An edited version of this article appeared in the Cambridge United matchday programme for the game against Stevenage on 5 January 2019.
Last Saturday’s sight of young Liam O’Neil lying motionless with his face in the Abbey turf brought back memories for some of us U's supporters of a certain vintage.
Was it really more than 50 years ago – was it 10 December 1966 to be exact – that we saw a near namesake of Liam’s knocked similarly unconscious on the field of play?
But it wasn’t a low-flying Imp that poleaxed the great U’s playmaker and net-bulger Alan O’Neill … the damage in the latter’s case was done when his bonce got in the way of a thunderously struck free kick.
Down he dropped and down he stayed, until judicious application of the magic sponge and a waft of the smelling salts brought him shakily to his feet. Sports medicine was a relatively primitive science in those days.