This season’s FA Cup is a pivotal milestone in the history of the game.
No-one can, or should, ever forget the events of 15 April 1989 at a football stadium in the city of Sheffield. As a result of them, 96 people lost their lives.
After the disaster it was decided that the competition would be continued. With Everton already in the final by virtue of their 1-0 win over Norwich at Villa Park, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were required to play their semi-final at Old Trafford. After a 3-1 win for Liverpool it was another all Merseyside final and what a day it would prove to be.
After the preliminaries, such as Gerry Marsden leading the singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone, the match set off at a cracking pace. John Aldridge opened the scoring on just 4 minutes – then Neville Southall proceeded to keep the Blues in the game until the final minute of full time before Stuart McCall scored his first equaliser to take the game into extra-time.
Into extra-time and now it was the turn of Ian Rush to grab another slice of the limelight. After 5 minutes he took Steve Nicol’s chipped pass into the penalty box before swivelling to slot the ball past his Welsh International colleague in the Everton goal. But Everton and Stuart (not Steve, Motty) McCall weren’t finished and on 12 minutes he received a headed clearance from Kevin Ratcliffe’s floated free kick to flash an unstoppable volley past Grobbelaar.
Unfortunately for Everton, neither was Ian Rush and with just a minute of the first period of extra-time remaining he stooped to guide John Barnes’ pin point left wing cross just inside the far post to make it 3-2. This time Everton could not respond so, fittingly, the Cup went to Liverpool for their fourth win.