Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dockers_strike

Fuck me, it's the FA Cup Final tomorrow!

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, an tha said:

It is a real shame what modern footy has done to the FA cup.

 

Have a read of this - which really sums up the magic it used to hold!

 

It’s the week of the 2021 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Leicester and the excitement is building! The whole country is transfixed! Or maybe not.

 

The final on 15 May will share the weekend with 8 Premier League fixtures and there are 2 more full rounds of Premier League matches still to be played after the final. Remember when the FA Cup final was the final game of the season? Remember when the FA Cup final was the jewel in the English football crown? Remember when the hunt for an FA Cup final ticket consumed your life?

 

That was certainly the case for the 1974 FA Cup final when Liverpool played Newcastle at Wembley on 4 May. Liverpool had only made 1 appearance at Wembley since I started attending games in 1966. I missed out on the 1971 FA Cup final against Arsenal (thank God I didn’t have to witness that Charlie George winning goal and celebration in the flesh) and I was determined to make my Wembley debut. But getting hold of a ticket was very difficult in those days with the two participating teams getting about 20,000 tickets each when Liverpool’s average league attendance was about 43,000 and Newcastle’s about 33,000.

 

This was when Wembley had a capacity of 100,000. Where did all those tickets go?

(Incidentally, in an earlier example of FA cowardice in the face of a rampaging mob, Newcastle’s sixth round home tie against Nottingham Forest was declared void after a riot on the field by Newcastle fans when their team was losing 1–3. The game was delayed until order was restored and Newcastle won it 4–3. Forest made a written protest to the FA and Newcastle were very close to being disqualified from the competition.

 

The FA relented and ordered that the match must be replayed at a neutral venue. Two replays were needed before Newcastle won through.)

 

Most of Liverpool’s ticket allocation went to season ticket holders. The small number of tickets that remained were allocated via a process whereby vouchers were given out at one of the remaining home league games to those who paid at the gate, and a tiny number of those vouchers qualified the holder for a ticket.

 

My older brother was one of the lucky ones with a winning voucher. My younger brother also got lucky when his sports teacher, a Liverpool season ticket holder who couldn’t go to the game, raffled his ticket amongst the Liverpool fans in the school football teams.

 

The luck of the Liverpool Irish did not touch me in the same way. I was on the hunt for a ticket in the 2 weeks or so before the final.

 

One evening, the phone went at the family home. It was Bobby, one of the guys my brothers and I went to the game with. He was upset. He told me that his dad, who had suffered ill health on and off for a while but retained his Liverpool season ticket, had died. I was 17 years old, what could I say? “Sorry mate. Who’s having his cup final ticket?” “Bastard!” he said as he hung up. “Who was that?” asked my older brother. “Bobby. His dad has died.” There was a respectful pause of all of 1 second. “Did you ask who is having his cup final ticket?” asked my brother. Funnily enough, that ticket didn’t come my way. The hunt continued.

 

My mum was a barmaid in the delightfully named Bluebell Pub, Huyton. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? The reality was that it was a hive of scum and villainy to rival the Mos Eisley Cantina on Tatooine in Star Wars. It was one of those places where you could buy and sell anything, no questions asked. Once, the pub had a “grand reopening” (ie a few complimentary dishes of crisps and peanuts on the bar) after a “major refurbishment” (ie a lick of paint and new carpets).

 

At the end of the night, there was a rectangular hole in the new carpet in the lounge bar, cut to the exact size of the living room in the council flats in the nearby high rise block. Anyway, my mum phoned home from the pub one evening. “There’s a lad here selling cup final tickets in the Liverpool end for £15. Do you want one?” The face value of those tickets was £1 and £15 was more than my week’s wages. I didn’t hesitate. “I’ll have one!” Hunt over.

 

Or …. not. A couple of days later, the front page headline on the Liverpool Echo screamed “POLICE WARN FANS TO BEWARE OF FAKE TICKETS”. The story told how there were thousands of top-quality fake FA Cup Final tickets on sale in Liverpool.

 

The only way to tell if a ticket was genuine was to hold it up to a light to see if it contained a watermark, like a bank note. My hands shook as I followed these instructions …. no watermark, it was a fake. My mum told me that she had bought the ticket off one of the pub’s regular customers and she would get me my money back. Good as her word, and not a woman to be trifled with, my mum returned my £15 to me that night. Hunt back on with only 8 days to the game.

 

The Echo carried an advert for a Liverpool furniture store owned by Alan Whittle, the ex-Everton striker who was with Crystal Palace at the time, offering a free FA Cup final ticket with £100 of furniture bought. My dad was in his favourite armchair watching the wrestling on ITV on the Saturday afternoon before the final. “Hey dad, this 3 piece suite is looking a bit tatty. Any chance of you buying a new one?” I ventured. “Not unless I win the pools son. Ooh, you dirty bastard!” he replied through a fog of Capstan Full Strength cigarette smoke. I think that latter comment was aimed at Mick Manus, “The Dulwich Destroyer”, not me. He didn’t win the pools that day (or ever) so I could not avail myself of Whittle’s generous offer.

 

After exploring all possible avenues without success, by the Friday evening before the game I was reconciled to watching the game on the telly when my older brother got a call from Jim, a workmate. He had just got hold of a ticket, too late to book a coach or train ticket, so he was going to drive down to Wembley. Did my brother want to go with him and share the cost of the petrol? My brother declined as he had already paid for the coach with our younger brother and our mates. He repeated the offer to me and, thinking that I might pick up a ticket from a tout, and I would at least be able to meet up with my brothers to celebrate after our certain victory, I agreed.

 

Jim picked me up on Saturday morning in his bright yellow Ford Escort Mexico. I eyed up the car’s 8 track stereo player (a tape playing system that preceded the cassette player, they were all the rage in the 1970s, even though the pre-recorded cartridges were the size of a large paperback book) and asked Jim what musical treats we had to look forward to.

 

He looked rather glum and explained that his car had been broken into earlier that week and all but one of his music cartridges had been stolen. The deep scratches in the dashboard were evidence that the thieves had tried but failed to remove the player itself. He had not had time to replace his cartridge collection but the good news was that he had found 1 remaining cartridge under the passenger seat, a Beach Boys compilation album with all-time classics like California Girls, Surfin’ USA, Good Vibrations, Help Me Rhonda, Little Deuce Coupe, Barbara Ann, When I Grow Up To Be A Man, etc. It turned out that Jim, who I had never met before, wasn’t a great talker and all my conversational gambits failed to engage him for long.

 

Jim preferred to play that damn cartridge non-stop on high volume throughout our trip. After 4 hours of the “California Sound” I was ready to hit him over the head with a surf board.

 

Arriving in Wembley, we parked up, arranged to meet up after the game and went our separate ways. I knew that both my brothers had tickets for Turnstile Area A so I made my way there, looking out for tickets touts as I went. I had £25 to buy a ticket – 25 times the face value and nearly 2 week’s wages. It soon became apparent that I had been hopelessly optimistic; the touts were asking £50 a ticket – and getting it. I was mooching despondently around Turnstile Area A about half an hour before kick off when a quite unexpected opportunity presented itself.

 

Those familiar with the old Wembley Stadium might recall that there were long, thin openings part way up the stadium wall (rather like arrow slits in a castle wall) from which those inside could shout, or even pass things, to those outside. I looked up and saw that Liverpool fans inside the stadium were passing their used tickets to those outside. I managed to get a bunk-up from another Liverpool supporter and grabbed one of those tickets. I soon learned from another supporter that on its own this ticket was useless.

 

Wembley had a two-entrance system – an outer turnstile where the complete ticket was presented to the operator who detached the smaller portion and retained it; and an inner gate where the larger portion of the ticket was shown to the operator but retained by the supporter. I had a larger ticket portion. Out of nowhere, a young Scouser appeared with a plastic bag stuffed inside his jacket. “Wanna ticket stub lad?” he asked. I guess that he had snatched a bag of the smaller ticket portions for Turnstile Area A unnoticed by the operator because he was passing them out with impunity within feet of the turnstiles. I accepted with alacrity.

 

A quick check revealed that I had the requisite two portions of a ticket but crucially they did not match – they were for the same outer turnstile but for different inner gates. But time was running out and it was now or never. Screwing my courage to a sticking place, I approached the turnstile clutching a ticket portion in each hand. I handed the smaller portion to the operator. “Where’s the other part?” he growled. “Here” I replied, holding up the larger portion, with a strategically placed thumb hiding the inner gate number. “I thought I’d save you the job of separating them.” He didn’t ask to examine it and without another word passing between us there was was click, I pushed forward and I was in the stadium! I could scarcely believe it and, terrified that I would be rumbled, I hustled across the concourse to the appropriate inner gate, showed the operator the larger ticket portion, he opened the gate and …… yeeeeessssssss! I was in, with my £25 still in my pocket.

 

Even better, I quickly spotted “The Mighty Reds” banner which my brothers were holding aloft as my incredible luck continued and I found myself in the same section of terracing as them. I quickly joined them and we enjoyed a remarkably straightforward Liverpool victory. A completely dominant performance saw us run out easy 3-0 winners and Shankly’s rebuilt team had now won the Football League, UEFA Cup and FA Cup in 2 seasons.

 

All that remained was to meet up with garrulous Jim for the drive home. He was actually quite animated as we discussed the game while we extricated ourselves from the heavy traffic around Wembley but as we joined the M1 …

… Well East coast girls are hip, I really dig those styles they wear …

Who wrote it?

 

I may wait until the movie comes out...

 

tenor (20) (5).gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Trumo said:

 

True. The football might have been more 'agricultural' but it was a genuine occasion with a huge prize at stake.

 

Some people say that the year the Mancs forfeited defending the cup in order to compete in a tournament abroad was the moment the FA Cup started getting devalued. Others think that moving the final to Cardiff was. I don't think either argument is valid. What has devalued the FA Cup is a combination of things.

 

TV moving games around so we have all sorts of kick-off times now. Clubs - usually managed by one of the LMA Massive - prioritising their Premier League status over winning trophies. The main sponsor also happening to sponsor one of the clubs that have conveniently done quite well in the competition. Man City being able to make serene progress year after year thanks to having a second XI that cost more than most other teams' first XIs, going up against the weakest teams in the draw round after round.

 

The point about the managers is valid, as no English manager has won the thing since 2008 ('Arry with Portsmouth), or any of the other major trophies for that matter.

Yeah lots of theories but I think the biggest single thing that 'devalued' the cup was Sky's 'whole new ball game' and massive injection of cash via tv deals.

 

Given the riches earned by PL clubs, staying in the PL became far more important to lesser clubs than winning the FA Cup. Relegation to the EFL was a financial disaster. For the top 6 or 7 PL clubs, European and CL qualification in particular became the holy grail with even more riches.

 

Although the EFL tv deals were far less lucrative, top third teams saw promotion to the PL as more rewarding than the cup. The bottom two third teams saw staying in what became the Championship and not being relegated as more important.

 

And so it rippled down through all the leagues, getting promotion \ not being relegated was far more lucrative financially to these teams. People say give the 4th CL spot to the FA Cup winners to make clubs take it more seriously but when you look at the stats, it's usually a top 6 PL club that wins it so wouldnt make much difference.

 

The FA would have to give each participant club PL sized prize money to get lesser clubs to take it seriously and they dont have that kind of money.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, magicrat said:

Had forgotten all about this until Bet 365 sent me an email offering me £5 free bet .

Went for 3-1 Chavs to return £80 .  Would be a nice bonus. 

 

 

 

Yeah, just checked mine and saw that there.

 

Got to go with Vardy, he's not going to pass up a chance to dive his way to a trophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, dockers_strike said:

I used to think the old Wembley was shit myself even if there was excitement of going there. Miles from the fucking pitch on a shallow angle terracing over a dog track. Even that 'Olympic Gallery' was shit for 80 quid in 92. And the fucking thing rocked more than the Annie Upper Tier!

It was shit but they could have upgraded rather than completely destroying any character of it. I went to an hinterland game against Argentina and it basically hadnt been touched since the two cup finals I went to in the 80s. 

 

I went the Maracana in 2003 and it was a shit stadium but the refurb still feels/looks like it is the Maracana because they tried to keep it similar but upgrade the facilities. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to tuning in at 8.30am for live updates, a Question of Sport Special, to hear from the wives, and then live on the team coach as they leave their Hertfordshire Hotel.

 

when I went to my first Final in 86, I really missed the build up - instead we were sharing a coach with a load of Blue Noses talking about a new era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tony Moanero said:

Anyway, my top five favourite non-Liverpool FA Cup Final goals.

 

1.

 

2. 

 

3. 

 

4. Ian Wright’s first

 

5. 

 

Love the Clarke goal and Brian Moore's commentary for it ( I think it's Moore's anyway)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, JoeBuck01 said:

Looking forward to tuning in at 8.30am for live updates, a Question of Sport Special, to hear from the wives, and then live on the team coach as they leave their Hertfordshire Hotel.

 

when I went to my first Final in 86, I really missed the build up - instead we were sharing a coach with a load of Blue Noses talking about a new era.

It's on all day on the red button! Pretty sure it's on from 9am or something - the BBC have been pushing it quite a lot the last few days.

 

It's the first cup final I've looked forward to (or watched) in years, though I can't exactly say why. I'll be hoping for a Leicester win - hate those Chelsea twats.

 

Just on Wembley - I think it's pretty good. The seats I've had have always had great views of the pitch, and there are plenty of boozers in walking distance. Never went the old Wembley so no idea what it was like. The semi finals should definitely be at a neutral venue. I've got fond memories of the Chelsea semi final at Old Trafford a few years ago (2006?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, magicrat said:

Had forgotten all about this until Bet 365 sent me an email offering me £5 free bet .

Went for 3-1 Chavs to return £80 .  Would be a nice bonus. 

 

 

I did 2-2 with mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree I didn’t realise it was the Final until a day or two ago. Not arsed about the result, might watch it depending what else I’m doing.

Used to absolutely love Cup Final day as a kid. The all day coverage was so exciting, with Sky now everything is overhyped. I always remember Eric Morecambe and Tarbuck.

 

I really fell out of love with it when they changed the KO time to the early evening though. As others have said can’t remember the last one I watched all the way through, sometimes I put it on half way through see the score and switch over again!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Scooby Dudek said:

Moving the semis to Wembley was the final nail for me. Purely to pay for the stadium and once again fucking the fans over.

 

Not only moving the semis to Wembley, but having late kick-offs so that fans will find it next to impossible to catch the last train home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like the Champions League, has anything of note actually happened in the FA Cup this season?

 

Any big giant kills? Any roaring come backs? Any games that will live long in the memory?

 

All I could say about the competition is I like the use of the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme in the BT adverts. 
 

It’s been even more of an afterthought than usual. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Available Subscriptions

  • Latest Round Up

  • Last Match Report

  • Popular Now

  • Popular Contributors

  • Posts

    • Gerrard in this team would make Kevin De Bruyne look like a bum. He'd be the best player in the league by a mile.   Tactical discipline wouldn't be a problem for him because he wouldn't be playing for a defensively obsessed manager. I get where the whole "Gerrard isn't tactically disciplined" thing comes from, its because Rafa spoonfed that to people off the record for years.   Stevie was too swashbuckling to play centre mid in his system, but he'd be unreal playing in Klopp's.   Another factor in Gerrard's supposed tactical weakness was that he was often playing in shit teams where he needed to force the issue because nobody else would be capable of it. No point him sitting midfield and watching nothing happen in front of him. Of course he's not going to do that. Doesn't mean he has no tactical discipline, it just means he's a winner.   He played right back and was brilliant. He played holding midfielder and was brilliant. He played right midfield and was brilliant. He's since become a manager who builds his teams on being organised and defensively sound.   Gerrard in a midfield with Fabinho and either Thiago or Hendo would be un-fucking-believable.   And besides, there'd be nothing stopping us going with the same 4-2-3-1 he played in when he was just behind Torres.   If I could add any player from our history to this current team it's Gerrard. Even ahead of Suarez, and you know how much I love Suarez.
    • he newly appointed Chancellor and Warwickshire MP Nadhim Zahawi has created a sprawling £100 million property portfolio, along with his wife and their companies, the Mirror has reported. Mr Zahawi, who represents Stratford-upon-Avon, previously worked as Education Secretary, and before that rose to prominence as vaccine minister, helping to deliver the Government's rollout of the jab. © PA Nadhim Zahawi leaving 10 Downing Street following the resignation of Rishi Sunak yesterday His new role comes following the resignation of Rishi Sunak who quit as Chancellor having lost confidence in Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Mr Zahawi came to the UK aged nine after being born in Iraq to a Kurdish family, who fled the regime of Saddam Hussein.   Believed to be one of the richest politicians in the House of Commons, estimates of his net worth range from £30 million to £100 million. He has refused to confirm the amount, previously telling the Telegraph: "I've been very lucky in life." He helped found the polling company YouGov and along with his wife, owns a huge property empire, which includes a country home and stables, a £20 million London townhouse, a number of high-street properties and an industrial estate. A Mirror investigation previously found that more than half were purchased while Mr Zahawi was serving as a Government minister. Seven of the properties bought for over £10 million are mortgage-free, and two more were partially-funded by £10 million loans from Mr Zahawi's wife Lana. Read more: Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi: Everything you need to know about the Warwickshire MP The Zahawis personally own five residential properties, worth at least £17 million - three in London, one in Warwickshire (where his constituency is) and one in Dubai. The home near Warwick, a country house with stables, was bought for £875,000 in 2011. One of Mr Zahawi's firms purchased the £3.5 million Chunnel industrial estate in Ashford Kent, by the Eurotunnel train station, and his wife Lana Zahawi now owns two superstores, including a £6.3 million plot home to a giant Co-op and car park in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. Another company controlled by Mr Zahawi owns £18 million worth of land containing an Asda megastore in Brierley Hill, West Midlands. Since it was bought four years ago, its value has increased by £1.25 million. There is no suggestion that he has breached the Ministerial Code. In 2013 it was reported that Mr Zahawi had claimed the livery's £5822.27 heating bill on expenses, which he said he had done by mistake and repaid. At the time he posted a statement on his website saying: " Since last week's coverage of my energy bills I have been looking into them further and can confirm that all claims for heating fuel relate purely to my second home. " However I have made a mistake with my electricity claims. On investigation I have discovered that the electricity supply for a mobile home located in the stable yard and for the stables themselves was linked to my house. " Whilst a meter was installed in the stable yard I have only been receiving one bill, it was wrong to assume I was receiving two and to have not checked this sooner. I am mortified by this mistake and apologise unreservedly for it. " I will obviously be paying back any money that was wrongly claimed immediately and have already contacted IPSA [Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority] regarding the correct procedure."
    • Keir starmer please take note 
    • Well, if it wasn't for all those Jews he'd beaten up, I'd agree. That and the tattoo of a swastika is a dead giveaway.    I mean, it's crazy. I very much think he handled the whole situation poorly from a managerial perspective as LOTO, and I feel the report backed that up, but 'dangerous anti-Semite'. Okay bud. The entire thing has run rampant, and there's barely a middle road to tread where he's concerned. He's either the saviour of all things, or he's the devil. It's a myth. The fuckin' lot of it.
×