Friday 10 May
Updated Friday 10 May 08:00
On this day

"Is it a goal? It is! Trevor Brooking!"

 

FA Cup winners 1980

 

Today marks the 39th anniversary of West Ham United's third FA Cup triumph.

It was 10 May 1980 and the Second Division Hammers were the underdogs against Terry Neill's Arsenal, who were both FA Cup holders and making their record third successive final appearance.

However, after defeating top-flight opposition in the third round, sixth round and semi-finals in the shape of West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Everton, John Lyall's side had nothing to fear from a Wembley Stadium showdown with the Gunners.

The final itself may not have been the greatest spectacle, but no-one from east 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.

 

West Ham United supporters celebrate FA Cup glory outside Newham Town Hall
West Ham United supporters celebrate FA Cup glory outside Newham Town Hall

 

In this, the 99th final, Alan Devonshire ended his speedy run down the left-flank with a deep cross which was met initially by David Cross, whose stabbed shot was blocked. The ball dropped to Stuart Pearson, who mis-hit his own effort across goal.

Brooking reacted quickest, falling backwards to guide a rare header past Arsenal goalkeeper 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fought like lions, while Lyall's tactical masterstroke in playing Cross as a lone striker, with Pearson in a slightly withdrawn midfield role, simply left the Gunners unable to beat Phil Parkes.

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.

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 European Cup Winners' Cup final penalty shootout defeat by Spanish side Valencia four days later.

West Ham United 1        Arsenal 0
Brooking 13
FA Cup final, Saturday 10 May 1980, Wembley Stadium

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

Arsenal: Jennings, Rice, Devine (Nelson), Talbot, O’Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Price, Rix