1998 FA Cup Final

The 1998 FA Cup Final was a football match between Arsenal and Newcastle United on 16 May 1998 at the old Wembley Stadium, London. It was the final match of the 1997–98 FA Cup, the 117th season of the world's oldest football knockout competition, the FA Cup. Six-time winners Arsenal were appearing in their thirteenth final, whereas Newcastle United, having also won the competition six times, appeared in their eleventh final. It was the third time both teams faced each other in a FA Cup final; Newcastle won the previous two encounters in 1932 and 1952.

Each team had progressed through five rounds to reach the final. Arsenal's victories were close affairs and the team required three replays, two of which ended in penalty shootouts. Newcastle's progress was more comfortable by comparison and needed only one replay in the fourth round, against Stevenage Borough. Arsenal entered the match as favourites; a fortnight prior the club won the Premier League and aimed to complete the club's second league and cup double.

Watched by a stadium crowd of 79,183 and a British television audience of more than seven million, Arsenal took a first half lead through Marc Overmars. Newcastle's performance improved in the second half, and striker Alan Shearer almost equalised when his shot hit the inside of David Seaman's post. Moments later the league champions extended their lead when Nicolas Anelka was put through to score. Arsenal's victory was heralded by the English press, and the club capped off its memorable season with an open-top bus parade. It was Arsène Wenger's first FA Cup triumph as a coach; he went on to win six more finals in a 22-year spell at the club to become the competition's most successful manager.

1998 FA Cup Final
1998 FA Cup Final programme
The match programme cover
Event1997–98 FA Cup
Arsenal Newcastle United
2 0
Date16 May 1998
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchRay Parlour[1]
RefereePaul Durkin (Dorset)
Attendance79,183

Route to the final

The FA Cup is English football's primary cup competition. Clubs in the Premier League enter the FA Cup in the third round and are drawn randomly out of a hat with the remaining clubs. If a match is drawn, a replay comes into force, ordinarily at the ground of the team who were away for the first game. As with league fixtures, FA Cup matches are subject to change in the event of games being selected for television coverage and this often can be influenced by clashes with other competitions.[2]

Arsenal

Round Opposition Score
3rd Port Vale (h) 0–0
Port Vale (a) 1–1
4th Middlesbrough (a) 2–1
5th Crystal Palace (h) 0–0
Crystal Palace (a) 2–1
6th West Ham United (h) 1–1
West Ham United (a) 1–1
Semi-final Wolves (n) 1–0
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Arsenal entered the competition in the third round, and their opening match was against First Division club Port Vale at Highbury. It ended a goalless draw and the match was replayed at Vale Park. Neither side managed to find a winning goal after normal and extra time, meaning the tie headed into a penalty shoot-out. Arsenal won out 4–3; Allen Tankard missed the decisive penalty kick for Port Vale.[3] In the fourth round, Arsenal played Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. The visitors began strongly as Marc Overmars scored the opener inside 68 seconds, and his teammate Ray Parlour added a second to give Arsenal a commanding lead going into the interval. Although Paul Merson scored in the second half for Middlesbrough and they pushed for an equaliser, Arsenal held out for a 2–1 win.[4]

In the fifth round Arsenal faced Crystal Palace at home, but once again had to settle for a replay as the team were held to a draw.[5] Arsenal fielded an makeshift side at Selhurst Park, but goals from Nicolas Anelka and Dennis Bergkamp ensured progress into the next round.[6] Against West Ham United in the quarter-finals, Arsenal went a goal behind as Frank Lampard's corner kick was converted into the goal net by Ian Pearce. Although Bergkamp equalised from the penalty spot, West Ham defended well enough to force a replay.[7]

At Upton Park, Bergkamp was sent off in the first half for elbowing West Ham captain Steve Lomas in the face. Anelka put Arsenal in front, but John Hartson equalised for the hosts late on. The tie was eventually settled on penalties, which ended 4–3 in Arsenal's favour.[8] A goal by Christopher Wreh against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi-final was enough for Arsenal to win the match and reach the final.[9]

Newcastle United

Round Opposition Score
3rd Everton (a) 1–0
4th Stevenage Borough (a) 1–1
Stevenage Borough (h) 2–1
5th Tranmere Rovers (h) 1–0
6th Barnsley (h) 3–1
Semi-final Sheffield United (n) 1–0
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Newcastle's FA Cup campaign began in the third round against fellow league side Everton. The only goal of the match came in the second half; John Beresford's right-wing cross beat the Everton defence and allowed John Barnes to hook the ball back from beyond the far post.[10] Ian Rush forced the ball over the line, and in the process set a new goalscoring record – scoring 43 goals in the competition.[10] Newcastle were drawn away to non-league Stevenage Borough in the fourth round. Alan Shearer on his return scored inside the first three minutes; he headed the ball into the net after good play from Keith Gillespie.[11] Giuliano Grazioli equalised for the home side and they held on for a replay at St James' Park.[11]

In the rematch, Shearer scored both goals against Stevenage Borough. His manager Kenny Dalglish was irritated at the lack of courtesy his opponents had shown, and said afterwards: "Off the pitch they have a lot to learn about manners. If they were a Premier League club they would probably have been done for bringing the game into disrepute."[12] A 1–0 win in the fifth round at home to Tranmere Rovers was followed by a quarter-final draw against Barnsley, who had knocked out competition favourites Manchester United.[13] Newcastle advanced to the semi-finals after a 3–1 win and at Old Trafford, Shearer scored the winner against Sheffield United.[14][15]

Pre-match

Arsenal were appearing in the final of the FA Cup for the first time since 1993.[16] They had won the cup on six separate occasions (in 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1979 and 1993) and lost the showpiece final by the same amount.[16] Newcastle in contrast were making their first Cup final appearance in 24 years.[17] The club had won six FA Cups, and came runners-up five times, most recently against Liverpool in 1974.[17]

Wembleyold
The final was held at Wembley Stadium, where both sides had faced each other twice before in the competition.

The 1998 final marked the third meeting between Arsenal and Newcastle United in Cup final history.[18] Newcastle were victorious on both occasions: the first match in 1932 ended 2–1 in their favour, while the second, staged twenty years later, was a much tighter affair and George Robledo's goal settled the game.[18] The recent head-to-head record between the clubs was vastly different. In Dalglish's first full season at Newcastle, his team struggled for consistency and spent much of the Premier League campaign hovering in mid-table. They lost both matches against Arsenal, 1–0 at home in December 1997 and 3–0 away in April 1998.[19][20] It marked a turnaround in fortune as Newcastle for the past two seasons had competed intensely with Manchester United for the league title. Arsenal on the other hand hit their stride in the final months of the season.[21] The team, managed by Arsène Wenger, had made up a sizable gap on Manchester United to win the title.[22] In doing so, Wenger became the first non-British manager to win the league championship in England.[23]

Arsenal were favourites to win the FA Cup, and on course to complete a "unlikely" double.[24] The fitness of Bergkamp, who was instrumental in Arsenal's successful season, was a major story in the days leading up to the final. The striker had limped out of their game against Derby County in late April, and after it emerged he pulled his hamstring Bergkamp was ruled out for the remainder of Arsenal's league campaign.[25] Wenger revealed two days before the final that Bergkamp had resumed training and "medically he looked all right", but the player received a further setback when he suffered a reaction to his hamstring.[26] He ruled himself out of the match and told reporters: "I'm very disappointed. As a little boy in Holland I always watched the FA Cup final. And I used to dream about playing in it myself one day."[26] Ian Wright was listed as Bergkamp's probable replacement to partner Anelka.[27]

Newcastle had their own issues surrounding Shearer. The England international was involved in a tangle with Leicester City player Neil Lennon during a league match, which went unnoticed by the referee.[28] Television cameras showed Shearer kicking Lennon in the face, something he denied was premeditated.[29] He was charged with misconduct,[30] but escaped a ban from the FA's disciplinary panel.[31] Shearer's teammate Rob Lee felt the striker was in the right shape of mind to face Arsenal, saying: "He's too strong a person to have let that affect him, even if it hadn't been sorted."[32] Dalglish talked before the game of Newcastle's disappointing league campaign and questioned "why we couldn't translate our Cup results into the league".[33] He dismissed talk of Newcastle having an "easy run" in the competition, saying "It's not our fault if our opponents beat teams who were favourites to go through."[33]

Continuing a tradition which began in the 1970s, the finalists each released a song as part of the buildup to the final. The Arsenal squad recorded a cover of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" with proceeds going to the Arsenal Charitable Trust,[34] while Newcastle enlisted celebrity supporter Sting to write "Black and White Army (Bringing the Pride Back Home)".[35] Arsenal's song spent seven weeks in the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number nine.[36] Royalty was present at Wembley on the day of the final; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent was on hand to perform various duties alongside his wife Katharine, Duchess of Kent.[37] Players from both sides were adorned in Hugo Boss suits for their customary pre-match walk.[38]

Match

Summary

Wenger selected Wreh to lead Arsenal's attack, and left Wright on the substitutes’ bench. The Liberian striker partnered Anelka in a front two, and they were supported by wide midfielders Overmars and Parlour. Dalglish named Alessandro Pistone in the starting eleven to play as right back; commentator John Motson suggested the defender's role was to nullify Overmars.[39] Temuri Ketsbaia was picked ahead of Andreas Andersson and John Barnes started the game on the bench. Rush did not make the 16-man squad for Newcastle, as he failed to recover from injury. Both clubs were set up in a traditional 4–4–2 system: a four-man defence (comprising two centre-backs and left and right full-backs), four midfielders (two in the centre, and one on each wing) and two centre-forwards.

Newcastle kicked-off the final on a warm Saturday afternoon and quickly set about testing Arsenal by aiming long balls in their half. Arsenal won many of the aerial duels and broke quickly once they had possession.[40] Parlour chased after a long ball by Dixon from the right, but Howey impeded the midfielder and put the ball out for a corner.[40] It came to nothing as the whistle was blown once Adams's climbed above his opponent.[41] Newcastle's first attempt on goal was created by Ketsbaia, who won the ball near the centre of the pitch. He shifted it onto his left foot, but his shot from about 20 yards (18 m) bobbled past Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman's left-hand post.[42] Arsenal's first real chance was a move which began from the backline. Vieira found Parlour who kicked the ball towards Dixon. The Arsenal right-back saw Parlour making a dart forward into the opposition's penalty area and returned the ball to the midfielder.[43] Parlour's cross from the right was met by Anelka in the box, but the striker headed the ball over the post.[43] Arsenal took the lead minutes later through Overmars. A through-ball by Emmanuel Petit had found the charging winger and he resisted the challenge of Pistone to prod the ball through the legs of the onrushing goalkeeper Shay Given.[44] It was Overmars' 16th goal of the campaign, his most prolific season as a professional footballer.[45] Newcastle struggled to breach Arsenal's stable defence for the remainder of the first half; Ketsbaia saw his curling shot on target but comfortably caught by Seaman.[46] Overmars, a constant threat in the match, crossed the ball towards Parlour in the penalty area, but with room to shoot the midfielder skied it over.[46] Newcastle appealed for a penalty deep into added time after Adams jumped over Shearer while looking to clear the ball, but the referee immediately turned it down.[46]

In the second half, Newcastle began more adventurously and forced Arsenal into moving the ball at a higher tempo. From a free-kick awarded near the left channel, Lee crossed the ball and up rose Nikos Dabizas, whose header hit the bar.[47] Newcastle were presented with another opportunity to equalise after Arsenal defender Martin Keown slipped on the ball. Shearer pounced, but his left-foot shot hit the foot of the post, and rebounded back out.[44] Newcastle were punished for poor finishing in the 69th minute as Anelka scored for Arsenal. Parlour lifted the ball through to the teenage striker who controlled it with his chest.[44] He raced past his marker Dabizas, and steered the ball into the bottom left-hand corner. Newcastle responded by bringing on Andersson, an extra forward, in place of Pearce but the change in personnel made no difference to the outcome.[43] Parlour, later awarded man of the match, nearly scored a third for Arsenal, but his effort hit the side netting.[43] As the whistle blew for full-time, Wenger hugged his assistant Pat Rice in the dugout before joining his players on the field for celebrations.[48] Sportingly, the Newcastle fans applauded the Arsenal team as they made their way up the Wembley steps to collect the trophy.[49]

Details

Arsenal2–0Newcastle United
Overmars Goal 23'
Anelka Goal 69'
Report
Arsenal
Newcastle United
GK 1 England David Seaman
RB 2 England Lee Dixon
CB 14 England Martin Keown
CB 6 England Tony Adams (c)
LB 3 England Nigel Winterburn Yellow card 51'
RM 15 England Ray Parlour
CM 4 France Patrick Vieira
CM 17 France Emmanuel Petit
LM 11 Netherlands Marc Overmars
CF 9 France Nicolas Anelka
CF 12 Liberia Christopher Wreh Substituted off 62'
Substitutes:
GK 13 Austria Alex Manninger
DF 5 England Steve Bould
MF 7 England David Platt Substituted in 62'
MF 18 France Gilles Grimandi
FW 8 England Ian Wright
Manager:
France Arsène Wenger
Arsenal vs Newcastle 1998-05-16
GK 1 Republic of Ireland Shay Given
RB 23 Italy Alessandro Pistone
CB 34 Greece Nikos Dabizas Yellow card 53'
CB 6 England Steve Howey Yellow card 70'
LB 12 England Stuart Pearce Substituted off 73'
RM 2 England Warren Barton Yellow card 48' Substituted off 76'
CM 7 England Rob Lee (c)
CM 4 England David Batty
LM 11 Wales Gary Speed
SS 14 Georgia (country) Temuri Ketsbaia Substituted off 86'
CF 9 England Alan Shearer Yellow card 45'
Substitutes:
GK 15 Trinidad and Tobago Shaka Hislop
DF 19 England Steve Watson Substituted in 76'
DF 27 Belgium Philippe Albert
MF 10 England John Barnes Substituted in 86'
FW 40 Sweden Andreas Andersson Substituted in 73'
Manager:
Scotland Kenny Dalglish

Match rules

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Replay required if scores still level
  • Five named substitutes, of which three may be used

Statistics

Statistic Arsenal Newcastle United
Goals scored 2 0
Possession 48% 52%
Attempts at goal 13 10
Shots on target 3 1
Corner kicks 4 2
Fouls 18 14
Offsides 5 3
Yellow cards 1 4
Red cards 0 0
Source:[50]

Post-match

Arsenal's win had sealed a league and cup double and Wenger, the club's manager, described it as "the greatest moment of my sporting life."[51] Speaking to the media, he complimented his team for their performance and said of the season: "We kept getting better and so has the mixture between the foreign and English players."[51] Wenger reserved praise for the goalscorers Overmars ("a world-class player") and Anelka ("Nicolas is very young. But you saw in the second half today what he can do"), and felt the turning point in the match was Shearer's shot hitting the post.[44][51] He sympathised with Newcastle, as did his captain, Adams who said afterwards: "The team and their fans did everything they could out there, but it was our day. It capped a fantastic season for us and was a day we'll never forget."[51] Overmars called winning the FA Cup, "...the biggest thing that you can dream of. I'd say it's the same as winning the European Cup", while Dixon, a long-serving member of the team, added Arsenal's achievement had "...surpasse[d] anything that we've done in the past."[52]

Ray Parlour 2012
Ray Parlour (pictured in 2012) was awarded the man of the match prize.

Dalglish congratulated Arsenal on completing the double, as well as both sets of supporters: "I think it's the first time I've come to Wembley and seen both sets of fans applauding the winning side."[53] He felt Newcastle's performance improved in the second half – "...our players seemed to have more belief in themselves", though concluded despite the efforts it "just wasn't to be."[53] Pearce agreed with his manager that Arsenal deserved the win and told reporters: "We failed to deliver and our magnificent fans deserved better. We'll have to come back stronger next season."[53]

Journalists and pundits reviewing the final unanimously agreed that Arsenal were deserved winners. Ian Ridley wrote in The Independent on Sunday of 17 May 1998: "Where Arsenal played legato, Newcastle were staccato in their passing and though they enjoyed a purple patch after raising the tempo in the second half, twice hitting the goal frame, they were largely limp opposition."[55] The Guardian football correspondent David Lacey was in awe of the double winners' performance, writing "There have been more distinguished Wembley triumphs but it is hard to remember a final being won with the sheet pace of Arsenal's victory over Newcastle on Saturday."[56] Paul Wilson of The Observer believed in comparison to their title charge it was "lukewarm stuff",[57] while The Sunday Times match reporter Joe Lovejoy felt the London club had got the better of Newcastle in what was a "pretty ordinary game".[58] Lovejoy did however credit the Newcastle support – "The Toon Army won the decibel count, which was no surprise."[58] David Pleat wrote in his analysis column for The Sunday Times that key to Arsenal's victory was winning the midfield battle. He singled the "prodigious" Parlour out for praise, writing "nobody did more efficient work than the man rejuvenated at Arsenal."[59]

The match was broadcast live in the United Kingdom by both ITV and Sky Sports; the former provided the free-to-air coverage and Sky Sports 2 was the pay-TV alternative.[60] Highlights were also shown on Match of the Day that evening on BBC One. ITV held the majority of the viewership, with an overnight audience of 7.8 million viewers (65% viewing share), whereas 900,000 watched on Sky.[61] The terrestrial figure was the lowest in Cup final history in more than a decade, which ITV attributed to the May heatwave.[61]

A day after the win Arsenal paraded both trophies on an open-top bus, heading towards Islington Town Hall for a civic reception.[62] The club's victory set up a Charity Shield match against Manchester United, the league runners-up, in August 1998. As cup winners, Arsenal would have ordinarily been awarded a spot in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, but as the club qualified for the UEFA Champions League via their league position the place was passed to finalists Newcastle United.[63]

Aftermath and legacy

Arsenal were unable to retain the FA Cup the following season as the team fell to Manchester United at the semi-final stage.[64] It was not until 2001 that they appeared in another Cup final, where Michael Owen scored twice at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium to hand Liverpool the trophy.[65] Arsenal regrouped the following year, starting a run of three FA Cup wins in four years.[66] By 2015, Wenger had led Arsenal to a record-breaking 12th FA Cup and victory against Chelsea in 2017 earnt him the accolade of being the most successful manager in the competition's history.[67][68]

The 1998 Cup final was the climax to an eventful season for Wenger, who became the first manager born outside of the British Isles to complete the double.[69] As well as revitalising the club, his style of management was heralded as revolutionary.[70] Rob Hughes in his Times column of 18 May 1998 credited the Arsenal manager for demonstrating "what there is to learn from overseas", and for blending players of different ages and cultural backgrounds into a successful squad.[54] The 1998 double-winning team is regarded as one of English football's finest; former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs later described them as one of his toughest opponents: "They just had a bit of everything really. Quality with Bergkamp, pace with Anelka and Overmars, the experience of the back four, and then the toughness of Vieira and Petit in midfield."[71]

For Newcastle, success was hard to come by. In August 1998, just two matches into the Premier League season, Dalglish was dismissed, replaced by former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit.[72] Although the team reached another FA Cup final in 1999, they were again losing finalists.[73]

References

General

  • Brooking, Trevor, Motson, John (commentators), Des Lynam (presenter), Hansen, Alan (studio guest) (16 May 1998). Match of the Day [FA Cup Final]. BBC (Television production).

Specific

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  47. ^ Motson, Brooking (1998). Event occurs in the second half, coverage between 11:10pm and 11:13pm.
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  54. ^ a b Hughes, Rob (18 May 1998). "Wenger leading English game towards exit from insularity". The Times. London. p. 31.
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  59. ^ Pleat, David (17 May 1998). "Power play scatters the Magpies". The Sunday Times. London. p. S3.
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Further reading

1997–98 Arsenal F.C. season

The 1997–98 season was the 100th season of competitive football played by Arsenal. Managed by Arsène Wenger in his first full season, the club ended the campaign winning the league championship for the first time in seven years. At Wembley Stadium, Arsenal beat Newcastle United 2–0 in the 1998 FA Cup Final to win the competition and complete a domestic double – the second in the club's history and the first since 1970–71. Arsenal exited the League Cup in the semi-finals to Chelsea and lost on aggregate score to PAOK in the UEFA Cup first round.

In the transfer window, Arsenal purchased several players, including midfielders Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit and goalkeeper Alex Manninger; English midfielder Paul Merson departed to join Middlesbrough. Arsenal began the league season relatively well, but a run of three defeats in four matches between November and December 1997 left the team in sixth position before Christmas, and seemingly out of championship contention. Although they were 12 points behind reigning champions Manchester United at the end of February, a winning streak of nine matches ensured Arsenal won the championship with a 4–0 win over Everton on 3 May 1998.

In recognition of the team's achievement, Wenger was awarded the Carling Manager of the Year award and striker Dennis Bergkamp was given the accolade of PFA Players' Player of the Year by his fellow peers and FWA Footballer of the Year by football writers.

1997–98 FA Cup

The 1997–98 FA Cup (known as The FA Cup sponsored by Littlewoods for sponsorship reasons) was the 117th staging of the FA Cup. The competition was won by Arsenal with a 2–0 victory against Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium.

1998 FA Charity Shield

The 1998 Football Association Charity Shield (also known as The AXA FA Charity Shield for sponsorship reasons) was the 76th FA Charity Shield, an annual English football match organised by The Football Association and played between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup competitions. It was contested on 9 August 1998 by Arsenal – who won a league and FA Cup double the previous season – and Manchester United – who finished runners-up in the league. Watched by a crowd of 67,342 at Wembley Stadium, Arsenal won the match 3–0.

This was Manchester United's 18th Charity Shield appearance to Arsenal's 14th. Manchester United began the game more strongly, but Arsenal took the lead when Marc Overmars scored 11 minutes before half-time. They extended their lead in the second half, as Overmars and Nicolas Anelka found Christopher Wreh, who put the ball into an empty net at the second attempt. In the 72nd minute, Arsenal scored a third goal, when Anelka got around Jaap Stam in the penalty box and shot the ball past goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

Arsenal's victory marked Manchester United's first Shield defeat in 13 years. The teams later faced each other in the FA Cup semi-final, which was won by Manchester United in a replay. Manchester United finished the league season one point ahead of Arsenal and went on to win the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League, thereby completing a treble of trophies in the 1998–99 season.

Alessandro Pistone

Alessandro Pistone (born 27 July 1975 in Milan, Italy) is a former Italian footballer, who played as a fullback. During his career, he played for Vicenza, Internazionale, Newcastle United, Everton and RAEC Mons, as well as the Italy Under-21 national team, whom he represented in the 1996 Olympics.

Alex Manninger

Alexander Manninger (born 4 June 1977) is an Austrian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He played internationally for the Austria national team on 33 occasions, including at UEFA Euro 2008, and has represented football clubs in Italy, Germany, Austria and England.

Andreas Andersson (footballer, born 1974)

Andreas Claes Andersson (born 10 April 1974 in Nacka, Sweden) is a Swedish footballer. A striker, he was capped by Sweden forty-two times (including the 2002 FIFA World Cup), scoring eight goals, including a goal against England in a UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying match. However, an injury to his cruciate ligament caused him to miss Euro 2000.

On September 5, 2001, Andersson scored the decisive goal against Turkey in Istanbul in a 2-1 victory, which meant Sweden qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup the following summer. Andersson was used as a substitute in the tournament and nearly scored against Argentina, but his shot hit the cross bar.

Domestically, he won the 1996 Swedish league title with IFK Göteborg, and also ending up as the topscorer scoring 19 goals. These performances earned him moves abroad to AC Milan and Newcastle United (for whom he played in the 1998 FA Cup Final). These spells proved largely unsuccessful, resulting in Andersson's return to Sweden with AIK.

Injury problems caused him to retire on August 1, 2005, with Andersson looking to remain in football as a coach. However, he resumed playing in 2010 with Swedish minnows FC Andrea Doria.

Christopher Wreh

Christopher Wreh (born 14 May 1975) is a retired Liberian international footballer who played as a striker. He was a member of the Arsenal side which won the Premier League and FA Cup double during the 1997–98 season.

At international level, he won 36 caps for Liberia, scoring 11 goals, and was in their squad for the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations.

David Batty

David Batty (born 2 December 1968) is an English retired professional footballer, who played as a defensive midfielder.

He played for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, and was also capped for the England national football team. He represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1992 and the 1998 World Cup.

Gary Speed

Gary Andrew Speed, MBE (8 September 1969 – 27 November 2011) was a Welsh professional footballer and manager.

Having played for the Leeds United youth team, he started off his professional career with the club in 1988. With Leeds, he won English First Division championship in 1991–92, and later played for Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United. He captained the Wales national football team until retiring from international football in 2004. He was the most capped outfield player for Wales and the second overall with 85 caps between 1990 and 2004 until being overtaken by Chris Gunter in 2018, playing mainly as a left-side attacking midfielder. Speed was appointed manager of Sheffield United in 2010, but left the club after a few months in December 2010 to manage the Wales national team, remaining in this role until his death 11 months later.

Rarely troubled by injury or suspension, he held the record for the most appearances in the Premier League at 535, until it was surpassed by David James. At the time of his death, only James and Ryan Giggs had played in more Premier League matches than Speed. Including appearances in The Football League and cup competitions, he made 840 domestic appearances.

Ian Wright

Ian Edward Wright, (born 3 November 1963) is an English former professional footballer and television and radio personality. He is currently a studio pundit for BBC Sport, ITV Sport and BT Sport.

Wright enjoyed success with London clubs Crystal Palace and Arsenal as a forward, spending six years with the former and seven years with the latter. With Arsenal he lifted the Premier League title, both the major domestic cup competitions, and the European Cup Winners Cup. He played 581 league games, scoring 387 goals for seven clubs in Scotland and England, earning 33 caps for the English national team.Wright also played in the Premier League for West Ham United, the Scottish Premier League for Celtic and the Football League for Burnley and Nottingham Forest. As of 2016–17, he is Arsenal's second-highest scorer of all time and Crystal Palace's third-highest.After retiring from the game he has been active in the media, usually in football-related TV and radio shows. His sons, Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips, are both professional footballers.

Jason Crowe

Jason William Robert Crowe (born 30 September 1978) is an English former professional footballer who played as a right back, and midfielder from 1996 to 2013.

Crowe a former England Under-20 international started his career at Arsenal as a junior and was handed a professional contract at the beginning of the 1996–97 season. He only played a few matches for The Gunners. He later went on to join Crystal Palace on loan before signing permanently with Portsmouth in 1999. He spent time on loan with Brentford in 2000 before helping secure Premier League promotion for Pompey in 2003. He was sold to Grimsby Town shortly afterwards and he spent two seasons there before moving on to Northampton Town in 2005. Four years later he secured a move to Leeds United before going on to Leyton Orient, then back to Northampton Town. In the summer of 2012 he dropped out of the Football League for the first time by signing with Conference North club Corby Town.

Je Yong-sam

Je Yong-sam (born 25 January 1972) is a retired South Korean footballer.

Marc Overmars

Marc Overmars (Dutch: [ˈmɑrk ˈoːvərmɑrs] (listen), born 29 March 1973) is a Dutch former footballer and the current director of football at Ajax. During his footballing career, he played as a winger and was renowned for his speed and technical skills.

Overmars was born in Emst and was passionate about football at an early age. He began his playing career at SV Epe before joining Go Ahead Eagles' youth team in 1987. He secured a place in the first team by the 1990–91 season, but joined Willem II in time for the following season. His stay at the club was short; after 31 appearances he signed for Ajax in 1992. He established himself as a key member of the team that won three Eredivisie titles from between 1994 and 1996 and the UEFA Champions League in 1995. In December 1995, Overmars sustained a cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of playing for eight months.

In 1997, he joined Arsenal; his performances at the club were indifferent to begin with and attracted criticism from football pundits and fans alike. By the end of his first season, Overmars became a focal point of Arsenal's league and cup double success. He scored the winning goal against league rivals Manchester United which set his team on their way to securing the Premier League title and opened the scoring against Newcastle United in the 1998 FA Cup Final. In 2000, he moved to Barcelona in a deal worth £25 million and became the most expensive player in Dutch football history. The club failed to win silverware during his stay and numerous managerial changes made him a peripheral player. A persistent knee injury prompted Overmars to announce his retirement in 2004, but he reversed his decision in 2008 and went on to play one season for Go Ahead Eagles before retiring again. In 2012, he was named as Ajax's director of football.

Overmars represented the Netherlands national team for 11 years. He scored on his international debut in 1993 against Turkey, and was a member of the Netherlands squads for four major tournaments: the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, and 2000 and 2004 European Championships.

Newcastle United F.C.

Newcastle United Football Club is a professional football club in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. Founded in 1892 by the merger of Newcastle East End and Newcastle West End, they have played at St James' Park since. The ground was developed into an all-seater stadium in the mid-1990s and now has a capacity of 52,354.The club has been a member of the Premier League for all but three years of the competition's history, spending 86 seasons in the top tier as of May 2018, and has never dropped below English football's second tier since joining the Football League in 1893. They have won four League Championship titles, six FA Cups and a Charity Shield, as well as the 1969 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the 2006 UEFA Intertoto Cup, the ninth highest total of trophies won by an English club. The club's most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won an FA Cup and three of their First Division titles. The club was relegated in 2009 and 2016, but returned to the Premier League for the 2017–18 season.

Newcastle has a local rivalry with Sunderland, with whom they have contested the Tyne–Wear derby since 1898. The club's traditional kit colours are black and white striped shirts, black shorts and black socks. Their crest has elements of the city coat of arms, which features two grey seahorses. Before each home game, the team enters the field to "Local Hero", and "Blaydon Races" is also sung during games.The club has been owned by Mike Ashley since 2007, succeeding long-term chairman Sir John Hall. The club is the 17th-highest revenue producing club in the world in terms of annual revenue, generating €169.3 million in 2015. Newcastle's highest placing was in 1999, when they were the fifth-highest revenue producing football club in the world, and second in England only behind Manchester United.

Phil Joslin (referee)

Philip J. Joslin (born 23 March 1959, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire) is an English association football referee who operates in the Football League. In addition, he has previously held the position of assistant referee for both the Premier League and FIFA, and also fulfilled that role in the 1998 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Rémi Garde

Rémi Garde (French pronunciation: ​[ʁemi ɡaʁd], born 3 April 1966) is a French professional football coach and former player.He played as a defender and defensive midfielder, spending most of his career with his first club Lyon, with whom he won the 1988–89 French Division 2. In 1993, he moved to Strasbourg, reaching the Coupe de France final and winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup in his second season. He joined Arsenal in 1996, where he won the 1997–98 FA Premier League before retiring through injury a year later. Garde was capped by the France national team, featuring in their squad at UEFA Euro 1992.After retiring, he worked as a coach and assistant manager at Lyon, before taking the managerial position there in 2011. He won the Coupe de France and Trophée des Champions the following year, and left in 2014 for personal reasons. He was hired by Aston Villa in November 2015, but left in March 2016 after five months in charge of the team. He was hired by Montreal Impact by Major League Soccer in November 2017.

Stephen Hughes (footballer, born 1976)

Stephen John Hughes (born 18 September 1976 in Reading, Berkshire) is an English former footballer, who played as a midfielder for clubs such as Arsenal, Fulham, Everton, Watford and Coventry City during his career.

Steve Watson

Steven Craig Watson (born 1 April 1974) is an English football manager and former professional player who played as a right back or midfielder. He is the manager of National League North club York City.

Stuart Pearce

Stuart Pearce, MBE (born 24 April 1962) is an English football manager and player. Pearce was the manager of the England national under-21 team from 2007 to 2013 and also managed the Great Britain Olympic football team at the 2012 Olympics.As a player, Pearce played as a defender and appeared for Wealdstone, Coventry City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Manchester City, but is best known for his spell at Nottingham Forest, where he regularly captained the team and became the club's most capped International, making 76 of his 78 appearances for England while with the club and captaining the national side on nine occasions. He retired as a player in 2002 while at Manchester City. He remained with Manchester City as a coach under Kevin Keegan's managership until being promoted to the manager's job, which he held from 2005 to 2007. In 2016, he briefly came out of retirement, signing a one-match deal with Longford, a team dubbed "The worst in Great Britain", in order to support the grass roots game.

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Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final
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Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Final
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