1971 FA Cup Final

In the finale to the 1970–71 FA Cup season, the 1971 FA Cup Final was contested by Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley on 8 May 1971.

Arsenal won 2–1 after extra time, with all three goals coming in the added half-hour. Steve Heighway opened the scoring for Liverpool with a low drive past Wilson on his near post. However, Arsenal equalised with a scrambled goal from substitute Eddie Kelly – the first time a substitute had ever scored in an FA Cup final. The goal was initially credited to George Graham, but replays showed that the decisive touch came from Kelly after Graham had struck the shot.[1] Charlie George then scored a dramatic winner late in extra time, when his long range effort flew past Ray Clemence. This prompted George into a famous celebration – lying on his back on the Wembley turf waiting for his teammates to pick him up.

The game was the second half of Arsenal's first League and FA Cup double, the first double achieved by any club since Tottenham Hotspur's double in 1961. The first half had been achieved through Arsenal's league victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on the Monday of the same week. The trophy was presented by the President of The Football Association, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.

Due to the clash of Liverpool's red strip with Arsenal's red and white colours, Arsenal wore their away strip of yellow shirt and blue shorts.

1971 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1970–71 FA Cup
Arsenal Liverpool
2 1
Date8 May 1971
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeNorman Burtenshaw (Gt Yarmouth)
Weathersunny, warm


The game was played on a hot sunny day, and cramp and stamina were both to be of concern by the end of the match. Arsenal captain Frank McLintock won the toss, and he chose to play towards the southern end for the first half, meaning that Arsenal would have the low late afternoon sun at their backs in the second period.

Early play was dominated by Liverpool, who mounted several attacks on the Arsenal goal but found difficulty breaking through Arsenal's defence. As the half progressed play became for the most part evenly balanced, with Arsenal mounting more counterattacks on the break and Liverpool's best chances coming largely from free kicks deep in Arsenal's half of the field. The best opportunities to break the deadlock came late in the half, with Ray Clemence forced to make a reflex save of a header from George Armstrong in the 41st minute, followed in the 44th minute by a similarly fine diving save by Bob Wilson from Alec Lindsay, the result of a free kick. Earlier in the half, Ray Kennedy had caused several problems for the Liverpool defence, and a long range effort from Charlie George also narrowly failed to find the net.

Neither side had total dominance during the second period; Arsenal started strongly, with Liverpool coming more into the game as play progressed. Arsenal finished more strongly with a spell of concerted pressure in the latter stages of the half as the game opened up. The first few minutes of the second half consisted of the teams sizing each other up, with no clear chance coming until an opportunity for Arsenal in the 51st minute when Kennedy failed to get his foot to an effort from close range. Play was largely uneventful from then until the 56th minute, when Charlie George again shot wide from long distance. Liverpool's style of play largely consisted of slow, patient attacks, with their first major foray of the half coming in the 58th minute, ending when John Toshack failed to link up with Alun Evans. Eddie Kelly replaced a limping Peter Storey in the 64th minute. Three minutes later, Evans was replaced for tactical reasons for Liverpool by Peter Thompson. He was to have a part in a strong attack by Liverpool less than two minutes later, halted when the ball was cleared by McLintock. The game was briefly paused immediately after this attack, owing to Emlyn Hughes receiving treatment after being hit in the face by the ball. Liverpool were now having more of the possession, though the next clear chance, in the 74th minute, fell to Ray Kennedy when he received a John Radford cross within the goal area. The game opened up considerably from this point, and a George Graham header from a Radford long throw hit the crossbar in the 77th minute. The resulting corner led to a scrambled goal-line clearance by Lindsay. Steve Heighway mounted an instant counter-attack, but it came to nothing. In the next three minutes, Wilson was forced to make two saves in response to further attacks by Heighway and Thompson. A further solo effort by Brian Hall came five minutes before the end of the half, followed shortly afterwards by a shot from Kennedy at the other end.

Extra time

The first period of extra time began with Arsenal kicking off facing the same way as in the second half, with the low sun at their backs. Within a minute, a move which began with Larry Lloyd deep within Liverpool's half found Heighway in space on the left flank. He sent a low ball from the edge of the penalty area which went behind the advancing Wilson and into the Arsenal net. Two minutes later John Toshack almost made it two, with a sharp reflex save required from Wilson to prevent further damage to Arsenal's cause. Liverpool continued to dominate for the next ten minutes, but without any clear chances. This pressure left some holes in Liverpool's defence, however, and in the eleventh minute of extra time an overhead kick from John Radford into the Liverpool penalty area led to a scrambled attempt to clear the ball which saw the ball end up in the net. Initially, it appeared as if Graham had got the final touch, but later replays showed that it was Kelly, who became the first substitute ever to score in an FA Cup final. Clemence was forced to make a brave save two minutes from the end of the half after a centring cross almost found Kelly deep in the Liverpool area. The last chance of the half came from a strong shot from distance by Radford which went straight to Clemence.

By the start of the second period of extra time, the hot conditions and pace of the match were starting to take their toll, with several players (notably Brian Hall and George Graham) suffering from cramp. As such play was more broken, with fewer successful attacks, as crosses frequently failed to find their targets. Liverpool had the first clear chance after five minutes, when a cross from Thompson deep on the right flank narrowly failed to find Toshack. An immediate counterattack required Tommy Smith to tackle Kennedy deep in his own penalty area after Kennedy had received a long ball from Graham.The winning goal was to come moments later in the seventh minute of the period, when a ball from Radford found Charlie George just outside the Liverpool penalty area. His powerful strike beat Clemence to hit the top left of the Liverpool net. He followed this up with his famous celebration, lying on his back with arms outstretched until he was picked up by other members of his team. Liverpool were not to give up, however, and the first opportunity to reply came from Chris Lawler, who defied his cramping legs to attempt a flying kick at a pass from Toshack within the Arsenal area. This was one of the few remaining instances to really threaten in the dying minutes, however, although Radford produced a powerful long-range shot some two minutes before the final whistle.

The match was played in a great spirit of sportsmanship by the players and was responded to as such by the fans. When Liverpool's Lawler was floored with cramp late in extra time, he was helped to recover by two Arsenal players. Arsenal's victory – and double win after a gruelling 64-match season – was greeted with an ovation by both their own and Liverpool's fans at the stadium, and Liverpool were also cheered by both sets of fans as they took a lap of honour after the presentation of the trophy and medals.

Match details

Liverpool1–2 (a.e.t.)Arsenal
Heighway Goal 92' Report Kelly Goal 101'
George Goal 111'
GK 1 England Ray Clemence
RB 2 England Chris Lawler
LB 3 England Alec Lindsay
CB 4 England Tommy Smith (c)
CB 5 England Larry Lloyd
CM 6 England Emlyn Hughes
RM 7 England Ian Callaghan
ST 8 England Alun Evans Substituted off 68'
LM 9 Republic of Ireland Steve Heighway
ST 10 Wales John Toshack
CM 11 Scotland[2][3] Brian Hall
MF 12 England Peter Thompson Substituted in 68'
Scotland Bill Shankly
GK 1 Scotland Bob Wilson
RB 2 Northern Ireland Pat Rice
LB 3 England Bob McNab
RM 4 England Peter Storey Substituted off 64'
CB 5 Scotland Frank McLintock (c)
CB 6 England Peter Simpson
LM 7 England George Armstrong
CM 8 Scotland George Graham
ST 9 England John Radford
ST 10 England Ray Kennedy
CM 11 England Charlie George
MF 12 Scotland Eddie Kelly Substituted in 64'
England Bertie Mee

DVD release

Television coverage of the match has been released on DVD by the BBC as part of their FA Cup Final Classics series as part of a double-DVD set (BBCDVD 1681) along with Arsenal's win over Manchester United in the 1979 FA Cup Final. The ITV coverage was also released on DVD in 2004, as one of a series of DVDs covering the 1970s Cup Finals, distributed by ILC Sport (DVD2508). The same company have also released DVDs of all the 1980s and 1990s Cup Finals.


  1. ^ Arsenal: The official history. itvDVD.
  2. ^ Brian Hall, Liverpoolfc.tv profile
  3. ^ "Brian Hall: Science graduate who became the unobtrusive linchpin in the great Liverpool sides of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley" The Independent 18July 2015

External links

1970–71 FA Cup

The 1970–71 FA Cup was the 90th season of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. First Division champions Arsenal won the competition for the fourth time, beating Liverpool 2–1 in the final at Wembley. In doing so, Arsenal were the fourth team to complete a double of League and Cup victories, following Preston North End, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.

Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. Some matches, however, might be rescheduled for other days if there were clashes with games for other competitions or the weather was inclement. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.

1970–71 in English football

The 1970–71 season was the 91st season of competitive football in England.

1971 FA Charity Shield

The 1971 FA Charity Shield was a football match between Leicester City and Liverpool at Filbert Street on Saturday 7 August 1971.Arsenal won the double in 1970-71 but were unable to take part in the Charity Shield because they had contracted to go on a pre-season tour that clashed with the fixture. The 1971 FA Cup Final runners up Liverpool and second division winners Leicester City were invited to take part instead.Leicester won the game with a goal from Steve Whitworth, who appeared to be offside when he tapped the ball in at the near post after initially crossing the ball into the box.

1971–72 in English football

The 1971–72 season was the 92nd season of competitive football in England.

Alec Lindsay

Alec Lindsay (born 27 February 1948) is an English former footballer who played in the Football League for Bury, Liverpool and Stoke City.

Arsenal F.C.

Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The Club has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 15 FA Community Shields, 1 League Centenary Trophy, 1 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and 1 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, and they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, and have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position.Herbert Chapman won Arsenal's first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, and added the white sleeves and brighter red to the club's kit. Arsène Wenger was the longest-serving manager and won the most trophies. He won a record 7 FA Cups, and his title-winning team set an English record for the longest top-flight unbeaten league run at 49 games between 2003 and 2004, receiving the nickname The Invincibles.

In 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the club crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, becoming close neighbours of Tottenham Hotspur, and creating the North London derby. In 2006, they moved to the nearby Emirates Stadium. In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal's fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion.

Arsenal Football Club Museum

The Arsenal Football Club Museum is a museum in Holloway, London, run by Arsenal Football Club and dedicated to the history of the club.

The museum houses a wide range of exhibits and memorabilia from throughout the club's history, including Charlie George's shirt from the 1971 FA Cup Final, Michael Thomas's boots from Arsenal's 1988-89 title-deciding match against Liverpool, Alan Smith's shirt from the 1994 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final and a custom trophy commemorating Arsenal's 2003-04 Premier League season, where they won the title unbeaten.The museum is currently housed in the Northern Triangle Building, to the immediate north of Emirates Stadium, the club's home ground. It had been previously housed inside the North Bank Stand of Arsenal's Highbury stadium from the stand's opening in 1993 to 2006, when Highbury was closed and redeveloped. It currently attracts over 120,000 visitors a year.The museum is open every day of the week. On matchdays the museum is only open from 10am till half an hour before kick-off. Admission is also included as part of tours of Emirates Stadium.

Bob Wilson (footballer, born 1941)

Robert Primrose Wilson, OBE (born 30 October 1941) is a former Scotland international football goalkeeper and later broadcaster.As a player, Wilson is most noted for his 11-year playing career at Arsenal where he made over 300 appearances. Wilson as well featured as a youth and senior international for Scotland. After retiring as a player, he turned to coaching and broadcasting, presenting football programmes on television for 28 years until 2002. Wilson has also gone on to create a charity organization known as the Willow Foundation.

Brian Hall (footballer, born 1946)

Brian Hall (22 November 1946 – 16 July 2015) was a Scottish footballer who played as a Midfielder. He won six domestic and UEFA trophies with Liverpool in the 1970s. He then played for Plymouth Argyle and Burnley.

Charlie George

Charles Frederick George (born 10 October 1950) is an English former professional footballer who played as a forward.George began his career as a youngster with Arsenal and was part of their 1970–71 League and FA Cup Double-winning team, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final. In 1975, he left Arsenal to join up with Derby County. After playing for US club Minnesota Kicks, in 1978 George joined Southampton, where he spent another three seasons. Whilst there he had a brief spell on loan with Nottingham Forest with whom he won the 1979 European Super Cup. He then had a spell with Hong Kong side Bulova before he returned to England for short stints with A.F.C. Bournemouth and Derby County. George was capped once for the England national team.

Chris Lawler

Chris Lawler (born 20 October 1943 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England) is a former footballer who enjoyed much of Liverpool's success of the mid 1960s to early 1970s.

Good Old Arsenal

"Good Old Arsenal" was a single released by the English football team Arsenal in 1971. It reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart.

John Toshack

John Benjamin Toshack MBE (born 22 March 1949) is a Welsh former professional football player and manager.

He began his playing career as a teenager with his hometown club Cardiff City, becoming the youngest player to make an appearance for the side when he made his debut in 1965. After establishing himself in the first-team, he went on to make over 200 appearances and scored 100 goals in all competitions after forming a striking partnership with Brian Clark.

In 1970, he joined First Division side Liverpool, where he formed a noted forward partnership with Kevin Keegan and Steve Heighway that helped the club to win two league titles, the UEFA Cup on two occasions, the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. His partnership with Keegan was so effective that the two were described as telepathic. Mounting injuries eventually led to him securing his release from Liverpool to join Swansea City as player-manager in March 1978. He led the club to three promotions in four seasons, elevating them from the Fourth Division to the First Division in a feat that led former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly to describe him as the "manager of the century". During his career, he scored over 150 goals in the Football League in more than 350 appearances and also represented Wales at international level, winning 40 caps and scoring 13 goals.He resigned from Swansea in 1984 after suffering relegation and embarked on a managerial career abroad, taking charge of Sporting CP in Portugal and later Spanish side Real Sociedad, winning the Copa del Rey in 1987. Two years later, he was appointed manager of Real Madrid and led them to a fifth consecutive La Liga title with a record total of points and goals scored. However, a disappointing start to the following season resulted in his dismissal in November 1990 and he returned to Real Sociedad. In 1994, he was appointed part-time manager of Wales alongside his job at Sociedad but resigned from the role after just 47 days having been in charge for one match, citing the strong support for former manager Terry Yorath among fans and a "political war" as reasons.

After a spell in Turkey with Beşiktaş, he returned to Real Madrid for a second time but was sacked ten months later after refusing to retract criticism he had made of his players in a press conference following a defeat. In 2004, he was appointed as manager of Wales for a second time and remained with the side for six years, presiding over three ultimately unsuccessful qualifying campaigns. He later managed Macedonia and Azerbaijani side Khazar Lankaran before managing outside Europe for the first time in his career with Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca and Tractor Sazi of Iran.

Larry Lloyd

Laurence Valentine Lloyd (born 6 October 1948) is a retired English association football central defender and manager. He won domestic and European honours for both Bill Shankly's Liverpool and Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest in the 1970s.

Norman Burtenshaw

Norman Charles Henry Burtenshaw OBE (born February 1926) is an English former football referee, who officiated in the English Football League and was also on the FIFA list. During his time on the list he was based in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Outside of football he originally worked as a night telephonist before becoming a newsagent.

Peter Thompson (footballer, born 1942)

Peter Thompson (27 November 1942 – 30 December 2018) was an English footballer. Born in Carlisle, he made 560 appearances in the Football League playing for Preston North End, Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers. He played as an outside left for the Liverpool team which had major successes in the 1960s, and was capped 16 times for England. He was known for his speedy and electric style of play.As a member of the initial England squad ahead of the 1970 FIFA World Cup, Thompson was involved in the Bogotá Bracelet incident. By some accounts he was in or around the Green Fire jewellery shop when Bobby Moore was alleged to have taken a bracelet. Since 2006 he had been living in Portugal.

Rocket (Def Leppard song)

"Rocket" is a song recorded by English rock band Def Leppard in 1987 from the album Hysteria. It was the sixth (seventh in the US) and final single release, coming out in January 1989 and hitting the Top 15 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles Chart.The song features nods to other tracks on Hysteria. Producer Mutt Lange used backmasking effects to feature the line "We're fighting with the gods of war" (from "Gods of War") sung backward throughout the track, though this sample was omitted from the single version of the song. The words "Love" and "Bites" (from "Love Bites") are also used as a sonic effect midway throughout the song, in order to replicate the sounds of a rocket launch through musical samples.

In its single release, "Rocket" was heavily edited from its original length of 6:34 for radio airplay, but would omit many of the portions that greatly distinguished the track from the rest of the album. At some shows, the album version gets performed, while at others they play the edited version instead.

Guitar World Magazine voted Rocket's guitar solo the 17th worst of all time in a countdown published in December 2004's issue. The magazine commented that "[Rocket has] a solo that any four year-old with a rack-mounted effects unit could play."UK versions of the single release featured a cover of the Engelbert Humperdinck song "Release Me", credited to "Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol' Boys", which was actually Malvin Mortimer, the band's future tour manager, backed up by the band members themselves. The song builds from an exaggerated pub-singer version of the opening verses, becoming more and more extreme as the song progresses. In the last verse, Stumpus' histrionics are interrupted by a brief belch, followed by a polite "'scuse me" before going back up to eleven.

Steve Heighway

Stephen Derek Heighway (born 25 November 1947) is an Irish former footballer who was part of the hugely successful Liverpool team of the 1970s. Regarded as one of the greatest ever Liverpool players, he was ranked 23rd in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop poll.

Heighway became academy director at Liverpool in a period when the club brought through such players as Steven Gerrard, Ryan Flynn and Jamie Carragher. He retired in 2007 but later rejoined the Liverpool academy in a consultancy role which he currently holds.

Tommy Smith (footballer, born 1945)

Thomas Smith (5 April 1945 – 12 April 2019) was an English footballer, who played as a defender at Liverpool for 16 years from 1962 to 1978. Known for his uncompromising defensive style, manager Bill Shankly once said of him: "Tommy Smith wasn't born, he was quarried". A central defender for most of his career, Smith's most memorable moment for the club probably came when he scored Liverpool's second goal in the 1977 European Cup Final against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Smith played once for England in 1971, and also played at club level for Tampa Bay Rowdies, Los Angeles Aztecs and Swansea City.

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