Manchester U 2 Liverpool 1

Jimmy Greenhoff

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Liver­pool 1, Wemb­ley Sta­dium, Eng­lish FA Cup Fi­nal, May 21, 1977. Tom­my Docherty´s men ma­naged to be­at tre­ble chas­ing Liver­pool at Wemb­ley to lift the FA Cup in 1977. Jim­my Greeen­hoff, who had joi­ned the club from Sto­ke City on­ly six months earli­er, set up the fir­st goal and sco­red the sec­ond him­self in the 2-1 win over The Anfielders.

Barns­ley born Jim­my Green­hoff etched his name forever in­to the his­tory of Man­chester Uni­ted Foot­ball Club on the 21st of May 1977. To reach the FA Cup Fi­nal, The Red Dev­ils had dis­patched of Walsall, Queens Park Ran­gers, South­ampton, As­ton Vil­la, and Leeds Uni­ted, where­as Liver­pool had ma­naged to knock out Crys­tal Pal­ace, Carl­isle Uni­ted, Old­ham Ath­let­ic, Middles­brough, and Ever­ton to get them­selves there. Liver­pool had al­ready won the Fir­st Di­vi­sion title and were at­tempt­ing to be­come the fir­st club ever to com­plete the coveted tre­ble of the Foot­ball Lea­gue, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Euro­pean Cup. There are of course plenty of clas­sic meet­ings in Brit­ish soc­cer, but no­ne of them can quite mat­ch the in­tens­ity of the North West Der­by. The fierce com­pet­i­tion be­tween Liver­pool and Man­chester were rooted back in the days of the in­dus­tri­al re­volu­tion when the two cit­ies were set­ting out to be­come power­ful com­mer­cial for­ces to be reckoned wi­th, and the rivalry had grown fol­low­ing a series of tought battles through­out the 1960s. At Wemb­ley, the two North West rivals went back and forth dur­ing the fir­st pe­riod, but no goals were pro­duced be­fore the ha­lf-time break. Fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted went in­to the lead as Green­hoff punted the ball up­field to Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al stri­ker Stu­art “Pan­cho” Pear­son who ex­ecuted an un­stoppable right foot shot be­tween Liver­pool cus­todi­an Ray Clem­ence and the near post on­ly six min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod of the con­test. The Mer­sey­siders hit back im­me­di­ately, tho­ugh, when of­fens­ive ori­ented left full­back Joey Jones de­livered a long pass to mid­field or­ches­trat­or Jim­my Case who col­lec­ted the ball in­side the eight­een-yard box and turned ar­ound to ham­mer ho­me the equal­ising goal for the An­field Road si­de in the 53rd min­ute of the tie.

Then, just two min­utes la­ter in the dra­mat­ic and pul­sating FA Cup Fi­nal, a fe­ro­cious ef­fort from Scot­tish mid­fielder Lou Ma­cari de­flec­ted off Greenhoff´s chest, and over Clem­ence, and in­to the back of the net to make the score 2-1 in fa­vour of Man­chester Uni­ted. Three min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk, The Man­chester Reds ev­entually bro­ught on the ver­sat­ile Da­vid Mc­Creery for Gor­don Hill, whi­le Liver­pool re­placed Da­vid John­son wi­th the ex­per­i­enced Ian Cal­laghan in the 81st min­ute. The new­ly crow­ned Di­vi­sion One Cham­pi­ons push­ed hard to find the equal­ising goal wi­th the Wemb­ley clock tick­ing down, and Bob Paisley´s tre­ble chasers threw every­thing they pos­sibly could at Uni­ted, but Tom­my Docherty´s men held firm to end the 1976-77 sea­son on a high note. The FA Cup Fi­nal win over Liver­pool was Man­chester United´s fir­st ma­jor trophy since lift­ing the Euro­pean Cup on the 29th of May 1968 when they de­feated Por­tuguese gi­ants Ben­fica by a com­pre­hens­ive 4-1 mar­gin at Wemb­ley cour­tesy of a brace by Wor­ld Cup win­ner Bob­by Charl­ton and a goal each from Ge­orge Best and Bri­an Kidd. The vic­tory was also a per­son­al tri­umph for long serving Uni­ted goal­keeper Al­ex Step­ney who had be­en beaten by a fluke goal from South­ampton for­ward Bob­by Stokes in the dis­ap­point­ing 1-0 loss to The Saints in the FA Cup Fi­nal the year be­fore. As re­gards Tom­my Doc, the Man­chester Uni­ted boss was sacked by the Old Traf­ford board shortly af­ter the FA Cup Fi­nal when it be­came known that he was hav­ing a love af­fair wi­th the wife of the club´s physio­ther­ap­ist. Ac­cord­ing to for­mer Uni­ted wing­er Wil­lie Mor­gan, how­ever, the thing that ac­tu­ally got him sacked was not the fall­ing in love, it was ma­king the physio­ther­ap­ist re­serve te­am man­ager, and then send­ing him out on scout­ing trips giv­ing his lady wife one whi­le he was away.

A strong and re­li­able centre for­ward, Jim­my Green­hoff had joi­ned Man­chester Uni­ted from fel­low Fir­st Di­vi­sion te­am Sto­ke City for a trans­fer fee ru­moured to be some­where in the re­gion of ar­ound £120,000 in Nov­ember 1976. The York­shire­man, who was al­ways highly val­ued by the Man­chester Uni­ted sup­port­ers, would con­trib­ute 36 goals in 123 fir­st class ap­pear­ances for the Old Traf­ford si­de be­fore he de­cided to join for­ces wi­th Fourth Di­vi­sion Crewe Al­ex­an­dra mid­way thro­ugh the 1980-81 sea­son. Fol­low­ing a com­par­at­ively short stay at Gresty Road, he en­joyed spells wi­th To­ronto Bliz­zard, Port Vale, and fi­nally Roch­dale where he fin­ished off his pro­fes­sion­al foot­balling ca­reer at the back end of the 1983-84 cam­paign. Amongst oth­er things, Green­hoff la­ter wor­ked at a phar­ma­ceut­ic­al com­pany in Sto­ke-on-Trent un­til he be­came a pen­sion­er. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Jim­my Nich­oll, Ar­thur Al­bis­ton, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Lou Ma­cari, Gor­don Hill, Bri­an Green­hoff, Ste­ve Cop­pell, Jim­my Green­hoff, Stu­art Pear­son. Sub­sti­tute: Da­vid Mc­Creeery. Liver­pool Te­am: Ray Clem­ence, Joey Jones, Phil Neal, Tom­my Smith, Em­lyn Hug­hes, Jim­my Case, Ste­ve Heigh­way, Ray Ken­nedy, Terry Mc­Der­mott, Da­vid John­son, Kev­in Kee­gan. Sub­sti­tute: Ian Callaghan.


Man­chester Uni­ted Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted won the FA Cup for the fir­st time in 1909 when they be­at fel­low Fir­st Di­vi­sion te­am Bris­tol City by a nar­row 1-0 mar­gin cour­tesy of a goal from for­mer Man­chester City in­side for­ward Sandy Turn­bull in the 22nd min­ute in front of a crowd of over 70,000 people at Crys­tal Palace.


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