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29 May 2014

Current Iron manager Russ Wilcox still vividly recalls winning promotion at Wembley with United in 1999.

Wilcox, then 35, was a veteran centre-back who had played a key part in defence alongside Richard Logan and Chris Hope.

After Alex Calvo-Garcia had headed Scunthorpe into a sixth-minute lead in the Division Three play-off final, Leyton Orient threw everything at the Iron as we held on for a memorable victory under the Twin Towers.

"It was a special day. Obviously for all concerned with this football club it was another promotion to talk about," Wilcox told The Iron Player.

"It was a great afternoon and a win at Wembley is always special.

"It was a brilliant year capped by a great performance and a terrific 1-0 win against Leyton Orient.

"We made a terrific start, and there was a fantastic bit of skill from Gareth Sheldon on the left-hand side, who put a terrific ball in for Alex Calvo-Garcia, who arrived late into the box and guided a great header into the far corner.

"I don't think he gets enough credit for the header. It was outstanding.

"I thought we played really well on the day. Leyton Orient came out for the second half and threw the kitchen sink at us, but we played on the counter-attack and I remember Paul Harsley forcing a great stop from the goalkeeper on his 21st birthday and then Darryn Stamp having the rebound cleared off the line.

"We couldn't get that second goal and Orient took it right to the end.

"On the day we deserved the win, and it was a great day."

Wilcox reserved special praise for the match-winner, Calvo-Garcia.

"Alex came into the country not speaking a word of English but he built a strong connection with the group," he stated.

"I still speak to him now, living out in Spain, and he keeps an eye on what we're doing and tells me about players as well.

"He still plays a big part for this football club."

See much more from Russ Wilcox on The Iron Player.

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