Monday, 18 February 2008

The 1974 Cup Final


And I was there!

One of my most memorable days. I had been to plenty of football matches over the years but this was my first (and only) trip to Wembley to the Cup Final. I got the ticket from a friend in Leeds as a result of which it was supposed to be in among the Newcastle supporters. As I was waiting outside the ground in my Liverpool scarf and colours a lad came up with a Newcastle scarf and a ticket for a Liverpool area of the ground. Being a trusting sort I agreed to his idea of swapping tickets provided we got a policeman to check they were genuine. An obliging bobby did that for us and I set of for the Liverpool end. (Note these were the good old days when managers were called "Mr." and weren't sacked every two minutes.)

One of the main things that Liverpool supporters wanted out of the match was for Supermac – Malcolm MacDonald, a big-mouthed Newcastle player – to be humbled. And he was. We won 3-0. (Actually it was 4-0 but Alec Lindsay’s perfectly legitimate goal was disallowed!) Kevin Keegan scored two and Heighway one. Just about every Liverpool player made a major contribution to the game under the captaincy of Emlyn Hughes. One of the players who kept Malcolm MacDonald out of the game was Tommy Smith who in those days was the Liverpool 'hard man' (something every team had one of). A match report in The Times of 21st August 1972 had read as follows - "A minute into the second half Wall collided with Smith, an involuntary exercise as discouarging as trying to chop down trees with the bare hands. Lengthy repairs."

The goals from the Final can be seen on YouTube at

On the way back to the station we saw a car painted in black and white stripes and actually felt sorry for the occupants driving so sheepishly through the crowds of joyous Liverpool supporters. I got the train back, jumped off at Aigburth station and ran all the way home to arrive in time to watch the highlights programme on TV. What a glorious day.

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