Advertising

Classic Match Manchester City 1 Wolves 2 League Cup Final March 2 1974

Sport | Published:

It's 41 years to the day for one of the most famous Wolves matches ever to have taken place.

In the second of our Classic Match features, we take a trip down memory lane to a memorable League Cup final clash in 1974 between Wolves and Manchester City at Wembley.

Each week, we want fans to nominate a favourite game from the past and tell us why it's important to them. We'll then publish the full match report each Friday.

Match Report

Wolves manager Bill McGarry took the biggest gamble of his life at Wembley on Saturday then pulled off an amazing stroke of good luck which helped bring the League Cup to Molineux for the first time.

The gamble had been made when he announced his leading scorer, John Richards, would be in the side despite a three-week absence through injury.

But with the scores level and no more than 10 minutes remaining , came the one moment of drama from the touchline and the element of luck that can be so vital when a cup final is at stake.

Wolves players parade the trophy

Advertising

Substitute Barry Powell has begun warming up and it was McGarry's intention to bring off Richards, whose stomach injury was causing so much discomfort. But the Wolves boss knew winger Dave Wagstaffe was in some trouble with a thigh strain and for a couple of minutes longer, he pondered over the situation.

It was just long enough for Wagstaffe to solve McGarry's predicament for a right-wing run had him pulling up sharply and limping out of the game.

On went Powell and within three minutes Richards fired Wolves ahead to kill the hopes of Manchester City and land the bigt prize which Wolves has so valiantly fought for.

Richards had proved spectacular ending to a superb final that sent the vast contingent of Wolves fans into delirious scenes.

Advertising

Wolves v Manchester City league cup final at Wembley

They will never forget the 43rd minute goal from Ken Hibbitt and while City levelled through Colin Bell in the 59th minute, the memory of Richards' winner will linger for a lifetime.

Yet, while Hibbitt and Richards got the goals, there were nine other heroes who provided the sort of football fit to grace any Wembley final.

In particular there were Frank Munro and John McAlle. Munro must have made sure of a place in Scotland's World Cup squad with his ice-cool judgement and efficiency glowing throughout the entire 90 minutes.

McAlle, the ferocious tackler, who stopped Francis Lee and Rodney Marsh so many times, has never played better and he couldn't have chosen a more appropriate place than Wembley to display his five-star ability.

And when it was all over, Gary Pierce, who was 23 on the day of the final, was saluted by everyone in the 100,000 crowd for a goalkeeping display that that edged him ahead of the man-of-the-match award.

John Richards scores the winner

In his 14th game for Wolves, he showed quite outstanding talents in the best performance from a Molineux goalkeeper in years.

Last by no means least was skipper Mike Bailey. He lacked in match fitness after nearly four weeks out of the game, but the inspiration provided by jhim kept his team at action stations whether the accent was on attack or defence.

Now, at last, Bailey, The Doog and Waggy, have something to show for what they have put into football for so long and how richly it is deserved.

There had been City's 20 minute spell to contend with at the start of the second-half when the game might easily have been lost, but the assault yielded only the one goal and in the end victory went to the better team.

Wolves: Pierce, Palmer, Parkin, Bailey(c), Munro, McAlle, Sunderland, Hibbitt, Richards, Dougan, Wagstaffe (Powell 83)

Manchester City: MacRae, Pardoe, Donachie, Doyle, Booth, Towers, Summerbee(c), Bell, Lee, Law, Marsh.

Venue: Wembley Stadium

Attendence: 97,866

Referee: Dave Wallace (Crewe)

Goals: Manchester City - Bell 59 Wolves: Hibbitt 44, Richards 85.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News