1997 FA Cup Final

The 1997 FA Cup Final was the 116th final of the FA Cup. It took place on 17 May 1997 at Wembley Stadium and was contested by Chelsea and Middlesbrough, the North East club appearing in its first FA Cup Final.

Chelsea won 2–0 to win the FA Cup for the second time, the first having come in 1970. Their Dutch manager, Ruud Gullit, thus became the first foreign or non-white manager to win a major trophy with an English club.

It was the first major honour in the career of most Chelsea's players, but for Mark Hughes, it was the fourth time that he had featured in an FA Cup winning side (having played on the winning Manchester United teams of 1985, 1990 and 1994), and his 12th major honour in all.[1] For Middlesbrough, it was a second final defeat of the 1996–97 season (having lost the League Cup Final to Leicester City the previous month), to go with their controversial relegation from the Premier League.

1997 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1996–97 FA Cup
Chelsea Middlesbrough
2 0
Date17 May 1997
VenueWembley Stadium, London

Road to Wembley


Home teams listed first.

Round 3: Chelsea 3–0 W.B.A.

Round 4: Chelsea 4–2 Liverpool

Round 5: Leicester City 2–2 Chelsea

Replay: Chelsea 1–0 Leicester City

Quarter-Final: Portsmouth 1–4 Chelsea

Semi-Final: Wimbledon 0–3 Chelsea

(at Highbury, London)


Home teams listed first. Round 3: Middlesbrough 6–0 Chester City

Round 4: Hednesford Town 2–3 Middlesbrough

Round 5: Manchester City 0–1 Middlesbrough


Quarter-Final: Derby County 0–2 Middlesbrough

Semi-Final: Chesterfield 3–3 Middlesbrough

(at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Replay: Middlesbrough 3–0 Chesterfield
(at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield)

Match review

Chelsea took the lead just 42 seconds into the match, with Italian midfielder Roberto Di Matteo receiving the ball and firing it into the goal off the crossbar from 25 yards to record what was at the time the quickest ever goal in a Wembley FA Cup final (Louis Saha broke this record 12 years later in the 2009 final after just 25 seconds, coincidentally against Chelsea, though Chelsea won the match 2–1), breaking Jackie Milburn's 42-year record.[2] Middlesbrough's prolific striker Fabrizio Ravanelli limped off after 21 minutes, further diminishing his side's chances of victory. Late in the first half Gianluca Festa put the ball in the net for Middlesbrough, but the goal was controversially ruled out for offside. In a largely disappointing match, in which Chelsea were generally in control, Chelsea eventually added a second goal seven minutes from full-time with Eddie Newton steering the ball into the net from Gianfranco Zola's clever flick to seal a 2–0 win.[3]

Match details

Di Matteo Goal 1'
Newton Goal 83'
GK 30 Norway Frode Grodås
RWB 2 Romania Dan Petrescu
CB 6 Scotland Steve Clarke
CB 5 France Frank Leboeuf Yellow card
CB 20 Jamaica Frank Sinclair
LWB 17 England Scott Minto
CM 11 England Dennis Wise
CM 16 Italy Roberto Di Matteo Yellow card
CM 24 England Eddie Newton Yellow card
CF 10 Wales Mark Hughes
CF 25 Italy Gianfranco Zola Substituted off 89'
GK 13 England Kevin Hitchcock
DF 8 England Andy Myers
FW 9 Italy Gianluca Vialli Substituted in 89'
Netherlands Ruud Gullit
Chelsea vs Middlesbrough 1997-05-17
GK 25 England Ben Roberts
RB 14 Republic of Ireland Curtis Fleming
CB 5 England Nigel Pearson
CB 18 Italy Gianluca Festa Yellow card
LB 17 Wales Clayton Blackmore
RM 10 Brazil Juninho
CM 8 England Robbie Mustoe Substituted off 29'
CM 6 Brazil Emerson
LM 20 England Phil Stamp
CF 11 Italy Fabrizio Ravanelli Substituted off 24'
CF 21 England Craig Hignett Substituted off 74'
DF '4 England Steve Vickers Substituted in 29'
DF 7 Slovakia Vladimír Kinder Substituted in 74'
FW 9 Denmark Mikkel Beck Substituted in 24'
England Bryan Robson

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay required if scores still level.
  • Three named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


  1. ^ "Di Matteo's lightning strike and the FA Cup win that changed Chelsea forever". Daily Mail. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  2. ^ "ROBERTO'S QUICKIE MAKES ROBBO SICKIE!; Blue heaven in 43 seconds". The People (London). 18 May 1997. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Blue what a scorcher!". Sunday Mirror. 18 May 1997. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

External links

1996–97 FA Cup

The 1996–97 FA Cup (known as The FA Cup sponsored by Littlewoods for sponsorship reasons) was the 116th season of the FA Cup. The tournament started in August 1996 for clubs from non-league football and the competition proper started in October 1996 for teams from the Premier League and the Football League. The tournament was won by Chelsea with a 2–0 victory over Middlesbrough in the final at Wembley stadium.

1998 Football League Cup Final

The 1998 Football League Cup Final was a football match played between Chelsea and Middlesbrough on 29 March 1998 at Wembley Stadium. Chelsea, under new manager Gianluca Vialli, won with two extra time goals and won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup later that season. Middlesbrough's second consecutive defeat in the final was followed by promotion back to the Premier League after just one season.

Both teams were restricted to shots from distance. This all changed in extra time when Chelsea took control. Frank Sinclair, a villain in the 1994 FA Cup Final defeat when conceding a penalty and slipping to allow Mark Hughes to score, became the hero in this match. He started the move that ended with his header finding the corner of the Middlesbrough net to open the scoring. Chelsea's second goal came from Roberto Di Matteo. A corner played into the near post was not cleared by the Boro defence and Di Matteo was able to side foot the ball into the net on the half-volley. Di Matteo had come back to haunt Middlesbrough as he had scored the opening goal when the same sides met in the 1997 FA Cup Final the previous season. Once again Chelsea had won 2–0.

Ben Roberts (footballer)

Ben Roberts (born 22 June 1975 in Bishop Auckland) is an English former professional footballer who played as a Goalkeeper. Since being forced into early retirement in 2005 at the age of 29 through injury, he has become a goalkeeping coach; he is currently employed in this capacity at Brighton & Hove Albion, whom he represented as a player between 2003 and 2005.

Chelsea F.C.

Chelsea Football Club are an English professional football club in Fulham, London. They compete in the Premier League, the top division of English football. Chelsea are among England's most successful clubs, having won six top-flight titles, eight FA Cups, five League Cups, two UEFA Europa Leagues, two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Champions League, and one UEFA Super Cup. Their home ground is Stamford Bridge.Founded in 1905, Chelsea won their first League Championship in 1955. They won the FA Cup for the first time in 1970 and their first European honour, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, in 1971. A further spell of success came in the 1990s and 2000s, winning two more FA Cups, a League Cup and a second UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. In 2003 the club was purchased by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Since 2003 Chelsea have enjoyed their most successful era, winning eighteen major trophies. They are one of five clubs to have won all three of UEFA's main club competitions, and the only London club to have won the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea's home kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The club's crest features a ceremonial lion rampant regardant holding a staff. The club have rivalries with neighbouring teams Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and a historic rivalry with Leeds United. Based on attendance figures, the club have the sixth-largest fanbase in England. In terms of club value, Chelsea are the seventh most valuable football club in the world, worth £1.54 billion ($2.06 billion), and are the eighth highest-earning football club in the world, with earnings of over €428 million in the 2017–18 season.

Chris Freestone

Chris Freestone (born 4 September 1971) is an English former professional footballer.

As a young striker, Freestone joined Middlesbrough from Nottinghamshire club Arnold Town of the Northern Counties (East) League midway through the 1994–95 season. Before joining Boro for a small fee he had netted 54 goals for Arnold Town and had trials with Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Chesterfield. Fast and confident, he had averaged almost a goal a game for Boro reserves in two seasons since joining. Freestone scored on his full first team debut in the 3–1 win over Sheffield Wednesday in April 1996. His only other goal for Boro came in the League Cup against Barnet in September 1997. He was also on the pitch as a late substitute as Boro confirmed their spot in the 1997 FA Cup Final with a semi final replay victory over Chesterfield, however he was left out of the final match day squad altogether as they lost 2–0 to Chelsea. After a loan spell, Freestone joined Northampton in December 1997. The highlight of his time at Northampton was scoring two goals against Premier League side West Ham United in the 1998–99 League Cup. Freestone's brace in the first leg gave Northampton a 2–0 lead going into the second leg, in which West Ham were only able to muster a 1–0 win with a Frank Lampard goal meaning that Northampton knocked out their illustrious opponents. After leaving Northampton, Freestone had spells at Hartlepool and Cheltenham before signing for Shrewsbury Town. At Shrewsbury he failed to score in the league but did score once in the League Cup against Preston North End and once in the FA Cup against former club Cheltenham.He subsequently played for several non-League clubs, including King's Lynn, Leek Town, Ilkeston Town, Gresley Rovers, Long Eaton United, Arnold Town and Hucknall Town.He was appointed joint manager of Arnold Town alongside Martin Carruthers two games into the 2009–10 season. They both left the club in June 2012. He was later appointed Assistant Manager of Basford United in 2014.

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Edward John Ikem Newton (born 13 December 1971) is an English former professional footballer and was the assistant manager of Premier League side Chelsea to manager Roberto Di Matteo before the latter was replaced by Rafael Benítez. In December 2015 he was reappointed as assistant manager to interim manager Guus Hiddink.

As a player, he was a defensive midfielder from 1990 until 2001 notably for Chelsea where he scored in the 1997 FA Cup final. He also played in the Football League for Cardiff City, Birmingham City, Oxford United and Barnet and in the Conference National for Hayes. He also earnt two caps for the England U21 side.

Gianluca Festa

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Michael Duberry

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Phil Stamp

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Roberto Di Matteo

Roberto Di Matteo (Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto di matˈtɛːo]; born 29 May 1970) is an Italian former professional footballer and manager.

During his playing career as a midfielder, he played for Swiss clubs Schaffhausen, Zürich and Aarau before joining Lazio of Italy and Chelsea of England. Born in Switzerland to Italian parents, he was capped 34 times for Italy, scoring two goals, and played in UEFA Euro 1996 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He retired as a player in February 2002 at the age of 31 following injury problems.Di Matteo began his managerial career with Milton Keynes Dons, who he took to the League One playoffs in 2008–09 before leaving to return West Bromwich Albion to the Premier League. As caretaker manager of Chelsea, he steered the club to double title success, winning both the FA Cup and the club's first UEFA Champions League title in 2012, but was dismissed later that year. He then went on to coach Schalke 04 until May 2015 when he departed after seven months in charge, and had four months as manager of Aston Villa in 2016.

Scott Minto

Scott Christopher Minto (born 6 August 1971 in Bromborough) is an English former footballer who played as a left back in the Football League and the Premier League for Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, West Ham United and Rotherham United, and for Benfica in Portugal. Minto now works for Sky Sports as the lead anchor for their coverage of the English Football League, and was previously the host of Sky Sports La Liga coverage.

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Stephen "Steve" Vickers (born 13 October 1967), is an English former association footballer who played as a central defender. He made nearly 600 appearances in the Football League and the Premier League, the majority of which were for Tranmere Rovers and Middlesbrough. While with Middlesbrough he played in the 1997 FA Cup Final.

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