Of course, the 1985 final is probably best remembered for the sending off of United’s Kevin Moran, the first player ever to be sent off in a Cup Final. How much was down to referee Peter Willis’s desire to get his own name into the record books and any malicious intent on the part of Moran is debatable. Everton’s Peter Reid, the man fouled by Moran certainly didn’t feel that it merited a sending off. Especially, happening as it did with seconds to spare at the end of the 90 with the teams locked at 0-0.
Everton were going all out for the FA Cup to add to the League Championship won days earlier. Had they managed to win the fabled League and FA Cup double, they would have been only the fifth team to do so, following on from Arsenal, Spurs, Aston Villa and of course Preston North End. However, United’s young Northern Irishman, Norman Whiteside spoiled the party for his future employers with a curled winner 10 minutes from the end of extra time.
Millwall were the team of the earlier rounds, knocking out both Chelsea and Leicester City before succumbing to Luton Town in the quarter finals. The semi finals featured another heavyweight battle as United prevailed over Liverpool in the replay at Maine Road after a 2-2 stalemate at Goodison Park. Everton saw off Luton’s challenge at Villa Park.
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