1988 FA Cup Final

The 1988 FA Cup Final was the 107th final of the FA Cup. It took place on 14 May 1988 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Wimbledon and Liverpool, the dominant English club side of the 1980s and newly crowned league champions.[1][2]

In one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition, Wimbledon won 1–0 to win the cup for the only time in their history; they had just completed their second season in the Football League First Division and had only been in the Football League for 11 years.[3][4] The final also featured the first penalty save in an FA Cup final, by Dave Beasant from John Aldridge, while Beasant also became the first goalkeeper to captain an FA Cup-winning side.[5] It was the last FA Cup final to be broadcast by both the BBC and ITV, which had happened since 1958. Wimbledon's victory ended Liverpool's bid to become the first team to win the Double twice,[6][7] a feat that was eventually achieved by rivals Manchester United in 1996 and Arsenal in 1998.

1988 FA Cup Final
Event1987–88 FA Cup
Liverpool Wimbledon
0 1
Date14 May 1988
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeBrian Hill (Northamptonshire)

Road to Wembley



Round Opposition Score


Stoke City (A)

Stoke City (H)



4th Aston Villa (A) 0–2
5th Everton (A) 0–1
QF Manchester City (A) 0–4
SF Nottingham Forest (N) 2–1
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.


Round Opposition Score
3rd West Bromwich Albion (H) 4–1
4th Mansfield Town (A) 1–2
5th Newcastle United (A) 0–1
QF Watford F.C. (H) 2–1
SF Luton Town (N) 2–1
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

The build up

Liverpool were the winners of Division One and were the giants of England in the 1980s. Wimbledon finished seventh in the table but were expected to finish much lower than that position. Liverpool were highly expected and favoured to win the trophy as they had just secured their 17th league title, whereas Wimbledon had been playing in the Southern Football League just eleven years earlier and were given very little hope of lifting the trophy.

Match summary

Wimbledon took the lead shortly before half-time, when Lawrie Sanchez's looping header, from a Dennis Wise free kick on the left, went across goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar and into the net.[9] Liverpool created a host of chances, including a chipped goal over the goalkeeper by Peter Beardsley which was disallowed as the referee had already awarded a free kick to Liverpool, but were unable to find a way past Wimbledon goalkeeper Dave Beasant. The Merseysiders were awarded a penalty on the hour mark following a foul by Clive Goodyear on John Aldridge, though replays showed that Goodyear won the ball cleanly, but Aldridge's penalty was saved by Beasant's diving save to his left, thus Beasant became the first keeper to save a penalty in a Wembley FA Cup final.[10] The Londoners survived more pressure from Liverpool to secure their first major trophy and a notable upset in FA Cup Final history. Dave Beasant also became the first goalkeeper to receive the FA Cup as captain.[11][12][13] After the final whistle John Motson who was commentating for the BBC delivered his famous line: "The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club."[14]


Wimbledon were unable to compete in the 1988–89 European Cup Winners' Cup, due to the ongoing ban on English teams from European competitions, following the actions of a group of Liverpool supporters in the 1985 European Cup Final Heysel disaster. At the time of the final, it was hoped that the ban would be rescinded, but after a number of incidents involving English fans during the 1988 European Championships, the FA withdrew their application for readmission.

Match details

Report Sanchez Goal 37'
GK 1 Zimbabwe Bruce Grobbelaar
RB 4 Scotland Steve Nicol
CB 2 Scotland Gary Gillespie
CB 6 Scotland Alan Hansen (c)
LB 3 England Gary Ablett
RM 9 Republic of Ireland Ray Houghton
CM 5 England Nigel Spackman Substituted off 74'
CM 11 England Steve McMahon
LM 10 England John Barnes
CF 7 England Peter Beardsley
CF 8 Republic of Ireland John Aldridge Substituted off 64'
MF 12 England Craig Johnston Substituted in 64'
MF 14 Denmark Jan Mølby Substituted in 74'
Scotland Kenny Dalglish
GK 1 England Dave Beasant (c)
RB 2 England Clive Goodyear
CB 5 Wales Eric Young
CB 6 England Andy Thorn
LB 3 Republic of Ireland Terry Phelan
CM 10 Northern Ireland Lawrie Sanchez
CM 4 Wales Vinnie Jones
RW 8 England Alan Cork Substituted off 56'
LW 11 England Dennis Wise
CF 7 England Terry Gibson Substituted off 63'
CF 9 England John Fashanu
DF 12 England John Scales Substituted in 63'
MF 14 England Laurie Cunningham Substituted in 56'
England Bobby Gould

Match rules

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Replay if scores still level
  • Two named substitutes
  • Maximum of two substitutions

See also


  1. ^ Phillips-Knight, Rob (12 May 2010). "Beasant and the 'Crazy Gang' stun Liverpool". ESPN.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  2. ^ "English Division One 1987–1988 Final Table". statto.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  3. ^ Beasant, Dave (15 May 2010). "14 May 1988: The first FA Cup final penalty save". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  4. ^ "English FA Cup Finalists 1980 – 1989". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Liverpool 0–1 Wimbledon". LFCHistory.net. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  6. ^ Hosking, Patrick; Wighton, David (14 March 2004). "Caught in Time: Wimbledon's Crazy Gang chase FA Cup glory in 1988". The Times. London. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  7. ^ Reddy, Luke (4 January 2015). "Wimbledon v Liverpool: How the Crazy Gang made FA Cup history". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  8. ^ "FA Cup 1987–1988 : Results". statto.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Bobby Gould recalls Wimbledon's FA Cup win". Reuters. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Dave and his wombles may have done us a favor". Glasgow Herald. 16 May 1988. p. 12. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Classic Cup Finals: 1988". TheFA.com (The Football Association). Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  12. ^ "Wimbledon's Crazy Gang prepared for 1988 FA Cup final against Liverpool with a night down the pub". Daily Telegraph. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  13. ^ "Wimbledon and Liverpool stars look back on the biggest upset in modern FA Cup final history... 'We celebrated until silly o'clock'". Daily Mail. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  14. ^ "When the Crazy Gang beat the Culture Club: Wimbledon v Liverpool FA Cup flashback". Liverpool Echo. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.

External links

1999–2000 Wimbledon F.C. season

During the 1999–2000 English football season, Wimbledon competed in the Premier League (known as the FA Carling Premiership for sponsorship reasons).

The season began with a new manager, Norway's Egil Olsen, after the close season resignation of long-serving Joe Kinnear, but Olsen was ousted with two weeks of the season remaining and replaced by coach Terry Burton, who was unable to save Wimbledon from relegation after 14 successive seasons of top division football.

2013 FA Cup Final

The 2013 FA Cup Final was the 132nd final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football cup competition. The match, contested by Manchester City and Wigan Athletic, took place on 11 May 2013 at Wembley Stadium in London, and kicked off at 5:15 p.m. It was Wigan's first FA Cup final and Manchester City's 10th. Wigan pulled off a shock victory against favourites City, winning in circumstances reminiscent of the 1988 FA Cup Final when Wimbledon overcame Liverpool. Ben Watson's stoppage-time headed goal produced the "greatest FA Cup Final upset for a quarter of a century". In the United Kingdom, the match was televised by ITV and ESPN.

The competition winners were awarded a place in the group stage of the 2013–14 Europa League competition. Because Manchester City and their semi-final opponent Chelsea had already qualified for the following season's Champions League by virtue of the clubs' league positions, Wigan gained a Europa League place by winning their semi-final match.Wigan owner Dave Whelan led out the Wigan team before kick off along with manager Roberto Martínez. The only goal of the game came a few minutes after City's Pablo Zabaleta had been sent off for a second yellow card, becoming the third player to be sent off in an FA Cup final. The cup was jointly lifted by playing captain Emmerson Boyce and club captain Gary Caldwell.On 20 May, Wigan had an open-top bus tour of the town to celebrate the FA Cup victory. Manchester City sacked manager Roberto Mancini two days later, confirming rumours of the manager's fate before the match. Wigan failed to avoid relegation from the Premier League, becoming the first team to win the Cup and succumb to relegation in the same season.

Andy Thorn (footballer)

Andrew Charles Thorn (born 12 November 1966 in Carshalton) is an English football manager and former professional footballer. He was most recently the manager of Kidderminster Harriers.

As a player, he was a defender from 1984 until 1998. Whilst with Wimbledon, he was part of the side that achieved the famous victory over Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final. He also played in the 1990 FA Cup Final for Crystal Palace, although this time ended up on the losing side. He also played for Newcastle United, Hearts and Tranmere Rovers.

Anfield Rap

"Anfield Rap (Red Machine in Full Effect)" was a song released by members of Liverpool F.C. before the 1988 FA Cup Final against Wimbledon F.C.. The song reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was co-written by Paul Gainford, Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston, rapper Derek B and Mary Byker from Gaye Bykers on Acid.

Bobby Gould

Robert Hewitt Gould (born 12 June 1946) is an English former footballer and manager.

Clive Goodyear

Clive Goodyear (born 15 January 1961) is an English former footballer who played as a defender. He made 232 appearances in the Football League for Luton Town, Plymouth Argyle, Wimbledon and Brentford. Goodyear also played in the 1988 FA Cup Final.

Craig Johnston

Craig Peter Johnston (born 25 June 1960) is an Australian former professional footballer. He played as a midfielder in the English Football League between 1977 and 1988, winning five league titles and an FA Cup (scoring in the 1986 final) with Liverpool. Nicknamed "skippy", Johnston was a crowd favourite at Anfield, making 271 Liverpool appearances and scoring 40 goals. He was a key member of the 1986 "double" winning team. He also co-wrote the team's 1988 cup final song "Anfield Rap".

After retiring, he designed and created the prototype for Adidas' Predator football boot, worn by many footballers and rugby players. He was eligible for the Australian and South African national teams, but only ever appeared for the England U-21 youth team.

Dave Swindlehurst

David Swindlehurst (born 6 January 1956 in Edgware, Middlesex) is an English former footballer who played as a striker.

Eric Young (footballer, born 1960)

Eric Young (born 25 March 1960 in Singapore) is a retired professional footballer, who was a strong, commanding centre-half, nicknamed "Ninja" due to his ever-present brown headband, which he wore during matches to protect scar tissue on his forehead.

Young started his career at non-league Southall and then moved to Slough Town where his commanding style was noticed by a number of league clubs; he played for Slough for 3 seasons. Young was eventually signed by Brighton & Hove Albion in 1982. During the period in non-league football Young continued with his accountancy training. He made his league debut in the first match of the 1982–83 season and went on to make 126 appearances for the club, scoring 10 goals before transferring to Wimbledon for £70,000 on the eve of the 1987–88 season.

He became a fan favourite at Wimbledon and formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Andy Thorn, playing in the club's famous victory over Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final. After 99 appearances and 9 goals for Wimbledon, in 1990 he was sold to Crystal Palace for £850,000 (at the time a huge transfer fee for a 30-year-old). At Palace he continued his consistently reliable form, and Palace's later signing of Andy Thorn meant the resumption of the Thorn/Young defensive partnership that had proved so successful at Wimbledon. Young was a mainstay in the team that finished third in the old first division (now the Premiership) and kept his place in the side until a falling out with manager Alan Smith at the beginning of the ill-fated 1994–95 season saw him dropped until the final five matches of that campaign.

After 161 appearances and 15 goals for Palace, he then joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a free transfer. He spent two seasons at Wolves before completing his professional career, briefly returning to Palace in 1997 without playing a senior game, but then continued to play non-league football for another four seasons whilst also qualifying as a chartered accountant, before finally hanging up his boots at the age of 41 at Egham Town.

He is now working as an accountant in a construction based company in Heathrow.

Gary Ablett (English footballer)

Gareth Ian "Gary" Ablett (19 November 1965 – 1 January 2012) was an English professional footballer and manager. He played as a defender from 1985 until 2001.

He spent nine years with Liverpool before moving to their city rivals Everton in 1995. He went on to win the FA Cup with Everton, having previously won an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1988 with Liverpool. He later played for Derby County, Hull City, Sheffield United, Birmingham City, Wycombe Wanderers, Blackpool and ended his playing career in the USA with Long Island Rough Riders.

He moved into coaching and managed Liverpool F.C. Reserves, and then spent a year as manager of Stockport County.

Ablett died on 1 January 2012, following a 16-month battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, at his home in Tarleton, Lancashire. He was 46 years old.

John Gannon (footballer)

John Gannon (born 18 December 1966) is an English former professional footballer, featuring mainly for Sheffield United.

In recent years he has held coaching roles at clubs including Mansfield Town, Chester City, Notts County and Leeds United. He is currently working as a scout with Manchester City.As a player, he started at Wimbledon whilst also featuring for the Republic of Ireland at youth level. Gannon was part of the Wimbledon squad that went all the way to the 1988 FA Cup Final where they achieved a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool, although he didn't feature on the day.With first team matches limited at the Dons, Gannon left for Sheffield United thereby joining his former Wimbledon boss Dave Bassett, initially on loan during the 1988/1989 season, before signing permanently on a free transfer for the start of the 1989/90 season. Gannon was particularly strong with his left foot and also took corners and free kicks, setting up goals regularly during Gannons time at United. Gannon was part of the Sheffield United team that achieved two successive promotions and was a regular player in the old First Division for the Blades.

Laurie Cunningham

Laurence Paul Cunningham (8 March 1956 – 15 July 1989) was an England international footballer. Cunningham was the first Englishman to play football for Real Madrid.

Cunningham was reported to be the first black player to represent England at any level (having played at under 21 level). However, in May 2013, The Football Association amended their records, so that now Benjamin Odeje holds this record, having represented England seven years earlier at schoolboy level.

Lawrie Sanchez

Lawrence Philip "Lawrie" Sanchez (born 22 October 1959) is a Northern Irish football manager and former international football player.

The defining moment of his playing career came in the 1988 FA Cup Final, when he scored the winning goal for Wimbledon against Liverpool, producing one of the biggest F.A. Cup upsets in the competition's long history.

Career highlights as a manager include taking Wycombe Wanderers on a memorable F.A. Cup run that climaxed in a semi-final against Liverpool and driving Northern Ireland from a FIFA ranking of 124th to 27th; a period during which he notched up notable results against England, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal.

List of Wimbledon F.C. seasons

Wimbledon Football Club was an English football club from Wimbledon, south-west London, amateur from 1889 to 1964 and professional thereafter. Founded in 1889 as Wimbledon Old Central Football Club, an amateur club playing in local league competitions, the club shortened its name to "Wimbledon" in 1905, entered the FA Amateur Cup for the first time in 1905–06 and joined the Spartan League in 1909. After going out of business a year later, Wimbledon immediately reformed and returned to local leagues in 1912, where the team stayed until the 1919–20 season when the club joined the Athenian League. Moving to the Isthmian League in 1921, Wimbledon won four league championships in six years during the 1930s and reached the FA Amateur Cup Final in 1935 before losing to Bishop Auckland after a replay. The club continued to be successful following the Second World War, again reaching the Amateur Cup Final in 1947 and finishing as runners-up in the Isthmian League in 1950 and 1952. After claiming a fourth Isthmian League crown in 1959, Wimbledon then took three successive championships from 1962 to 1964, as well as the 1963 FA Amateur Cup.These achievements prompted the switch to professional football, which occurred in 1964, concurrently with the extension of membership from the Southern Football League. Wimbledon finished second twice out of the team's first four outings in this competition, before again winning three consecutive titles from 1975 to 1977. The club won election to The Football League after these successes, and thus entered the Fourth Division for the first time in 1977–78. Wimbledon took only ten seasons as a Football League club to reach England's top flight, winning promotion to the First Division for the 1986–87 season; Wimbledon then beat League champions Liverpool 1–0 in the 1988 FA Cup Final to achieve the feat of having won both the FA Cup and its amateur equivalent (as of 2009, only one other club – Old Carthusians – has done this). Wimbledon remained in the top division until 2000, when the side was relegated. The club announced an unpopular relocation to Milton Keynes in 2001, which received permission a year later, causing the foundation of AFC Wimbledon by the majority of Wimbledon fans, who called it "the death of [their] club". The club subsequently relocated to Milton Keynes in September 2003, and rebranded itself as Milton Keynes Dons in 2004.

Liverpool F.C.

Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 6 European Cups, more than any other English club, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, 15 FA Community Shields and 1 Football League Super Cup.

Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish led the club to a combined eleven League titles, four European Cups, two UEFA Cups, seven domestic cups and several super cups within a span of eighteen seasons. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by homegrown star Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005 before adding a sixth crown under Jürgen Klopp in 2019.

Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, and the world's eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton.

The club's supporters have been involved in two major tragedies: the Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – mostly Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing.

The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. Red has been the main shirt colour ever since 1896. The club's anthem is "You'll Never Walk Alone".

London Borough of Merton

The London Borough of Merton (listen) is a borough in south-west London, England.

The borough was formed under the London Government Act 1963 in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey. The main commercial centres in Merton are Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, of which Wimbledon is the largest. Other smaller centres include Raynes Park, Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park and Pollards Hill. The borough is the host of the Wimbledon tournament, one of tennis's Grand Slam competitions.

The borough derives its name from the historic parish of Merton which was centred on the area now known as South Wimbledon. Merton was chosen as an acceptable compromise, following a dispute between Wimbledon and Mitcham over the new borough's name. The local authority is Merton London Borough Council.

Paul Miller (footballer, born 1968)

Paul Miller (born 31 January 1968 in Woking) is an English retired football forward. Miller notably played in the Premier League for Wimbledon during the 1993-94 season.

Terry Gibson

Terence Bradley Gibson (born 23 December 1962 in Walthamstow) is an English former footballer who played as a forward for several clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, Coventry City, Manchester United and Wimbledon.

Vinnie Jones

Vincent Peter Jones (born 5 January 1965) is a British actor and former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1984 to 1999, notably for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Wales.

Born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Jones represented and captained the Welsh national football team, having qualified via a Welsh grandparent. As a member of the "Crazy Gang", he won the 1988 FA Cup Final with Wimbledon, a club for which he played well over 200 games during two spells between 1986 and 1998. He also played for Chelsea, Leeds United, Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers. Jones was a defensive midfielder who was especially noted for his very aggressive style of play, earning him a "hard man" image on the field.

Since his retirement from football, he has capitalised on his tough man image and is now known as an actor for his fiery demeanour and physical presence, often being typecast into roles as violent criminals and thugs. His film career began with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and continued with roles in mainstream films such as Snatch (2000), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), and Mean Machine (2001). He played Juggernaut in the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand, Sebastian Moran in CBS's Elementary, and Brick in The CW's Arrow.

Jones appeared in Celebrity Big Brother 2010, where he finished in third place behind Dane Bowers and Alex Reid.

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