The beauty of cup competitions is their unpredictable nature. As well as shock victories, you tend to see unlikely heroes who grab the headlines, whether it is scoring the winning goal; saving a decisive penalty, or simply a moment of individual brilliance. As we fast approach the 4th Round of the Capital One Cup we decided to look back at those unlikely heroes who simply made their name in one magic moment during this prestigious Cup Competition and find out what has happened to them since.
Whatever happened to Frankie Bunn…
Bit of pub trivia for you. Who is Paul Scholes’s favourite all-time footballer? George Best? Pele? Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris given Scholesy’s love for a tenacious tackle? None of those actually, in fact the real answer is Frankie Bunn. Scholes’s choice, albeit tongue-in-cheek, is down to the fact that Bunn once bagged six goals in a League Cup clash with Scarborough back in 1989, a game Scholes undoubtedly attended given his love for hometown club Oldham.
Bunn is in fact a Latics legend, with his most famous moment coming during that clash with Scarborough and he still holds the record for the most goals scored in a League Cup match thanks to that legendary night one October. It’s remarkable to think that the striker could well be in the record books for ever, given his career record before and after that game. He started his career at Luton Town, scoring just nine goals in 59 league games, but moved on to Hull City in 1985 where he managed to improve that goal scoring ratio, bagging 23 goals in 95 games.
Bunn switched to Oldham in 1987, where his record stood at 78 league games and 26 goals. Although he wasn’t the most consistent of strikers, Bunn was a popular player for his endeavour up front, something that Scholes evidently tried to replicate from his hero in his own game! However, it all fell into place during that match against Scarborough in the third round as Bunn bagged his first after a goalkeeping mistake after 10 minutes. His second came from a header from a corner and his hat-trick followed with a smart finish from around the penalty spot on 20 minutes. The number nine made it four with a fine solo effort and he grabbed his fifth just before half time, sweeping in a cross. The record was broken when he volleyed home a sixth and Bunn’s famous night was complete in a 7-0 victory.
Unfortunately, it proved to be something of a one-off for the forward, though in this day and age, he’d have probably been snapped up by a Premier League club on the basis of that performance.Injury ended his professional career just a year later in 1990 and despite a brief comeback for Stalybridge Celtic, the goal machine’s playing days were over. Bunn moved into coaching, starting at Wigan Athletic before joining Manchester City in 1998. After becoming the first team coach at Coventry, he made his first steps into management, taking over as caretaker manager with John Harbin after the sacking of Iain Dowie in 2007. However, once Chris Coleman took the position, he stepped back into his role as first team coach, a job he left to join Rochdale in 2011 to assist Steve Eyre.
After Eyre was sacked following a disappointing start to the season, Bunn chose to take up a position with the Newcastle United academy, keeping his eyes out for the next stars. Although he only lasted three months, he worked with the U18’s to help develop the next Geordie Superstar that doesn’t appear on MTV. Bunn has now taken up the same position with Huddersfield as they work to promote young players into their squad in the Championship, although he will be casting a keen eye towards Crewe Alexandra this season, considering his 19-year-old son Harry is on loan there from Manchester City.
Harry will hope to emulate his dad and although he is yet to make his Manchester City debut, the young striker has a promising future ahead of him. He will do will to make a similar sort of impact to his dad, who despite enjoying a journeyman career, is famous for that balmy night in the Capital One Cup. Oh, and the fact he’s Paul Scholes’s favourite player.