Video of the Day: The 1966 FA Cup Final

by | May 17, 2016

In both the league and the FA Cup, the 1950s were not especially kind to football on Merseyside. Everton were relegated to the Second Division for only the second – and, to date, the last – time in the club’s history in 1951, and their promotion back three years later coincided with Liverpool getting relegated, meaning that the only Merseyside Derby match played between January 1951 and 1962 came when the two clubs were drawn against each other in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup in 1955. By the middle of the following decade, however, Liverpool had been promoted back and the two clubs, now under the iconic managerships of Harry Catterick and Bill Shankly, both Everton and Liverpool won successive league titles in 1963 and 1964.

By 1966, the year of the first – and most likely only – World Cup finals to be held in England, Liverpool was the dominant city in English football. Liverpool had won the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history in 1965 and ended the 1965/66 season as the champions of England for the second time in three years, whilst Everton completed their season by reaching the FA Cup final for the first time since 1933. Their opponents that day were Sheffield Wednesday, who had only finished the season in seventeenth place in the First Division, three points above the relegation places, and the match that followed was arguably the first great cup final to be held at Wembley Stadium in that particular year.

This match was also notable for being attended by both John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as well as for a notable one-man pitch invasion by Everton supporter Eddie Cavanagh, whose sprint across the Wembley pitch was eventually ended by the police, but not before the images of him had been beamed around the world. Everton have won the FA Cup twice in the last half century, in 1984 and 1995. Commentary comes from Kenneth Wolstenholme.