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1970 FA Cup Final

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Champion  Chelsea F.C.
Event  1969–70 FA Cup
Dates  11 Apr 1970 – 29 Apr 1970
1970 FA Cup Final wwwscoredrawcomcontentpicsp14CupPitch704685cjpg
Venues  London, Manchester, Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford
Similar  1972 FA Cup Final, 1997 FA Cup Final, 2000 FA Cup Final, 1973 FA Cup Final, 1915 FA Cup Final

The 1970 FA Cup Final was contested by Chelsea and Leeds United. The match took place on 11 April 1970 at Wembley Stadium and ended 2–2, making it the first FA Cup final to require a replay since 1912. The replay was staged at Old Trafford and played on 29 April; after four hours of fiercely contested football, Chelsea eventually won 2–1. As of 2016, both the final and replay were the last times that FA Cup final ties were played in the month of April; all subsequent FA Cup final ties have been played in the month of May.


Leeds and Chelsea were two of England's top teams that season, having finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the First Division. The match marked a clash of footballing contrasts: Chelsea were regarded as "flamboyant" southerners, whereas Leeds were seen as uncompromising northerners. Neither had won the FA Cup before, though both had recently been runners-up, Leeds in 1965 and Chelsea in 1967.

It was the only time between 1923 and 2000 that an FA Cup Final was played at a stadium other than Wembley. The replay attracted a British television audience of over 28 million, the second highest UK audience for a sports broadcast (behind the 1966 World Cup Final), and the sixth highest audience for any UK broadcast. It has been ranked among the greatest ever FA Cup finals.

Road to Wembley

Home teams listed first.

Before the game

The final at Wembley was scheduled for 11 April, around a month earlier than was typical for FA Cup finals, due to the FA's wish for the England national team, who were world champions and were defending their trophy in Mexico, to have time to acquaint themselves to the Mexican climate. The Wembley stadium's pitch was in very poor condition with the Horse of the Year Show having taken place there a week previously.

Wembley final

In a game where Leeds were generally seen to have had the best of the play — with winger Eddie Gray in particular giving David Webb a torrid time — the Yorkshiremen took the lead after 20 minutes when Jack Charlton's downward header from a corner did not bounce in the muddy pitch, defending Chelsea player Eddie McCreadie mis-timed his attempted clearance and the ball rolled over the line. Towards the end of the first half, Chelsea's Peter Houseman drove a low shot from 20 yards (18 m), which goalkeeper Gary Sprake fumbled, and it, too, rolled over the line for the equaliser. Leeds appeared to have secured the game six minutes from full-time when an Allan Clarke header hit the post and Mick Jones reacted first to put the ball into the net, but two minutes later Ian Hutchinson headed in the equaliser from John Hollins' cross. There were no more goals scored during the 30-minute extra time and the two squads took a joint lap of honour.

The Wembley pitch, after the game, was in such dire condition that the Football Association decided to stage the replay at Manchester's Old Trafford stadium.

Replay at Old Trafford

The replay at Old Trafford, watched by a television audience of 28 million, a record for an FA Cup final, became one of the most notorious clashes in English football for the harshness of play, which exceeded the previous game at Wembley. The referee in charge of both games, 47-year-old Eric Jennings from Stourbridge, in his last season as a Football League referee, allowed rough play by both sides throughout, playing the advantage to its full extent. He booked only one player, Ian Hutchinson of Chelsea, during the game.

Modern-day referee David Elleray reviewed the match in 1997, and concluded that the sides would have received six red cards and twenty yellow cards between them, in the modern era of football. Tommy Baldwin and Terry Cooper, admittedly two of the quieter men in the two sides, were kicking lumps out of one another, as the battle began. Not long into the game, Chelsea's Ron Harris caught winger Eddie Gray with a kick to the back of the knee, an action which neutralised the Scottish winger for the rest of the game. Norman Hunter and Ian Hutchinson traded punches while McCreadie and Johnny Giles lunged at opposition players. Charlton kneed and headbutted Peter Osgood while Chelsea's goalkeeper Peter Bonetti was injured after being bundled into the net by Leeds' Jones, who, minutes later, rounded the limping Bonetti and scored the opener.

Chelsea equalised twelve minutes before the end, after a flowing move, from which Osgood scored with a diving header from a Charlie Cooke cross. Jackie Charlton should have been marking Osgood but had 'lost' him whilst chasing Hutchinson to exact retribution for a deadleg administered in the Chelsea penalty area a minute or so earlier. In scoring, Osgood became the last player to date to have scored in every round of the FA Cup. With the game ending 1–1, the final once again went into extra time. One minute before the first period of extra time was to end, Chelsea's Hutchinson sent in a long throw-in that missed almost every player in the penalty area but came off Charlton's head towards the far post, before being put into the unguarded net by Webb to give Chelsea the lead for the first time in the two games. They kept the lead until the end, securing their first FA Cup win.

Beyond the final

The two teams, at the time, were praised for their determination and for providing fans and audiences with two "splendid games", but there was also criticism among football professionals and media for the very physical play. In the modern era, however, the two games are often denoted as "epic" and "iconic" and have come to symbolize a football era when, although the challenges for the ball were hard, "no one dived, no one tried to get an opponent sent off, and no one in the media demanded a public inquiry".

In the following season, neither team would reach the quarter final stage of the Cup. Chelsea were eliminated from the competition in the 4th round, after losing 0–3 to Manchester City at home, while, in the 5th round, Leeds United were upset in a 2–3 away defeat by Fourth Division outsiders Colchester United. Chelsea, however, went on to reach the final of the European Cup Winners' competition, played in Piraeus, Greece, at Karaiskakis Stadium, where they faced Real Madrid. After yet another cup final that went into a replay, the first game ending 1–1 and the second one 2–1 to Chelsea, the English team won its first European trophy.


Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay if scores still level.
  • One named substitute
  • Old Trafford

    Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay if scores still level.
  • One named substitute
  • References

    1970 FA Cup Final Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    1915 FA Cup Final
    1972 FA Cup Final
    1973 FA Cup Final