BROWNE ON THE BALL: Can Boston United have a picture perfect FA Trophy campaign?

Chris Cook scores at Wembley.
Chris Cook scores at Wembley.

You know the picture, it’s famous enough in these parts.

Yes, you do. It’s the old black and white one of Chris Cook - in the amber shirt of Boston United, his bleached blond hair a hint to which decade we are in - leaning back in anticipation.

To the right of the shot is Bob Iles, the Wealdstone keeper whose facial expression tells us what is coming next.

In front of him is a looping Mitre Delta, in the background are thousands of faces packed into Wembley Stadium, all looking on in anticipation.

Cook scored 181 goals for the Pilgrims in his 484 appearances, but none is more memorable than the one in that iconic photo.

The date was May 11, 1985 and Boston were trailing 2-0 in the FA Trophy final.

That was until Cook ran on to Paul Casey’s punted pass and lobbed home to reduce the arrears.

Sadly, that was the final goal of the game, and remains the only goal which Boston United have scored at Wembley.

However, that day still holds a massive place in the hearts of many Pilgrims fans, and many other Bostonians who made the trek to the Twin Towers that day.

It is a feat that United fans fear they shall never witness again, but every year there is that little bit of hope once more.

This weekend sees the Pilgrims kick off their FA Trophy campaign yet again, hosting Workington at the Jakemans Stadium.

Just to reach Wembley would mean winning seven tough matches.

Going one better than that team of 85 would take eight victories in a cup competition in which the Pilgrims aren’t even in the top division of sides entered.

But that hope remains.

Manager Dennis Greene, reflecting on last year’s superb and spirited 2-1 victory at Southport, has immense faith in his squad and believes anything is possible.

Club captain Scott Garner has spoken about the players being desperate to go on a run to avenge their early FA Cup exit at Leek Town, who sit a division below Workington.

United already know what it feels like to be Goliath this season.

If they progress on Saturday they’ll have to be David several times over to reach Wembley once again.

Doing that may well be a step or two too far, for this year, at least.

But as long as there is that picture of Cook scoring at Wembley, there remains a reminder of the club’s past, and a hope that the future can one day see the club replicate that feat... or go one better.