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The Man Behind The Miracle Of Manchester: Daryl Evans



Daryl Evans

The Man Behind The Miracle Of Manchester: Daryl Evans

It was a nearly impossible comeback. The 1980-81 Los Angeles Kings finished the regular season with a 48-point deficit to the Edmonton Oilers in the standings, and on paper, they were no match for their young and talented opponents.

The opportunity to win their first Stanley Cup was still two years away, but the talent was already there. Take a look at the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup: Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier, Glen Anderson, and Grant Fuhr have all been on it before.

After two periods, the Kings were down 5-0 in the best-of-five series. They just wanted to save face and send a message for Game 4 in the third period, but something amazing occurred.

The Kings pulled off an incredible comeback, tying the game at 5-5 with just five seconds remaining on a goal by Steve Bozek. Daryl Evans scored the game-winner with 2:35 remaining in overtime, sending spectators at the “Fabulous Forum” in Inglewood into a frenzy.

The underdog Kings triumphed in the series, 5-4, and then went on to win it in five games. The Miracle on Manchester was a stunning reversal, but the Miracle on Manchester endures as one of the most remarkable comeback victories in Stanley Cup playoff history.

A hockey player’s life can change in an instance. A relocation to a new city, house, teammates, and, sometimes, a new hockey culture is associated with switching teams. That was certainly the case for Daryl Evans, who was chosen by the Los Angeles Kings in 1980. He had no idea that he would be a part of one of history’s greatest comebacks. As Daryl Evans sat down with Betway, he explained his experience of the Miracle of Manchester.

“It was an incredible moment, I’ve learned to appreciate it more now, many years removed from it.

“When you do something like that in the NHL, and you do it against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers, it magnifies it that much more.

“Looking at the way the two teams lined up going into the playoffs, Gretzky’s team had 46 more points than us during the regular season. It was supposed to be a walkover.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be in the lineup. That year, they expanded the roster from 19 to 20 players, and I was one of the add-ons.

“Believe it or not, both teams flew on the same plane to go back to Edmonton for game five. That was the quietest plane ride I’ve ever been on.”

(Source: NHL lines site Betway)


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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