Manchester U 3 Leicester 1

Denis Law

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Lei­cester City 1, Wemb­ley Sta­dium, Eng­lish FA Cup Fi­nal, May 25, 1963. The FA Cup Fi­nal at Wemb­ley in May 1963 sig­nalled a new and golden era for Man­chester Uni­ted. Dur­ing a thrill­ing tussle, Uni­ted be­at fel­low Fir­st Di­vi­sion si­de Lei­cester City 3–1 thro­ugh a fir­st ha­lf goal from De­nis Law and a brace by Da­vid Herd fol­low­ing the restart.

In the pre­vi­ous meet­ing be­tween Lei­cester City and Man­chester Uni­ted at Fil­bert Street in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion just a month earli­er, The Foxes had beaten the Old Traf­ford club 4-3 wi­th ex­per­i­enced for­ward Ken Key­worth hit­ting a tre­ble and nine­teen-year-old mid­fielder Terry Heath scor­ing a single for the well play­ing ho­me out­fit, whi­le Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al De­nis Law net­ted a hat-trick for the vis­it­ors. En­route to the FA Cup Fi­nal, Man­chester Uni­ted had elim­in­ated Sec­ond Di­vi­sion op­pon­ents Hud­dersfield To­wn, Fir­st Di­vi­sion As­ton Vil­la, Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Two club Chel­sea, Third Di­vi­sion Cov­entry City, and Sec­ond Di­vi­sion si­de South­ampton. Lei­cester, mean­while, had knock­ed out Di­vi­sion Two Grimsby To­wn, Fir­st Di­vi­sion clubs Ips­wich To­wn and Ley­ton Ori­ent, Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Nor­wich City, and Di­vi­sion One si­de Liver­pool on their mar­ch to Wemb­ley Sta­dium, which had un­der­gone a sub­stan­tial facelift, in­clud­ing an alu­min­um and glass roof. But al­though City were slight fa­vour­ites to be­at Uni­ted, they nev­er stood a chan­ce ag­ainst Matt Busby´s men.

The East Mid­landers en­joyed a num­ber of early scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies, but Matt Gillies´s troops failed to find the tar­get. As the clash wore on, Man­chester Uni­ted gradu­ally took con­trol of the mat­ch and the open­ing goal of the fi­nal ar­rived af­ter thirty min­utes of play when strong run­ning mid­field en­for­cer Pad­dy Cre­rand fou­nd De­nis Law who ma­naged to knock the ball in­to the back of the net to hand his si­de a 1-0 lead. The goal con­firmed Man­chester United’s dom­in­ance and The Reds went on to tor­ment the Lei­cester de­fence dur­ing the rest of the ga­me. Twelve min­utes af­ter the ha­lf-time break, Scot­tish marks­man Da­vid Herd hit his fir­st goal of the con­test af­ter Bob­by Charlton’s blis­ter­ing ef­fort had be­en much too hard for Lei­cester and Eng­land goal­keeper Gor­don Banks to hold. Wi­th ten min­utes re­maining on ref­er­ee Ken Aston´s watch, Lei­cester ma­naged to re­duce the de­fi­cit thanks to a well pla­ced head­er from Ken Key­worth, on­ly for Herd to make the score 3-1 in Man­chester United´s fa­vour in the 85th min­ute of ac­tion as he ham­mered ho­me his sec­ond goal of the day af­ter Banks had dropped a centre from Re­pub­lic of Ire­land mid­fielder Johnny Giles. The Fil­berts nev­er really got a look in dur­ing an en­ter­tain­ing fi­nal which con­tained plenty of mem­or­able mo­ments, and Uni­ted ran out fully de­served win­ners. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid Gaskell, Bill Foulk­es, To­ny Dun­ne, Noel Can­t­well, Pad­dy Cre­rand, Johnny Giles, Mau­rice Set­ters, Bob­by Charl­ton, Da­vid Herd, De­nis Law, Al­bert Quix­all. Sub­stitutes: No­ne. Gor­don Banks, John Sjoberg, Rich­ie Nor­man, Frank McLin­tock, Ian King, Co­lin Ap­pleton, How­ard Ri­ley, Gra­ham Cross, Ken Key­worth, Dave Gib­son, Mi­ke String­fel­low. Sub­stitutes: None.


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