It is 20 years ago this month that Stoke City went back to Wembley and won the Autoglass Trophy for a second time.
It was actually called the Auto Windscreens Shield by this point – and Stoke got to keep the trophy as the sponsor was changing for the following season.
By the first round in 1999/2000, Gudjon Thordarson had arrived as manager on the wave of an Icelandic takeover and new optimism.
Kyle Lightbourne made a little piece of history when he came off the bench to score Stoke’s first ever golden goal winner, in extra-time against Darlington. It was a golden goal winner from James O’Connor which sealed progress in the next round at Oldham, but only after floodlight failure had seen the first attempt to play the tie – Brynjar Gunnarsson’s debut – abandoned after 56 minutes.
Gunnarsson scored his first Stoke goal in the next round, a 2-1 win at Blackpool, to set up a Northern Area semi-final against Chesterfield, who were bottom of the third tier. It was a horrible rain-sodden Derbyshire night when O’Connor again came to the fore with a deserved late winner.
Stoke eventually got to play at Rochdale in the two-legged Northern final and it was pretty much over within 27 minutes. Mikael Hansson and Peter Thorne, twice, had scored past Neil Edwards, Stockport’s keeper from eight years previously.
A final against Bristol City was dedicated to Sir Stanley Matthews, who had died that November, and Kavanagh and Thorne sealed a 2-1 win in front of a 75,057 crowd.
“I shall not forget the way they backed us in the wind and rain at Chesterfield,” said Thordarson. “They earned a big day out at Wembley.”
So what happened to the players from that day? Well, since you’re asking…
Signed by Brian Little from Bolton during the previous season, he would play all 60 games and be a contender for player of the year in that hectic 1999/2000.
It was arguably the best form of his career and he recalled: “People can say what they like about competitions like the Autowindscreens Shield, but you can’t beat winning in front of 80,000 on a sunny day in the last year the old Wembley was open.”
An ankle injury 20 minutes into the next term, followed by a more serious back problem, effectively ended his spell as number one and he would only make another 27 appearances before leaving for Walsall in 2002.
Brief spells at Barnsley, Preston, Tranmere, Chester and Wrexham followed before he turned to coaching, initially as Little’s number two at Gainsborough Trinity.
Now 49, he went on to be goalkeeping coach at Shrewsbury and Nottingham Forest before landing the gig at Queens Park Rangers in 2016.
Joined in November 1999 from Swedish home town club Norrkoping and become a hit with fans.
The quick right-back only played one more season after this Wembley win, however, as he was struck down by an ankle injury in the summer of 2001.
Now 52, he became a football agent.
Youth team graduate went on to become Stoke captain and stayed with the club until 2005. He moved to West Ham then Sunderland but almost died – well, did for a while – after a cardiac arrest while on loan at Leicester in 2007.
Forced to retire from playing, he has become an agent and still watches Stoke regularly , often as a summariser for Signal Radio.
A £600,000 club record signing from Orgryte, he became a key man in either defence or midfield under Gudjon Thordarson – and is well remembered by fans of Watford and Reading too.
He helped Reading win promotion to the Premier League in 2006 and stayed at the club until 2013, when he moved back to Iceland.
Moved into coaching and then management with Stjarnan before getting the job at Kopavogs, where, now aged 44, he recently met up with visiting former Reading teammate Dave Kitson.
No-nonsense defender joined from Wycombe and was skipper when the Icelandic takeover was completed. Scored the fourth goal at Wycombe and lifted the trophy at Wembley later that season.
Moved onto Hull in 2001 then kept playing in non-league as he became a policeman up north.
Whole-hearted midfielder became the hero of the promotion campaign in 2002 and later had spells with West Brom, Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday before crossing the Atlantic to sign for Orlando City.
Made a big impression in his first manager’s role at Louisville City, who were crowned USL champions on his watch, and earned the main gig at Orlando. He left the club at the end of the 2019 season.
Gudjon Thordarson’s son made 161 appearances for Stoke between 2000 and 2003, scoring 16 goals.
He moved on to Bochum in Germany before spells at Coventry and under Tony Pulis again with Plymouth.
A return to Iceland followed to sign for KR before he went into management with Fram and then KR.
The 41-year-old former midfielder has since moved into business and is now a key account manager at an insurance firm.
Scored Stoke’s last goal at the Victoria Ground, the first goal at the Brit, the first goal of the Icelandic era then at Wembley to help win the Autowindscreens Shield.
Joined Cardiff for £1m in 2001 and finally hung up his boots a decade later.
Managed Carlisle in 2013/14 and now a scout, occasional pundit and keen boxer. Watch out for his son, Calum, too. The teenager is a forward on Middlesbrough’s books and has won youth caps for Republic of Ireland.
The former Iceland forward has the best points return for any player who has ever started more than 10 league games for Stoke; an average 2.2 points per game from his 23 for the club.
He is now manager of Vikingur in Reykjavík and won the Icelandic cup last year. It was Viking’s first major title in 28 years.
Scored 80 goals in four and a bit seasons with Stoke, going on to play for Cardiff, Norwich and Bradford before retiring in 2010.
A keen surfer and golfer, he has a few overseas business interests.
“I was gutted (to leave Stoke),” he told DUCK recently.
“I did everything to stay but from that moment, I had little choice.
“£1.7 million was a lot of cash back then. I’m not driven massively by money, being happy meant a lot to me and I was scared I would regret changing anything.
“Looking back now, I have to say I’m grateful for the money I made from it for my family.
“It was massive wage increase and with bonuses involved, I knew it would set me up for life. I’m retired at 46 because of that move.”
Found himself flung into a team in crisis when he was signed by Chris Kamara for £500,000 in 1998. Scored 26 times in three years before spending most of the rest of his career at Macclesfield.
Has gone back to Bermuda and was appointed national team boss in 2018. He had also worked as a taxi driver and helped to clean aeroplanes.
The goalkeeper, now aged 51, joined Stoke in 1994 and made 177 appearances, on top of the nine he had previously made on loan from Leicester.
He moved into coaching and also started up as a driving instructor, running the Carl Muggleton Driving School.
He told the Athletic: “I was in the last year of my career, aged 39. My mate’s daughter was 17 and he didn’t want to take her out for lessons, so I said I’d help.
“I decided to do a course and qualify, and it has been good for me. I can be flexible and do more when I am out of work as a coach. It is so rewarding, because you are giving youngsters a chance in life and an opportunity for freedom to get out and about, and they get asked when applying for jobs if they have a driving licence.
“I was asked to give (Leicester player) Daniel Amartey some lessons to get used to driving here, booster lessons, but it didn’t work out because he wanted to drive an automatic, and I taught Tigers (Leicester’s pro rugby side) player Joe Heyes, who plays for England Under-21s. I know his dad, Darren Heyes, because he used to play keeper for Nottingham Forest.”
Grew up as a Stoke fan in Oslo – “When I was a young boy of about seven or eight you either had a Liverpool or a Stoke shirt. Stoke were huge in Norway in the 70s. When I signed for Sheffield United there wasn’t too much written back home but when I joined Stoke there were a lot of notices in the newspapers.” – and was brought in by Gary Megson in the summer of 1999.
A dependable mainstay that season but was released by Gudjon Thordarson the following summer, spending time with Notts County before returning to Norway, where he became manager of top flight Stromsgodset in 2005, then Skeid and Arvoll.
Also works as a teacher at a secondary school Oslo.
Defender, now aged 50, signed twice for Stoke on loan from Southampton. Former Exeter, Notts County, Birmingham and Bristol City player went on to have spells at Luton Town and Scarborough before moving into coaching.
He has been assistant at Tamworth, managed Worcester, assistant at Darlington, youth coach at Notts County, Nottingham Forest and York, scout at Notts County and York and PE teacher at Bilborough College.
Midfielder joined on Nottingham Forest and made seven appearances before moving on to Brighton and Hove Albion and winding his way back to home town Lincoln – and Lincoln United and Lincoln Moorlands Railway – where he still lives.
The big Scot joined Stoke from Danish club Aarhus Fremad and scored 22 times in 103 games before successful spells with Colchester, Wolves and Burnley.
Now aged 41, he’s a regular pundit on TalkSPORT and is part of the match day build-up team at the bet365 Stadium.