Garreth Roberts holds aloft the Arrow Air Trophy in front of 15,000 fans inside the Tampa Stadium following the Tigers’ 3-1 aggregate win over North American Soccer League side Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The two-legged friendly fixture formed part of an end-of-season tour following a traumatic finish to the 1983/84 campaign. Having missed out on promotion to the Second Division by the narrowest of margins – just one goal – an outcome which sparked the resignation of manager Colin Appleton, which meant that the Tigers headed to America without a boss!
The Tigers held a 3-0 lead going into the second leg of the Arrow Air Anglo-American Cup with Roberts, Steve McLaren and Steve Massey on the scoresheet at Boothferry Park in April 1984, although but the day’s talking point was the sight of then chairman Don Robinson riding around the pitch on a horse wearing a stetson!
City did have a new manager in charge for the return leg though following the appointment of Brian Horton – who even paid his own fare to join up with his new squad Stateside – as player/manager. And although Horton’s first game in charge ended in a 1-0 defeat – with Serbian defender Refik Kozic scoring the only goal of the game for the Rowdies – it wasn’t enough to prevent the Tigers from lifting the trophy.