Alan Taylor

1975 - West Ham United 2 Fulham 0

West Ham United 2 Fulham 0
A.Taylor 60, 64

FA Cup final, Wembley Stadium, 3 May 1975

West Ham United: Day, McDowell, T.Taylor, Lock, Lampard, Bonds ©, Paddon, Brooking, Holland, Jennings, A.Taylor

Fulham: Mellor, Cutbush, Fraser, Moore, Lacy, Mullery ©, Conway, Slough, Barrett, Mitchell, Busby

 

West Ham United won the FA Cup for the second time on a memorable Saturday afternoon in May 1975.

Captained by Billy Bonds, the Hammers secured a 2-0 victory over Fulham at Wembley through two second-half goals from Alan Taylor – the previously unheralded striker plucked from Fourth Division Rochdale the previous winter and whose goals had carried the Irons to Wembley.

Taylor had scored two goals each in the quarter-final and semi-final wins over Arsenal and Ipswich Town respectively, while the Hammers had previously defeated Southampton, Swindon Town (after a replay) and Queens Park Rangers on their way to Wembley.

Aside from West Ham’s win, the final was an emotional and historic affair for many reasons, with Second Division Fulham featuring former Hammers and England great Bobby Moore, who had moved to Craven Cottage the previous year. It would be Moore’s final appearance at the stadium where he had lifted the FA Cup in 1964 and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965 for West Ham, the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1966 for England and featured dozens of times for club and country.

Played on a traditionally sunny day on Wembley’s large, energy-sapping pitch, the game remained tight and goalless until the 60th minute, when Fulham goalkeeper Peter Mellor parried Billy Jennings' shot into Taylor's path and ‘Sparrow’ pounced to put John Lyall’s side in front.

Four minutes later, Mellor failed to hold on to Graham Paddon’s shot and Taylor was there again to convert West Ham’s second goal.

 

Alan Taylor scores in the 1975 FA Cup final

 

“I’d only left Rochdale in mid-November so to be playing in that final less than six months later meant that my rise to the top had happened very quickly,” Taylor recalled. “I was still only a young lad and was really, really enjoying my football and, having scored twice in both the quarter and semi-finals, all I could think about was playing at Wembley.

“At half-time, John Lyall told us: ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing’. Although Alan Mullery had seen quite a lot of the ball in midfield, Fulham seemed to have done all that they could do without really hurting us.

 

Mervyn Day holds the FA Cup in 1975

 

“On the hour-mark, their ‘keeper Peter Mellor could only parry Billy Jennings’ shot and I tapped home the rebound. Then, five minutes later, Mellor couldn’t hold a typical Graham Paddon scorcher and I netted my second.

“A bit later, I also had a header that I should’ve done better with and, although I didn’t think too much of it at the time, looking back I get annoyed with myself that I didn’t score because that would’ve obviously been my hat-trick. But you can’t have everything and I’ll still take my two goals all day, any day!”

 

Open top bus tour following the 1975 FA Cup final

 

At full-time, Bonds was among the West Ham players to embrace their friend and former teammate Moore before climbing the famous steps to the Royal Box to lift the famous old trophy, to the delight of the Claret and Blue Army in the stands.

The following day, an open-top bus carried the heroes through the streets of Newham, cheered on by hundreds of thousands of fans, bringing an unforgettable weekend to a fitting end.