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Songs, suits and celebrities… remembering when the FA Cup final was king

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Songs, costumes and celebrities … remembering when the FA Cup final was king, from following team buses to Gazza’s collapse and real people making real noise

  • Arsenal and Chelsea will play in the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley
  • In a historic situation, no fan will be present due to the ongoing pandemic
  • There was a time when the FA Cup final was the only match shown on TV

Hey, remember when the FA Cup final was the only game on live TV?

Remember to crowd around the box. Fighting for a piece of the couch. Lose when you left the room?

Remember the final World Cup grandstand at the team’s hotels for breakfast and following the team buses. World Cup final suits, World Cup final songs on Top of the Pops?

Remember when celebrity fans were Little and Large and Tarby? And there was ‘It’s a final knockout of the Cup’ and ‘Final Final of the Cup’. It was like Soccer AM, but only once a year.

No fans will be present while Arsenal and Chelsea dispute the FA Cup at Wembley this weekend

The FA Cup clothes used to be the latest fashion, as Liverpool showed during the 1996 clash with United

The FA Cup clothes used to be the latest fashion, as Liverpool showed during the 1996 clash with United

Don’t forget when the Crazy Gang won the Culture Club and the television folks made Dave Beasant pretend he lived in a different house on a different street, across Kingsway, so they could film him walking around in his direction. and through his front door, with the Twin Towers in the distance.

The Twin Towers of Wembley, remember them? They appear in all the old scenes from the classic finals with Sir Stanley Matthews, Wor Jackie and Bert Trautmann.

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There will be no fans at Wembley and only 400 people, compared to the usual 90,000 sold-out tickets.

  • Singer Emeli Sande recorded the World Cup final anthem, Abide With Me, from Wembley’s roof, so she won’t be on the pitch before the game.
  • The winning captain will lift the trophy on the field, with the Royal Box off limits today due to the Covid-19 protocols.
  • Prince William, as president of the FA, will appear via a Sandringham video link, instead of personally presenting the trophy.
  • The #HeadsUp final will start with a minute’s silence to raise awareness about mental health.
  • Other post-blocking rules will apply for the first time in an FA Cup final, such as drink breaks each time and five substitutes allowed and nine men on each bench.

Do you remember Monty and Charlie George’s defenses from the back and the state of the field 50 years ago when Chelsea and Leeds went to war? Then he went on to repeat and went to war again, just right this time, as if they really meant it.

Remember Alan Sunderland, Kevin Moran’s hair, red card and Gary Mabbutt’s goal and Gazza’s collapse?

Remember Keith Houchen’s or Trevor Brooking’s headline or two Tommy Hutchinson’s headlines?

Do you remember players having post-game interviews on exchanged shirts while drinking milk from a bottle?

Remember to start at three o’clock. In May. Stay with me at 8 pm to 3 am? There were bands and the long walk behind a goal.

Remember Cardiff’s years? Yes, it is not the same. Hey, remember when 300,000 showed up to watch Bolton and West Ham? Me neither, but imagine all the people. Real people making noise. “A record crowd,” said Pathe News.

Thousands of people were locked up and thousands entered the field until they reached the field and the game was not possible in time.

Remember the policeman on the white horse named Billie who led them behind the touchline and Bolton won the Cup?

Yes, Bolton. The same Bolton relegated to League Two this year. The end of the white horse, as they called it.

There is a White Horse Bridge in the new Wembley in honor of that game. But the bridge will be deserted, because almost 100 years later, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, it is August and they are starting their new season in Scotland.

So, go back to the couch and turn on the TV at teatime, if someone can face another game. Another one after 92 Premier League games (optional false cheering noise) since mid-June. Another game.

And remember, it’s the biggest day on the football calendar.

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Songs, suits and celebrities... remembering when the FA Cup final was king

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