Ronnie Wants to Be History
TWENTY years to the day that he carved himself a unique notch in Argyle's long history...
...Ronnie Mauge wants nothing more than to lose his status as a one-of-a-kind Pilgrim.
On May 25, 1996, Ronnie became the first and, so far, only player to score for Argyle at Wembley when Neil Warnock's Pilgrims beat Darlington 1-0 in the Endsleigh League Third Division Play-Off Final.
This Monday, Derek Adams' class of 2016 have the opportunity to repeat that promotion-winning feat when they take in AFC Wimbledon at the home of football. If they do, there will be a new hero or heroes to share the still rare distinction of scoring for Argyle at the revered venue.
Ronnie will be first to cheer the moment.
"It's been 20 years - it's time for a new Wembley hero," said the former Home Park midfielder whose Wembley winner was one of 18 goals during a 151-game spell at Home Park between 1995-99.
"I've enjoyed the adulation and I am grateful for the support from the Green Army, but I've had my time - records are there to be broken."
In 1996, Ronnie and his team-mates were watched by around 33,000 Argyle fans; this time round, he will be among an even higher number of green-blooded supporters in the East End of Wembley Stadium.
"I am so looking forward to them winning," he said. "Although it will be a tough game, I believe they have got all they need to beat Wimbledon.
"Wembley is about having nice day out but, let me tell you, it's a long way home from London to the South West. Let's have a great day out but let's get the job done."
Argyle's most famous headed goal came midway through the second half when Ronnie, now 47, leapt to finish off Mark Patterson's cross from a corner routine.
"Neil Warnock loved his set-pieces," said Ronnie. "We had loads and I got confused about which routine we were going to do, so I had a little reminder from Patto.
"We'd done it dozens of times during the season and it never worked, but this time it did.
"At the time, it felt just like scoring any other goal. I only took in the enormity of it - how much it meant to the club and to the fans - when the final whistle went.
"That's when I thought to myself 'Wow!'
"I was lucky to put the cherry on the cake of a season when every single team-mate contributed to the success. It wasn't just about me - we had a great team; a great spirit.
"We lost the first six games that season. We were booed off after losing at home to Hereford after the sixth defeat.
"Following that game, we got together as a team and said a few home truths. The rest is history."
History again awaits.