Brooking stoops to conquer

10 May 1980
FA Cup final
West Ham United 1-0 Arsenal

This time it was second division West Ham United's turn to be underdogs against Terry Neill's FA Cup holders, making their record third successive final appearance.

This may not have been the greatest spectacle nut no one from the East End of London was complaining as the sun shone on the twin towers and the men in all white.

West Ham's winner came from the unlikely source of Trevor Brooking's forehead with just 13 minutes on the clock.

In this, the 99th final, Alan Devonshire climaxed his pacy run down the left-flank with a deep, low cross which was met initially by David Cross. The ball dropped to Stuart Pearson who mis-hit his shot across goal. Brooking reacted quickest, falling back and stopping to guide a rare header past 'keeper Pat Jennings from eight yards. It was poetic justice for the elegant Brooking, who had been taunted before the game by Brian Clough who claimed that Brooking 'floats like a butterfly - and stings like one!'

With a goal in the bag, Hammers fought like lions, while John Lyall's tactical masterstroke in playing Cross as a lone striker, with Pearson in a slightly withdrawn midfield role, simply left the clueless Gunners in disarray.

And but for the booked Willie Young's cynical, late trip on the breaking Paul Allen - at 17 years, 256 days the youngest player ever to appear in an FA Cup final - West Ham would surely have extended their winning margin. Yet while Hammers headed back to the East End with the Cup for the second time in five years, Arsenal's agony was set to be compounded by a Cup Winners' Cup final defeat four days later.

West Ham United: Parkes, Stewart, Lampard, Bonds, Martin, Devonshire, Allen, Pearson, Cross, Brooking, Pike.
Sub not used: Brush.