Season 1983-84: The FA Cup Final

Sixteen years after their previous appearance in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, Evertonians woke up on Saturday 19 May 1984 – if they had gone to bed in the first place, switched on their TV sets, and sat glued to the screen as various snippets and interviews with former, current and anyone connected with Everton was interviewed for the TV specials on either the BBC or ITV. That is probably when it all sunk in that their club was to participate in the showpiece event at Wembley which most football fans who couldn’t be there would be envious of and would be going through the if only moments of their own teams elimination from the competition. Gillingham fans perhaps had the most compelling case as they really had taken Everton to the wire during the three game marathon between the two sides.

My experience of the morning was slightly different, safe in the knowledge that at least three members of the family had been given instructions to record the game, what time to remove one tape and insert a new one. How to use the pause button when the racing or adverts were broadcast and a whole host of other things to do or not do relating to the video recorder.

Which meant that when I woke up after a heavy night’s drinking in a quieter part of London, I deliberately didn’t put on the TV or Radio and myself and the lads who had travelled down with me, went to the paper-shop and then studied the racing pages in a café over a large English breakfast.

We had a discussion about how we thought it would go and not one of us contemplated any other result than an Everton victory. The sun was shining we were all chilled – we had time on our hands and sought out the nearest hostelry to have a hair of the dog via the bookies.

Two of us decided that we would win by two goals to nil and the others being over-confident were looking at scores of at least three or four goals to nil. We each threw couple of quid into the pot and agreed to share whatever winnings came our way if any of our predictions came to pass.

So far it had been a really pleasant cup final morning and we made our way to the stadium with more than a few cans of the amber nectar in tow and arrived at around one o’clock at the bottom of Wembley Way. Blue and White scarves and hats merged with the Yellow and Black regalia of the Watford fans. Fans of both sides were so happy to be at Wembley that day, there was no tribal chanting and everyone we met seemed intent on enjoying the day regardless of the outcome. Group photographs were the order of the day with people of all ages, creeds and colour smiling and enjoying being part of the Cup Final carnival.

All of that was true, but among the Evertonians there was a hunger to see their team pick up a trophy and the closer it got to kick off time the more evident it became that Evertonians wanted their team to win, in point of fact they needed their team to win, given the number of near-misses that they had endured in the competition since they had last witnessed an Everton Captain lift the famous old trophy. Many of the people of my generation hadn’t seen any Everton Captain lift any trophy and we were desperate to see it, preferably on this very day.

The last time an Everton Captain had lifted the FA Cup was in 1966 – as if anybody reading this didn’t already know that – and it was only the second time that an Everton Captain had done so at Wembley. On a website entitled Famous Matches, they report the 1966 FA Cup Final in detail which you can read below:–

There were surprise inclusions on both sides for the showpiece event of the domestic season. Sheffield Wednesday were forced into fielding the inexperienced centre half Sam Ellis in place of the injured Vic Mobley and another youngster, Graham Pugh, took his place on the right hand side of midfield. Everton had made a more surprising selection. England international centre forward Fred Pickering was left out in favour of a little known Cornishman Mike Trebilcock. The Toffees, who were yet to concede a goal in the cup that year, were undoubtedly the favourites.

There was a frantic start with both sides playing at 100 miles an hour and tackles flying in everywhere. The Everton goalkeeper Gordon West was hampered by a thigh strain and was unable to kick. This was not to prove too great a handicap in the days when keepers could pick up back passes. He also showed quickly that he had an Olympian throw on him, regularly hurling balls way over the half way line for Alex Young. By the end his shoulder must have been sorer than his thigh.

Wednesday managed some early pressure as the lively Jim McCalliog won a corner off Brian Harris and then poor control by Brian Labone gifted the Owls a throw in deep in Everton territory on the left. Peter Eustace threw the ball into Dave Ford and with the Everton defence sleeping he turned and knocked a ball back into McCalliog's path on the edge of the box. McCalliog shot low and West seemed to have the effort well covered until it deflected off one of the two players in front of him and ended up in his net.

Everton looked to respond quickly and the quicksilver Young showed his immaculate control to turn away from Ellis and get in a low drive which flew straight at Ron Springett in the Wednesday goal. It needed a smart interception by Eustace to halt the next Everton attack and then Derek Temple found Young with a fine pass. There was great expectation among the Everton ranks as Young ran at Ellis but the youngster timed his tackle perfectly on the edge of the box and cleared.

Another huge throw by West then started the best move of the match so far. Young gathered it to feet and fed Temple. The roving winger set off at pace, riding one tackle before playing Trebilcock into space down the right hand side of the box. His cut back into the area spelled danger but Wilf Smith was the man who got there first to snuff out the danger, taking a hefty knock in the process.

On the quarter-hour Everton thought they were level. Pugh extricated himself from trouble just outside his own area with a lovely turn but then dwelt on the ball far too long and was robbed by Jimmy Gabriel. This led to a swift counter that was only half cleared to Ray Wilson. He returned the ball quickly to the far post and when Gabriel headed down Young arrived to stab the ball home ahead of Springett.

The iconic Scotsman's joy was short-lived as the linesman on the far side flagged for offside. It looked a highly dubious decision. Don Megson had already shown his eagerness to go in hard on Alex Scott but his next challenge, deep in the Everton half, was absolutely ridiculous, launching his opponent high into the air with no thought about the ball. It was a free kick but no booking; defenders could get away with just about anything in those days.

Everton, though behind, continued to have the better of the game. Young had more cause for grievance shortly afterwards when he hared through onto a Trebilcock pass to be taken out by Springett as he looked to go round him. Somehow the referee, Jack Taylor, saw nothing amiss.

Since the goal, Wednesday had constructed a few neat moves through the midfield but had scarcely posed another threat around the goalmouth. They remedied this with a fine move on 21 minutes. Megson started it deep in his own half heading clear to Pugh at the back post. The youngster decided to run the ball clear and left Scott trailing before sending a precise ball up the line for Dave Ford who had made himself available.

Ford held the ball up before starting a quick, short passing move which involved Pugh, Eustace and Fantham and ended with McCalliog being presented a shooting chance eight yards out in front of goal. The shot was strong but West plunged bravely at the danger and managed a crucial block, winding himself in the process.

Everton were still able to produce such moments more frequently and Young and Gabriel combined cleverly to present Harvey with a shooting chance from 25 yards. The low shot was true but straight at Springett.

Then Johnny Fantham linked with McCalliog to send a shot at West which he bundled behind for a corner rather uncomfortably. The game was now more even as Wednesday's attack began to function again. Megson conceded another free kick for felling Scott and Trebilcock had a decent chance from Labone's knock down. The shot again went straight at Springett. Seconds later Megson was again late on Scott.

Just past the half-hour Wednesday were inches away from a second. Fantham picked up a headed clearance and drove towards the box. His sudden centre took everyone by surprise but Ford flicked an instinctive header towards goal that completely wrong footed West. The ball grazed the outside of the post, however.

Fantham's surging runs were becoming an increasing feature of the final and the next one ended with him going to ground in the area under a suspicious challenge from Tommy Wright. The defender had certainly not played the ball but there was reasonable doubt about this one and again no penalty was awarded.

Wright was not having the best of afternoons and he then presented Ford with a chance with an awful back pass. From the left hand side of the area the striker snatched his shot, however, and the danger passed. The half ended with Wednesday enjoying their best spell of possession and their fans taunting the Evertonians with cries of "Easy" as well as an impromptu rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone.

Fantham's strong running continued to impress but the two blatant handballs he perpetrated to start two of his surges were less laudable. Fortunately the referee was wise to his cunning.

Johnny Fantham began where he had left off after enjoying his half time orange. Collecting possession on half way he tore past Wright and charged straight through on goal. No defender could get across to challenge but they were spared punishment when his last touch was a heavy one and allowed West to gather.

Ray Wilson then took a short free kick to Temple whose centre found the chest of Young. Turning and shooting in one movement Young's drive was goalbound only for Springett to produce a magnificent full length save.

The two workers of the Wednesday midfield, Eustace and John Quinn, engineered a move down the left which ended with McCalliog having a half chance at the far post but he snatched at his shot and failed to hit the target.

Then Fantham set off on another of his direct runs. Rounding Labone he sent in a low drive which West should have gathered comfortably but let slip from his grasp and Ford was there to mop up the rebound. 56 minutes had gone and Wednesday were two up.

It might have been time for Everton to panic but their next move through the midfield was typically composed. Harvey, Gabriel and Harris worked the ball forward and when the latter lifted the ball into the box Temple produced a surprising leap above Ellis to head down into Trebilcock's path and he drove first time, low into the corner to put Everton instantly back into it.

Don Megson must have worked out by now that, short of murdering the referee's wife, he was not going to get booked for anything. When Colin Harvey floated a superb pass over him that would have sent Scott racing clear down the wing the full back leapt full length into the air to intercept the ball two handed. Free kick but no booking. Two minutes later he hacked Scott down yet again and was still not asked for his name.

On 63 minutes, therefore, there was something approaching poetic justice when Megson was harshly penalised for one of his tamer challenges on Scott. The winger sent over the free kick and when it was cleared to the edge of the box Trebilcock was waiting to send another first time effort sliding off the outside of his right boot low into the same corner of Springett's goal.

Until five minutes ago Trebilcock had been virtually anonymous. Now he was immortal.

There was then the famous pitch invasion which was nowhere near as amusing as it seems now with the podgy little Scouser leaving a policeman grounded by removing his jacket as he's being grabbed. The two intruders had already wrestled an unsuspecting Trebilcock to the floor in their excitement and it is fortunate that he survived their attentions unscathed.

The stuffing had been more effectively knocked out of Wednesday, however. Fantham now appeared to have lost his energy and the clever McCalliog had all but disappeared. Everton's midfield was as neat and tidy as ever and looked much the fresher.

When the decisive moment came, however, it was not Everton quality that made the difference but an awful Wednesday mistake. Gerry Young had been excellent sweeping up around the youngster Ellis but when a long ball forward by Harvey dropped straight at his feet he managed to stand on the ball in trying to collect and it ran free straight into the path of Temple. There was no chance of recovering against Temple's pace and Young could only watch as he sped forward to drive clinically past Springett from the edge of the box.

There was another mini pitch invasion to follow this goal and when the dust settled Wednesday had just over a quarter of an hour left to save themselves.

The game could have been put beyond them completely when the otherwise excellent Eustace was robbed by Trebilcock who slipped Young clear. Faced with Springett "the Golden Vision" tried to return the ball to Trebilcock for his hat trick but the pass was too close to the keeper who managed to smother the shot.

There was a bizarre moment when Scott, who had been abused all afternoon by Megson, actually found himself being warned by the referee after catching Young late with his one indiscretion of the game but the important thing was Wednesday's inability to fashion anything resembling a chance.

The minutes ticked away as Everton kept possession with some comfort in the midfield. With five minutes to go the Owls finally managed to stir themselves. McCalliog produced a lovely piece of skill to baffle Wilson before setting up Fantham for a drive from just outside the area which flashed wide.

Then there was a better chance. McCalliog had a shot charged down in the area and the rebound fell to Ford. With the defence spread-eagled his shot from twelve yards passed a couple of feet wide of the left hand post.

Then another bomb into the box by Wilf Smith saw West fluff a punch and Fantham dived forward to head for goal. The ball looped up and over the bar, however. Jimmy Gabriel then proceeded to produce the finest piece of keep ball ever, jogging the ball fifty yards into the corner and keeping it there for what seemed an age before winning a throw in and turning round with arms aloft to salute the fans.

The last half-chance came to the full back Smith who was in position to collect a weak clearance just inside the corner of the area. His snap shot was well wide of the near post, however, and the cup was Everton's.

A bizarre game then had a bizarre ending as proceedings were stopped for a rendition of God Save The Queen before both sides set off on a lap of honour. At the end of a breathless game there was little doubt that, despite the fact Wednesday had briefly held a two goal lead, the better side had prevailed.

Saturday, 14 May 1966: FA Cup Final. Everton 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday
Everton: West; Wright, Wilson; Gabriel, Labone, Harris; Scott, Trebilcock, Young, Harvey, Temple.
Sheffield Wednesday: Springett; Smith, Megson; Eustace, Ellis, Young; Pugh, Fantham, McCalliog, Ford, Quinn.

As we made our way into the stadium at about 2pm we could sense the growing excitement of the fans as everybody started to forget the trappings of Cup Final day and realised that there was a football match to be played. Various songs rung out “Tell Me Ma”, “Here We Go” and other familiar ditties were booming out from behind the goal opposite the tunnel end. Our seats were to the left of the Royal Box and parallel to the corner-flags. Butterflies appeared as the nerves began to show and we said our hello’s to the people who sat in the same area as us at Goodison.

The way the tickets had been allocated by the club to fans of one particular section of the ground meant that it almost felt like a home game as many of the fans had sat close to each other for many, many, years. Abide with me was sung with gusto by everyone in the stadium and now it was time for the kick-off to see who would lift the cup. Thanks to the FA website I don’t have to go through each moment of the game and here is their report on the 1984 FA Cup Final.

Classic Cup Finals: 1984

As part of our regular feature looking back at Classic Cup Finals, we look at 1984 and the match between Everton and Elton John's Watford. Everton ultimately emerged victorious but the match is largely remembered for the controversial second goal for the 'Toffeemen' scored by Andy Gray... Saturday, 19 May 1984: The FA Cup Final Wembley Stadium, Everton 2-0 Watford

For Everton, the 103rd FA Cup Final was their second Wembley game in three months, while Watford were making their first visit in the sixty-two years of Wembley finals. In terms of FA Cup Final appearances alone, however, it was a meeting of clubs enjoying a rare experience.

Everton had last played in the Final 16 years ago and since their Championship season of 1969-70 had been forced to live in the shadow of Liverpool's success. Watford had completed an unprecedented rise from Fourth Division to runners-up in the First in six seasons under their astute young manager Graham Taylor, and reaching the Final had meant a personal dream come true for the club's flamboyant singing superstar chairman, Elton John.

The finalists were billed as two teams with vastly different playing styles. Everton played it short in midfield, probing for openings and using the wings, while Watford favoured the long-ball game- getting the ball into their opponents' penalty area by the quickest route.

The Everton defence largely stopped the usual Watford ploy by pushing up so much that Reilly and Johnston barely had to step over the halfway line to be pulled up for offside. And their dangerous winger Callaghan, who was expected to supply a stream of crosses from the right, was effectively marked out of the game. But, for all that, the crowd was still treated to some scintillating football in the first half.

Watford had the more chances in the first half-hour, Southall saving Barnes's close-range header and foiling Barnes again and then Johnston after surging runs through the middle. Captain Taylor's determination also took him into two scoring positions but his shooting finally let him down, though he was less than a yard wide on both occasions.

Then came the fateful 38th minute when Watford for once lost their defensive concentration to allow the Merseysiders to sneak in front. Reid put Richardson away down the left and his cross was half-cleared by Sinnott, the youngest man on the field, to Stevens some thirty yards out. Under pressure from Barnes, the Everton full back could only knock the ball a few yards forward, though he clearly had been looking to shoot, but it fell conveniently for Graeme Sharp.

The Watford defence had moved swiftly forward to try to catch the Everton man offside. Referee Hunting was on hand to observe their marginal failure and Sharp was left to strike an instant right-foot shot past Sherwood, the ball clipping the inside of the left-hand post on its way into the net.

'The Hornets' were by no means out of contention at this stage and during the half-time interval Everton might have reflected on their good fortune to be in front. Then, six minutes into the new half, Watford conceded a controversial second goal which shattered their dreams of ultimate victory. Steven set off down the right, two defenders in hot pursuit, before curving the ball over towards the far post. With Sherwood stretching his 6ft-4in frame to gather the ball, it seemed unlikely that Andy Gray, charging in with Terry at his side, would even get close to it. But the leaping Scotsman appeared to head the ball almost out of Sherwood's hands and into the net for a bizarre goal.

Watford wilted and, though they fought on bravely, their chances of even being able to force the fourth replay in four years looked remote. Pulling a goal back would have made for a more exciting finish but Southall and skipper Ratcliffe remained in uncharitable mood in front of goal all the way until the final whistle.

Everton: Southall, Stevens, Bailey, Ratcliffe, Mountfield, Reid, Steven, Heath, Sharp, Gray, Richardson Watford: Sherwood, Bardsley, Price (Atkinson), Taylor, Terry, Sinnott, Callaghan, Johnston, Reilly, Jackett, Barnes Referee: J Hunting, Attendance: 100,000, Goals: Sharp 38’, Gray 51’.

A fantastic day at Wembley and a wonderful weekend in London, it is an occasion that I shall never ever forget. It would have been a pleasant weekend if the result hadn’t gone Everton’s way but I can speak from experience that there is nothing quite like winning a trophy at Wembley and the first time you witness it as a fan is the best – I hope many of the younger Evertonians experience it in the future as it is a magnificent experience. Those of us who attended Wembley that Saturday afternoon had little or no idea of what was to follow in the next twelve months and I think if you had told us we would have had you down for being a little daft.

But the beauty of Football is that it can turn Frogs into Princes or Caterpillars into Butterflies in the twinkle of an eye, but it can also be a cruel game as well. It’s frustrating but good if you go through the bad times first. Enjoy the good moments when they happen and never get too down-hearted when things don’t go the way you want – the longer the wait the more you will appreciate the good times, when they come along. Hopefully next year we will all share in a similar triumph at Wembley in May.

Anyway that's it for this season; I hope everybody who has taken the time to read these articles has enjoyed them and a big thank-you to all those who gave a positive response to them. If time allows I will try to submit similar for next season.

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Reader Comments (19)

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Rob Halligan
1 Posted 15/05/2014 at 22:00:06
Today is also the anniversary of our ECWC victory in Rotterdam.

Another brilliant day spent in Rotterdam, carrying round crates of grolsch, mixing with the Rapid Vienna fans and impeccably behaved the whole day.

A fine performance by the blues ensured we would win our first European trophy, to date!!

Something tells me European glory is just around the corner!!

Well 12 months away anyway!!

Kevin Tully
2 Posted 15/05/2014 at 22:24:44
The Damned United is on BBC iPlayer – worth a watch.
Peter Mills
3 Posted 15/05/2014 at 22:41:07
Patrick, there are possibly too many references in your post – are we talking about 84 or 66? Both days were magnificent, well worth a discussion in their own right.
Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 15/05/2014 at 23:10:39
Sorry if you were confused, Peter – but the whole Memory Lane feature concentrated on four seasons from 40 years ago to 10 years ago so the 1984 Final was the main feature with a hark back to 1966.

Anyway that is the last article of the season so I will bear in mind what you have written if I'm inclined to write articles next season. Thanks for your observations.

Ray Roche
5 Posted 15/05/2014 at 23:27:02
For anyone interested there is a very good book dealing with all the FA Cup Finals in the 1960s from the perspective of the fans from each participating club, describing their feelings and the events of those days.

"From Barry Stobart to Neil Young" by Matthew Eastley, a good read. I should know, I'm in it for the 66 and 68 Finals along with other Blues fans!

Tony Draper
6 Posted 16/05/2014 at 01:28:49
'84 FA Cup Final was a "Perfect Day".

I travelled home on the train with Joe Mercer & his lovely wife Lily.

Peter Mills
7 Posted 16/05/2014 at 07:52:51
Patrick, your Memory Lane articles have triggered many memories of following the Blues over the years, I hope you do feel inclined to write again next season - thanks.
Alan Williams
8 Posted 16/05/2014 at 09:18:38
Memories!!! I love Wembley to this day and I never understood why people asked for the national stadium to be in Coventry – how crap would that have been???

1984 Milk Cup Final, I got the first special train in the morning... yes, accompanied with my RS mates but is was nice back then.

FA Cup 84, I experienced my first MacDonald's burger! We used to have a Casey Jones in Lime Street so that was a big thing. All the special trains used to drop you at Wembley Central – how good was that? I can't understand why they don't do that anymore.

1985 Final, I sold my ticket to a Manc for £50 and bunked in for a £5 and my mates dropped the stubs down which helped cover the cost of Rotterdam and the Barnes Travel coach from County Road to Rotterdam with our blag Everton Benetton shirts and blue bobble hats, they were the fashion I'm afraid.

1986 Final, I don't seem to remember much other than us being great in the first half and shite in the second.

1989 Final, we again went down with our RS mates in hire cars and they all got towed away and it cost us loads to get them back after the match, robbing bastards.

I remember Colin Harvey first game as manager the Charity Shield: I hitched it down, ran on the pitch at the end to shake the players' hands, then got a lift back to Liverpool within minutes and beat my mates back to the pub who got a coach down, great teenage years.

In 1995, I went down on the Friday with my mates and we got pissed in London, great night. We ran past the Tower of London doing the Duncan Ferguson celebration with your top off swinging it above your head! People must have thought we were mad!

Against Chelsea in 2011, how things change... some of my mates came down to my sleepy Essex market town where I live now and I showed them the lights and we hit an old bar that specialises in real ale. We drank a different pint every round and all had the shit's for the final! How things change in your life regarding money; we then all booked the Royal Lancaster Hotel for the Saturday hoping the EFC team would be there like 1995 but the team chose a nicer hotel on Park Lane.

Then the Shite semi-final, whilst it wasn't a great day it was my son's first Wembley experience at the age of 8. We got there early and hit the Green Man, I think it was, with crates of lager for all. Then the walk up and seeing the Stadium with our flag hanging down, magical time and I think I got a bit tearful when I seen my son's face light up, out with the camera and we have a photo together that will last forever!!

If I look back now, the only thing we didn't have in the past was lots of photographs when today we do. It would be fantastic to look back at memories like that in a photographic form as opposed to what's in your head.

It's great being an Evertonian.

Patrick Murphy
9 Posted 16/05/2014 at 12:59:21
Cheers Peter. A quick quiz question regarding the FA Cup:

Tomorrow's game at Wembley will see a new FA Cup trophy. The trophy has been replaced only twice before, in 1911 and 1992. The new model is an exact replica of the 1911 version.

The question is: Which current Premier League teams, if they ever win this new trophy, will be able to claim to have lifted all of the different versions of the Trophy?

Gareth Fieldstead
10 Posted 16/05/2014 at 17:47:21
My favourite final by a long way. The first final I experienced was against Villa in 77 which was a bore draw. The Milk Cup Final soaked and terrified we would get hammered, played well but more a celebration of all things the city of Liverpool I thought but the FA cup final against Watford was entirely different. Great weather, great company and surprisingly for a fan that had only ever witnessed defeat in the 'big games' I had no doubt we would win. No nerves whatsoever. I would have to check but I am pretty sure both Watford and Southampton finished above us that season, but like the semi final I just knew we would win. Fantastic day and as you have pointed out Patrick terrific atmosphere. Not like the moody aggressive atmosphere that most experienced the following season. If we had of managed to have won that there would have been serious violence after that game.
Nick Entwistle
11 Posted 16/05/2014 at 18:02:49
Careful Patrick, someone will want that mentioned on the shirt or something.
James Hughes
12 Posted 16/05/2014 at 18:53:49
Alan #9, I have similar memories. I left Scouse-land in 1982 after finishing college and moved to that there London. Kept my season ticket for the Gladwys for the 82/83 season and spent a fortune on travel, hey ho

1984, in Watford end with a mad Cittee fan. 1985, in our end this time with a mad Glaswegian, who started a fight. 1985, passed on ticket for Rotterdam didn't have the £50 needed for travel and tickets. I watched the final in bar in London with people cheering for Rapid, mad Glaswegian starts another fight.

1986, mad Glaswegian is now a definite ex-friend. Went with my mates who finally made it down. 1989, left at half time and just made it to Gatwick on time for family holiday, (poor planning) but I had the ticket and was not going to miss it, even tho' wife was pissed off.

Been to Wembley since but not Everton-related and the new Wembley is great, apart from the beer prices.I used to annoy my Cockney mates my saying my season ticket was for Wembley. Good days!

Patrick Murphy
13 Posted 17/05/2014 at 20:08:09
Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United, if any of them manage to lift the new FA Cup trophy are the only teams who can claim to have won the trophy in all of its guises. Arsenal never lifted the original trophy as their first win came in 1930.

Rick Tarleton
14 Posted 17/05/2014 at 19:57:47
I was there in 66 and 84. The 66 final was my favourite Everton moment. I met up with two uncles in London at Euston station, I'd travelled up from Exeter where I was at university and remember my ticket cost 7s 6d, (37½p) and I was in G64. I remember Tommy Eglington was standing near us and just after the second goal for Wednesday a bloke got down on his knees and started to pray ostentatiously. Whether it worked I don't know , but then we were level and the Everton end was roaring and singing "Attack, Attack, Attack" by the Toys. Then Gerry Young made his mistake and Derek Temple's run seemed to be in slow motion.

After the game I made my way back to Waterloo for my train back to Exeter, getting myself soaked in the fountains at Trafalgar Square which in those days were not boarded up. On the train I sat in the buffet car and had one or two beers, till they refused to serve me. Then when back in Exeter, well after midnight I walked back to my hall of residence, letting off the fire alarms in every hall I passed, it cost me a £10 fine later, remember the price of my ticket, but it was worth it.

By 1984 I was sedate, sitting in a stand and although winning was marvellous, it lacked the excitement you get when you're nineteen and attending your first cup final.

Bill Gall
15 Posted 17/05/2014 at 20:02:57
I was at the 1966 final, got my ticket on the Friday and went to London on the friday night. Funny the differences in the tackles that went in compared to today... I think both teams if they played today would have ended up short of players in the end.

I knew Mike Trebilcock before the final as he used to drink in the Broadway pub and came in the pub after the final the following week – nice lad and was amazed that he got picked for the final.

Karl Masters
16 Posted 18/05/2014 at 00:08:37
1984 final was just fantastic.

The first trophy Everton had won that I could remember at thse age of 18. Our fans were getting in without tickets everywhere. In front of me, a Dad had his two young sons, aged about 5 and 7, wriggling under the turnstiles on their bellies, beneath his feet commando style tonget in. Surprisingly the Police seemed oblivious, even the stewards seemed to think it was futile trying to stop them. I wonder what the real attendance ( officially 100,000 ) was that day? Terraces meant that once you were in, you were in.

Everton outnumbered Watford massively and although John Barnes and Mo Johnston gave us some early scares we knew we'd win it.

At the final whistle, the Everton tradition of running on the pitch was carried out by about 100 fans, which was very rare at Wembley. The big fences allied to large amounts of steward and Police usually made it near impossible to get on there.

That day made League Cup final defeat, semi final disasters, etc over the years, as well as that Stapleton goal at Old Trafford and the 5-0 derby disaster the season before all worthwhile. Younger Evertonians, Patrick is right – when you finally win something you really do appreciate it.

30 years ago on Monday – can it really be that long ago?

Paul Gladwell
17 Posted 18/05/2014 at 11:17:40
1984 vs Watford was and always will be my greatest Everton moment. I was 15, travelled on my own for the first time as had no-one to take me.

The old Wembley was three-quarters full of blues, the tears flowed that day for that right reasons, strangers hugging, grown men crying as that silver got lifted in the May sunshine.

"The long wait is over" was the BBC comment and it was. As for the reception Watford got when they ran around the Everton end!!!! Hair-tingling!

You can throw winning the league, THAT Wimbledon game etc, but for me, as this was our first trophy in my life, it will never be beaten.

Peter Cummings
18 Posted 20/05/2014 at 18:50:30
Anyone who says that the FA Cup is 'irrelevent' is living in cuckoo land, it is still the best spectacle in English football and always will be,

I was at Burnden Park for the '66 semifinal when Colin Harvey put us into the final, despite Manchester United being hot favourites, and then it was a desperate battle to get hold of a final ticket due to the (still disgraceful) club ticket allocation. As usual, tickets were available from touts but I had to sell a prized camera to find eight quid for a ten bob ticket in the Sheffield end, a real bargain when all five goals went in there.

Considering we were in 'enemy' territory we had a great rapport with the Wednesday fans who were really fantastic in defeat. I still have all the photos I took with my sister's Brownie 127 as the cup came to our end of Wembley and I still regard 1966 as my best memory as an Evertonian even that of my first son who was born the following month, Happy Happy days.

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