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"The 1986 FA Cup Final" by Dave Usher - Magic Moments - The Liverpool Way Jump to content

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"The 1986 FA Cup Final" by Dave Usher

The 1986 all Merseyside FA Cup Final is one of my favourite memories as a Red. There are a number of things that stand out from that day, I remember watching it on TV as a kid, I was 12 at the time, and the memories are still vivid over 27 years later.

 

86final1.jpg
Back then the FA Cup Final was probably the highlight of the football year, unless you reached a European Final of course, which we did on numerous occasions. Cup Final day was special though, even when it wasn't your team involved.

 

The TV coverage started early in the morning and unless you were lucky enough to be going to the game you'd be sat in front of the telly all day watching the build up, with the highlight being the TV cameras being on the team coaches as they made their way to the stadium.

 

I can remember watching in amazement that year as fans risked life and limb climbing up the walls of Wembley and used their scarfs to swing across to the opening where their mates were waiting to catch them.

 

I can remember Gary Lineker putting the Blues ahead and things going badly wrong in the first half. We were awful, really disjointed and couldn't get anything going. The second half wasn't going much better either, Bruce Grobbelaar and Jim Beglin got into an altercation that ended with the keeper shoving the full back in the chest and at that stage the League and FA Cup double we'd been hoping for was not looking likely. Then, somewhat against the run of play, a Gary Stevens mistake led to a Liverpool equaliser and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

86final2.jpg
Despite the years that have passed, I still remember things so clearly; Jan Molby completely taking over the game… Grobbelaar making an incredible save from a Graeme Sharp header when the score was 1-1… Craig Johnston's goal and camp little leg flick celebration thing after he gave us the lead… Ian Rush wrapping things up with a swift counter attack that ended with him smashing a camera in the corner of the net…

 

But when I think about the '86 Cup Final the one memory that stands out above all others is our first goal, and Johnston trying to vulture it from Rush. It was pretty shameless, as whilst players are taught from a young age to follow the ball in and don't leave anything to chance there was absolutely no danger at all that Rushy's shot would be cleared by a defender, as there were none anywhere near it.

 

Johnston wasn't playing it safe, he was just trying nick the goal for himself. I loved it though, I'd have done exactly the same thing in his shoes and I've always thought it should have gone down as his goal as I'm convinced he got to it before the whole of the ball crossed the line.

 

86final1.jpg
 
Season:  1985/86
Opposition: Everton
Result: 3-1
Scorers: Rush (2), Johnston
Venue: Wembley

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzrOlyDd9Iw

 


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Great stuff Dave. My first Liverpool FA Cup final too.

 

The big thing, as you say, about back then was that winning the FA Cup was only a tiny step lower then winning the league.

 

I remember when we'd won the semi and I don't think I slept properly for the next month until the Cup final came around. Even just the sight of the FA Cup sent shivers right through me.

 

I video'd that nights match of the day and I must have watched it every day for at least 2 months after the final itself. I genuinely think I was more excited winning that then I was when we won the league that year. Although, of course, I'd seen us win the league a number of times at that stage but that was my first Liverpool FA Cup as I was far too young in 1974.

 

As you also say though, it was amazing back then that no matter who was playing, the excitement on cup final day was massive. I remember being glued to the TV all day in 1985 when Man Utd played Everton. I remember being gutted for Kevin Moran when he as sent off. If Utd was playing Everton this year in the final I'd probably avoid it like the plague as it'd be a lose lose in my mind now.

 

Amazing, and very sad, how things have changed.

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It is sad Johnny, you're right.  

 

I often don't even watch the FA Cup final these days.  I've missed more than I've watched int he last ten years.  Obviously that's an age thing too, but even so, I bet the kids today don't see it as being any kind of big deal.  There are so many televised games these days that finals have taken on lesser significance to the watching TV audience I think.

 

That 86 final was just one hell of a day, and I was only watching it at home.

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My mother decided cup final day would be a great opportunity for me to get new shoes. Town was deserted, of course, so there was a twisted logic to her thinking, but even at the time I thought it was spiteful. I missed the whole of the first half; we got home just as Rush scored the equaliser, I could tell by the roar inside. My dad had got me Shoot magazine with the Mexico 86 sticker album and some stickers, so any disappointment didn't last long.

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And to think Ferguson didn't take Hansen to Mexico. Bitter twat.

 

St and Greavsie presenting their show witj Wembley Way behind them with what seemed like the whole of Liverpool walking towards the ground. Both teams colours up in every house in every street. I can still name all of the players on the poster the echo produced.

 

TThy have got one in the Croc and I named everyone and the only one nobody could get that I did was Paul Wilkinson who is sat right on the end of the front row.

 

Nobody believed me till they googled it.

 

It just isn't a funny old game anymore is it? Great times.

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This match is a bit before my time. I had a Football 88 Panini album and in it, one of the stickers was a Liverpool team photo from that final. I think it was under one of those great team sections. I remember the sticker because Craig Johnston had blood streaming down his face, possibly from a broken nose.

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A very good read that which brings back some brilliant memories. That's when football was proper.

 

I was also 12 at the time. The one abiding memory I have after the game is my Bluenose mate saying to me "yeah, but we're better cause we scored first". Tit. Even at 12 years of age Bluenoses are inherently Bitter.

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I had a great day that day. Managed to get a ticket a few days before from my mate George Sephton, who offered me one as I was the only meff who hadn't been badgering him. Got chauffeured down to the ground by a guy who had something to do with the FA, drinking beers and eating sandwiches from the boot of his car in the multi storey outside the stadium at 10am, then into town for beers until 2. Watched the match in a haze, then straight back to Liverpool for some paracetamol and an evenings celebration.

 

 

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I sent Sir John Smith a letter of support from down under a couple of weeks before the game. I was 18.

A few weeks after winning, and when I'd completely forgotten about it, I received a gracious, grateful and impeccable letter of reply and thanks from Sir John.

Summed up the sort of pure-class club I was following.

Thanks for the memories, Dave U.

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Wembley does make me nostalgic, so many happy memories.  My first was 78 and then once the it almost became a yearly thing, unbelievable how I took it for granted.  European cup and the League cup run in the eighties and the two fa cup wins against the blueshite.  Charity shields were almost a yearly do as well.  It really was our second home.

 

The 86 one was crazy, that short clip above was mental, I was looking gobsmacked at the lengths people were going to, to get in and I was a bit of a loon in those days but I was not climbing up, risking life to get in.  There were safer ways.  I was just below the queens box and got a brief seconds glimpse of myself when watching it when I got home, it was like I paid some part in it all, when in reality i was just a paying punter, youth eh.

 

Fantastic day, result and against that shower, the peoples club ha ha ha, we painted the town red that night and not much blue is sight.  

Sad it has been diluted so much these days, it really used to mean something, it still is in my eyes but it does not have the same buzz.

 

Getting beat against the Chavs the other year and we were in a bozzer just up from Wembley and once the beer went down and the songs started, looking round and seeing the same old faces, still there going and for a night the FA CUP was still special even though we lost, at least it was to a plastic club and not the one across the park.  I always look for a crumb of comfort.

 

Happy memories.

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I was 8 at the time and with my 2 uncles at the game. It was only when I got older did I realise how drunk the pair of them were.

I still have the programme and it has grubby hands on it and stains from where they spilled beer on it. Makes it all the more special whenever I grab it out now and then.

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Went to Wembley in a mini bus , half blue , half red and not a cross word or fall out between us. Can't imagine that happening today - it would prob be carnage. Mind you all the blues went straight home when we got back whilst we went to paint town Red.

Memories of that day are being in a pub and the sole barman went to change a barrel in the cellar, and the pub was completely stripped of everything in about 30 seconds flat, not a bottle or drop of beer in any tap was left - they never learnt.

Also seeing Paul (Crocodile Dundee) Hogan in a limo going to the game and load of  Scousers surrounding him singing ThunderRise(?? not sure if that's what it's called) in the middle of the road - he was pissing himself. And right behind him was Terry Venables, who was managing Barcelona at the time, and loads of Evertonians booting his limo telling him to leave Gary Linekar alone - he went there anyway.

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Molby was majestic in the second half of the game. He totally took over on the pitch and I cant remember him making one bad pass. Still twenty seven years later I rate his performance as one of the greatest I have witnessed by a Liverpool player.

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We drove to stanmore and got the tube in from there,did that regular in the eighties league cup final run.used to meet a few good lads from east kilbride(celtic fans)who some of my mates met on holiday in spain in the early eighties and had become good mates with.great days,we ruled the football world then! 

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The first game I can remember (I was 8), though I knew the players, so I must have watched us before.

 

Great memories, FA cup final day used to be the highlight of the season!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free

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I was asked a couple of years ago about my greatest memory as a red. Obviously the expected answer was Istanbul so there was a look of surprise when I said the 1986 cup final. Growing up in the early 60s, Liverpool had never won the FA cup and we got terrific stick from the Blues about it (that and being in the Second Division) so for fans of my era winning the FA cup was a big deal. I'd been to 2 FA cup finals and seen us lose them both so, although I'd seen us win everything else, I really wanted to see us lift the cup above all else and 1986 was the fulfilment of that dream.

It wasn't a particularly good performance, but good enough to beat the Blues and win the Double for the first (and so far only) time in the club's history. When the 2nd goal went in the Blues around us started to get off. I remember seeing Willie Thorne (snooker player and mate of Lineker) leaving early and getting terrific stick. From my seat, I couldn't actually see the Royal Box so when the final whistle blew everyone moved down for the magic moment when Jocky lifted the cup and my dream came true

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