Ricky Villa Scores Wonder Goal as Tottenham Win 1981 FA Cup Final


The 1981 FA Cup Final Replay between Tottenham and Manchester will forever be remembered for Ricky Villa’s match winning goal. What a way to end the Centenary Cup Final as Tottenham won the FA Cup for the sixth time.

On This Day

14th May, 1981

Tottenham Hotspur 3  Manchester City 2

Scorers: Villa (2), Crooks    Mackenzie, Reeves (pen)

Team: Aleksic; Perryman(Capt), Miller, Roberts, Hughton; Ardiles, Hoddle, Villa, Galvin; Archibald, Crooks. Sub: (unused) Brooke 

Ricky Villa’s winning goal against City. [Photo: Logan Holmes]

If the first match was a disappointment, the Replay made up for it. Ricky Villa made the headlines on the Saturday as he trudged around the Wembley track disconsolate after being substituted. He also made the headlines in the replay with two goals and a goal which has been described as the greatest ever FA Cup Final goal.

Many thought that Ricky Villa had missed his chance in the first game but Keith Burkinshaw kept faith in him and the manager was repaid handsomely.

Within seven minutes Villa had given Spurs the lead but this only lasted three minutes as City were level with a spectacular goal from Steve Mackenzie. Both teams were creating chances and City went ahead five minutes into the second half from a penalty scored by Kevin Reeves.

The match became tense with tackles flying in on both sides. In the 71st minute Spurs equalised with a goal from Garth Crooks.

Seven minutes later, Ricky Villa stepped forward and dribbled around and through the City defence to score the most incredible Cup Final winner of all time – Saturday’s ‘failure’ had become the Hero with a never to be forgotten goal. Villa became an instant Tottenham ‘Legend’ and he along with his Argentine colleague Ossie Ardiles are always given a warm reception when they visit White Hart Lane.

Tottenham’s FA Cup Success 1981Road to Wembley

Tottenham sign Argentine Duo: 10th July, 1978

No need to cancel this bus! [Photo: Logan Holmes]

  #knowyourtottenhamhistory  7th May  Never A Good Day for Tottenham!