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Recalling the 1967 FA Cup Final

Recalling the 1967 FA Cup Final

Norman Giller has recently published a book called "Spurs 67 - The Cockney Cup Final", and as we build up to the 2017 FA Cup semi-final meeting between Spurs and Chelsea, I thought you might like to read Brian Judson's account of that 1967 game. The article was first written some 20 years ago:-

On Saturday 20th May 1967, Spurs beat Chelsea, 2-1, in what was a very one-sided final. A very young Spurs side completely outplayed an equally young Chelsea team. Indeed, Chelsea's only goal came as a result of the only mistake Pat Jennings made in the match. Our goals were scored by Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul.

Robertson was a very talented player who somehow lost his way and became just another player. Robertson left us for Arsenal in what was viewed by many as one of Bill Nicholson's worst ever transfer deals. Jimmy was swapped for David Jenkins, and Arsenal refused to allow us to sign John Radford, who was Spurs' preferred option. Robertson swiftly sunk to the lower divisions. He was at Arsenal for barely a year, didn't stay much longer at Ipswich, played at Stoke and ended his career at Walsall.

Saul, of course, was the teenager who made a sensational debut as a 16 year old during the double season. Unfortunately, his later career didn't match his earlier progress. But with the sacking of Bobby Smith in the spring of 1964 and Les Allen clearly suffering from the periodical loss of confidence he suffered, Saul was for three seasons a first choice player. In 1966-67, he was converted into a left winger as Cliff Jones was beginning to fade. Saul scored some vital goals during our 1967 Cup run. He will be forever remembered for scoring the winning goals in the Semi-Final and Final in 1967.

Within six months of the 1967 Final, he was the makeweight in the deal that brought Chivers to White Hart Lane. I don't think Saul prospered after leaving Tottenham. He spent two years at Southampton and two years at QPR before winding down his career at Millwall, where he spent five years. He was briefly associated with Dagenham before retiring.

I think that one of the things that fooled Chelsea that day was the fact Cyril Knowles played a defensive role whilst Joe Kinnear played an attacking role. They'd clearly expected Knowles to romp down the left wing as he'd done all season. But Nicholson, aware of the way the lush Wembley turf could sap the energy of players, decided to restrain Knowles and use him to cover the ageing Mackay.

The key battle was won by Mike England. Big Mike outjumped Tony Hateley for every ball. Hateley never won a single ball and within days of the defeat had been sold by Docherty to Liverpool.

I am disappointed this match has never been celebrated as much as more illustrious Cup Finals. Perhaps it was because it was such a one-sided final. Certainly Spurs should have won by a greater margin than 2-1, considering we'd been undefeated in any match since losing at Old Trafford, 1-0, on 14th January 1967. We'd gone 24 League and Cup matches without a defeat. Had it not been for a dreadful spell in October and November 1966, we could have completed another League and Cup double.

Let us salute the memory of that Spurs team:

Pat Jennings; Joe Kinnear, Cyril Knowles; Alan Mullery, Mike England, Dave Mackay (captain); Jimmy Robertson, Jimmy Greaves, Alan Gilzean, Terry Venables, Frank Saul and non-playing substitute Cliff Jones.

Cheers, Brian

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