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Reliving the memories

Posted on 4 February 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

As footballing memories go, our victory over tonight's opponents Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup Final replay must take some beating. Jon Rayner and Ashley Weller from the matchday programme caught up with Ricky Villa, Steve Perryman, Chris Hughton and Ossie Ardiles for their recollections of the night.


Ricky Villa
"I have such lovely memories of that game, that goal and that whole season. Every time I come to England I can't believe people still remember it and remind me of it, it is a very nice feeling. I have to say thank you to Tottenham and to English football for giving me the chance to experience that brilliant memory which will stay with me forever.

"I still remember it very well, it was definitely one of the best goals I ever scored. I was in the right place at the right moment, it was a special goal for me and for the Club.

"When I scored, it was impossible to appreciate how important a goal it was, you can't think like that at the time, I was just delighted that we had scored and were in front again in the match. It was an Argentinian goal in English football, I think that is what made it special!

"Now that I don't play anymore, it is wonderful that I still have that memory and people still talk about it.

"Tonight I think Spurs can win again and go into the next round. I saw the first match and in the second half Spurs played really well and I expect them to repeat that from the start tonight and win. Maybe 3-2, why not!"

Steve Perryman

"We had been through a few lean years, including relegation, and the 1981 Cup Final was the first chance for the Club to step back onto the big stage. We had been too long without a trophy, or even getting anywhere near to a trophy.

"As a result, there was a lot of pressure on us for the Final, especially in the first game, but a win would be a new beginning.

"The team had been building nicely, with the arrival of Ossie and Ricky, as well as Archie and Garth. The Club was going through changes with the New West Stand being built too, and we were playing our home games with just three sides of the ground, which was a new and very different experience.

"As for the Cup run itself, we didn't go out of London until the semi-final, we had mostly home ties and a lot of things seemed to go for us that year. Even for the Final itself I recall City's Dennis Tueart wasn't in their team and I remember thinking at the time that did us a real favour.

"I felt the whole pomp and ceremony of the first game overtook the football match itself, but the replay was more of a true game of football, with the added incentive of a full house at Wembley, live TV and the chance to win the F.A. Cup at the end of it.

"Both teams played so much better and both had a chance to win it, but for us the whole thing was a wonderful story really, with Ricky going off in the first game and then being a hero in the second. That replay was just a great night for football and had everything in one game.

"None of us are ever going to forget that night. Even now, when the Spurs fans sing 'When Steve went up to lift the F.A. Cup - I was there', it still sends a shiver down my spine."


Chris Hughton
"I remember the build up to the final very well - we hadn't been in a final for some time and there was a real feeling around the Club that this was going to be our year.

"If you went through the team, none of us had played in an FA Cup Final before, it was the first time any of us had experienced it so it meant a lot to us.

"The first game was a big disappointment, firstly of not winning it and also of not playing that well, but getting a second opportunity was important.

"I remember it well and not only because the game has been replayed and shown more than any other in last 30 years! But it's all very clear the way the game went - the emotions of having gone 2-1 down to the penalty, looking like we were going to lose, coming back, the winning goal and then hanging on in the end. It was an incredibly emotional day for us all.

"I was the same as everybody, I never thought too much at the beginning of Ricky's run, I certainly never thought the ball would end up in the back of the net. I suppose we look back at it as a wonderful individual goal, but City's players must think if they had that chance again, they would defend it much better!

"It's very difficult to explain how I felt when it went in, it was almost as if we'd won the match there and then. Obviously there was a fair amount of time for them to come back but when the final whistle went - there was relief, excitement, jubilation as well as feeling physically and emotionally drained.

"For me it is the highlight of my career. The UEFA Cup win in 1984 comes a close second, but because the FA Cup was my first trophy, it has to be the highlight.


"By the way, I still feel sorry for Steve MacKenzie. For me, his goal for City in that replay is one of the best cup final goals. If we'd won the game with a less spectacular goal, Steve's would have been mentioned far more, but because Ricky's was so outstanding it got overshadowed. It must be hard for the City players, fans and of course Steve."

Ossie Ardiles
"Of course I remember it well still, it was a wonderful game, a wonderful final and the first final I had played at Wembley, it was really beautiful. From my point of view, it was the biggest game I was involved in for Tottenham.

"That match is always mentioned here, particularly Ricky's goal, a wonderful strike that was special at the time and is still very special now.

"When he picked up the ball I never thought that he would go all the way and score, although he was always capable of doing something like that. In those situations, you look to see if you can pass the ball, play a one-two maybe or see what other options available, but he went on a run, it opened up for him and he decided to go all the way on his own - a memorable goal.

"Both games were very difficult and with just one goal separating the teams after two matches and 210 minutes, that shows how close it was. City at the time had a very good team, but we too started to have a good team. We proved that by improving all the time and I think the 1982 side was even better, perhaps the best team I played in during my time at Spurs.

"I'm not surprised fans still talk about it now, it was such a special goal and one that will live long in the memory."