FA Cup Final 1966
14 May, 1966
EVERTON 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday
FA Cup Final
Wembley Stadium saw one of its most dramatic finals when Everton met up with Sheffield Wednesday in 1966. But the hero of the hour was an unlikely one who had played in one previous FA Cup tie for the Blues. Mike Trebilcock had only played in the semi-final against Manchester United and had only appeared in seven League games all season.
Goodison favourite, Fred Pickering had been left out of the starting line-up at Trebilcock's expense and eyebrows were raised by the Goodison faithful, as Pickering was one of their favourite sons. Mike Trebilcock was a young Cornishman who Catterick had signed from Plymouth Argyle the previous New Year's Eve for £20,000, but Catterick believed he could do a job for the Blues and so it proved.
"Fred was popular and could score goals, " said Catterick later, "but he'd been injured and gone off the boil a bit. Trebilcock was a first rate goal poacher. I always felt his sharpness would show." Catterick, astute as ever, was right. Trebilcock emerged as an unlikely hero on a day that will live long in the memory for those who saw it and will live in the memories of Blues forever. It was simply one of the best finals ever.
The Owls got off to a flying start and were 1-0 up inside the first four minutes. Jim McCalliog had a pot shot at goal and it took a wicked deflection off England left back, Ray Wilson that flew into the net leaving Gordon West helpless. In fact Wednesday were on top for most of the first half with the Blues' chances limited. Everton's misery was further compounded when Alex Young's expertly finished goal was disallowed for off-side before the "Golden Vision" appeared to be brought down in the penalty box by Ron Springett only for the referee to wave play on.
Wednesday could, and perhaps should, have extended their lead just a few minutes later but McCalliog's shot was brilliantly blocked after a goalmouth melee. The Yorkshiremen nevertheless appeared comfortable with their lead, inviting Everton to bring the game to them putting the onus on them to search for the equaliser.
At half time that The Owls were comfortably in control. The Everton side that had come to Wembley as the first team ever to reach the FA Cup Final without conceding a goal in the preceding rounds was struggling to make an impact.
The second period began more or less as the previous had finished, with Everton enjoying more of the ball but failing to capitalise on the advantage.
Young was desperately unlucky not to level the scores five minutes into the half when he received Temple's inch-perfect ball, turned sharply and smashed the ball goalwards from the penalty spot. However, Springett palmed it wide for a corner.
At the other end, McCalliog fired just wide for Wednesday in the 54th minute and only three minutes after that, West parried a fierce shot by Fantham and David Ford was on hand to power the ball home to make it 2-0 to the Yorkshiremen.
What followed was one of the greatest Cup final fight backs of all time, as Everton regrouped and set about their uphill task. The Blues' response was almost immediate. Just over two minutes later, Derek Temple's header was blocked and Trebilcock made no mistake from 12 yards to make it 2-1.
Another five minutes later and the Blues were level. Alex Scott launched a free kick into the Wednesday area, which was not properly cleared by Sam Ellis, and Trebilcock crashed home from the edge of the area, to give Everton their second. Suddenly, it was Wednesday who found themselves on the back foot.
With 16 minutes remaining, Gerry Young in the Sheffield defence failed to control a bouncing ball and Temple seized on it to race clear and fire past Springett from the edge of the area to put the Blues ahead for the first time. Trebilcock had a chance to complete his hat-trick in shortly after but was denied by Springett.
Wednesday did have one final chance in the 89th minute but Fantham was unable to convert and the day belonged to the men from Merseyside, who had brought the cup back to Goodison for the first time since Dixie Dean and Co. won it in 1933. Brian Labone went up to collect the trophy from Princess Margaret and the Goodison roar echoed around Wembley once again.