Saturday, 6 April 2013

Crewe Keeper Steve Phillips Looking For Lucky Seven

Crewe keeper Steve Phillips lines up for his SEVENTH domestic final tomorrow - more than Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie put together.

Although the 34-year-old could be accused of being greedy, the shot-stopper is simply relieved to be playing again after a cancer scare.

The goalkeeper feared he was about to be diagnosed with the disease after finding a lump in his left knee last July.


But luckily a biopsy showed the tumour was benign and he was cleared to return to action.

Phillips said: "It was a long wait for the results. In the end I got a letter giving me the all-clear, which was a big relief.

"I was lucky that it grew outside the joint. I would have been in trouble if it was on the inside. Now I've had the lump shaved off."

That meant Phillips could help Crewe battle through to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final less than a year after securing a play-off final defeat of Cheltenham.

And he is hoping it will be a lucky seventh outing as Alex look to win the first cup in their history.

Phillips was on the bench when hometown club Bristol City were beaten by Stoke in the Football League Trophy final in 2000.

He kept a clean sheet three years later as the Robins got the better of Carlisle in Cardiff and played in their play-off defeat by Millwall in 2004.

Phillips has also featured twice in the space of two months for rivals Bristol Rovers and led Crewe to promotion via last year's play-off final victory over Cheltenham.

"It still sends a tingle down my spine whenever I'm going to Wembley," said Phillips.

"I've been lucky it will be the seventh time I've been at a final at a national stadium."

Crewe edged Southend on the way to last May's League Two play-off final and while the Shrimpers' support will outnumber the Alex fans by three to one, Phillips believe the Railwaymen's trademark passing game will give them the edge.

He said: "All the lower league pitches are poor at this time of the season, so we'll be looking forward to getting out on to an excellent surface.

"We love to pass the ball and that will help us get on top of Southend early on. We were better than them over two legs last year."

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