On this week’s show Damian and Damon look back at some of their FA Cup memories – the highs and the lows of supporting Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the FA Cup. Remember you can also:
Liverpool have a good history in the FA Cup although, strangely they didn’t have much success during their Golden Age from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. For me, one of the best FA Cup moments was when Ian Rush’s second sealed a 3-1 win over Everton – a beautiful sweeping move which was started by Rush in his own half and finished in clinical style. The whole atmosphere of that game was great, too. Both sets of fans from Liverpool, a city going through a lot of problems in the 80s with Margaret Thatcher’s government in power, seemed to take the opportunity to make a statement for the city their teams both play in – obviously better for Liverpool who won, but still a great FA Cup afternoon.
But the best is the fantastic 2006 final against West Ham, when Liverpool again came from behind to seal a memorable victory with echoes of the Champions League win against AC Milan the year before. I watched it in an empty bar in Tokyo in the early hours of the morning with one other football fan – a West Ham supporter. We both went through the mill watching as each goal went in, 3-3, then extra time, then penalties. Fantastic drama, own goals, smashed volleys, flukes, last-gasp equalisers, cracking saves – it had it all at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. One of the best FA Cup Finals ever.
Bad? Take your pick from the last few years – comfortably beaten by Arsenal 1-3 in 2007 in the third round – followed by a trouncing in the League Cup by the same side; out to Barnsley in 2008 after struggling throughout the competition; losing to cross-town rivals Everton in 2009. Fingers crossed this year in Liverpool’s tie against Reading!
Like Liverpool, Tottenham have a pretty impressive Cup tradition though they have not been in the final since 1991 when they beat Nottingham Forest in a real topsy-turvey battle that is best known for Paul Gascoigne’s tackle and subsequent serious injury but also featured a missed penalty, an own goal, extra time and a come from behind 2-1 win for us. Like Damon watching Liverpool in 2006 I also saw the game in a bar but not in Japan but rather in Spain alongside two former England captains, Terry Butcher and Mick Mills. A great day indeed. The following year saw one of my lowest moments in the Cup when local rivals Arsenal beat us in the semi-finals. They did so again in 2001 despite us going 1-0 up early on and since then Tottenham have not really come near getting to the final.
But perhaps my greatest FA Cup memory is the 1981 replay that saw Spurs beat Manchester City 3-2 with a wonder goal from Argentinian star Ricardo Villa. His mazy run and finish possibly ranking as the greatest ever winning cup final goal. How about this year? Well, it depends what our manager wants to do – we are currently in a Champions League position and he may want to rest senior players rather than risk injury and fatigue by playing them in the Cup. I hope not because the glory of the FA Cup is still important to all Spurs fans. This year we play Championship side Peterborough at home and hopefully a victory can be the start of another enjoyable cup run.