TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY – THE FIRST SEMI FINAL TO BE PLAYED AT WEMBLEY SPURS V ARSENAL
It was twenty five years ago today that the first ever semi final of the FA Cup was played at Wembley and it was between two of the biggest rivals in the game of football, Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal.
I was the Captain of Spurs at the time and it had not been the best of seasons for us in the league, but for our rivals Arsenal, they had a fantastic season and had already won the title, and were going for the league and cup double, so we were the underdogs going into the game.
The atmosphere at Wembley was magnificent and the noise as I led the team out onto the sacred Wembley turf was deafening.
From the start we dominated Arsenal, taking the game to them and putting them under pressure.
Over the 90 minutes we outplayed Arsenal and gave them a lesson in football.
Tottenham’s talisman this season was Paul Gascoigne (Gazza) his performances throughout our cup run had been outstanding and it was his stunning free kick that gave us the lead early in the first half.
Gazza always tells me that he is very grateful to me, as when he takes the free kick the ball is heading straight for my head and I duck (if you watch the video, you might have to pause it, but you can see me duck under the ball) he says that if I had not ducked then the greatest ever free kick scored at Wembley might never have happend !!
We then went 2-0 up when following a lovely interchange of passing on the right wing between Paul Allen and Paul Gascoigne, the ball was crossed into the Arsenal penalty area, the ball was coming straight to me at the far post, but Alan Smith who was marking me slid in to stop the ball coming to me to score, but he could only put it at the foot of Gary Lineker, who prodded the ball home.
Arsenal scored just before half time to make the score 2-1.
It was an exciting game, with end to end football being played, I then won the ball in the middle of the pitch played the ball to Gary Lineker who then played it back to me, I then threaded it between two Arsenal players back to Gary Lineker, he took the ball forward outpaced Tony Adams and shot the ball into the far corner of the Arsenal net (David Seaman should have really saved it) we went 3-1 up and that is how the game finished, with us going into the FA Cup final and denying Arsenal the chance of winning the double.
A famous victory against our biggest rivals !!
Click here for the highlights.