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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

Giant Killers


1967 - 1969

Newcastle United 0-1 Carlisle United

Third Round: Saturday January 27th 1968

Attendance: 56,569

Scorer: Tommy Murray {10}

Ranked at the time: 48

If the 1950s was an era when Newcastle were Wembley specialists then the 60s gave birth to a soft touch reputation that lingered with them for the remainder of the Century. The Geordies had dropped into the Second Division before appointing their former double cup winning Captain, Joe Harvey as manager in 1962. Harvey took the Magpies back to the big time and this season had built a side that turned St James' Park into a fortress. Thirteen top flight teams had come to the North East and thirteen had left again with nothing better than a point as Newcastle crept up to fifth in the table by mid January. They went into their cup third round tie in good form with just one defeat in ten League games, though far too many draws had made their hopes of mounting a title bid from their remaining fifteen games very slim. Opponents, Carlisle were learning to enjoy life as a Second Division club, having achieved that status for the first time earlier in the decade. The club were in their first season under the new management of Tim Ward, who unlike his opposite number, Harvey, had been desperately unlucky not to have been part of Derby's 1946 cup winning team, missing out due to his unavailability as he was still awaiting his wartime demob. Ward's time at the helm at Brunton Park had been hugely inconsistent but most Cumbrian fans were content with the healthy tenth spot the club held in the second tier.

Ward's Foxes gave Newcastle a horrible afternoon in front of their fans and deservedly led just ten minutes in when the youngster, George McVittie sprayed a searching ball to Frank Sharp on the Carlisle wing. Ollie Burton was left flat footed before Sharp's cross was planted past a stranded Iam McFaul by a firm Tommy Murray header with barely a striped jersey within five feet of him.

Carlisle were ten minutes away from their shock victory when Peter Garbutt and Gordon Marsland rose with Wyn Davies for a high ball and, between them, managed only to clumsily impede the home centre forward. It was a reprieve the Magpies little deserved but the referee made the correct call and Ollie Burton was tasked with setting up a grand stand finish. Foxes keeper, Alan Ross hadn't been heavily troubled to that point, barring three or four fairly routine saves in front of a solid defense, having just come back from a six week lay off with a broken wrist. Now came his time to shine when Burton's well struck spot kick was seeking a home in the bottom corner of Ross's net until the Carlisle custodian used all of his body length to get across and turn the ball away. Ollie Burton capped a forgettable afternoon, from his point of view by getting himself booked in an overzealous tussle with Peter McConnell to try and steer the rebound into the net.

The Carlisle players were galvanised by their keeper's actions to hang on for the remaining ten minutes and book their place in the fourth round where they fell to two goals at the eventual cup finalists, Everton.

Newcastle: 1:Iam McFaul, 2:Ollie Burton, 3:Frank Clark, 4:Dave Elliott, 5:John McNamee, 6:Bobby Moncur, 7:Jackie Sinclair, 8:Jim Scott, 9:Wyn Davies, 10:Jim Iley, 11:Tommy Robson. Manager:Joe Harvey

Carlisle: 1:Alan Ross, 2:Hugh Neil, 3:Terry Caldwell, 4:Peter McConnell, 5:Peter Garbutt, 6:Gordon Marsland, 7:John Rudge, 8:Tommy Murray, 9:Frank Barton, 10:Chris Balderstone, 11:George McVitie. Manager:Tim Ward

Rotherham United 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Third Round: Saturday January 27th 1968

Attendance: 14,841

Scorer: Jim Storrie {58}

Ranked at the time: 282

When Tommy Docherty walked out on Chelsea within a year of taking the Stamford Bridge club to the cup final, few in Rotherham could have dreamed that Millmoor would be his next port of call. The club were rooted to the foot of the Second Division and had no history to speak of to entice such a big name to take on their club. Docherty still came and boldly proclaimed that he would take Rotherham to the top flight, advising however that it may take time. His first signing was Jim Storrie, a beaten cup finalist with Leeds in 1965 who arrived at Millmoor via a brief stint at Aberdeen where he had missed a penalty in a Scottish cup semi final. The side also contained Johnny Quinn, also a losing cup finalist with Sheffield Wednesday in 1966, while a very young side also included the future Manchester City and England International, Dave Watson, though a young Neil Warnock would miss out on this tie against top flight Wolves. Docherty had Rotherham playing some really good Football by the time of this tie, which was settled midway through the second half with a Storrie effort that beat a young Phil Parkes via a post. Second Division Aston Villa also fell to a Storrie goal in round four to set up another clash with top flight opponents and relative cup experts Leicester. The Millers were left cursing their luck when a late goalbound effort was inadvertently diverted over the bar by Neil Hague. Leicester won the replay and The Millers parted company with Docherty when he failed to prevent a return to the third tier for the first time in seventeen years.

United: 1:Alan Hill, 2:Dave Watson, 3:Neil Hague, 4:Johnny Quinn, 5:Trevor Swift, 6:Brian Tiler, 7:Andy Wilson, 8:Les Chappell, 9:Jim Storrie, 10:John Shepherd, 11:David Bentley. Manager:Tommy Docherty

Wanderers: 1:Phil Parkes, 2:Gerry Taylor, 3:Les Wilson, 4:Mike Bailey, 5:David Woodfield, 6:John Holsgrove, 7:Mike Kenning, 8:Peter Knowles, 9:Derek Dougan, 10:David Burnside, 11:Dave Wagstaffe. Manager:Ronnie Allen

Sunderland 0-1 Norwich City

Third Round replay: Wednesday January 31st 1968


Scorer: John Manning

Ranked at the time: 384

Sunderland: 1:Jim Montgomery, 2:Cec Irwin, 3:Geoff Butler, 4:Colin Todd, 5:George Kinnell, 6:Ian Porterfield, 7:Billy Hughes, 8:Colin Suggett, 9:Neil Martin, 10:Martin Harvey, 11:George Mulhall. Manager:Ian McColl

City: 1:Kevin Keelan, 2:Dave Stringer, 3:Alan Black, 4:Mal Lucas, 5:Laurie Brown, 6:Freddie Sharpe, 7:Ken Foggo, 8:Terry Anderson, 9:John Manning, 10:Hugh Curran, 11:Chsrlie Crickmore. Manager:Lol Morgan

Portsmouth 1-0 Fulham

Fourth Round replay: Wednesday February 21st 1968

Attendance: 44,050

Scorer: Mike Trebilcock

Ranked at the time: 455

Portsmouth: 1:John Milkins, 2:Ron Tindall, 3:George Ley, 4:George Smith, 5:Frank Haydock, 6:Harry Harris, 7:Albert McCann, 8:Ray Pointer, 9:Ray Hiron, 10:Bobby Kellard, 11:Mike Trebilcock. Manager:George Smith

Fulham: 1:Tony Macedo, 2:Stan Brown, 3:John Dempsey, 4:John Ryan, 5:Fred Callaghan, 6:Jim Conway, 7:Johnny Haynes, 8:Steve Earle, 9:Joe Gilroy {replaced by 12:Brian Nichols}, 10:Allan Clarke, 11:Les Barrett. Manager:Bobby Robson

Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Coventry City

Fourth Round replay: Wednesday February 21st 1968

Attendance: 20,996

Scorers: George Yardley, George Hudson

Ranked at the time: 48

Rovers: 1:Jim Cumbes, 2:Stan Storton, 3:Barrie Martin, 4:Dennis Stevens {replaced by 12:Gerry Casey}, 5:Joe Pritchard, 6:Alan King, 7:John MacNamee, 8:Roy Sinclair, 9:George Yardley, 10:George Hudson, 11:Graham Williams. Manager:Dave Russell

City: 1:Alan Dickie, 2:Brian Hill, 3:Dietmar Bruck, 4:Ernie Machin, 5:Maurice Setters, 6:John Tudor, 7:Ernie Hannigan, 8:Pat Morrisey, 9:Gerry Baker, 10:Willie Carr, 11:Ronnie Rees. Manager:Noel Cantwell

Birmingham City 2-1 Arsenal

Fourth Round replay: Tuesday March 12th 1968

Attendance: 51,586

Scorers: {City}: Barry Bridges {2}, {Arsenal}: Bobby Gould

Ranked at the time: 366

{See Birmingham City vs Chelsea below}

City: 1:Jim Herriot, 2:Bert Murray, 3:Ray Martin, 4:Ron Wylie, 5:Winston Foster, 6:Malcolm Beard, 7:Barry Bridges, 8:Malcolm Page, 9:Fred Pickering, 10:Geoff Vowden, 11:Trevor Hockey. Manager:Stan Cullis

Arsenal: 1:Bob Wilson, 2:Peter Storey, 3:Bob McNab, 4:Frank McLintock, 5:Peter Simpson, 6:Terry Neil, 7:John Radford, 8:Bobby Gould, 9:George Graham, 10:Jon Sammels, 11:George Armstrong. Manager:Bertie Mee

Birmingham City 1-0 Chelsea

Quarter Final: Saturday March 30th 1968

Attendance: 51,576

Scorers: Fred Pickering {63}

Ranked at the time: 361

There had been high hopes at St Andrews when the directors of Birmingham City managed to persuade the former Wolves legendary player and manager, Stan Cullis out of retirement and back into the game to take charge of a side recently relegated to the Second Division. Cullis had vowed never to return to Football after his surprising dismissal from the club he built into the greatest rivals of Manchester United in the 1950s before missing out on the League and cup double by a point in 1960. The equally legendary Bill Shankly wrote of Cullis that his veins must have run old gold. Despite this, no-one doubted his dedication to Birmingham but promotion back to the top flight was never likely as City settled in tenth place in his first season in charge. The second season was no better but at least Cullis was able to attract good First Division quality players to the club. Things improved in the autumn of 1967 as Birmingham launched a solid promotion bid. Cullis paid a record £55,000 for Chelsea's experienced Barry Bridges and £40,000 for Fred Pickering of Everton. As the F A cup campaign kicked off both men had scores to settle with the old trophy. Bridges' Chelsea had gone to Wembley for the final in the year since he left while Pickering's name appeared in the programme for the 1966 final before he was surprisingly dropped in favour of Mike Trebilcock, a man himself now writing his own giant killing story with Portsmouth. {above}

Halifax and Orient were relatively bloodlessly disposed of in the early rounds before The Blues were drawn to travel to face Arsenal, a side containing a host of household names but going through a decade of huge under achievement. A nervous Highbury atmosphere got to the home players as they failed to defend a lead given them by John Radford, Geoff Vowden being the man to secure Birmingham a last gasp equaliser and replay at St Andrews. The reward for the winners of the replay would be a home tie against Chelsea and while an all London clash would certainly have appealed to the media, Barry Bridges too had incentive to face his former employers. Fitting then that it was Bridges who netted twice, the second a scintillating scissors kick, to send The Gunners crashing out. Their solitary reply coming from Bobby Gould. Over 50,000 were at St Andrews for the visit of Arsenal and the ground was packed to the rafters again to welcome Chelsea, among them the future author, Martyn Hanson who, at age eleven, was following Birmingham's full cup run for the first time. He would later recall in 2007 to local magazine

'Brumagem' "We played in all white against the Londoners. I always felt that in the cup it was a must to play in anything but blue as it conveyed a strong feeling that this was a special match. I was standing on the Coventry Road and it was packed. I was very nervous and the match was tense, swinging one way then the other. It was in the 63rd minute that the issue was decided. After a Blues throw in was knocked down, the ball was crossed to the far post where Fred Pickering stooped to head the only goal of the game. The Chelsea boys laid siege to our goal....We held on for grim death....At the final whistle we ran on to the pitch along with thousands of others. It was all in good spirit and the Police felt no need to intervene."

{Image: Fred Pickering is mobbed by players and fans alike after scoring while a quintet of Chelsea players accept their fate}

Indeed while for most Birmingham fans like Martyn, the game had been played in good spirit, there had been some ugly scenes at the Tilton end where a group of Chelsea fans took part in a new and unhealthy sport sweeping around Football grounds as they attempted to 'take the home end'. Fans spilled on to the pitch to avoid the melee as a core of the City support at that end of the ground showed they were more than happy to engage their London visitors. The two sets of 'fans' fought it out and hurled missiles, punches and abuse while a small and dediacted core of ambulance men deserved credit for racing into the thick of the scene to tend to those who had come off worst. Even appeals over the tannoy and threats to postpone the game failed to quell the violence until the Police started arresting those most intent on maintaining the violence. For the majority of those who remained, the threat of arrest and ejection from the ground was enough to ensure the game could proceed. Sadly, these scenes were rapidly becomming almost a weekly occurance at some ground or other and would lead to the crowd segregation we know today. The away end had been concieved, if not yet born in these events.

Back in the world of action on the pitch and Leeds were the team everyone wanted to avoid in the semi final draw and to Birmingham's delight they were paired with local rivals West Bromwich Albion, albeit only after they despatched Liverpool in a replay. Villa Park was the obvious choice for such an occasion and, as for all the earlier ties, Martyn Hanson was among the Birmingham faithful in a packed crowd and recalled the awful silence at his end of the ground when Albion struck their second and killer goal to clinch their place at Wembley. Harsher still for Pickering was that Birmingham missed out on a cup final clash with his former employers, Everton, victors over Leeds in the other semi final. Cullis now had to galvanise his players for their remaining three League games, knowing they had to win them all to have any chance of promotion, especially the first of them at rivals QPR. That match was lost 0-2, condemning Birmingham to another season in the second tier. Worse still for the City fans was that Rangers, who won promotion to the top flight in the same result, enticed Barry Bridges to join them in the First Division the following season.

City: 1:Jim Herriott, 2:Bert Murray, 3:Colin Green, 4:Ron Wylie {replaced by 12:Ray Martin}, 5:Winston Foster, 6:Malcolm Beard, 7:Geoff Vowden, 8:Trevor Hockey, 9:Fred Pickering, 10:Malcolm Page, 11:Barry Bridges. Manager:Stan Cullis

Chelsea: 1:Peter Bonetti, 2:John Hollins, 3:Eddie McCreadie, 4:Charlie Cooke, 5:Marvin Hinton, 6:Ron Harris, 7:Peter Houseman {replaced by 12:Jim Thomson}, 8:Tommy Baldwin, 9:Peter Osgood, 10:Alan Birchenall, 11:Bobby Tambling. Manager:Dave Sexton