14 May 1988
1987–88 FA Cup
| Wimbledon F.C.|
| Wembley Stadium, London|
Brian Hill (Northamptonshire County Football Association)
1989 FA Cup Final, 1986 FA Cup Final, 1987 FA Cup Final, 1914 FA Cup Final, 1950 FA Cup Final
The 1988 FA Cup Final took place on 14 May 1988 at Wembley Stadium. It was contested between Wimbledon and Liverpool, the dominant English club side of the 1980s and newly crowned league champions.
The result was one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition as the London side won 1–0 to win the cup for the only time in their history; they had just completed their second season in the Football League First Division and had only been in the Football League for 11 years. The final also featured the first penalty save in an FA Cup final (by Dave Beasant from John Aldridge) and the first goalkeeper (Beasant) to captain an FA Cup-winning side. It was the last FA Cup final to be broadcast by both ITV and the BBC, which had happened since 1958. Wimbledon's victory ended Liverpool's bid to become the first team to win the Double twice. This feat was eventually achieved by rivals Manchester United in 1995–96, when they earned their second domestic double and then Arsenal in 1997-98.
1988 FA Cup Final Wikipedia
Liverpool were the winners of Division One and were the giants of England in the 1980s. Wimbledon finished seventh in the table but were more expected to finish much lower than that position. Liverpool were highly expected and favoured to win the trophy as they had just secured their 17th league title, whereas Wimbledon had been playing in the Southern Football League just eleven years earlier and were given very little hope of lifting the trophy.
Wimbledon took the lead shortly before half-time, when Lawrie Sanchez's looping header, from a Dennis Wise free kick on the left, went across goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar and into the net. Liverpool created a host of chances, including a chipped goal over the goalkeeper by Peter Beardsley which was disallowed as the referee had already awarded a free kick to Liverpool, but were unable to find a way past Wimbledon goalkeeper Dave Beasant. The Merseysiders were awarded a penalty on the hour mark following a foul by Clive Goodyear on John Aldridge, though replays showed that Goodyear won the ball cleanly, but Aldridge's penalty was saved by Beasant's diving save to his left, thus becoming the first keeper to save a penalty in a Wembley FA Cup final. The Londoners survived more pressure from Liverpool to secure their first major trophy and a notable upset in FA Cup Final history. Dave Beasant also became the first goalkeeper to receive the FA Cup as captain. After the final whistle John Motson who was commentating for the BBC delivered his famous line: "The Crazy Gang have beaten the Culture Club."
Wimbledon were unable to compete in the 1988–89 European Cup Winners' Cup, due to the ongoing ban on English teams from European competitions, following the actions of a group of Liverpool supporters in the 1985 European Cup Final Heysel disaster. At the time of the final, it was hoped that the ban would be rescinded, but after a number of incidents involving English fans during the 1988 European Championships, the FA withdrew their application for readmission.