This is of course the year that Villa won the cup in the 100th staging of the competition. However, you would be excused for thinking that it was Aston Villa. Oh no, this was Tottenham’s Ricky Villa. We all remember it. He trudged off, disconsolately, after being subbed in the original final (a 1-1 draw with Man City – more of which later).
He scored Spurs’ first goal in the replay, and after Garth Crooks had equalised at 2-2 with 20 mins left, he waltzed through the City defence (heavy pitch, Wembley) before slotting the ball past Big Joe Corrigan for a 3-2 victory for Spurs.
Now, Mr Tommy Hutchinson was the hero and villain of the drawn final. First, he scored the City’s goal with an absolute peach of a diving header past Ray Clemence. Then just as City were beginning to believe that the Cup could be theirs, with 10 minutes left poor Tommy deflected the ball past Big Joe to give Spurs the lifeline that they ultimately used to such advantage.
In the semis, City beat Ipswich 1-0 in I guess what was a run-of-the-mill kind of game. However, Spurs needed a replay to see off Wolves, beating them 3-0 at Highbury after a 2-2 draw at Hillsborough.
Perhaps the funniest moment in the earlier rounds had been the 4-0 stuffing handed out to Newcastle by Exeter City in their 5th round replay at St James Park. Perhaps the only consolation was that St James Park is the name of Exeter’s ground – sans apostrophe when compared with Newcastle’s more famous version. And it is an awful long way to Devon from Tyne and Wear.