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When the Hammers shocked Arsenal

More than 200,000 fans watched the Hammers' 1980 FA Cup-winning parade

By Chris Bevan

If there was one thing rarer than a Trevor Brooking header in the 1970s and 1980s, it was an apology from Brian Clough.

The legendary Nottingham Forest boss loved to ruffle a few feathers as a pundit and was no different in the build-up to the 1980 FA Cup final between West Ham and Arsenal, when he singled out Brooking for criticism by saying the veteran England international playmaker floated like a butterfly - and stung like one.

Brooking remembers being rung up on the eve of the final by the editor of the Daily Express, for whom Clough had a column, and being warned he had given him some serious stick - with Cloughie's general view being that it was a disgrace that Brooking and the rest of the Second Division Hammers had focused on reaching a Wembley final rather than getting back into the top flight.


You would hardly blame the genial Brooking if he had seen his subsequent nodded winner against the Gunners as a way of making Clough eat his words, but he never expected the man himself to confirm it in the way that he did, or when.

Brooking told BBC Sport: "Seven years later I was commentating on a Forest game in the Cup at Crystal Palace and I was stood in the tunnel beforehand with nobody around.

"Cloughie poked his head out of a door and saw me, then came over and stood up really close to me, as he did, before saying 'young man, a few years ago I said something before an FA Cup final which I shouldn't have done. I'm sorry and I apologise'. Then he shook my hand and went back into the dressing room.

"I'd seen him in the meantime at one or two do's where we acknowledged each other but never spoke about that topic. It's amazing that, so many years on, he decided that he owed me an apology. I respected him a lot for that."

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Apart from Brooking's goal and Willie Young's cynical professional foul on Paul Allen that denied the teenager the chance of adding a second Hammers goal, the 1980 final was a largely forgettable affair, especially from Arsenal's point of view.

But West Ham fans will be hoping for a similar outcome on Sunday, when the two teams meet again in the third round of this season's competition.

Ahead of that tie, BBC Sport speaks to the heroes and villains of Wembley '80 and finds out what happened to the players who lined up on that day 30 years ago.

John Lyall
Lyall is the most successful coach in West Ham's history


Manager - John Lyall

West Ham's 1980 Wembley captain Billy Bonds told BBC Sport: "John got his tactics spot on.

"He brought Stuart Pearson back into midfield, left David Cross up front and played five across the middle, with Geoff Pike chasing everything down.

"We thought that if we could stifle Arsenal then we had players like Alan Devonshire and Brooking that we knew could create something and a centre-forward in Crossy that could score goals."

Brooking added: "John said the gameplan was that we get the ball and then pass it well. West Ham sides have always been brought up to pass the ball and John had taken on the mantle from Ron Greenwood and really had the same coaching philosophy and that style of football was the one that got us back up into Division One the following season."

Then: West Ham's most successful manager, Lyall joined West Ham's ground staff as a teenager in 1955 and stayed at the club for the next 34 years - becoming a coach in 1964 when a knee injury ended his playing career. He took over as boss from his mentor Greenwood in 1974, winning the FA Cup in his first season, and kept the job until 1989, when he was controversially sacked.

Now: Scouted for Tottenham and England after leaving the Hammers before taking charge of Ipswich in May 1990, leading them to promotion to the Premier League in 1992 before stepping down in December 1994. Lyall died of a heart attack in April 2006.

Pre-match build-up to 1980 FA Cup final

Phil Parkes

Billy Bonds told BBC Sport: "Parkesy was probably the best goalkeeper that West Ham have ever had.

"I remember in the third round we went to West Brom, and scored early - then after that it was just really Parksey against them.

"They equalised but we had our backs to the wall and were clinging on and I just remember him making save after world class save. It was probably the best I'd seen a goalkeeper play.

"I said to him after that game that I reckoned our name was on the Cup this year. And we beat them 2-1 at our place in the replay."

Then: A qualified carpenter, Parkes was a brilliant shot-stopper who joined West Ham from QPR in February 1979 for £565,000 - then a world-record career for a goalkeeper. His 1980s winners medal was his only major honour, and the presence of Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence meant he won only England cap.

Now: Joined Lyall at Ipswich in 1989, where he ended his playing career in 1991. Worked as a goalkeeping coach at Portman Road and QPR but now runs his own bespoke building firm in Reading.

Ray Stewart

Ray Stewart

Bonds told BBC Sport: "In the quarter-finals we played Aston Villa at home. Late in the game it looked like ending in a 0-0 draw and us having to go to their place for a replay, which was always going to be a tough one.

"Then Ken McNaught put his hand up in the area for some inexplicable reason - nobody knows why to this day. Ray was a banker penalty taker for us at the time, he just didn't miss from the spot, and he scored to send us through."

Then: 'Tonka' was a solid full-back who became the most expensive teenager in British football when he joined West Ham from Dundee United in 1979 and soon built a reputation for being deadly from the spot - scoring 76 out of 86 penalties for West Ham.

Now: Left West Ham for St Johnstone in 1991 and retired after a stint at Stirling Albion. Stewart also managed three clubs north of the border, but has been working as a chauffeur since he was sacked by Forfar in 2004.

Billy Bonds
Bonds was renowned for his buccaneering defensive play

Billy Bonds

Bonds told BBC Sport: "We didn't really go into the game thinking we were underdogs because, although we were a second division side, we had a lot of very good players in that team.

"If you look through that team a lot of them became legends at the club.

"Do I remember much about the celebrations? No, not really, apart from that I had to put our coach Ernie Gregory and physio Rob Jenkins to bed early because they had both drunk too much out of the Cup."

Then: A West Ham legend, 'Bonzo' joined from Charlton in 1967, aged 21, and played a club record 793 times for the Hammers as full-back, midfielder and eventually centre-back, making his last appearance at the age of 41 in 1988. This was his second victorious Cup final after 1975, and the second time he lifted the trophy as captain.

Now: Spent four years as manager at Upton Park from 1990 to 1994 before leaving acrimoniously when his assistant Harry Redknapp took charge - and only recently came back to the ground as a fan after vowing never to return. Bonds, who later became QPR's youth team boss, spent a year as Millwall manager and worked as a radio pundit, is now a speaker on the after-dinner and theatrical circuit.

Alvin Martin

Brooking was not the only Hammer riled by pre-match comments, according to Bonds, who explained: "I was sharing a room with Alvin Martin on the night before the final, and read an article in The Sun by Malcolm MacDonald.

Alvin Martin and Frank Stapleton
Martin marshalled Stapleton superbly

"I think he just said we would struggle a bit against Frank Stapleton and Alan Sunderland, me because of my age and Alvin because of his lack of pace.

"He was just making a comment and we didn't take it personally but, if you are competitive, it just gets you going to try to make sure you are going to prove people wrong."

Then: Known as 'Stretch' because of his long legs, Bootle-born Martin joined West Ham aged 16 in 1977 after being rejected by Everton and went on to play 586 games as a skilful centre-back in 19 years with the club.

Now: Ended his playing days with Leyton Orient before a disastrous 20-month stint as Southend boss from July 1997 to March 1999. Now a radio pundit and commentator for talkSport.

Frank Lampard

Trevor Brooking and Frank Lampard
Brooking and Lampard were tasting Cup success for a second time

Then: Committed left-back who made 660 appearances for West Ham and, along with Brooking and Bonds, was a survivor of the club's 1975 Cup win.

Now: West Ham's assistant manager from 1994 to 2001, Lampard is a TV pundit and also served as a football consultant at Watford and Reading under Brendan Rodgers, before the Royals sacked Rodgers in December.

Paul Allen
Allen would play in two more Cup finals - in 1987 and 1991 - with Tottenham

Paul Allen

Allen told BBC Sport: "I remember the build-up to being fouled; we were just trying to keep possession but I cut inside Graham Rix and suddenly I was running towards the Arsenal goal.

"Things happened so quickly and all I was thinking about was that it was a one-on-one and what I was going to do.

"Before I could make that decision I was tripped over and was lying on the Wembley turf."

Then: A tenacious midfielder, Allen had broken into the first team the previous autumn and kept his place to become the youngest player to appear in a Cup final, aged 17 years and 256 days, breaking Howard Kendall's record from 1964. Kendall left a congratulatory telegram for Allen in the Hammers' Wembley dressing room.

Now: Joined Tottenham in 1985 and went on to play in two more finals - 1987 and 1991 - for Spurs. Now works in the commercial department of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Sir Trevor Brooking

Brooking told BBC Sport: "The parade is always a bit special because by then you have had 24 hours to enjoy it. We picked up the open-top bus at Stratford Broadway and then took a route to get us to East Ham town hall, a few miles away.

Trevor Brooking
Brooking celebrates at Wembley with his Cup-winners medal

"It took us more than a couple of hours to get there - they estimated that more than 200,000 people lined the streets. The old east end did know how to celebrate and people had come out from hospitals so you could see various patients and babies being held up and crying their eyes out.

"The atmosphere was fantastic on that Sunday because winning a match like that against Arsenal was something the east end wanted to celebrate. It is something I will always remember."

Then: A classy midfielder who joined West Ham from school in 1965 and went on to make 635 appearances for the Hammers in 19 years with the club.

Now: Worked as a BBC commentator before becoming chairman of Sport England in 2002 but returned to West Ham as caretaker manager in two separate spells in 2003. Brooking joined the Football Association as director of football development later that year and was knighted in 2004.

Geoff Pike

Geoff Pike

Then: Hard-working midfielder who was another home-grown player to come through the Hammers' ranks after joining at the aged of 10 in 1966. Pike made 373 appearances for his local side, scoring 42 goals.

Now: Had short spells playing in the United States before winding down his career with Notts County and Leyton Orient. Pike moved into coaching and worked for the PFA as well as with the academies of several London clubs before taking a job as the FA's regional coach for 12-16 year olds.

Alan Devonshire
Devonshire soaks up the atmosphere during Sunday's victory parade

Alan Devonshire

Then: A fork-lift truck driver for Hoover before signing for West Ham in 1976, Devonshire stayed with the Hammers for another decade, winning eight England caps, before joining Watford in 1992.

Now: Began his management career with Maidenhead and has been in charge of Blue Square South side Hampton & Richmond FC since 2003.

Stuart Pearson

Stuart Pearson

Then: Nicknamed 'Pancho', Pearson was a bustling striker who won 15 England caps and had won the Cup in 1977 with Manchester United before joining West Ham at the start on 1980.

Now: Managed Northwich and coached at West Brom and Bradford before working as a TV pundit. Lives in Spain but still regularly returns to Manchester to watch United.

David Cross

David Cross

Then: Tireless and much-travelled target-man who scored 77 goals in 179 games for West Ham in a five-year spell from 1977 to 1982.

Now: Ended a nomadic career in Cyprus in 1987 and became a financial advisor before returning to football as a coach, and later assistant manager, with Oldham. Also had a stint working for Blackburn's academy.

Paul Brush Unused

Paul Brush (r) and Basil Brush
Paul Brush (r) had a famous relative cheering him on

Then: A versatile full-back capable of filling in on either flank, Brush spent 10 years at West Ham before joining Crystal Palace in 1985.

Now: Moved into coaching with Leyton Orient's youth teams and tried, unsuccessfully, to build his own team of East Enders using West Ham's brand of passing football when he took charge of Orient's first team from 2001 to 2003. Currently assistant boss at Southend.


Terry Neill

Manager - Terry Neill

Then: A long-serving Gunners defender who was only 34 when he became Arsenal boss in in July 1976. Neill steered Arsenal to three FA Cup finals in his seven years in charge at Highbury - winning at Wembley in 1979 - but success in the League eluded him and his best finish was third in 1982/83.

Now: Sacked by Arsenal in December 1983 and did not take another managerial or coaching post - instead opening sports bars and working as a commentator. He is now back working with the Gunners, however, in his current role as a sports promoter.

Pat Jennings

Pat Jennings

Then: Surprisingly allowed to leave Tottenham to join the Gunners in August 1977 at the age of 32 because Spurs considered him over the hill. Jennings went on to play more than 300 games for Arsenal and brought the curtain down on his playing career at the 1986 World Cup finals.

Now: Back at Spurs, where he works as a part-time goalkeeping coach and as a corporate matchday host at White Hart Lane.

Pat Rice

Pat Rice

Then: The only survivor of Arsenal's 1971 Double-winning side, Belfast-born Rice was a committed right-back who made 528 appearances for the club between joining as an apprentice 1964 and leaving for Watford soon after the end of the 1979/80 season.

Now: Played in his sixth Cup final when he was part of the Hornets side that lost to Everton in 1984, before returning to Arsenal as youth team coach that summer. Briefly caretaker manager in 1996, he became Arsene Wenger's assistant later that year and still holds the same role.

Willie Young

Willie Young

Then: Like Jennings, Young courted controversy when he moved from Tottenham to Arsenal in 1977. The powerful centre-back played over 200 games for the Gunners but he is best remembered for hauling down Allen in the 1980 final.

Now: Left for Nottingham Forest in 1981 but injury restricted the remainder of his career and he retired, aged 32, after brief spells with Norwich and Brighton. He ran a pub in Nottingham and now owns kennels and a cattery in Bottesford.

David O'Leary

David O'Leary

An elegant centre-back known as 'Spider' because of his long legs, O'Leary spent 19 years at Highbury between 1974 and 1993, making a club-record 722 first-team appearances before joining Leeds on a free transfer.

Now: Became Leeds manager in 1998 and was at the helm for the club's run to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001 but was sacked a year later. Following a spell as Aston Villa boss from 2003 to 2006, O'Leary is continuously linked with vacant managerial positions but has been working as a TV pundit.

John Devine

John Devine

Then: The versatile Devine played at left-back against the Hammers but became Rice's replacement on the opposite flank the following season, his only campaign as a first-team regular at Highbury between 1974 and 1983.

Now: A badly broken leg while playing for Stoke effectively ended his top-class career in 1985, although he did have later stints playing in Norway, his native Republic of Ireland and India. Later managed Shamrock Rovers and is now assistant boss of League of Ireland side Sporting Fingal.

David Price

David Price

Then: Unsung and under-rated midfielder who made 176 appearances for the Gunners between 1970 and 1981 before joining Crystal Palace.

Now: Injury restricted his appearances for the Eagles and he quit football at the age of 28 after a brief stint at Leyton Orient. Now a taxi driver in Croydon.

Brian Talbot

Brian Talbot

Then: A winner at Wembley in the two previous Cup finals, for Ipswich against Arsenal in 1978 and for the Gunners against Manchester United in 1979, Talbot was a hard-working midfielder who played all 70 of Arsenal's matches in their marathon 1979/80 season.

Now: The FA Cup was less kind to Talbot in 1991, when as West Brom boss, his side famously lost 4-2 to a Woking side inspired by Tim Buzagalo's hat-trick. Had more success steering Rushden & Diamonds into the Football League in 2001 and his last job was with Marsaxlokk, with whom he won the Maltese title before leaving in 2008.

Liam Brady

Liam Brady
Brady did not get much space to strut his stuff at Wembley

Along with Brian Talbot, Brady was concerned before the game that Arsenal's fans were at the opposite end of the stadium from the 1979 final, when the Gunners triumphed.

Brady told BBC Sport: "I can't remember saying that! And it clearly had no bearing on what happened on the day - West Ham were very good and we were below par.

"They got a lot of people behind the ball and we struggled to break them down. And I think one of the reasons we struggled to break them down was because we weren't very sharp because of all the games we'd played."

Then: 'Chippy' was a supremely skilful and intelligent footballer, who joined Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1970 and, over the next decade, became the club's creative fulcrum in midfield. He joined Juventus that summer and his last act as a player for the Gunners came four days later when he missed from the spot in the penalty shoot-out that saw Valencia beat Arsenal in the final of the European Cup-Winners' Cup.

Now: Ended his playing career with West Ham after a successful stint in Italy but failed to shine as a manager at Celtic and Brighton. Has been back at Arsenal as head of youth development since 1996 and is also assistant manager for his native Republic of Ireland.

Graham Rix and Geoff Pike
Geoff Pike helped keep Graham Rix quiet in the 1980 final

Graham Rix

Then: A skilful left-sided midfielder who spent 13 years at Highbury from 1975 to 1988. It was his spot-kick against Valencia which was saved to give the Spanish side victory in the 1980 Cup Winners' Cup final.

Now: Rix, who had spells as coach and assistant manager at Chelsea, spent six months in jail in 1999 for a sex offence.

He had unhappy stints in charge of Portsmouth, Oxford and Hearts and is now coaching at Glenn Hoddle's Academy in Spain.

Alan Sunderland

Alan Sunderland

Then: A bubble-permed midfielder-turned-striker, Sunderland had been Arsenal's hero with the match-winner against Manchester United in the 'five-minute final' of 1979 but had few opportunities to get on the scoresheet against the Hammers.

Now: Left Highbury after seven years to join Ipswich in 1984 and an injury forced him to hang up his boots two years later. Sunderland has been retired and living in Malta since 1995.

Frank Stapleton

Frank Stapleton

Stapleton told BBC Sport:"It had been a difficult build-up to the game. We had only reached the final on the Monday, four days beforehand. We played Liverpool four times in the semi-final, with replays, and we still had two league games to play after the Cup final as well as the Cup-Winners' Cup final.

"That's not taking anything away from West Ham but on the day we didn't compete as we had done up to that point and I felt playing so many games in a short space of time caught up with us."

Then: Combative striker who formed a potent partnership with Alan Sunderland and played in all three of Arsenal's Cup finals from 1978 to 1980.

Now: Demanded a move to Manchester United in 1981 and had more Cup success with the Red Devils in 1983 and 1985 - becoming the first man to score in Cup finals for two different clubs when he netted against Brighton in the first of those. Now a TV pundit and after-dinner speaker.


Sammy Nelson

Sammy Nelson Replaced John Devine (61 minutes)

Then: Charismatic Northern Ireland international, who joined the club as a teenage winger in 1966 but served mainly as a left-back during 15 years with the Gunners and was first-choice in that position from 1975.

Now: Joined Brighton in 1981 and helped them reach the 1983 Cup final before hanging up his boots. After coaching at Albion for a year, he embarked on a career as an insurance salesman and now works as a tour guide at the Emirates Stadium.

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