CITY 1 LEICESTER CITY 0
FA Cup Final
Played at Wembley
26th April 1969
Ref G McCabe
City Dowd, Book, Pardoe, Doyle, Booth, Oakes, Summerbee, Bell, Lee, Young, Coleman – sub Connor(unused)
Leicester Shilton, Rodrigues, Nish, Roberts, Wollett, Cross, Fern, Gibson, Lochhead, Clarke, Glver – sub Manley
THE PLAYERS ON THEIR WAY TO LONDON
JOE MERCER LEADS OUT THE TEAM
Malcolm Allison talking about Tony Coleman and Princess Anne
Tony Coleman came to me after the semi-final and said I’ve got these two tatoos on my hands Malcolm, I can’t shake hands with Royalty with tatoos on my hands.
So I sent him to Christies hospital to have them take off. So he’s come in the next day with his hands bandaged up, I said are you okay he said yeah it was very painful though, I said don’t worry the pain will go away in two or three days and you’ll just have two white marks there like two penny’s.
Anyway at the Cup Final Princess Anne is the guest of honour, she comes out, meets Tony Book, Tony takes her down the line, meets Joe the Glyn Pardoe, going along the line and Tony’s standing number 11 in the line and he can’t think of anything to say, he’s thinking I can’t just say pleased to meet you m’am.
Well she comes to Summerbee and Summerbee says “Alright darling what are you doin tonight?” The lads had a little smile.
Then she goes to Belly then Francis Lee and Tony Coleman still can’t think of anything to say, his mind’s blank. She comes to Neil Young, number 10, then reaches Tony and he went “Pleased to meet you m’am give my love to your mum and dad”. And that night the queen sent him a telegram thanking him for his good wishes.
Cup Final day itself was an exercise in maintaining concentration. After training we went inside, played cards for a little bit and then had a spot of lunch around 12 O-Clock. I think I ate steak and toast. Then it was back to the room to pack and get ready for the game.
…We left the hotel at about 1pm then it was a 45 minute drive to Wembley and along the way we could see cars, buses and coaches passing us and the City fans waving like mad at us.
When you pull into Wembley Way you see those twin towers and I remember having butterflies as the sense of the occasion peaked. I remember seeing my mum and my brother Chris walking down Wembley Way on that great day in May. We arrived at our dressing room where everything was neatly laid out for us and then there was that beautiful red and black striped jersey.
I had messages and telegrams from friends and family. This was the only game my mum saw me play in. What a game she chose. She was so proud that day. Chris’ ultimate dream was to see his younger brother score the winning goal in a Cup Final and I am glad he was there to see it.
The match itself was not a classic. Few Cup Finals are. Nerves set in, mistakes are made, there’s just too much at stake. Europe beckons if you win, ignominy if you lose. Leicester although relegated, had some good players among their number, including Nish, Cross and Lockhead, they were good professionals so we had to be careful.
However our passing game was ideally suited to the large Wembley pitch and at times it looked like we were going to overpower them. Yet Leicester rallied and played above themselves on the day.
I can remember the goal as if it were yesterday. We had been playing about 25 minutes when Mike Summerbee latched onto a throw in, sped down the line and beat Nish, their left full back. He pulled the ball back to me about 18 yards from goal. I let fly with a tremendous shot and I just knew it was a goal from the moment it left my foot. I found myself in acres of space and I’d missed one just previously so I thought when it comes to me again I’m definitely not going to miss the next. On the video you can see the excitement, te joy, the pleasure on my face when I scored that goal, what a feeling.
I remember looking up to where my family were but couldn’t pick anyone out and in an instant I was engulfed by the team.
…I could have had a couple more in that game and Tony Coleman put a sitter right over the bar, it could have been a more comprehensive win. At the end of the day though we’d come for the cup and we were taking it back to Manchester with us.
Then it was up to the Royal Box to collect the trophy and as it was being passed along the line of players, I think I was 4th or 5th in line, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that treasured silver jewel. I lifted it in the air and it felt brilliant.
…I can tell you honestly that I never wished to let go of that moment, 100,000 people packed in like sardines, making a deafening noise.
Then you have your lap of honour around the pitch and you never want to leave. People were throwing you hats and scarves. It really meant something to me to be able to celebrate with our supporters. Then it was back to the dressing room where everyone had a bottle of champagne in their hands. I think Malcolm was brought up on champagne.
BOY BOOTH THE FIND OF ANY SEASON
It was great to get my hands on the FA Cup once again. But I believe our Wembley victory is only the start of a truly great future for Manchester City.
…I don’t really like talking about potential but we have here a bunch of players who are going to become a really great side.
…one player in particular who must be watched out for is Tommy Booth. What a fabulous young centre half he is, he’s the find of this or any other season. And he didn’t cost us a penny. We found him on our very own doorstep
…I thought Tommy had a great game, but then who had a bad one? It was a magnificent performance. Sure I was worried, you’ve got to be worried with only one goal tucked under your belt. But the boys really did us proud.
And how superbly they overcame the electric atmosphere that always charges Wembley on Cup Final day. We told them before the game that though there would be plenty of emotion, they should leave it to the fans to get worked up.
The way they played in the first half took the breath away and the goal was a storybook affair with Mike Summerbee brilliantly pulling the ball back for Neil Young.
It was perfect for Neil and he rarely misses those sort of chances.
Like I said it’s nice to have hold of that old tin pot again. It’s 19 years since I last took it when captaining Arsenal.
ADAPTED FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH JOE MERCER IN THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS 28TH APRIL 1969
NEIL YOUNG SMASHES THE BALL PAST PETER SHILTON AND CITY ARE 1-0 UP
JUST LIKE A DREAM FOR YOUNG
“It was like some fabulous breathtaking dream, not just playing in the Cup Final at Wembley, but scoring the goal that was to prove the glorious winnwe. Hit me. I still can’t believe it.”
That was Neil Young talking after Manchester City had beaten Leicester and been given a tumultuous heroes’ welcome in a drive to the City Centre that was cheers and more cheers all the way.
City won the cup the way we knew they would, elegantly and with that spirit of adventure that brought The League Championship to Maine Road just 12 months ago.
…It was not the greatest final on record but at least it was not a negative bore played out by two frightened teams.
Both City and Leicester came out determined to make a match of it, and for half an hour it was a grand and glorious spectacle with City immediately revealing themselves as the more mature, the more aggressive side playing attractive football with not a hint of Wembley nerves.
The second half fell short of that superb opening sprint when each side had clear cut chances that could have put either in a commanding, near impregnable, position.
But overall it was City bosssing the opposition, forcing them into making that last hurried pass which invariably fell short of the mark.
The result was that Leicester’s potential match winner, Allan Clarke, voted the outstanding player of the game, was rarely able to display his penalty area peNetration.
What Clarke did so well for Leicester in midfield, Colin Bell did for City, running and chasing in a manner that saw him at last reveal his old identity of one of the most exciting inside forwards in Britain today.
Mike Sumerbee, in that breathtaking City start, looked as though he might walk off with the man-of-the-match award and it was his magnificent run in from the right that laid on the goal which made Young the conqueror.
Summerbee superbly slipped Allan Woollett’s tackle before gliding over an inch perfect pass that fractionally missed the despairing outstretched leg of Graham Cross. And the sight of Young cruising in for the kill was a glorious one indeed.
But Young later admitted “I never even saw the ball go in. I had my head right down, determined to make it right after missing from a similar position a few minutes before.”
…Footballer of the Year Tony Book the City skipper, Tommy Booth, Alan Oakes, Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe magnificently rose to the occasion as Leicester pressed forward in the seconf half.
But their slack finishing, particurlarly by Andy Lockhead, eventually made it a final of mischances, but one which City undoubtedly deserved to win.
ADAPTED FROM AN ARTICLE BY PETER GARDNER IN THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS 28TH APRIL 1969
I was confident that we would beat Leicester. Tony Coleman, my tearaway winger, had got involved in a fight on the weekend before the final and his injury had to be nursed and concealed. But beyond that there were no alarms. We stayed in Weybridge and it was a confident camp. I knew that in Mike Summerbee, Francis Lee and Colin Bell I was carrying too much ammunition for the Leicester manager Frank O’Farrell. In fact Leicester who were committed to the second division the following season, played with a lot of bite and much flair. Allan Clarke played particurlarly well and his running plus the threat of the veteran Andy Lockhead, put us under pressure. But Summerbee, who was quietly murdering young David Nish along the right flank, put in a superb boost to the line and his centre was hammered in by Neil Young. It was a good final, closer than expected.
Then I went downstairs to find a cab. Tina came down after me but before she arrived I got into an argument with four Leicester supporters. They started on me so I gave them one.
Tina saw me brawling with four men and ran back upstairs to find Francis.
“Francis” she cried “your best mate is scrapping on the pavement outside, can you sort it out?” Which he did, but not in the way Tina expected. Francis waded into them and knocked them all out.
So both of us had bruises, torn shirts and blood all over our nice new suits.
I think I slept on the couch or on the floor. I remember waking up in the morning and looking at Tina lying in bed… she said something like “You! Dragging me down to the depths, you’re no better than a common hoodlum” I said “I don’t bloody well care what you think, we’ve just won the cup!”
ADAPTED FROM FATHERS, SONS AND FOOTBALL BY COLIN SHINDLER
From the gentility of the suburbs of Wilmslow to the thrusting heart of the City itself, Manchester City mania set in.
From Wilmslow railway station where Manchester City arrived from London to Albert Square, Manchester, 10 miles away, thousands lined the roads to cheer the FA Cup winners of 1969.
This City certainly made a city happy. They are certainly popular winners and in the streets no-one, just no-one, seemed to be without a blue or red and black rosette. And how proudly they wore their colours. How they cheered when the bus bringing the team came in sight…
ADAPTED FROM AN ARTICLE BY THE SPORTS EDITOR IN THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS 28TH APRIL 1969