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FA Cup Final 1973

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Talking Points: Sunderland make history with stunning FA Cup triumph!

Bob Stokoe’s men rounded off their remarkable cup story with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Wembley. Phil West looks at the major talking points from a memorable game!

Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

History made as the Lads defy the odds!

This was the ultimate underdog story, a tale of triumph in the face of what felt like a near-insurmountable challenge, and a victory that no Sunderland fan will never forget.

Few had given Bob Stokoe’s men a chance of upsetting the odds and emerging victorious over Don Revie’s all-powerful and no-nonsense Leeds team, but Sunderland ripped the form book up with such unbridled joy that even Stokoe himself couldn’t resist the urge to run onto the pitch at full time to embrace Jimmy Montgomery after the Sunderland goalkeeper wrote himself into red and white folklore.

Man for man, Leeds might’ve had a claim to be the superior team with their core of Reaney, Bremner, Lorimer, Giles and Gray, but as a collective, Sunderland were utterly unified and determined to write one more chapter into what’s already been a remarkable FA Cup story, and they did exactly that.

From Montgomery to Micky Horswill, from Richie Pitt to Dennis Tueart, every player in red and white did themselves, the club and the fans proud.

The pundits might not have given them a chance, but the belief that runs through this team was on display for all to see and it carried them over the line and into the history books.

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Sunderland v Leeds United Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images

Monty makes himself a hero

Sunderland’s homegrown goalkeeper, such a reliable presence between the sticks during this entire cup run, played a role in the final that’ll be remembered, discussed, and replayed for the next fifty years.

First, to pull off an impressive save from Trevor Cherry’s diving header, and then to fling himself across the goal at full stretch to somehow prevent Peter Lorimer’s fiercely-struck shot from nestling in the net as he followed up on the rebound.

It was a save that defied description and it even seemed to take the commentators by surprise, many of whom were convinced that Lorimer had levelled the score! It also set a standard for future Sunderland goalkeepers to aspire to - can they pull off such a remarkable double save at such a key moment in a huge game?

On such moments can cup victories hinge, and Monty’s status as a Sunderland legend will now be secured by virtue of such a remarkable piece of goalkeeping.

Jim Montgomery 4 Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Kerr follows in Carter’s footsteps

Thirty six years ago, Hendon-born Raich Carter lifted the famous trophy as Sunderland skipper as we emerged victorious over Preston, and on this memorable May day, it was the turn of ‘The Little General’ to get his hands on the silverware.

Bobby Kerr, stout of heart and blessed with the innate ability to inspire and lift those around him, was a warrior, chasing, harrying, and affording Leeds no time to settle. He might be a chirpy and affable fellow off the field but when the whistle blows, he’s as competitive and driven as anyone.

He epitomised the boundless determination of this Sunderland team and in skippering us to glory, he became the first captain of a Second Division team since West Bromwich Albion’s Tommy Glidden in 1931.

SUNDERLAND WIN FA CUP Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Porterfield the goalscoring hero

In such a tight game, one goal proved to be the difference and it was another Scot who was in the right place at the right time to make the breakthrough.

From a Billy Hughes corner and assisted by Vic Halom and Dave Watson, Ian Porterfield showed great composure and skill to control the ball before swivelling and lashing it past David Harvey in the Leeds goal.

It was a superb finish and it inflicted a blow on Leeds from which they were unable to recover, despite no lack of effort from that point on.

We would've taken any kind of goal in order to see off Revie’s men, but this was a memorable strike and just like Montgomery’s save, it'll be replayed by Sunderland fans for years to come.

Soccer - FA Cup - Final - Sunderland v Leeds United Photo by PA Images via Getty Images


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