1991 - 25 years on
05 January 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
It's 25 years since our famous FA Cup triumph of 1991 and in this special feature, we'll talk to the men that made it happen, round-by-round...
Our run to victory in the 1991 FA Cup still evokes memories. Gazza's free-kick will win many 'best goal' polls, Gary Lineker laid prone after scoring against Arsenal at Wembley, Brian Clough and Terry Venables leading the teams out hand-in-hand in the final, the crunch of Gazza's challenge with Gary Charles, Paul Stewart's equaliser against Forest and leap over the advertising hoardings, Des Walker's own goal, Gary Mabbutt lifting the trophy. And yes, it was 25 years ago.
If the famous old Twin Towers at Wembley provided the stage for the glory, the run started in less auspicious circumstances on January 5, 1991.
Blackpool, then in the old Division Four (League Two), were our opponents in the third round and as the wind blew a gale down Bloomfield Road, pundits pencilled in a good, old-fashioned FA Cup giant-killing against the men from N17.
Thankfully, it wasn't to be. Blackpool pushed us all the way but Paul Stewart converted Gary Lineker's knockdown from Paul Gascoigne's free-kick in the second half to set us on the road to Wembley - twice, as it turned out.
1991 - 25 YEARS ON - THIRD ROUND
January 5, 1991
Blackpool 0-1 Spurs (Stewart)
Spurs: Thorstvedt, Fenwick, Edinburgh, Samways, Howells, Mabbutt, Stewart, Gascoigne, Moran, Lineker, Allen.
PAUL STEWART - GOALSCORER
"I had eight great years at Blackpool after coming through the ranks. They were good times and the fans were good to me. It was a bit strange going back with Spurs but to be honest, once you move clubs your allegiances have to change and I had a job to do for Tottenham that day.
"I'm sure the fans who were there that day will remember what a horrible afternoon it was, blustery, raining, just the sort of conditions for an upset but fortunately we came through it and I managed to score the goal.
"It was a bit of a fluke. I remember the free-kick from Gazza came into the box and it went in off my shin! Those are the results you need to win cup competitions. No-one really remembers in 1991 that we beat Blackpool with a lucky goal in the third round, they only remember the final, but you have to go through those tough games to enjoy the glory at the end of it all."
GARY MABBUTT - CAPTAIN
"We stayed on Blackpool sea front and I remember walking out of the hotel and seeing the state of the sea, the waves crashing in and you knew we were in for a testing afternoon. It was all about going out there and getting through it. There were no excuses it was down to us to go out and do it. Of all the games going through to the final and eventually winning, we could have gone out in the third round!
"It was probably the worst conditions I’ve played in in this country. The state of the pitch, the wind, it was so bad that in the first half, Erik Thorstvedt took a goal kick and the ball went over my head up in the air and blew back to the edge of the box, where he caught it! The game could have gone either way and that was just down to the conditions. I remember thinking afterwards ‘thank goodness we’re through’ because it was a banana skin for us. It was one of those ties that makes the FA Cup what it is. Third round day is a day where the mighty fall and during my 16 years at the club, we fell on occasions. Thankfully though, not this time."
JUSTIN EDINBURGH - LEFT BACK
"It was one of my first games for the club. I remember on the Friday night we stayed at a hotel on the front, I roomed with Paul Allen and I remember I thought the windows of the hotel were going to come through. The waves were lashing over the sea front, the wind was blowing a gale and the conditions on the Saturday were absolutely horrendous at Bloomfield Road. I remember at times in the second half Erik was struggling to get a goal kick out of his box! It was incredible. Paul Stewart got the goal, the game wasn’t a classic, I remember I marked Trevor Sinclair on the day as a young boy at Blackpool. It wasn’t the greatest spectacle but a hard-fought victory that obviously set us on our way."
DAVID HOWELLS - PARTNERED GARY MABBUTT AT THE BACK
"It was one of the windiest games I’ve ever played in. I remember Erik taking a goal kick and it reached the edge of the box - it was that bad! It was typical FA Cup third round upset weather. A few years previously we’d lost to Port Vale on a mud heap of a pitch and it had echoes of that so when Paul Stewart scored against his old club it was massive relief. The game was a farce but you don’t mind once you’ve won! It was a tricky game but we got through."
PAUL ALLEN - MIDFIELDER
"The conditions were horrendous. We showed the desire and the attitude - I don’t think there was any football played! It was a great result and you just felt that once we got through that we had the chance to progress. It was a tough tie that one!"
Next up: Look out for lads' memories of the fourth round on January 26...