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A look back in time: Liverpool 3-1 Everton, FA Cup final, 10 May 1986

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Liverpool 3-1 Everton

FA Cup Final

10 May 1986

Ian Rush: This was extra special, because the FA Cup was the one trophy that had eluded Liverpool for the past dozen years. The fact that we were facing our Mersey neighbours Everton in the final added extra spice. Ever since we'd both won our semi-finals Merseyside had been in a state of wild excitement at the prospect.

Ronnie Whelan: We’d had the all-Merseyside League Cup final in 1984 but this was the big one, this was the FA Cup, this was the one we all wanted to win. We’re going there to win the double. Everton are going there to stop us doing the double.

Ian Rush: Of course, it was the first all-Merseyside FA Cup final and we were the top two teams, I’d say, in Europe at the time, not just England. But although we were chasing the elusive double, I felt that all the pre-match pressure was on Everton. We had a trophy to our name already. If we beat them at Wembley, they'd have nothing to show for their season.

Alan Hansen: Funnily enough, I’d gone out for dinner with Kevin Ratcliffe the week before we’d played Chelsea – it had been arranged by one of the newspapers – and we agreed that we’d be happy to settle for one [trophy] each. If they get the league we’ll take the cup and vice-versa. But when we won the title we wanted the two of them.

Jan Molby: Although I had missed the last game at Chelsea in the league through illness I still felt Kenny would put me in, which he did. I felt nervous all week, not on the day, but leading up to it.

Ronnie Whelan: That was one of the most intense times I had going into a cup final. There was always a fear against Everton. I wouldn’t fear playing against Manchester United or Tottenham in cup finals but playing against Everton... there was the fear that you were going to let so many people down within the city. You know, you’re not going to get a load of Man United or Tottenham fans running around Liverpool shouting they’ve won but you would get a lot of Evertonians running around shouting if they win the game. That was the intensity of it.

Craig Johnston: The build-up to the cup final for me was not easy. It was like having butterflies in your stomach for a couple of weeks beforehand. The nerves of being in this goldfish bowl where you couldn’t walk out the house without somebody making a comment either way – ‘I love you’ or ‘I hate you’ – I can still remember it now. I would physically feel a little bit sick and that’s not ideal preparation for any game.

Alan Hansen: I was always nervous and the FA Cup final then was going to be probably the biggest game, at that time, that I’d played in my life. By the time the day came around I was drained.

Jan Molby: The reason I came to England was because of the cup final. I wanted to play at Wembley in a cup final. Not the League Cup, not an international match with Denmark – which I already had done – I wanted to play in an FA Cup final. It’s the one thing you remember from when you’re a kid. Even in Denmark I used to watch them. And here it was. In those days, I believe, the FA Cup final was bigger than the European Cup final.

Alan Hansen: We get to Wembley and because it was Liverpool versus Everton I will never see a finer sight in my life than that of the Reds and Blues together on Wembley Way. It was magical. A great example to the world, I thought, about how a city could come together.

Jan Molby: So, we arrive at Wembley, 100,000 people. We go out to have a look at the pitch in our Wembley suits and, believe me, the Wembley suits were nothing special – off  the peg, but it was a Wembley suit. We go back in the dressing room and I can’t wait. Then, 15 minutes before kick-off you get the call to go and stand in the tunnel, the longest tunnel in football.

Alan Hansen: Of course, when you get in the tunnel the nerves disappear but they keep you in the tunnel for ten to 15 minutes. Then you come out the tunnel and there is just this crescendo of noise. By that stage of my career I’d played in four European Cup finals but I’d never experienced anything like that. This was like bedlam - the noise, and it was so hot. Everton got a corner after about seven minutes and I’m marking Graeme Sharp at the back post and he turned and said, ‘It’s hot isn’t it?’ And I just groaned.

Jan Molby: I think the occasion got to us a bit in the first half. None of us had played in the cup final before, whereas Everton had been there the previous two years and we didn’t play well enough in the first half to give the impression that we were going to win the match. That wasn’t necessarily down to us playing badly, that was just them being in control. They used their qualities. You see that with the goal, Lineker’s pace.

Mark Lawrenson: He got in behind Al didn’t he? I just remember Al chasing him. I couldn’t have caught him.

Alan Hansen: Hansen the pundit would have slaughtered Hansen the player. It broke every rule in the book. When Reidy chipped the ball through, the golden rule was to push up and let him go offside or just turn and run. I just looked at it and he was away from me.

Bruce Grobbelaar: I went down to my left, got a hand to it and parried it. But he got there first and slid it in.

Mark Lawrenson: We forgot to play, we seriously forgot to play. Everton dominated the first half and I remember when we went in at half-time Ronnie Moran gave us a right talking to.

Kenny Dalglish: One of the most important parts of a manager's duty is to motivate the players at half- time. I told them, ‘We've been magnificent all season, there's 45 minutes to go, let's go and give it our lot’. It was not quite Churchill but the players responded.

Mark Lawrenson: We had another fifteen minutes in the second half though when we were still crap. Brucie and Jim Beglin nearly came to blows over a defensive mix-up but in hindsight it was the wake-up call that we needed.

Jim Beglin: Bruce was telling me to let the ball run through but I put my foot on it. I was trying to shield it from Trevor Steven and ended up getting into a bit of a muddle. Bruce got excited and called me something, I called him something back and then he hit me. I was about to hit him back when it flashed through my mind that my friends and family were in the stand and there were millions on TV watching. I’ve heard people say that was the turning point so if it was the wake-up call we needed then great. We hadn’t been in the game until that point.

Alan Hansen: Early in the second half I thought to myself, ‘We could get stuffed here’, but we all know what happened then...

Ian Rush: Jan Molby laid a ball just behind their defence and suddenly the chance was on. I reached it just before Bobby Mimms, took it round him and rolled it into an empty net. There was an explosion in my head like nothing I had experienced before.

Jan Molby: We were very tentative in the first half but after the equaliser everything clicked and we weren't going to lose then.

Craig Johnston: Everywhere I went, [Pat] Van Den Hauwe was with me. Box to box. Then one time, I remember going back to our box and he followed me. I saw a space down the wing and I started to sprint into it. The ball was on our left but Van Den Hauwe followed me all the way for 70 or so yards. By then Jan Molby had the ball. I knew he’d try to find Kenny first, but something prompted me to make that last ten-yard dash. Instinctively I went, and it was only because I had a bigger heart that I connected with the cross. Psycho Pat didn’t have any legs left in him, and it was the easiest goal I’ve ever scored. It went through Kenny’s legs and just sat up perfectly for me. I said to myself, ‘This cannot be this easy’. It was like slow motion and everything seemed quiet. Then, all of a sudden, as I put the ball in the net, the whole place erupted.

Jan Molby: Of course, they [Everton] knew the history of Liverpool over the previous 20 years and somewhere inside their head they were probably thinking, ‘I can’t believe that’s just happened, here they come again’.

Craig Johnston: I jumped up in the air shouting, ‘I’ve done it, I’ve done it!’ It was my dream to play in an FA Cup final and to score a decisive goal was unbelievable. If somebody would have shot me then, I’d have died a happy man.

Ian Rush: The last goal, our third, was a classic example of Liverpool at their best, with Jan Molby and then Ronnie Whelan carving out the chance for me. Jan had the ball and he passed to Ronnie Whelan, Kenny went to the left and I went to the right. So Ronnie had to decide whether to give it to Kenny or give it to me.

Ronnie Whelan: I knew Kenny had run across to my left because he was moaning at me as he went past. But I wasn’t too sure about Kenny scoring with his left foot. I just felt if I could get it over Kevin Ratcliffe’s head and right on to Rushie’s foot he was going to score.

Ian Rush: Luckily from my point of view he gave it to me. I controlled it and smashed it past the keeper to make it 3-1. It’s become famous for the way the ball hit the camera in the goal but it was special and once that went in I knew we had won.

Ronnie Whelan: I was so happy he scored because I would have got some stick off  Kenny if he hadn’t! Seriously though, we’d done it. We’d won the double. It was magnificent.

Kenny Dalglish: The Evertonians at the end of the game must have been absolutely gutted. They had lost the league and were 1-0 up at half-time in the FA Cup nal only to be beaten 3-1. It must have seemed like a bad dream.

Ian Rush: When you’re a kid, you don’t dream about winning the league, you dream about scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final. That was my first FA Cup final and I did it against the local rivals, Everton. It was just like everything rolled into one.

Jan Molby: Without wanting to sound big-headed the only thing missing from my performance was a goal, and I had a couple of chances to score. It would have been nice to have got a goal but football's a team game and it didn't matter who scored as long as we won. At the end of the day I had a hand in all three of our goals, which was great.

Kenny Dalglish: The lads put in a great effort and did everything that was asked of them. I was delighted for them as much as myself. All I did was pick the right team. It was such a proud moment. We did so well to win the league – the Wembley victory was just the icing on the cake for us.

Alan Hansen: It was hard to believe that for all the success achieved under Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan, the FA Cup was the one prize that had eluded the club since 1974. Somehow it had seemed as if there was a jinx on us. Then in Kenny's first year as boss, there it was. As a managerial debut for Kenny it could not have been bettered. It was an incredibly good season for us.

Ian Rush: His first season in management had been an incredible success; to achieve it while he was still playing as well made it all the more remarkable. Doing the double was next to impossible back then. No-one had done it since Arsenal in 1971. It was something very, very special and something I will never ever forget.

Jim Beglin: To go and do the double as we did was just incredible. I was in dreamland. 

Jan Molby: I was absolutely delighted and I just thought, is there anything better than this? If the only thing I ever done in my career was win the double in 1985/86, then that would have done me.

Mark Lawrenson: If you’d have said to anybody involved in the football club, at the start of the season, that you’d win the double they’d have carted you off. It just doesn’t sink in for ages and when I say ages, it’s not months, it’s years and years.

Bruce Grobbelaar: For us to produce a season like that showed the world that this football club was not going to go away.

Jan Molby: There are other teams in the history of Liverpool Football Club that would have been better, but we had a togetherness, we had a belief, we had a mentality – that just got the job done.

Ronnie Whelan: To put the scale of the achievement into perspective, you only have to think about all the other great Liverpool teams that never won the double, yet this set of lads came together and did it.

This is an extract from The Red Journey: An Oral History of Liverpool Football Club, by Mark Platt, available here: http://www.decoubertin.co.uk/RedJourney

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