1996 FA Cup Final

The 1996 FA Cup Final was the 51st to be held at Wembley Stadium after the Second World War and was held between two of the biggest rivals in English football, Manchester United and Liverpool.

1996 FA Cup Final
1996 FA Cup Final programme
Event1995–96 FA Cup
Liverpool Manchester United
0 1
Date11 May 1996
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeDermot Gallagher (Oxfordshire)
Attendance79,007

Build-up

A few days before the final, Manchester United had secured their third league title in four years (1992–93, 1993–94 and 1995–96, coming second in 1994–95). The final was also their third in three seasons, having beaten Chelsea 4–0 in 1994 and lost 1–0 to Everton in 1995.

Liverpool, on the other hand, were going through a barren spell in terms of trophies, having not won the league title since 1989–90 or an FA Cup since 1992, although they had tasted success in the League Cup in 1995.

Liverpool and Manchester United were the two top scoring sides in the FA Premier League in this season, and entered the game as the most attacking sides in English football, with Liverpool winning their last meeting 2–0 at Anfield, and United equalising at Old Trafford to get a 2–2 draw in the reverse fixture, with Robbie Fowler scoring all four of Liverpool's goals against United in both meetings.

Match summary

The match, despite the rivalry between the two teams, was a fairly unmemorable game, rarely sparking into life, with playmakers Eric Cantona and Steve McManaman, marked and closed out by Jamie Redknapp and John Barnes and Roy Keane and Nicky Butt respectively. Keane went on to stop virtually every attack the Liverpool midfield threw at United, and covering as commentator Peter Brackley described, "every blade of grass", to win the man of the match award.

The game started with a frenetic pace and Manchester United started with several positive chances before Liverpool came back into the game, but chances at either end were limited. Neither goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel for United and David James for Liverpool, was seriously tested throughout the majority of the game. However, with just five minutes remaining on the clock, David James tried to punch a corner clear. The ball landed just outside the penalty area, at the feet of United captain Eric Cantona, who had scored in his comeback game after a seven-month suspension at Old Trafford against Liverpool earlier that season in a game that ended 2–2. Cantona hit his shot goalwards, through the crowded penalty area and the ball nestled in the back of the goal, winning the game for United. Cantona had been marked out of the game, but true to his form all season, popped up with yet another magical moment.

Result

The win was United's third FA Cup win under Alex Ferguson, having also won in 1990 and 1994. They became the first club to win the competition nine times, and also became the first club to win the league championship and FA Cup double on two occasions.

United's two longest serving players, Steve Bruce and Brian McClair, were dropped in favour of younger players for the final. Bruce never played for United again, as he was transferred to Birmingham City 11 days later, while McClair remained at the club for a further two seasons.

Match details

Liverpool0–1Manchester United
Report Cantona Goal 85'
Liverpool
Manchester United
GK 1 England David James
CB 12 England John Scales
CB 5 England Mark Wright
CB 6 Republic of Ireland Phil Babb Yellow card 60'
RWB 4 Republic of Ireland Jason McAteer
LWB 2 England Rob Jones Substituted off 86'
CM 15 England Jamie Redknapp Yellow card 40'
CM 10 England John Barnes (c)
AM 17 England Steve McManaman
CF 23 England Robbie Fowler
CF 8 England Stan Collymore Substituted off 74'
Substitutes:
GK 26 England Tony Warner
MF 16 England Michael Thomas Substituted in 86'
FW 9 Wales Ian Rush Substituted in 74'
Manager:
England Roy Evans
Man Utd vs Liverpool 1996-05-11
GK 1 Denmark Peter Schmeichel
RB 3 Republic of Ireland Denis Irwin
CB 6 England Gary Pallister
CB 12 England David May
LB 23 England Phil Neville Yellow card 69'
RM 24 England David Beckham Substituted off 90'
CM 16 Republic of Ireland Roy Keane
CM 19 England Nicky Butt
LM 11 Wales Ryan Giggs
SS 7 France Eric Cantona (c)
CF 17 England Andy Cole Substituted off 64'
Substitutes:
DF 20 England Gary Neville Substituted in 90'
MF 5 England Lee Sharpe
FW 22 England Paul Scholes Substituted in 64'
Manager:
Scotland Alex Ferguson

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary
  • Replay required if scores still level, to be played at 19:30 on 16 May 1996
  • Three named substitutes
  • Maximum of two substitutions

Post-match

After the match, the United team was presented the FA Cup trophy by The Duchess of Kent, wife of the President of The Football Association, Prince Edward.

For Liverpool, the match was the final appearance of goalscoring legend Ian Rush, who had scored 346 goals for the club since joining them in 1980 (sandwiched by a one-season spell at Juventus in the late 1980s) and left at the end of the season to sign for Leeds United.[1]

The only Manchester United player whose involvement with the club ended with this game was unused substitute Lee Sharpe, who joined Rush at Leeds United just before the 1996–97 season began, after eight years at Old Trafford.

The match gained notoriety for non-football reasons, having been picked up by the British tabloids for its pre-match formalities because the Liverpool team turned up in Emporio Armani cream-coloured suits, outlandish striped ties, and white Gucci shoes, the outfit reportedly being picked by goalkeeper David James who had recently signed on to model that fashion label. Manchester United players, by contrast, wore traditional navy suits with a full button vest, black and white striped tie, and red carnation boutonnière. One commentator suggested that if Liverpool "won the cup, it would have been legendary, reminiscent of Italian flamboyance and audacity - the likes of which hadn’t been seen in English football before."[2][3][4]

References

  1. ^ "Ian Rush". Liverpool FC. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  2. ^ Turton, Jonathan (17 March 2016). "Were Liverpool FC's Spice Boys really as bad as their white suits suggest?". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ Wilkerson, Ian (16 February 2006). "FA Cup flashback". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  4. ^ "The FA Cup's 100 most memorable moments - Gazza to Giggs, Burton to Bradford, but what is No 1?". BBC. 18 February 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2018.

External links

Alex Ferguson

Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson (born 31 December 1941) is a Scottish former football manager and player who managed Manchester United from 1986 to 2013. He is considered one of the greatest managers of all time and he has won more trophies than any other manager in the history of football.Ferguson played as a forward for several Scottish clubs, including Dunfermline Athletic and Rangers. While playing for Dunfermline, he was the top goalscorer in the Scottish league in the 1965–66 season. Towards the end of his playing career he also worked as a coach, then started his managerial career with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren. Ferguson then enjoyed a highly successful period as manager of Aberdeen, winning three Scottish league championships, four Scottish Cups and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1983. He briefly managed Scotland following the death of Jock Stein, taking the team to the 1986 World Cup.

Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United in November 1986. During his 26 years with Manchester United he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles. He was knighted in the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honours list for his services to the game. Ferguson is the longest-serving manager of Manchester United, having overtaken Sir Matt Busby's record on 19 December 2010. He retired from management at the end of the 2012–13 season, having won the Premier League in his final season.

Anthony Bates

Anthony Bates (born 26 October 1961, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is a former English association football referee who operates in the Football League, and previously served as assistant referee for UEFA in the Euro 96 competition. He also refereed the FA Women's Cup Final in 2007. On average, Bates gave a high 4.0 cards per game in the 98/99 season, the highest so far in his career.

David May (footballer)

David May (born 24 June 1970) is an English former professional footballer who played as a centre-back and right-back from 1988 to 2006.

He played Premier League football for Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United where he collected numerous trophies in a nine-year spell at Old Trafford. He went on to play in the Football League for Huddersfield Town and Burnley before finishing his career with non-League club Bacup Borough.

Eric Cantona

Eric Daniel Pierre Cantona (French pronunciation: ​[eʁik kɑ̃tona]; born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former professional footballer. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his career at Manchester United where he won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles. He won the league championship in seven of his last eight full seasons as a professional. At international level, he played for the France national team.

A large, physically strong, hard-working, and tenacious forward, who combined technical skill and creativity with power and goalscoring ability, Cantona is often regarded as having played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force in the 1990s and having an iconic status at the club. He wore the number 7 shirt at Manchester United with his distinctive upturned collar. Cantona is affectionately nicknamed by Manchester United fans as "King Eric", and was voted as Manchester United's greatest ever player by Inside United magazine. Set against his achievements in football was a poor disciplinary record for much of his career, including a 1995 conviction for an assault on a fan for which he received an eight-month suspension.Following his retirement from football in 1997, he took up a career in cinema and had a role in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, the 2008 film French Film, and the 2009 film Looking for Eric. In 2010, he debuted as a stage actor in Face au Paradis, a play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni. Cantona also took an interest in the sport of beach soccer, and as player-manager of the French national team, he won the 2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.Charismatic and outspoken, Cantona was an inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. The museum states: "The enigmatic Frenchman was one of the Premier League's most controversial players ever". At the Premier League 10 Seasons Awards in 2003 Cantona was voted the Overseas Player of the Decade. In 2004 he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

Fergie's Fledglings

Fergie's Fledglings were a group of football players recruited by Manchester United under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson (often nicknamed "Fergie") and trained by assistant coaches Brian Kidd and Eric Harrison, before eventually progressing to the first team during the 1990s.

The alliteration in the term is a clear homage to the Busby Babes, the famously youthful Manchester United team assembled by the club's former manager Sir Matt Busby and his assistant coach Jimmy Murphy during the 1950s.

Gary Neville

Gary Alexander Neville (born 18 February 1975) is an English football coach, retired football player and co-owner of Salford City. Since retiring from football in 2011, Neville went into punditry and was a commentator for Sky Sports until he took over the head coach position at Valencia in 2015. After being sacked by the club in 2016, he returned to his position as a pundit for Sky Sports later that year. He was also assistant manager for the England national team from 2012 to 2016.Neville spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford, making him a one-club man. At the time of his retirement in 2011, he was Manchester United's second longest serving player in the squad, behind long-time teammate Ryan Giggs, and had served as club captain for five years. He is one of the most decorated English and European footballers of all time, having won a total of 20 trophies, including eight Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.Neville made his international debut in 1995 and was first-choice right-back for England for more than ten years, representing the nation at three European Championships and two World Cups. He is England's most-capped right-back with 85 caps.

Neville is the older brother of twin siblings, former Manchester United and Everton player Phil Neville and sister Tracey Neville, a retired netball international.

Ian Rush

Ian James Rush, (born 20 October 1961) is a Welsh former professional footballer who played as a forward. At club level Rush played for Liverpool from 1980–1987 and 1988–1996. He is the club's all-time leading goalscorer, having scored a total of 346 goals in all competitions at the club, including a record 25 goals versus Merseyside derby rival Everton. At international level, Rush made 73 appearances for the Wales national football team and remained the record goalscorer for his country until 2018, with 28 goals between 1980 and 1996.

Regarded as one of the greatest ever Liverpool players, Rush came 3rd in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop – an official Liverpool fan poll. He also had short spells with Chester City, Juventus, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. Since retiring as a player in 2000, Rush has had a stint as manager of Chester City (2004–05), and has worked as a television football pundit.

Jason McAteer

Jason Wynne McAteer (born 18 June 1971) is a retired professional footballer, who represented the Republic of Ireland at international level. His primary position was in centre midfield, though he was also an able right winger and full back.

During his career, McAteer played for five professional clubs, Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and finally Tranmere Rovers, as well as winning over 50 international caps for the Republic of Ireland. His total transfer values reach over £9 million. He announced his retirement from professional football on 12 June 2007.

John Barnes (footballer)

John Charles Bryan Barnes MBE (born 7 November 1963) is an English former professional footballer and manager, who currently works as a commentator and pundit for ESPN and SuperSport. A fast, skillful left winger, Barnes had successful periods at Watford and Liverpool in the 1980s and 1990s, and won 79 caps for England.

Born and initially raised in Jamaica, the son of a military officer from Trinidad and Tobago and a Jamaican mother, Barnes moved to London with his family when he was 12 years old. He joined Watford at the age of 17 in 1981 and over the next six years made 296 appearances for the club, scoring 85 goals. He made his debut for England in 1983 and four years later joined Liverpool for £900,000. Between 1987 and 1997 Barnes won the then top-flight First Division twice and the FA Cup twice with Liverpool, scoring 106 goals in 403 matches. By the time of his last appearance for England in 1995, he had played more times than any other black player. After two years with Newcastle United, he ended his playing career at Charlton Athletic in 1999. Barnes moved to Scotland to become head coach of Celtic in 1999 with his former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish as director of football. This was not successful and Barnes was sacked in 2000. Since then Barnes has managed the Jamaica national team in 2008–09 and the English club Tranmere Rovers for four months in 2009.

During his playing career Barnes was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year once (in 1987–88) and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year twice (in 1987–88 and 1989–90). In the run-up to England's 1990 FIFA World Cup campaign he recorded a rap for the official team song, New Order's "World in Motion". In 2005, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame. In 2006, in a poll of Liverpool fans' favourite players, Barnes came fifth; a year later, FourFourTwo magazine named him Liverpool's best player of all time. In 2016, he was voted England's greatest ever left-footed player by readers of The Times.

Lists of nicknames in association football

This are lists of nicknames in football.

Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry

The Liverpool F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry, also known as the North West Derby, is a high-profile inter-city rivalry between English professional association football clubs Liverpool and Manchester United. It is considered to be one of the biggest rivalries in the association football world along with the Old Firm derby in Scotland, Superclásico in Argentina, El Clásico in Spain, and Derby della Madonnina in Italy, and is considered the most famous fixture in English football. Players, fans and the media alike often consider games between the two clubs to be their biggest rivalry, above even their own local derby competitions with Everton and Manchester City, respectively.The rivalry has been fuelled by the proximity of the two major cities that they represent, their historic economic and industrial rivalry, significant periods of domestic footballing dominance and European success, and their popularity at home and abroad, as two of the biggest-earning and widely supported football clubs in the world.The two clubs are the most successful English teams in both domestic and European competitions; and between them they have won 38 league titles, 9 European Cups, 4 UEFA Cups, 4 UEFA Super Cups, 19 FA Cups, 13 League Cups, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 36 FA Community Shields.Each club can claim historical supremacy over the other: United for their 20 league titles to Liverpool's 18 and Liverpool for being European champions six times to United's three. Manchester United lead Liverpool in terms of total trophies won.

Michael Thomas (footballer, born 1967)

Michael Lauriston Thomas (born 24 August 1967) is an English former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1986 to 2001.

During his time at Arsenal, he scored a last-minute goal in injury time during the final match of the 1988–89 season, which allowed the club to claim the First Division title over Liverpool. Later in his career, Thomas played for Liverpool and scored a goal for them in the 1992 FA Cup Final. He also had spells at Benfica and Wimbledon before retiring in 2001, after a career that saw him win medals in all of English football's top three domestic football trophies. He was capped twice by England.

Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)

"Move Move Move (The Red Tribe)" is a single released by Manchester United F.C. on 22 April 1996. The single features the squad that reached the 1996 FA Cup Final. It peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart and re-entered the chart at #50, three months later.

Phil Neville

Philip John Neville (born 21 January 1977) is an English football coach and former player who is currently the head coach of the England women's team. He is also the co-owner of Salford City along with several of his former Manchester United teammates.

After 10 years as a professional with Manchester United, during which time he won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, three FA Charity Shields, the Intercontinental Cup and the Champions League, he joined Everton in 2005, where he spent the final eight years of his playing career. Neville also played for England 59 times between 1996 and 2007, representing the nation at three European Championships. He could play in defence or midfield; due to this versatility, he operated in a number of different positions throughout his career, but was most often used as a full-back.

After earning his UEFA B Coaching Licence, Neville began his coaching career in 2012, filling in for Stuart Pearce with the England under-21s. When David Moyes, Neville's manager at Everton, left to join Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement in May 2013, Neville was considered for the Everton job, but he ultimately followed Moyes to Manchester United as the club's first-team coach. Neville retained his position under caretaker manager Ryan Giggs after Moyes was sacked in April 2014, but left the club when Louis van Gaal took over as permanent manager in July 2014.

Neville is the younger brother of former Manchester United player Gary Neville, and the twin brother of retired netball international Tracey Neville.

Rob Jones (footballer, born 1971)

Robert Marc Jones (born 5 November 1971 in Wrexham, Wales) is a Welsh-born English former professional footballer who played as a defender from 1987 to 1999.

After starting his career with Crewe Alexandra, he went on to make a name for himself with Liverpool before finishing his career with a brief spell with West Ham United. He was capped eight times by England.

Spice Boys (footballers)

The Spice Boys was a media pejorative used to described a group of high-profile Liverpool F.C. footballers in the mid-late 1990s, typically Jamie Redknapp, David James, Steve McManaman Robbie Fowler and Jason McAteer, but occasionally team-mates such as Stan Collymore and Paul Ince. The name was a play on the Spice Girls, who were extremely popular at the same time and famed for their 'Girl Power' persona.

Steve Harkness

Steven Harkness (born 27 August 1971) is an English former professional footballer who played as a defender from 1989 to 2002.

He notably had spells in the Premier League with Liverpool as well as playing in Portugal with Benfica. He also played in the Football League with Carlisle United, Huddersfield Town, Southend United, Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Chester City.

Steve McManaman

Steven McManaman (born 11 February 1972) is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City. McManaman is the most decorated English footballer to have played for a club abroad, with the UEFA website stating that "of all England's footballing exports in the modern era, none was as successful as McManaman". He is currently a co-commentator on ESPN and BT Sport's football coverage.

After nine years at Liverpool, during which time he won the FA Cup and League Cup, McManaman moved to Real Madrid in 1999. The transfer became one of the most high-profile Bosman rulings of all time. He became the first English player to win the UEFA Champions League with a non-English club in 2000, and two years later became the first English player to win the Champions League twice. He also won La Liga twice before moving to Manchester City in 2003 and retiring from football in 2005. After his retirement, he worked as a football pundit for Setanta Sports, ESPN and BT Sport.

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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