Wednesday, 20 May 2015

1983-84 FA Cup final

This piece follows on from my previous blogs on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth rounds and semi-finals of the 1983/84 FA Cup, which you can view here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For a young football enthusiast, May 1984 was an exciting time. In the space of a few weeks, both the UEFA Cup (second leg) and European Cup finals would be shown live, with Scotland v England, and the second half of Brazil v England also broadcast to the nation. In an era of famine this was a feast of live action, but even during this special period there was one day that stood out.

On paper, the FA Cup final between Everton and Watford was hardly the sort of match that would set the pulses racing, yet such was the prestige of the competition and the sense of occasion that the game was as eagerly anticipated as ever. Although the final will not go down as an all-time classic, it provided us with enough topics of discussion before, during and after the 90 minutes. The first FA Cup final to witness shirt sponsorship on display would be the scene of triumph and despair, redemption and controversy. For one man in particular, the agony had started in earnest a few weeks before the big event.