On this day, May 6, 1978 - Ipswich Town stun Arsenal to lift the FA Cup

On this day, May 6, 1978 - Ipswich Town stun Arsenal to lift the FA Cup
On this day, May 6, 1978 - Ipswich Town stun Arsenal to lift the FA Cup

Thank you for your reading and interest in the news On this day, May 6, 1978 - Ipswich Town stun Arsenal to lift the FA Cup and now with details

Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - On paper, it was a no contest.

Arsenal had the likes of Pat Jennings, David O'Leary, Liam Brady, Malcolm Macdonald and Frank Stapleton in their ranks for this FA Cup final.

The underdogs from Ipswich had their own stars in John Wark, Kevin Beattie, Paul Mariner and Mick Mills, but surely not enough to upset the London glamour boys.

But, of course, that's the great beauty of sport. It's never predictable.

May 6, 1978 and Ipswich Town claimed the Gunners' scalp for their only FA Cup win, a day no fan of the Tractor Boys will ever forget.

Wembley still held 100,000 in those days and FA Cup finals brought the country to a virtual standstill. TV coverage would start at breakfast and not stop until long after the trophy had been lifted. Everyone watched.

The FA Cup final was one of the few live televised matches in the 1970s, screened on two of the three channels of the day.

Ipswich, managed by future England boss Bobby Robson, were helped by Brady not being fully fit, and after a promising start from the Gunners, they started to control the match.

But despite enjoying the upper hand, they did not make the breakthrough until the 78th minute.

Not only did local lad Roger Osborne's goal win them the Cup, it ushered in an era when the small-town Suffolk team could rival some of the best in Europe, culminating in their 1981 Uefa Cup win.

Osborne, the son of a cowman, and one of 12 children, was one of only two Suffolk-born players in Ipswich's starting line-up and later said: "You can't wish for anything like that, but it's actually happening. It must be a terrible thing to lose at Wembley, but to win? It takes some beating, really."

The FA Cup itself - in terms of what it means to fans - has changed "a thousand-fold", he added.

"The world nearly stopped for the FA Cup - from early in the morning until teatime."

Teammate Wark added: "Everybody in the world watched that final - not like now - and I was just part of a team that beat Arsenal, who were big favourites.

"The FA Cup in these days was the biggest cup competition in the world - it was televised all over the world and there were cameras at the hotel in the morning, and on the bus with us going to the ground.

"We were just ready for it and it was a fantastic occasion, and we took it. We started well and it was one of those games... it was 1-0, but for me it could have been three or four.

"I hit the post twice, Paul Mariner hits the crossbar and Roger scores the winning goal. It was a great occasion - 100,000 people there. It was a real hot day and I'll never forget it."

It was the start of a great era for Ipswich, culminating in winning the 1981 Uefa Cup.

Updated: May 6, 2020 07:11 AM

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