1971 Football League Cup Final

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1971 Football League Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event 1970–71 Football League Cup
Date 27 February 1971
Venue Wembley Stadium, London
Referee Jim Finney (Hereford)

The 1971 Football League Cup Final took place in February 1971 at Wembley Stadium. It was the eleventh Football League Cup final and the fifth to be played at Wembley.

It was contested between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. Tottenham Hotspur was riding high in the First Division (as the top level of league football in England was then known) and Aston Villa, the most successful club of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras and a traditional heavyweight, was in the Third Division (then the third tier of English football), a level to which it had never previously sunk.

Despite the disparity in the teams' league positions, Aston Villa dominated proceedings, as confirmed by match reports of the time and the official Big Match highlights which can be viewed on YouTube. According to Peter Morris, in his Aston Villa: The First 100 Years (1974) the team was so impressive that "it was hard to believe they were the same players" who contested Third Division matches. Creating several scoring opportunities, Villa saw a shot by Andy Lochhead cleared off the line and another by Ian 'Chico' Hamilton hit the angle of post and bar with the goalkeeper beaten. However, Spurs' league standing eventually told, as Martin Chivers, who as Morris says had "hardly kicked the ball all afternoon", scored Tottenham's first on 79 minutes after the ball was deflected into his path close in by the Villa goalkeeper, John Dunn, whilst making a save. Three minutes later Chivers scored a second, running through a Villa defence worn out by its efforts at marking him. The match finished 2–0 to Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur, having been presented with the cup despite being outplayed for almost the whole match, took it to the end where their supporters were gathered. Eyewitnesses (cf. Aston Jennings, late of Ealing Race Equality Council) recall that a number of the Spurs fans were laughing at their players rather than cheering. The beaten Aston Villa players however embarked on a lap of honour around the stadium and were greeted by what Morris described as "the greatest ovation ever given to a losing team at Wembley" (op cit). The Birmingham Evening Mail headlined its report "The day that Villa might have won it", as publicly available file copies confirm.

This match signalled the reversal of a long period of decline for Villa. Ten years later they were champions of England and the following year they had become the champions of Europe.

Players and officials[edit]

27 February 1971
Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 Aston Villa
Chivers Goal 78', Goal 82'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 100,000
Referee: J. Finney
1 Northern Ireland Pat Jennings
2 Republic of Ireland Joe Kinnear
3 England Cyril Knowles
4 England Alan Mullery (c)
5 England Peter Collins
6 England Phil Beal
7 Scotland Alan Gilzean
8 England Steve Perryman
9 England Martin Chivers
10 England Martin Peters
11 England Jimmy Neighbour
12 England Jimmy Pearce
England Bill Nicholson
1 England John Dunn
2 England Keith Bradley
3 Scotland Charlie Aitken
4 Wales Brian Godfrey (c)
5 England Fred Turnbull
6 England Brian Tiler
7 Scotland Pat McMahon
8 Scotland Bruce Rioch
9 Scotland Andy Lochhead
10 England Ian Hamilton
11 England Willie Anderson
12 Scotland Dave Gibson
Wales Vic Crowe

Road to Wembley[edit]

First round[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Aston Villa 4–0 Notts County 18 August 1970

Second round[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Aston Villa 2–0 Burnley 9 September 1970
Tottenham Hotspur 3–0 Swansea City 9 September 1970

Third round[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Northampton Town 1–1 Aston Villa 6 October 1970
Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 Sheffield United 7 October 1970


Home Team Score Away Team Date
Aston Villa 3–0 Northampton Town 13 October 1970

Fourth round[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Aston Villa 1–0 Carlisle United 28 October 1970
Tottenham Hotspur 5–0 West Bromwich Albion 28 October 1970

Fifth Round[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Bristol Rovers 1–1 Aston Villa 17 November 1970
Tottenham Hotspur 4–1 Coventry City 18 November 1970


Home Team Score Away Team Date
Aston Villa 1–0 Bristol Rovers 25 November 1970

Semi-finals First Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date
Bristol City 1–1 Tottenham Hotspur 16 December 1970
Manchester United 1–1 Aston Villa 16 December 1970

Semi-finals Second Leg[edit]

Home Team Score Away Team Date Agg
Aston Villa 2–1 Manchester United 23 December 1970 3–2
Tottenham Hotspur 2–0[1] Bristol City 23 December 1970 3–1

External links[edit]


  1. ^ After Extra Time