Following the unexpected 1-1 draw between Stevenage Borough and Newcastle United in the 1998 FA Cup, the then Newcastle manager Kenny Dalgish spoke to the press after the game and gave his inflections on the result.
Unfortunately for him, some of his words were taken out of context – and were pounced upon by the press, and subsequently by then Boro chairman Victor Green – who had been in hot dispute with Newcastle over the staging of the match at Broadhall Way.
In talking about his team’s performance and the match result, Kenny stated that the blustery wind and bouncing balls “suited them more than us.”
The throwaway comment was picked apart by the media, who discovered that the ball in question – a Spalding Top Flite 2000, had been endorsed by Kenny at his former club Blackburn Rovers, and to add insult to injury, the ball even bore his signature.
This, amongst other things, escalated a war of words between the two clubs ahead of the replay at St James Park – a game which Newcastle went on to win, albeit not without controversy.
However, the bouncy balls incident did result in an amusing “Your balls don’t bounce enough” chant, which the Boro faithful took great pride in singing to Kenny throughout the return leg.
For Kenny, the “bouncy balls” comment is well documented as one of the worst football excuses ever, although Dalglish himself maintains that that was never his intention – and that he was misquoted.