GREAT GAMES: 1981 FA Cup Final Replay


Aegina Expat
Feb 1, 2005
Thread starter #1
FA Cup Final (Replay) 1981
Tottenham 3-2 Man City
Spurs: Villa 7, 76; Crooks 70
Man City: MacKenzie 10; Reeves (pen) 49
HT: 1-1
Att: 92,000​

After a final which had seen Tommy Hutchison score at both ends to force a replay, the fireworks were well and truly lit on a damp, dark night at Wembley.

In contrast to the original clash, the replay flowed from the very first whistle and Spurs and Manchester City exchanged goals in the opening 10 minutes through Ricardo Villa and Steve Mackenzie.
City got their noses in front four minutes into the second half when Kevin Reeves fired home a penalty after Paul Miller and Chris Hughton had combined to squeeze out Dave Bennett.

But Spurs hit back when Garth Crooks rammed home an equaliser 20 minutes from time, setting the stage for one of the greatest winning goals ever seen in a Wembley final.

Villa was faced with a sea of blue shirts as he picked up Tony Galvin's pass on the edge of the area.

But the Agentina midfielder weaved his way past Tony Caton, Ray Ranson then, cruelly, Caton again before sliding a shot beyond the advancing Joe Corrigan.

Manchester City v Tottenham, 1981 FA Cup Final Replay on YouTube , click here
I was behind the goal when Ricky scored and I can still remember that magical moment..........shouting "go on.....go on.......YEEEEESSSSSS!" I'm convinced I bought one of the dummies he sold to the city defenders.

I also remember after the game, making our way back home (I was brought up in Tottenham) and going to WHL with our scarves and flags, dancing in the streets, cars tooting, people cheering and that we were constantly singing "We won the cup, we won the cup........eee aye addio we won the cup"

This was the first time i'd ever been to Tottenham Town Hall for the parade and I went back for a few more over the next few years but nothing beats that first time.

Everyone remembers Ricky's goals that night but his screamer against Wolves in the Semi-Final replay at Highbury was just as important. Ricky had a bit of a mare in the first final, how many managers would have picked him again for the replay? Burkinshaw stuck by his man and was well and truly rewarded. Great game, great players, great manager.

You'll find more great games and articles about Spurs Legends inside the site. Click here


Jun 29, 2003
I was there behind that goal as Ricky Villa burst through too. I'll remember that moment forever.

For those who have yet to experience it I can tell you there is nothing like seeing your team lift a trophy.

Lets hope we'll get to see it some more real soon.


Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!
Oct 1, 2003
Fantastic game - I was at the front near the halfway line

It was what I call The Fans' Final because most of the hospitality mob were only at the first game, not the replay

Ricky's wonder goal was unbelievable

I was hoarse for three hours afterwards :roll:


New Member
May 20, 2005
yep, I was there behind that goal for that goal :)

Must have been 60,000 spurs fans at wembley that night

Also in the North Bank for the semi v Wolves

must have been nearly 50,000 spurs for that game too -

happy days :)


SC Supporter
Apr 10, 2005
This is the second football match I can remember watching. A huge part of the reason I'm a Spurs fan.
Apr 10, 2006
Although I still have hair, I remember that final very well. To me this is still the best FA cup final in modern times bar none as it had everything. I do have to say one thing, that is as great a goal as Villas was Steve Mackenzies was an absolute belter too but it seems to have been overshadowed a bit.


Active Member
Sep 25, 2006
It was the game that made me a Yid. Though it was just watching the delayed telecast on tele (as a 12 year old boy, I was not allowed to matches shown at 3am-hey I live in Malaysia).A few years ago I saw the re-run of the match in tele. I cried when Ricky scored the winning goal.
Jan 29, 2007
I was just coming up to ten years old when this game was played & yet I have almost total recall of the two games & the feelings that were racing around my body! Man, that adrenline was pumping!

Over the next few years we saw Wembley appearances & finals in the FA cup, League (Milk) cup, UEFA cup, all sorts...I actually thought that we were in Europe every year automatically at that time :oops:

Credit to Spurs for actually qualifying on two successive seasons for the first time since those days & here's to more glorious European nights at 'The Lane'

...Don't want to sound ungrateful, but I'd like to see us play in the Champions league one day...:whistle: COYS


Drove my Chevy to the Levy
Jul 27, 2006
It was half my lifetime ago (I'm 51 soon). Yet I can remember it like yesterday. I was living and working in Brazil in 1981. English matches weren't shown on Brazilian TV back then but Brazil were due to play England at Wembley in a friendly later that year and, as part of the negotiated TV package, BBC threw in the Cup Final. I was in a bar with 30-40 Brazilians who were intrigued because we had Ossie and Ricky, and amused by having a Yid amongst them. They loved the whole game, including Mackenzie's volley and the general play, but the moment of Ricky's winner produced a stunned silence, followed a second later by the loudest 'goooooolllllll' in traditional Brazilian fashion. One of the guys in the bar became a friend and a Spurs supporter. and, since that day, he has supported Spurs and now spends over a grand a year on a special cable TV service that broadcasts most of our games to his home in Rio. The same guy later tried to broker a purchase by Spurs of Josimar (Brazil's right back in 82-86) but the deal fell through for some reason. Happy times and it's sad that so few Cup Finals since have even remotely compared with that epic match.
Jun 11, 2004
I remember watching this game on TV as a 7 year old and I remember it to this day. Never forget the commentary from Motson which will live with me forever.

Villa, and still Ricky Villa, what a fantastic run, HE'S SCORED, Ricky Villa's done it.



The only way is up
Dec 13, 2005
I was bricking it... RV like a runaway train lumbering towards the goal and I'm screaming "Shoot you bugger !"


Active Member
Aug 2, 2005
Remember pacing up and down watching it on TV as a kid. My mum could not stay in the same room because I would not sit still and she did not want to lose her temper at me. What will always stick with me was my dad rushing in after half-time. He had to work a shift in a job where you could not just take off early or watch a TV. He came running in the door and got me to talk him through all that had happened - I had drawn diagrams of the goals he missed! Afterwards I think it might have been the first time he let me drink some beer.:beer:
In these 'troubled' times it great to remember why your a Spurs fan.


Old China Hand
Aug 25, 2004
Oh yes! I was right behind the goal too, I may even have given some of you a manly hug when Ricky Villa scored the winner, what a small world we inhabit. Best moment of my long career as a Spurs fan - to date.


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2007
This game is why I'm a Spurs fan. I was only 6 at the time and living over here didn't get to see than many Spurs games but I liked what I saw and the rest is history :grin:


New Member
May 20, 2005
yep - was behind the goal where ricky scored that goal - my fave game ever - must have been close to 60,000 spurs in the stadium - unforgettable

whoops just realised posted all this last year - hey who cares :)


Well-Known Member
May 10, 2005
I didn't make the replay, it cost me enough to travel up and stay for the match on the Saturday.

The worse thing for me was that the replay was on the Thursday and that evening the club I played for was playing in it's own cup final. I really didn't know what to do, play and miss the replay or not play and watch it on the box. Needless to say Spurs came first and I didn't go to our own game. Spurs won 3-2 we lost 1-0 and didn't have a full team, one of our midfielders, a Man City fan didn't turn up either.

It was the first time my wife had witnessed me kiss a tv. Happy Days.