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Tottenham Hotspur Keith Hackett

 

I remember having butterflies in my stomach has I pressed the button in the referees dressing room at Wembley.

The time 2.53pm on Saturday 9th May 1981.

It was hard to believe that I was going to referee the 100th FA Cup Final between Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City.

I looked at the players in the tunnel the majority of them looking nervous for many of them they were about to take part in the biggest game of their career.

Following the handshakes and the National Anthem I stood in the middle of the field awaiting the signal from the FA official to give me the go-ahead to blow the whistle to start the game.

Tommy Hutchinson opened the scoring in the 30th minute after both defenses had been on top.

The noise from the 100,000 spectators was very loud and I had to blow my Bellila whistle extremely hard in order to be heard.

Tottenham Hotspur leveled the score in the 79th minute thanks to a Tommy Hutchinson own goal.

Result 1-1

On Thursday 14th May I was back at Wembley for the first replay of the FA Challenge Cup Final to be played at the Stadium

The atmosphere was terrific and the players appeared to be more relaxed and more determined to win.

Some of the challenges were harsh and I can remember having to get in quick to part Gerry Gow from Ossie Ardilles.

On the Saturday the other Argentinian player Ricky Villa had been substituted and in tears he made the long walk to the dressing room.

It was a sad moment that lingers in my memory.

However the replay proved to be different with Villa scoring the opening goal for Tottenham Hotspur in the 8th minute.

Manchester City equalized with a thundering shot from Steve McKenzie surely a goal to grace any Wembley final.

A penalty kick put Manchester City ahead followed by a Garth Crooks equalizer

Game on 2-2

Then in the 76th minute one of the greatest goals scored in a Cup Final

Ricky Villa of Tottenham gained possession of the ball 30 yards from goal. His swerving run past four Manchester City players was brilliant and the goal good enough to win the cup and gain a winners medal.

A memory to savor

Keith Hackett

Referee http://you-are-the-ref.com

Now watch THAT goal!

 

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