|Saturday 28th December 1996
Stuart Beevor (3)
Match abandoned at half time due to frozen pitch.
It’s impossible to document the Boro hat-trick heroes without acknowledging the hat-trick that never was.
It was a cold December Saturday afternoon at Broadhall Way, with the Stevenage side ready to face Hayes FC, who had recently been promoted to the Conference.
Those in attendance will remember the freezing conditions – and will no doubt remember Stuart Beevor, the unlikely hat-trick hero, whose achievement was cruelly vanquished by the referee at half-time and the game postponed.
The History website spoke to Stuart, who kindly shared with us his memories of the day – and of the hat trick that never was.
“When we had this game, really it should have been called off from the start – but as Hayes had already made the trip, both parties thought the pitch would get easier as the game went on, so we played.
The pitch was quite hard, but it took a stud and we all just got on with it. I suppose we all (Hayes included) thought “it’s the same for both sides so let’s just get on with it.”
I remember I had been given some Astro boots about a week before, but as the AstroTurf pitches back then were not up to the standard of the ones we play on now they were more like hockey boots with the rubber pimples up the side slightly too!
They were perfect and definitely gave me at least 2yds over the opposing team, and you know as well as I do I did not have that sort of pace!
I seem to remember the 1st goal was a good strike inside the box, one was a header but the last was really a mis-kick which looped over the keeper – if it had been hit well he would have saved it.
We all came off at half time and as always just started preparing for the second half, making sure we did not concede and really kill it off with another goal. The ref announced, after quite a lot of complaining from Hayes, that the game will be called off and I remember being absolutely devastated as I had never scored more than one goal in a game for The Boro let alone a Hat trick by half time!! To be fair it was such a cold night it could have gone either way.
I have never scored a hat trick since although I came close a couple of times at Hitchin and Arlesey, although I score them regularly now in 5 a side haha.
When I got home that night I got interviewed on Sky News, which I found hilarious as did my mates as it didn’t count for anything.
I didn’t get to keep the match ball (we all know how tight Mr Green was back then) but as so many Stevenage supporters still ask me about ‘ that night’ the memories are always there.
It was such a good time to be involved with the club as we were growing all the time. It was easily the best football I had played due to the players I had around me and with the cup runs we had it gave the whole town a lift.
I’m not sure how my playing form was at the time on the hat trick, but a lot of the games I played were maybe down to my fitness and age. We had some very good players at that time and I always felt quite lucky and honoured to be playing at the club.
I go to watch the team every so often and even now they are still so welcoming after all this time. At least now they are in the League, which the club so richly deserves.”
The History website would like to thank Stuart for his time in sharing his memories of that match with us, despite it being nearly 17 years ago! Even though the hat trick didn’t count, Stuart is still a worthy holder of a Boro ‘Moment in History’.