

Surely no Arsenal fan who remembers the occasion, and how could anyone forget it, could watch the match with anything other than a totally emotional take on proceedings. On 26th May 1989 folklore was written, grown men cried both on and off the pitch and the celebration party went on for days and in some cases weeks. Nostalgia just does not get any better than this if you're a Gooner. So if for no other reason than your old video of the match is totally knackered I can highly recommend this new DVD bought to us by Granada Ventures.

Apart from a full match the disc contains League action which sets the scene for the main event. TV footage was not as extensive then as it is now which probably accounts for the somewhat stilted review of the season but still offers plenty of footage of Perry's haircut, Merse's shaggy dog look and Smithy laying off controlled passes and poaching goals. Rocky, Richardson, Adams, Bouldie, Lukic and the rest are also all seen strutting their stuff. If you need reminding about the season then try and recall our opening game at Wimbledon, which we won. Winterburn scoring at the Lane. The new clock unveiled at Highbury for the Totts home game where Merse and Thomas scored. The Mercantile Trophy, Liverpool 19 points behind us in February. The March jitters. A third central defender introduced toward the end of the season. Hillsborough and the subsequent suspension of League football. A five-nil thrashing of Norwich. Plus some rather twitchy matches where we tried to throw the title away against Derby and Wimbledon.

There is also a section on the DVD where both fans and players who were in Anfield on the night give their take on the night's events in recent interviews. The main men such as, Smithy, Bouldie, Nige, Mickey, Lee and GG provide insightful summations of events and they've also managed to drag out archive interviews with Liverpool's Kenny Dalgliesh and John Aldridge. This may sound a tad naff but all the Arsenal fans interviewed have something relevant to say and tell it like it was, while the Arsenal players clearly revel in their reminiscences.

Then there is the main event – the game itself of course. The League leaders and Champions elect against second placed Arsenal at Anfield. Where no one gave us a prayer of winning by the required two clear goals to steal the title. It was Adidas versus Adidas, Candy versus JVC, no names on the shirts, short tight shorts and keepers still wearing green jerseys. Rush with a pulled hamstring following a shot. Bouldie with a great chance in the first half. Smithy's goal followed by the interminable wait as the lino was consulted at great length before confirmation was given. Thomas with a fluffed chance that we thought would be a crucial miss. Chances for Houghton and Aldridge. McMahon's classic ‘one minute' gesture with 89 minutes 49 seconds on the clock. Thirty seconds into added time and we wre suffering bullshit from the Kerbcrawler. What seemed like months later Liverpool still had the ball and a timewasting Barnes solo was stopped by Richardson. A pass to big John in goal, who rather than hoofing up field like we wanted him to threw it over arm to Lee in the right back spot. Dixon hit a line ball to Smudge who controlled turned and flicked a through ball down the middle where Thomas just happened to be charging through the midfield as Brian Moore uttered those immortal words ‘It's up for grabs now'. Time went into reverse as Mickey got a kind ricochet and ploughed on as every single Gooner in the entire world screamed at him to ‘fer fecks sake shoot'. We all repeated the pleas at least three more times before he finally clipped an awkward almost unbalanced chip with the outside of the foot…… The rest is history, pandemonium followed and some seriously sweet memories, which are all, captured on the DVD.

It's Up For Grabs now DVD by Granada Ventures
Catalogue number 3711520993 – duration 131 minutes
Released March 2006 - Price £14.99