Pompey FA Cup Heroes Eleven03.01.17
A huge roll of honour for the south coast’s most successful FA Cup team
While Harry Walker (1939) and David James (2008) both possess FA Cup winners’ medals with Pompey, Scottish stalwart Jock Gilfillan takes the number one berth. One of the club’s goalkeeping greats, he was between the sticks in both the 1929 and 1934 finals. Sadly, he trudged up the Wembley stairs as a loser on both occasions. He also played for East Fife in the Scottish Cup Final in 1927. He lost that one as well.
Pompey Hall of Famer Ley was part of Ron Tindall’s side that took Bertie Mee’s double winners Arsenal to an FA Cup replay in 1970-71. The first tie at Fratton Park ended 1-1 thanks to a late Trebilcock equaliser. George scored a memorable left-footed screamer at Highbury in a narrow 3-2 replay defeat.
Always a cultured performer for the Blues, the Portuguese centre-half was immense in the 2-0 FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham in 2010. Playing alongside Aaron Mokoena (by far his best game for the club), the magnificent Rocha helped snuff out the threat of former Blues, Crouch, Defoe and Kranjcar, plus a marauding left-back by the name of Gareth Bale.
When inspirational skipper Guthrie lead the Blues onto the Wembley pitch for the 1939 FA Cup final his team were clear underdogs. Opponents Wolves were second in the league while Pompey were scrabbling around the lower reaches. However, it was Guthrie who raised the trophy after a deserved 4-1 victory. Sadly, it turned out to be the last proper first team game of any importance Guthrie played due to the outbreak of war.
Full-back Neil is remembered for being one of the three Pompey players to miss a penalty in the 1992 semi-final shoot-out, alongside Martin Kuhl and John Beresford. What should stick in the memory are the solid performances he put in against Liverpool in both games and the ball he put to Darren Anderton for his goal.
Macca was always a great FA Cup performer for the Blues. There was his winner in the 1992 quarter final against Nottingham Forest, not to mention a header against Leeds United in a memorable 3-2 win away at Elland Road in 1998. Yet the pinnacle of his FA Cup heroics was his hat-trick against Kenny Dalglish’s high-flying Blackburn Rovers in 1994.
Since the 1942 London War Cup Final whole generations of Pompey fans had been deprived of witnessing their team stepping out onto the hallowed Wembley turf. Fast-forward to Old Trafford, 2008… with only 12 minutes of a dramatic quarter final left and the game goalless, the Blues are awarded a penalty. In front of the baying home crowd, up steps Sulley Muntari to coolly slot the ball home (albeit past Rio Ferdinand). After a 66-year wait the Blue hordes were once again on their way to Wembley.
Shaggy’s goal against Liverpool at Highbury in the FA Cup semi final is one of those truly iconic Pompey moments. His performance in the 5th round replay against Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park was every bit as sensational. The 4-2 win was dominated by Anderton with two assists for the grateful Colin Clarke together with a brace of his own, including a scuffed corner that somehow sneaked its way in.
Pompey went all the way to the FA Cup Final in 1934 before going down at the last hurdle 2-1 to Manchester City. The march to Wembley was a memorable one with victories over Manchester United (4-1) and Bolton Wanderers (3-0). The semi-final was played at St Andrews in front of a 66,000-strong crowd and proved to be a personal triumph for Pompey forward Jack Weddle, who scored a stunning hat-trick in a convincing 4-1 win over Leicester City.
The languid Nigerian proved to be a Wembley match-winner not once but twice in Pompey’s triumphant 2008 FA Cup campaign. Neither goals were exactly pretty but the instep of his sizeable boots secured 1-0 victories against West Brom in the Semi and then Cardiff City in the Final. And for that reason, Kanu, to this day, is our King.
Yorkshireman Parker was a great servant to the Blues and in a Fratton Park career that lasted from 1933 to 1951 (obviously with a war in the middle) his day in the sun came in the 1939 FA Cup final. His two well-taken goals in a 4-1 win against Wolves at Wembley helped to secure the club’s first major piece of silverware.