Filed: Thursday, 10th May 2012
By: Staff Writer
...and stings like one too. So said Brian Clough of Trevor Brooking - just before the former West Ham and England legend stooped to head the goal that won the FA Cup for John Lyall's West Ham United 32 years ago to the day.
10th May, 1980 saw a second division West Ham meet Arsenal at Wembley as massive underdogs. Yet despite most pundits - including former Nottingham Forest boss Clough - predicting an easy win for the Gunners, it was the east Londers who went home victorious.
Lauded for his tactical masterstroke, John Lyall outfoxed Arsenal boss Terry Neill by sending his team out in a 4-5-1 formation with David Cross left to play as a sole striker - in effect, sacrificing himself for the greater cause.
Frustrated and rendered ineffective by United's five-man midfield, the favourites barely threatened Phil Parkes' goal. Meanwhile Pat Jennings' was breached just the once - when Brooking headed home Stuart Pearson's cross-cum-shot with 13 minutes on the clock - but it was enough for West ham to win the Cup for the third time in 15 years.
West Ham would have almost certainly doubled their lead in the closing stages but for one of the most cynical fouls ever committed during an FA Cup Final. Paul Allen, at just 17 the youngest player to feature in a Final was clean through on goal before Willie Young clipped his ankle with no intention of taking the ball.
West Ham's win was recently voted as the second greatest moment in the club's 112-year history, just behind the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup triumph over 1860 Munich. To browse the top 100 West Ham moments as voted for by readers of KUMB, click here.
Highlights from the 1980 Final may be seen below. West Ham return to Wembley for the first time since 1981 in nine days' time when Sam Allardyce's side face Blackpool in the Championship play-off Final.
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