1991 FA Cup Final

The 1991 FA Cup Final saw Tottenham Hotspur win the FA Cup for a then-record eighth time, by beating Nottingham Forest 2–1 at Wembley in the 110th FA Cup Final.

Tottenham's triumph made them the first club to win the trophy eight times, though this record has since been surpassed by Arsenal and Manchester United. The win also continued the club's trend of winning major trophies in years ending in "1", although Tottenham have yet to win the trophy or reach the final in any year since.

The 1991 final was Nottingham Forest's first appearance in the FA Cup final since their triumph 32 years earlier and they have not reached the final since.

It also gave Tottenham their first campaign in a European competition – the 1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup – of the post-Heysel era.

1991 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1990–91 FA Cup
Nottingham Forest Tottenham Hotspur
1 2
Date18 May 1991
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeRoger Milford (Somerset)

Route to the Final

Nottingham Forest

In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first.

Round Opposition Score
3rd Crystal Palace (A)
(R1) Crystal Palace (H)
(R2) Crystal Palace (H)
2–2 (a.e.t.)
4th Newcastle United (A)
(R) Newcastle United (H)
5th Southampton (A)
(R) Southampton (H)
QF Norwich City (A) 1–0
SF West Ham United (N) 4–0
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue; (R1) = First Replay; (R2) = Second Replay.

Tottenham Hotspur

In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first.

Round Opposition Score
3rd Blackpool (A) 1–0
4th Oxford United (H) 4–2
5th Portsmouth (A) 2–1
QF Notts County (H) 2–1
SF Arsenal (N) 3–1
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

Match summary

Spurs had teetered on the edge of going out of business during this Cup run but Paul Gascoigne's goals throughout the competition inspired them through to the final. Gascoigne was so pumped up for this match that he almost ended his involvement in the first few minutes. In winning the ball out on the right touchline, he followed through with his foot up and caught Garry Parker in the chest. Referee Roger Milford let him off with a lecture, but failed to calm Gascoigne, who scythed down Gary Charles as the Forest defender ran across the face of the Spurs penalty area. Forest were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box but once again Gascoigne was let off without further punishment from the referee. Before play resumed, Gascoigne received extensive treatment on his knee before standing up to join the defensive wall.

Gascoigne paid for his rash challenge, which many Forest fans thought deserved a red card, when Stuart Pearce smashed home the subsequent free kick, through a gap in the wall, to give Forest the lead. Gascoigne had to leave the field on a stretcher shortly after the match restarted, as he could not put any weight on his leg. It was later revealed that he had torn his cruciate ligaments. Nayim – later notable for his winning last-minute goal against Arsenal in the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final – came on to replace him.

After 25 minutes Gary Lineker wrongly had a goal disallowed for offside and then five minutes later he was in on Mark Crossley, when the goalkeeper brought him down in the box. Lineker stepped up to take the resulting penalty and placed the ball to the keeper's left, where Crossley dived and kept the ball out. Crossley became only the second goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup Final at Wembley, after Dave Beasant for Wimbledon in 1988. After the interval, Nayim cushioned a kick from Erik Thorstvedt into the path of Paul Allen, who put Paul Stewart in on the right hand side of the box. Stewart drilled a low shot past Crossley into the corner of the net to put Tottenham on level terms.

With the game finishing at 1–1 after normal time, the final moved into extra time. Substitute Paul Walsh looped a header over the keeper, but the ball hit the bar and bounced back only for it to be put behind by Pearce for a corner. Nayim took it and Stewart met it at the near post to flick it on. As Mabbutt ran in at the far post, he was poised to head the ball home, but Forest defender Des Walker beat him to it and diverted the ball past his own keeper to give Tottenham the lead for the first time in the game.

Tottenham saw out the rest of the game and won the FA Cup for the 8th time in their history.

Justin Edinburgh was the last member of Tottenham's cup winning team to leave the club, finally departing in 2000 – the same year that Nottingham Forest's Ian Woan became the last player from his team's side to leave them.

Match details

Nottingham Forest1–2 (a.e.t.)Tottenham Hotspur
Pearce Goal 16' Report Stewart Goal 55'
Walker Goal 94' (o.g.)
Nottingham Forest
GK 1 Wales Mark Crossley
RB 2 England Gary Charles
LB 3 England Stuart Pearce (c)
CB 4 England Des Walker
CB 5 England Steve Chettle
CM 6 Republic of Ireland Roy Keane
RM 7 England Gary Crosby
CM 8 England Garry Parker
CF 9 England Nigel Clough
CF 10 Scotland Lee Glover Substituted off 108'
LM 11 England Ian Woan Substituted off 62'
DF 12 England Brian Laws Substituted in 108'
MF 14 England Steve Hodge Substituted in 62'
England Brian Clough
Tottenham vs Nottm Forest 1991-05-18
GK 1 Norway Erik Thorstvedt
LB 2 England Justin Edinburgh
RB 3 Wales Pat Van Den Hauwe
CB 4 England Steve Sedgley
CM 5 England David Howells
CB 6 England Gary Mabbutt (c)
CM 7 England Paul Stewart
CM 8 England Paul Gascoigne Substituted off 17'
LM 9 England Vinny Samways Substituted off 82'
CF 10 England Gary Lineker
RM 11 England Paul Allen
FW 12 England Paul Walsh Substituted in 82'
MF 14 Spain Nayim Substituted in 17'
England Terry Venables

Match rules

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

Long-term impact on football 'fashion'

This game also saw the first appearance of the much longer 'baggy' style of shorts, sported as part of Tottenham Hotspur's new Umbro kit, which Terry Venables helped design. Though attracting some ridicule at first, the style swiftly became popular, being adopted during the early 1990s throughout English and world football by every team at every level (with no team anywhere having reverted to the 'short shorts' worn ubiquitously for some decades up to this match).

External links

1991 FA Charity Shield

The 1991 FA Charity Shield (also known as the Tennent's FA Charity Shield for sponsorship reasons) was the 69th FA Charity Shield, the annual football match contested by the reigning champions of the Football League First Division and the holders of the FA Cup. It was held at Wembley Stadium, on 10 August 1991. The game was played between Arsenal, champions of the 1990–91 Football League and Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Nottingham Forest to win the 1991 FA Cup Final. This was Arsenal's twelfth Charity Shield appearance and Tottenham Hotspur's sixth.

Arsenal began the match the brighter of the two teams, dominating in possession and the number of chances created. Tottenham created their best chance to score in the first half, but struggled to find a breakthrough in the second half, hardly troubling the Arsenal defence. With neither team able to score after 90 minutes, the match ended in a draw, meaning each team held the trophy for six months each. This was the last Shield edition to have shared winners.

David Howells

David Howells (born 15 December 1967) is an English former professional footballer, born in Guildford, Surrey, who played in the Football League as a midfielder for Tottenham Hotspur, with whom he spent the majority of his career, Southampton and Bristol City.

Des Walker

Desmond Sinclair Walker (born 26 November 1965) is an England football coach and former player. He is currently an academy coach for Derby County.At club level he played in seven cup finals for Nottingham Forest at Wembley winning five of them. He was Forest's player of the year three times. On four straight occasions at Forest he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year. At Sheffield Wednesday he picked up another club player of the year accolade. He played in twenty seasons of senior football. All but the last three of those were in the top flight in either England or Italy. He played 59 times for England, which included the nation's run to the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Gary Charles

Gary Andrew Charles (born 13 April 1970) is an English former footballer who played at right-back. During his career he is best known for his appearances with Nottingham Forest, Derby Country and Aston Villa and was capped twice for England. Charles was most recently the manager of Nuneaton Town.

Gary Lineker

Gary Winston Lineker (; born 30 November 1960) is an English former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster. He holds England's record for goals in the FIFA World Cup finals, with 10 scored. Lineker's media career began with the BBC, where he has presented the flagship football programme Match of the Day since the late 1990s. He has also worked for Al Jazeera Sports, Eredivisie Live, NBC Sports Network and currently hosts BT Sport's coverage of the UEFA Champions League.

Lineker began his football career at Leicester City in 1978, and finished as the First Division's joint top goalscorer in 1984–85. He then moved to League Champions Everton where he developed as a clinical finisher, scoring 30 goals in 41 games. His first team honours came at Barcelona, where he won the Copa del Rey in 1988 and the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1989. He returned to England in 1989, joining Tottenham Hotspur, and over three seasons he scored 67 goals in 105 games and won the FA Cup. Lineker's final club was Nagoya Grampus Eight and he retired in 1994 after two seasons at the Japanese side.

Lineker made his England debut in 1984, earning 80 caps and scoring 48 goals over an eight-year international career, and is England's third highest scorer, behind Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney. His international goals-to-games ratio remains one of the best for the country and he is regarded as one of the all-time best English strikers. He was top scorer in the 1986 World Cup and received the Golden Boot, the only time an Englishman had done so until Harry Kane in the 2018 World Cup. He is also the only player to have been the top scorer in England with three clubs (Leicester City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur).

Even though he enjoyed a long career, Lineker never received a yellow or red card. As a result, he was honoured in 1990 with the FIFA Fair Play Award. In a senior career which spanned 16 years and 567 competitive games, Lineker scored a total of 330 goals, including 282 goals at club level. After his retirement from football he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. A keen supporter of Leicester City, he led a consortium that invested in his old club, saving it from bankruptcy, and was appointed honorary vice-president.

Ian Woan

Ian Simon Woan (born 14 December 1967) is an English former footballer and current assistant manager at Burnley. He played as a midfielder from 1985 until 2004, starting in non-league football. Signed by Nottingham Forest in 1990, he played for the club for 10 years, including a spell in the Premier League. After leaving the club he played for a number of sides, both in England and in the United States, before retiring in 2005. He is the son of Alan Woan who also played professionally, most notably for Northampton Town, Crystal Palace and Aldershot.

John Hendry (footballer)

John Michael Hendry (born 6 January 1970) is a Scottish football forward.

Hendry began his career at Dundee before joining English side Tottenham Hotspur in 1990. At Tottenham one of his most memorable goals was the equaliser against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the last day of the 1990-91 season, two days after Tottenham had won the 1991 FA Cup Final. Two years later he had a similar impact as Tottenham played rivals Arsenal at Highbury on the last day of the 1992-93 season; Hendry scored twice as Tottenham won 3-1, though Arsenal had rested players ahead of their participation in the 1993 FA Cup Final.

Kit (association football)

In association football, kit (also referred to as a strip or uniform) is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, and also prohibit the use of anything that is dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire.

Footballers generally wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. Originally a team of players wore numbers from 1 to 11, corresponding roughly to their playing positions, but at the professional level this has generally been superseded by squad numbering, whereby each player in a squad is allocated a fixed number for the duration of a season. Professional clubs also usually display players' surnames or nicknames on their shirts, above (or, infrequently, below) their squad numbers.

Football kit has evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when players typically wore thick cotton shirts, knickerbockers and heavy rigid leather boots. In the twentieth century, boots became lighter and softer, shorts were worn at a shorter length, and advances in clothing manufacture and printing allowed shirts to be made in lighter synthetic fibres with increasingly colourful and complex designs. With the rise of advertising in the 20th century, sponsors' logos began to appear on shirts, and replica strips were made available for fans to purchase, generating significant amounts of revenue for clubs.

Lee Glover

Edward Lee Glover (born 24 April 1970) is an English-born Scottish former footballer and football manager.

A forward, he started his career with Nottingham Forest in 1987. He spent seven years at the club, and also spent time on loan at Leicester City, Barnsley, and Luton Town. He moved on to Port Vale in 1994. Two years later he signed with Rotherham United, and stayed with the Millers until 2000. He then played for Macclesfield Town and Mansfield Town, before moving into non-league football with Burton Albion and Corby Town. He travelled to Wembley three times: in the 1991 FA Cup and 1996 Anglo-Italian Cup finals, and was also an unused substitute at the 1989 and 1992 Football League Cup Final and the 1992 Full Members Cup Final.

After retiring as a player, he managed two non-league clubs: Corby Town and Grantham Town, and also spent time as assistant manager of King's Lynn.

Mark Crossley

Mark Geoffrey Crossley (born 16 June 1969) is an English-born Welsh former professional footballer, now first team coach at Football League Two side Notts County.

As a player, he was a goalkeeper from 1988 until 2011 and he has previously played for numerous clubs in England's top flight, notably for Nottingham Forest, where he became the only goalkeeper to stop a Matt Le Tissier penalty kick. He has also played for Manchester United, Milwall, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday, Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield. He earned 8 international caps playing for Wales between 1997 and 2004.

Nottingham Forest F.C.

Nottingham Forest Football Club, often referred to as simply Forest, is a professional football club based in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England in the Nottingham urban area. Forest were founded in 1865 and have played home matches at the City Ground since 1898. They compete in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. They are currently the oldest club in the Football League.Forest have won the League title once, two FA Cups, four League Cups, one FA Charity Shield, two European Cups, one UEFA Super Cup, and two Full Members' Cups. Their most successful period was under the management reign of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor between 1976 and 1982.

In Clough's last decade at the club Forest won the 1989 and 1990 League Cups, before a loss to Tottenham in the 1991 FA Cup final and then ultimately got relegated in 1993. Upon an immediate return, Forest finished third in the Premier League in 1995, before the club got relegated again in 1997 and once more in 1999 after a brief return, the club having not returned to the Premier League since. The club have mostly competed in the top two league tiers during their history except for five seasons in the third tier.

Forest have sometimes in the club's history contested the Nottingham derby with Notts County, although Forest have predominantly played in higher leagues than their city rivals.

Paul Stewart (footballer, born 1964)

Paul Andrew Stewart (born 7 October 1964) is an English former professional footballer who played top division football for Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and was capped three times at senior level for England in the early 1990s, also winning the FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur.

Paul Walsh

Paul Anthony Walsh (born 1 October 1962) is a former England international footballer who now works as a television pundit.

A pacey and skilful forward, he scored a total of 127 goals in 521 league games in a 17-year career in the English Football League and Premier League; he also won five senior caps for England in an eleven-month international career beginning in June 1983. He began his career at Charlton Athletic, making his first team debut aged 16 in September 1979. He helped Charlton to win promotion out of the Third Division in 1980–81, and then won a place on the PFA Team of the Year in 1981–82. He moved from the Second Division into the First Division when Luton Town paid £400,000 to acquire his services in July 1982. He continued to impress, and was named as PFA Young Player of the Year in 1984. He moved to Liverpool for a £700,000 fee in May 1984, and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season for the club as Liverpool won the league title and the Football League Super Cup. He went on to struggle with injury at Anfield, though still managed to appear in losing finals of the 1984 FA Charity Shield, 1984 European Super Cup, 1985 European Cup, and 1987 Football League Cup, as well as help Liverpool to the league title and FA Cup double in 1985–86, and to finish as runners-up in the league in 1984–85 and 1986–87.

He was sold on to Tottenham Hotspur for a £500,000 fee in February 1988 and played for Spurs in their 1991 FA Cup Final victory over Nottingham Forest. However, he was frozen out of the first team after punching a coach at the club, and after a brief loan spell at Queens Park Rangers was moved on to Portsmouth for a £400,000 fee in June 1992. A popular player at Fratton Park, supporters voted him Player of the Season in 1992–93 and he was named on the PFA Team of the Year in 1993–94. He returned to the top-flight with Manchester City after being signed for £750,000 in March 1994. He returned to Portsmouth for a £600,000 fee in September 1995, but was forced to retire due to cruciate ligament damage in February 1996. After retiring as a player he became a football pundit, and became a regular face on Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday. His son, Mason, plays for Bognor Regis Town F.C..

Roger Milford

Roger Milford is a former football referee.

He took charge of the 1991 FA Cup Final.As of 2002, he was working for The FA as an assessor.As of October 2014 he was listed as being the Senior Referee Coach at the Gloucestershire FA.

Steve Chettle

Stephen Chettle (born 27 September 1968) is an English former professional footballer and current manager of Basford United.

As a player, he was a defender from 1986 to 2005 and was best known for his time as a player at Nottingham Forest where he made 415 league appearances and played numerous seasons in the Premier League, won the League Cup and was a runner-up in the FA Cup. Despite playing most of his career in the top level of English football, Chettle never made the England squad, but came close in 1992, despite this Chettle played 12 games for the England Under-21s, captaining them in his final appearance. He went on to play for Barnsley, Walsall and Grimsby Town before ending his career in Non-League football with stints at Burton Albion and Ilkeston Town.

Since his retirement, Chettle had coached at former club Forest at academy level, before joining Ilkeston in 2014. As a result of his relatively high-profile career, his name has entered use as a rhyming slang alternative to "kettle".

Steve Hodge

Stephen Brian Hodge (born 25 October 1962) is an English retired footballer who enjoyed a high-profile club and international career in the 1980s and 1990s.

Prior to the 2013–14 season Hodge was appointed Development Squad Coach at Notts County.On 27 October 2013 Hodge was appointed caretaker manager, reverting to his position as Development Squad Coach on 6 November 2013 with the appointment of Shaun Derry as manager.

Steve Sutton (footballer)

Stephen Sutton (born 16 April 1961) is an English former professional football goalkeeper, who played for Nottingham Forest for the majority of his career, and latterly for Derby County, Birmingham City and Grantham Town. During his time with Forest he made 257 appearances across all competitions, and won both the Football League Cup and Full Members Cup twice. After retiring from playing, Sutton moved into coaching. In 2015, he was appointed as Forest's first team goalkeeping coach, a position he held until May 2017.

Terry Fenwick

Terence William Fenwick (born 17 November 1959) is an English football coach and former player. Playing as a defender, he made a total of 455 appearances in the Football League, for Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Swindon Town.

When the Year Ends in One

"When the Year Ends in One" was a single released by the English football team Tottenham Hotspur, with uncredited accompaniment by Chas & Dave, to celebrate reaching the 1991 FA Cup Final. It reached number 44 in the UK Singles Chart.The title of the song refers to the fact that during the twentieth century, the club won a number of major trophies, in particular the FA Cup, several times in years ending in 1. They continued the trend by going on to win the 1991 Final. "When the year ends in 1" has become a general superstition for supporters, although Tottenham have not won a trophy in such a year since 1991.

The major trophies to which the song and the superstition apply are:

1901 FA Cup

1921 FA Cup

1951 Football League First Division

1961 Football League First Division and FA Cup ("the Double")

1971 League Cup

1981 FA Cup

1991 FA Cup

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FA competitions
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