The FA Cup- What Happened?
Like many of you of a “certain age” the FA Cup is a magical thing. My earliest memories of Football are triggered by the Cup. The very first one I remember was the 1973 Final between Sunderland and Leeds. The magic of the FA Cup encapsulated in that one match. The mighty Leeds utd. Bremner, Hunter, Clark, Jones, Reaney, Lorimer, Giles and Harvey. Against 2nd division Sunderland. The joy of that victory from the Sunderland team and fans is something I have never forgotten, it may have been the trigger for my life long love affair with Football.
Back in the early 70’s and in fact all the way upto the early 1990’s we were treated to very few live matches on TV. The Cup Final being the main one. The build up was fabulous. They followed the teams pretty much from breakfast at the hotel all the way to wembley. They had cameras on the coach and it was no stop from 9:00am until the end of the match. The passion was captured brilliantly. The FA Cup was the trophy all teams wanted to win. Perhaps more so the the League title itself?
If I go though my early memories of those magical days I can clearly recall Liverpool dominating the game, I can’t remember Newcastle being there at all! ’75 – Bobby Moore playing against his beloved West Ham, 76′ – Another incredible match. Southampton slaying the mighty Manchester United. Then onto the 80’s trevor Brookings header in the 1980 final. Ricky Villa getting the winner in the replay for Spurs against Man City in ’81. 1986 the Merseyside final, I recall reds sitting next Blues, and them all singing together, basking in the glory of Merseyside.
We then come to the best day of my life. 16th May 1987. My City, My Team Coventry City, massive underdogs up against the might of Spurs. It was one of the greatest Cup Finals ever, and if any of you support the “little ” clubs, the unfashionable teams. The ones where no one outside they the area supports them. You may be lucky enough to know how it feels when you finally get to win something. This is why Leicester has had such amazing support from the neutrals. The people who as sick of our game being dominated by the same 5 or 6 clubs, year after year. That night in Coventry it was something so special we will never forget it. The people of Leicester experienced the same sort of joy last week.
The following year even crazier. Coventry knocked out in the 3rd round by non league Sutton Utd. (That was Sutton’s own Cup Final) The trophy won by WIMBLEDON – I still can’t believe it now!
’89 another Merseyside Cup Final and then in ’90 the fantastic 3-3 Man utd v Palace match. Which takes us nicely to today.
I can’t remember anymore Cup Finals after that. All the ones I have spoke about were easy to recall. The years, the scores, the scorers. After that nothing. I could not even tell you how won last year. Nor do I care. So what happened?
Was it that getting to Wembley is no big deal anymore? The semis are there now, even the League 2 play offs are played there. It’s the same old, same old. Is it that the top teams play shadow teams through some rounds? They are not that bothered if they win it or not.
I am not sure if the 9 -16 year olds of today watch it with the reverence that people of my age did when they were boys. For me it’s dead. They can shove it right up their arses, along with the 5:30 pm kick off.
The FA Cup- What Happened?