Feed on

This is a wonderful piece courtesy of our own Goonersince54. Clive, thank you for sharing such an evocative and memorable piece of your, and the Arsenal’s, history.

The Arsenal’s first match in the 1970-71 FA Cup was a 3rd Round tie away to Yeovil.  This game was sandwiched between the Boxing Day 0-0 draw at home to Southampton and the 2-0 win at home against the Hammers on the 9th Jan. 

I was working in retail at the time and as Saturday was always the busiest shopping day of the week, I couldn’t attend the game. Moreover, it being the January sales, I wouldn’t have had time to scratch myself, so I wouldn’t have known the result until after closing time. We won 3-0 with a goal from Ray Kennedy and two goals from John Radford.

The 4th Round tie away to Portsmouth on Jan 23rd was a big test as we were coming off the back of a shock 2-0 loss in the league away to Huddersfield. This game was a real nail biter with a 40,000 crowd, packed into Fratton Park in pouring rain. We were ahead 1-0 at halftime from a Peter Storey penalty, and just when it looked as if we were going to see out the game for a hard-earned win, Pompey salvaged a draw with a last-minute goal to earn a replay at Highbury.

I was working again that day, it being a Saturday, but was sneaking off to keep up with the game on a radio I had brought into work. To say I was gutted by the very late equaliser would be an understatement.

The replay was another fraught night, coming just 48hrs after another damaging league defeat away to Liverpool 2-0. Like the first game, it was played in pouring rain, and we were like drowned rats standing in our usual position near the dugout. I was at the game with Dad, and our hearts sank when Pompey scored very early, but Charlie George soon equalised, and ‘Simmo’ scored with a great header to give us the lead. Credit to Pompey though, they never gave up and when they equalised for a 2nd time, I remember saying to Dad that I thought we were headed for extra time. Then big Raddy got taken out in the penalty area, and ‘Mr Cool’ stepped up to score from the spot and seal the 3-2 victory.

It was quite a spiteful match with Pompey trying to unsettle us by getting really stuck in and I think they had a player sent off near the end.

However, we were through to the 5th round though the knowledge that we had to play Man City away at Maine Road did not fill me with any great confidence. The tie should have been played on Saturday 13th February but for the life of me I cannot remember why it wasn’t. Maybe it was inclement weather? Can you remember?

Anyway, it was played the following Wednesday, the 17th, and Charlie George who had missed a large chunk of the season with injury, scored 2 crackers and the team surprised most supporters including me, by coming away with a 2 –1 win.

The 6th Round away tie against Second Division high flyers Leicester on Saturday 6th March, came on the back of a good 3-0 league win over Wolves at Highbury, but again, I was reduced to trying to follow the game on the radio while working, making for a very fraught afternoon.

We were totally outplayed on a typical early spring heavy pitch and, but for some outstanding defensive work and top goalkeeping by Bob, we would have lost and history would never have been made. The game ended 0-0.

Dad and I were at the Highbury replay which had to be deferred for 10 days to Monday 15th as we were still in the Fairs Cup and had a home game against Cologne on Wednesday the 9th. The replay was almost as fraught as the first game, a very nervy/tight/tense game with so much at stake for both clubs. Dad was like a cat on a hot tin roof which inevitably transferred itself to me! We were packed in like sardines and you couldn’t have fallen over if you tried. We were all, to a man, devastated when it looked as if Leicester had taken the lead in the first half and at the time, we had absolutely no idea why the goal was eventually disallowed. We later found out that it was chalked off for a push on Pat Rice, spotted by the linesman. That saved our bacon.

Then just before the interval, we got the breakthrough via a pinpoint Geordie Armstrong corner that Charlie rose up in the night sky to just beat the Leicester keeper Peter Shilton to it, and head us into the lead. I spent most of the 2nd half looking at the clock, willing it to go faster, as it seemed to take an age to tick round to 9.15pm and the final whistle. Cue absolute joy among the fans, hugging everyone within reach at the prospect of a semi-final appearance and one more game to get through for a potential Wembley final. It’s worth pointing out that Leicester were a very good side and they were unlucky to lose. Their consolation was winning the Second Division title and promotion to the First Division.

As for the semi-final against Stoke on Saturday March 27th, the omens weren’t good. We were coming off a very dispiriting 1- 0 loss away to Cologne in midweek which knocked us out of the Fairs Cup on the away goals rule and to say we started off looking very heavy-legged and low on confidence, was an understatement. Stoke just blew us away, and in truth, could have scored 3 or 4 with a bit more luck. Of course, I was working as usual and here I have to make a confession. I had my radio out the back in the stockroom off the sales floor and kept nipping out to check the progress. 

After going 0-2 down, we had pulled one back through Peter Storey very early in the 2nd half to make it 2-1, but try as we might we just couldn’t create much and the clock wound down to the 90 minutes. With about a minute to go, I grumpily turned the radio off, convinced that we were out.

I was working at the Wimbledon Woolworth store as Assistant manager at the time and to say it was an Arsenal fan free zone would be putting it mildly. So, I was oblivious to the fact that we had scored in the last minute through a Peter Storey penalty to take the game to a replay. I only found out on the train going home after work that night when I saw the back page of the evening paper that a man sitting opposite me was reading!!

As for the replay, Dad somehow managed to get 2 tickets through an Arsenal mate for the game at Villa Park on the following Wednesday. He knocked off work early and I got the nod from the Store Manager to do the same and we went up on a train full of hopeful and optimistic Gooners. It was a fantastic night with a hard fought 2-0 victory through goals from George Graham and Ray Kennedy. We returned on the train full of the same, this time very happy, singing, and heavily inebriated supporters.

That night, along with the Final itself, were the two best times Dad and I had together during the Cup run, given the adversity we had to overcome to finally get our hands on the trophy.

You’ll no doubt have read about the Final already. If you haven’t, check the ‘Fan Memories’ post from 10th May or hear Bob and Pat’s recollections on the video to which there is a link below.


And again…the second part of the conversation, and the second part of our Double Celebration!

GHF.com are pleased to release this, especially considering the Arsenal events of these past couple weeks. Lift your spirits by watching the second episode of two video conversations with Bob Wilson and Pat Rice about Arsenal’s 1970-71 Double year, on the 50th Anniversary of our FA Cup win over Liverpool at Wembley. Remember to donate to Willow, or bid on the GHF.com Auction!

Click on the image below (or on the Youtube link below that) to watch

“Episode Two: Double Glory — The 1971 FA Cup Run”

Or, watch here: Episode Two: Double Glory — The 1971 FA Cup Run (on Youtube). This is especially helpful if you’re having any loading issues with the link to the one the site is serving above.

Let us know what you think in the “drinks” section below!


We are also pleased to remind you that our auction of signed 1970-71 Double memorabilia is open for bids through 23 May! For full information, please visit The Double/Willow Auction tab above.

Just a taste…the lots offered are as follows:

Lot 1: A 1971 Cup Final replica shirt signed by Bob Wilson, Pat Rice, Frank McLintock, George Graham & Charlie George.

Lot 2: A 1971 Cup Final programme signed by Bob Wilson, Pat Rice, Frank McLintock, George Graham & Charlie George.

Lot 3: A second 1971 Cup Final programme signed by Bob Wilson, Pat Rice, Frank McLintock, George Graham & Charlie George.

Lot 4: Bob Wilson’s autobiography, ‘Behind the Network’ signed by Bob Wilson & Arsène Wenger.

All proceeds from the auction go to the Willow Foundation.

45 Drinks to “Personal Memories of the Road to the ’71 FA Cup Final”

  1. 1
    ClockEndRider says:

    “ We were packed in like sardines and you couldn’t have fallen over if you tried.” And in a phrase I’m back at the old ground in the 70’s. This did it for me! Thanks Clive for a great piece.

  2. 2
    Bathgooner says:

    Terrific memories, Clive. Your tipple of choice is on the bar, sir.

  3. 3
    Countryman100 says:

    Truly great stuff Clive. Your writing brings back such memories. You were ‘holic’s guest writer number 1, now you are guest writer number 1 in our new blog.

  4. 4
    Uplympian says:

    Excellent piece Clive – you evoke memories of a time gone by. A juice of choice on the bar for you.

  5. 5
    North Bank Ned says:

    Delightful memories, Clive. As for CER, your images of the packed stands and football specials transported me back half a century — as did the clandestine listening to a transistor radio, a secret pleasure unimaginable in these days of smartphones. Happy you could share some of those games with your Dad, too.

  6. 6
    bt8 says:

    Away days should never have been divorced from train journeys, even if it is entertaining to read about c100’s search for a suitable car park near the ground. Thanks for a great piece, Clive.

  7. 7
    ATG says:

    Great memories 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    New away kit has been launched

  8. 8
    Cynic says:

    Wrong cannon, facing the wrong way. And the yellow is weak as gnat’s piss. And the sponsor logo ruins it.

    Otherwise it’s a nice shirt 🙂

    In other news, the Daily Fail reports that David Luiz is leaving, but we made him offer to stay on, which he’s rejected. If we’re really offering him a contract, any confidence in the summer’s transfer dealing has taken a knock. FFS etc.

  9. 9
    scruzgooner says:

    cheers, clive, for a great post. not having experienced anything like the terraces (all my childhood sporting events were all-seater) it furthered my learning about going to football games back then. i have experienced the transistor radio thing, though, not least furtively under the pillow with an earpiece as a schoolboy after bedtime. there’s nothing quite like the tinny voice bringing joy to your ear and heart.

  10. 10
    scruzgooner says:

    and cynic, agreed on three counts about the jersey. ugh. and to do it with so little fanfare, and so little to bring up the memories of the double team, well, just another indicator of a trick missed by our marketing team.

  11. 11
    bathgooner says:

    That shirt is a better effort than most but it isn’t a patch on the original. It’s also matched with pale yellow shorts rather than blue shorts. As scruz said, the marketing department have missed a huge trick. Close, but no cigar. Why would you pay £60 for that plastic effort when you can have the replica ’71 cup final shirt in 100% cotton for £35, or even one signed by 5 legends for £401 and know you’ve supported a fine charity too?

  12. 12
    Bathgooner says:

    Here’s a proper cannon pointing in the correct direction as received this morning from our friend Gav at She Wore.

  13. 13
    TTG says:

    Bob Wilson said today he was very touched by them remembering the team by launching a yellow shirt ( I think C100 has featured it on WA today) but I agree with Bath . They should have relaunched the Double team colour . This is a bit insipid and yellow shorts….ugh? A mate showed me a picture of Leah Williamson modelling it today saying …’ .I like the look of this’ but it wasn’t clear if he was talking about the shirt or Leah 😀

  14. 14
    TTG says:

    It was very remiss of me not to pay tribute to Clive for a really evocative article . I particularly liked the story about the first semi-final ! What great recall of a Cup run that happened fifty years ago . Some Holics opined that they couldn’t remember anything about the Cup run or even the Final . Clive has clearly got those magic moments tattooed on his psyche .
    Beautiful stuff mate and a lovely companion piece for your description of the Final which you watched with your Dad, that we printed a couple of days ago .

  15. 15
    Osakamatt says:

    Great piece, very evocative –
    I often went into that Wimbledon
    Woolworths as a child! 😃
    Little did I know the assistant
    manager was hiding out with a
    transistor radio 😃
    Football part was great too 👍

  16. 16
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@11: Nifty cross-marketing. 🙂

  17. 17
    North Bank Ned says:

    New away shirts?
    Come on you pearl citrine pale yellows!

  18. 18
    North Bank Ned says:

    David Luiz is 34 and on £100,000 a week. I cannot say that I am surprised that we are ‘looking to the future’.

    That might also mean Arteta has hopes for one or more of Saliba, Mavropanos, Ballard, Clarke or McGuinness. Or Scruz has just bent the manager’s ear over Holding.

  19. 19
    TTG says:

    We do have a fair few Centre backs. Zech Medley is also out on loan but I’m told we are looking for a right-footed Centre back and my Fulham mates tell me we may well sign Andersen who they’ve had from Lille this season . And to think when George Graham signed Andy Linighan when we had Bould and Adams and then we added Pates and then Keown they thought he had an obsession with centre backs ! At least most of those won a few things.
    Another area where we have players coming out if our ears is in goal . We have Leno, Ryan ( on loan) , Runarsson, Macey who is out on loan, Hein , Okonkwo, Grackyk, Smith , Iliev who is out on loan and Hillson . Macey may well have left permanently but it doesn’t suggest the clearest progression to the first team . Ten goalies does seem a bit excessive!

  20. 20
    TTG says:

    We hope you’ve enjoyed the recollections of a special moment in our history. Bob Wilson told me that the Double team are each being given a memento in the form of a special limited edition book and Arsenal are giving one to us at GHF to raise money for Willow. Our decision is to give it to Willow and let them auction it to raise money for the charity .
    If you haven’t donated yet to the fundraising page or made an auction bid please could you try to do so in the next day or so .We are still short of our target and would love to give as much as we can to a very deserving cause

  21. 21
    ClockEndRider says:

    Bath @ 12 – I received mine yesterday too! Was hoping to wear it to Brighton but the Lizard People conspired not to give me a ticket. Damn them, with their tricky mind control and furry mammal eating ways.

  22. 22
    ClockEndRider says:

    I think we are seeing a move to the old playground style of play with 10 outfield goalies and “nearest to goal is keeper”.
    This could revolutionize the game.

  23. 23
    Steve T says:

    Great stuff Clive. Lovely precious memories. How I miss Woolworths.

    Awesome stuff with your dad. Great to read. One of the best days I’ve had as an Arsenal fan was being lucky enough to go with my son to Villa cup final 6 years ago. Magical moments that will stay with me forever.

  24. 24
    North Bank Ned says:

    CER@22: It would be back to the future. In the first published set of rules of the game, produced by Sheffield FC in 1858, there was no recognised position of goalkeeper. Any player could make a ‘fair catch’ (catch a kicked ball before it touched the ground) and push or hit, but not hold or carry the ball, in open play. The first mention of a goalkeeper in the rules did not come until the 1867 version: The goal-keeper is that player on the defending side who for the time being is nearest to his own goal.

  25. 25
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@19: Holding, Saliba, Mavropanos, Ballard, McGuinness and Rekik are all right-footed, as is Chambers come to that, and Monlouis, the highly-rated 17-year old. That looks like a well-stocked cupboard, perhaps being readied for an Arteta clear out, although, given the likely state of the transfer market this summer, that might mean a lot of loans.

    If we are looking at Lyon’s Andersen, he would be a £20 million-25 million buy, which suggests first-team as a replacement or competitor for the similarly priced Rob. Danish press is saying the neighbours are interested in Andersen, too. Apparently, Unai Emery tried to buy the Dane in 2019 when he was at Sampdoria.

    Hein and Okonkwo seem the most likely to break out of the pack of keepers we have. Okonkwo has the advantage over Hein of being home-grown, but Hein is now an established international. If Leno stays and Ryan is signed permanently, then one of those two could replace Runarsson in the first-team squad, with the Icelander donated to a suitable charity. However, both Hein and Okonkwo are at risk of Martinez syndrome, which manifests as endless bench-warming. Macey got it, too, so left the club for Hibs on a free.

  26. 26
    Bathgooner says:

    It looks like Macey has simply swapped the heated seats of the Arsenal bench for the soggy timbers of the Leith bench.

  27. 27
    bt8 says:

    Kasper Schmeichel as quoted talking about the Leicester owners: “This time more than ever, it is probably time to recognise their ownership because of what’s happened in these last few weeks. You see how unhappy fans are with owners of clubs. It is also a time to praise the owners of clubs as well, because look at what can happen when you run a club properly, when you come in and you don’t just treat it as a business.
    “The business side has to run, but you also treat is as a passion project – it is something you enjoy, you come to games, you interact with fans.”

    On the other side of the coin we have the current ownership at Arsenal which no player has ever lauded in those terms to my knowledge.

  28. 28
    bt8 says:

    And Theo the goal machine makes Cynic happy again.

  29. 29
    Countryman100 says:

    Brendan Rodgers is about to give his Cup Final team talk. The dressing room falls silent. He steps up.

    “Lads, Arsenal beat this lot twice this season.”

    He turns on his heel. Job done.

  30. 30
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@26: True, but at least he got to be the Cup keeper.

  31. 31
    Cynic says:

    What do you mean “again”?


  32. 32
    ksn says:

    Leicester beat Chelsea 1-0 in the FA Cup final. Second straight time Chelsea came unstuck against a massed defence.

  33. 33
    Steve T says:

    I hope that the Kroenke’s are watching this? This is what it should mean to have the amazing privilege of owning a football club.

    Talk about a super league? Look at how Leicester have been run.

    Just saying.

  34. 34
    Countryman100 says:

    I am so pleased Leicester won. My son spent three years at University there and lived 15 minutes walk from the King Power. We went to every Arsenal game while he was there and had good crack with the Leicester fans in the curry house after the game. Top top owners. Why would Rodgers want to go to Spurs with support and owners like that?

  35. 35
    Countryman100 says:

    It’s vibrant, diverse exciting city with great sport, football, cricket and rugby. An excellent University. So pleased they’ve won their first FA Cup.

  36. 36
    bt8 says:

    All credit to the Foxes for winning it in general and for snatching it out of the Chavs grasp especially. 👍🏼

  37. 37
    TTG says:

    It must have been agonising to think you’ve equalised with two minutes to go only to see the goal cruelly snatched away .😀😀😀😀😀
    Makes it all the sweeter!

  38. 38
    TTG says:

    Arsenal fans are interesting.
    There was wholesale condemnation of our winning performance on Wednesday here .
    Does anyone think Leicester played any better today ? Yet there is widespread praise for them. To use Ksn’s phrase on Wednesday they played ‘shit ‘ or certainly no better than we did . We didn’t need two worldie saves and we both had a rightly disallowed goal to thank for preserving our leads . The game was rank awful . But Chelsea list so that makes it ok.
    Leicester are third and we beat them easily twice at their place this season . It shows how tight the margins are sometimes

  39. 39
    TTG says:

    Chelsea did list ….to starboard . But they also lost

  40. 40
    Osakamatt says:

    Thanks Chavski👍
    Sweetened my morning ☕️

  41. 41
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@34: Rodgers would be nuts to go to Tottenham. He’s got a better team at Leicester and some highly talented youngsters coming through.

    Like Arteta, Rodgers packed the middle but Tuchel couldn’t generate much of a threat down the wings. Oddly, Chelsea don’t seem to have any genuine wingers among all that attacking talent they have bought.

  42. 42
    Osakamatt says:

    The CL final will be a different
    game unless Pep completely
    changes his philosophy but the
    last week must have put a dent
    in Chavski’s confidence.
    Leicester did pretty much what
    they’ve done to us several times,
    they are just more consistent than
    we are.

  43. 43
    ksn says:

    Scum win against Wolves2-0, just the result we didn’t want. Wolves went absent when we most needed them.

  44. 44
    TTG says:

    Wolves have gone absent most of the season except at our place in the late autumn . We would have murdered them at Molineux if Luisa had not been dismissed . To think NES was touted as a potential Arsenal manager , admittedly by his agent. Expect a new man in there next season

  45. 45
    scruzgooner says: