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Coventry City v Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Final 1987

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Published on Jun 2, 2012

The 1987 FA Cup Final took place on 16 May 1987 at Wembley Stadium. It was contested between Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs were appearing in their third final in seven seasons, having won the trophy in 1981 and 1982 and were strong favourites, while unfancied Coventry were appearing in their first ever final after 104 years of trying. Spurs were going for a record eighth victory and had never lost a final. In an exciting match, Coventry eventually triumphed 3--2 after extra time.
BBC commentator John Motson stated it was "the finest Cup Final I've had the pleasure of commentating on". It was a clean, good-willed yet well-contested final, with no bookings and high-quality football being produced by both sides. Both teams exercised quick, neat passing ability interspersed with exciting wing play and it was generally considered a good advertisement for English football. In marked contrast to the modern game, all but one of Coventry's player were English, the exception being Welsh international David Phillips, while eight of the Spurs starting eleven were also English.
Tottenham had also been knocked out of the Football League Cup in the semi-finals, and had finished third in the league, and so having spent most of the season challenging for a unique domestic treble, they ended it with no major trophies at all. Aside from the Third Round against Bolton Wanderers, Coventry had progressed to the final impressively by winning all of their games away from home, including victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford (Alex Ferguson's first FA Cup loss with United).
One downside to Coventry's remarkable triumph was that they would not be able to make a challenge for the European Cup Winners' Cup; UEFA had voted for the ban on English clubs in European competitions, imposed in 1985 following the Heysel disaster, to continue for a third season. In an attempt to show some reward for their achievement, Coventry arranged 'the Anglo-Scottish Challenge Cup', a two-legged match against the Scottish Cup winners St Mirren. After a 1--1 draw at Highfield Road, attended by fewer than 5,000 spectators, the second leg at Love Street was postponed and eventually forgotten.[1]
Steve Ogrizovic, who remained with Coventry until retiring as a player in 2000, remained with the winning side for longer than any of the other 12 players who featured. Gary Mabbutt, who remained with Tottenham until 1998, was the last player to leave runners-up Tottenham. London rockers Chas & Dave released a song called Hot Shot Tottenham!. It reached No. 18 in the charts. Coventry's single 'Go For It' reached a rather more lowly No. 61.

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