1999 Perth Glory

When the Glory came of age…and that Kiss

REMEMBER WHEN…It’s 21 years since Perth Glory came of age by making their first impact on the Ericsson Cup (National Soccer League) play-offs – and enticing record crowds to the WACA Ground in May, 1999.
The Glory squad (plus assistant coach Mich d’Avray and team manager Charlie Gallagher) are pictured celebrating after beating NSL heavyweight Marconi 1-0 in front of a crowd of 27,556 (a record for a football match at the WACA) in the 1998-99 Minor Semi-Final on May 15.

Glory coach Bernd Stange made TV news headlines when he famously kissed policewoman Angela O’Hehir after the dramatic win over Adelaide in 1999. But the tables were turned on him 17 years later at the Football Hall of Fame WA’s 2016 induction celebration at Crown Casino.
Stange was a guest speaker at the event and, when he was just about to make a speech, the now Senior Constable O’Hehir appeared in full police uniform to this time plant a kiss on the German’s cheek.
Stange took it all in with great humour, saying: “I think this incident will follow me forever. It was just a spur of the moment thing in 1999. We had won, I was happy and I saw this attractive policewoman as I made my way to the dressing room and I couldn’t resist a little kiss.”
To commemorate the occasion, the pair were presented with framed mementoes of what was a moment to treasure and became known as “The Kiss”.

A week earlier, on May 8, the Glory had beaten Adelaide City 2-1 in the second leg of the Elimination Final (following a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Adelaide). Goals from Jamie Harnwell and Bobby Despotovski ensured that the Perth favourites would go on to meet Marconi the following week. That first game had attracted a then record crowd of 25,067.
An extra 3,000 seats had to be constructed at the WACA Ground to cope with the huge ticket demand for the Minor Semi. Even at that, thousands were left disappointed – until the ABC announced it would televise the game live (they even moved aside popular programme The Bill to accommodate the broadcast).

The tussle with Marconi was a tense affair that was settled when visiting defender Buddy Farah nodded the ball into his own net as he tried to clear a curling corner kick from Troy Halpin. Scott Miller ended up with four stitches in a head wound after a clash with Farah.
Unfortunately, Glory’s bid to go all the way to the Grand Final was thwarted the following week when they travelled east to face Sydney United in the Preliminary Final at Marconi Stadium. United edged a tough contest 2-1. They led 2-0 after 70 minutes. Con Boutsianis scored for the Glory in 83 minutes, but two minutes later they were down to 10 men when keeper Tony Franken was somewhat harshly red-carded for accidentally handling the ball outside his area. Having used all their subs, Glory defender Harnwell had to go in goal as his team-mates tried desperately to force an equaliser.

FOR THE RECORD: The Glory squad that faced Marconi at the WACA in 1999 was: Tony Franken; Rob Trajkovski, Scott Miller, Danny Hay, Jamie Harnwell, Craig Deans, Gareth Naven, Troy Halpin, Con Boutsianis, Bobby Despotovski, John Markovski. Subs: Gianfranco Circatti (for Hay half-time), Alistair Edwards (for Markovski 69mins), Paul Strudwick (for Boutsianis 82mins).

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