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Everton claim glory in dramatic comeback

Everton 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday

In one of the most memorable finals of the world's greatest domestic knockout competition, Harry Catterick's Everton came back from 2-0 down to score three goals in 15 second half minutes and break the hearts of Sheffield Wednesday and secure the club's third FA Cup triumph.

The Blues looked a beaten side when Wednesday went into a two-goal lead 12 minutes after the interval but in a superb display of courage and spirit, Everton hit back to turn the tide in their favour.

Everton came to Wembley in May 1966 as the first team ever to reach the FA Cup Final without conceding a goal in the preceding rounds. Catterick's side that had triumphed in the league three years earlier were widely admired as the School of Science and the Mersey Millionnaires while Sheffield Wednesday were a similarly highly regarded outfit.

The Blues were looking for their first FA Cup success for 33 years but their clean defensive record lay in tatters as early as the fouth minute of the match when McCalliog smashed home a deflected shot from the edge of the area. Blues goalkeeper Gordon West stood little chance as the ball cannoned in off a defender's heel.

Everton's misery was further compounded 11 minutes later when Alex Young's expertly finished goal was chalked off for off-side before the "Golden Vision" was felled in the area by Ron Springett only for the referee to wave play on.

Wednesday could, and perhaps should, have extended their lead just a few minutes later but McCalliog's shot was brilliantly blocked after a goalmouth melee. The Yorkshiremen nevertheless appeared comfortable with their lead, inviting Everton to control the play and putting the onus on them to search for the equaliser. So it was at half time that Sheffield went in a goal up.

The second period began more or less as the previous had finished, with Everton enjoying more of the ball but failing to capitalise on the advantage. Young was desperately unlucky not to level the scores 5 minutes into the half when he received Temple's inch-perfect ball, turned on a six-pence and smashed the ball goalwards from the penalty spot. However, Springett, a rival to Gordon Banks for the England goalkeeper's jersey, pulled off a wonderful save, palming it wide for a corner.

At the other end, McCalliog fired just wide for Wednesday in the 54th minute and only three minutes after that, West spilled a fierce shot by Fantham and Ford followed up to slide the ball into the far corner to make it 2-0.

The Merseysiders' response was almost immediate. Just over a minute later, Temple set up Trebilcock and the ex-Plymouth Argyle player made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 2-1. It immediately lifted the spirits of the enormous Blue contingient that had travelled down from the North West.

Four minutes passed before Scott launched a free kick into the Wednesday area which was not properly cleared and Trebilcock crashed home from the edge of the area to give Everton level the game. Suddenly, Wednesday found themselves pegged back to 2-2 but they could not resist their opponents' new-found zeal.

With 16 minutes remaining, Gerry Young in the Sheffield defence made a crucial error which allowed Temple to race clear and fire past Springett from the edge of the area to give his side the lead for the first time; a goal which would ultimately seal the cup for Catterick's men. The great blue mass on the Wembley terraces had found their voice and there was much waving of flags and jumping up and down in delight.

With their tales up, Everton nearly grabbed a fourth soon afterwards when Young released Trebilcock for his hat-trick but the no. 8 was foiled by the tackle by Springett. Wednesday for their part had just one last meaningful opportunity in the 89th minute when West punched the ball straight at Fantham but he headed just over.

The final whistle blew and Everton's triumph was complete. At 2-0 down they had looked dead and buried but they had the strength to fight back and eventually reverse the scoreline.

The victorious Blues climbed the same Wembley steps that Bobby Moore was to climb later that year to receive the World Cup whereupon the Everton captain, Brian Labone, was presented with the FA Cup by Princess Margaret. He raised it aloft and kissed the silverware, Everton's first FA Cup win since beating Manchester City in 1933.

Video highlights on YouTube

Goals: Everton - Trebilcock 59, 64 Temple 74 ; Sheff Weds - McCalliog 4 Ford 57

Everton: West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harris, Scott, Trebilcock, Young, Harvey, Temple.

Lyndon Lloyd


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