Crazy Gang heroics, Hurst's hat-trick, Villa's magic - Old Wembley's best games

There were plenty of memorable matches played at the old Wembley. We picked out five of the best.

Published : Apr 29, 2020 02:09 IST , LONDON

Throwback to the old Wembley stadium - here are our five favourite games at the iconic venue before its makeover.
Throwback to the old Wembley stadium - here are our five favourite games at the iconic venue before its makeover.

Throwback to the old Wembley stadium - here are our five favourite games at the iconic venue before its makeover.

It has been 18 years since Wembley's famous Twin Towers were bulldozed to, eventually, make way for a new modernised stadium in its place.

The original Wembley Stadium was one of the most iconic venues in the world and played host to some timeless classics.

On Apil 28th in 1923, Wembley hosted its first ever match and to mark the occasion we delved back through the archives to pick out five of the best games to be played at the home of English football.

Take a look at our selection below.

READ :How Liverpool conquered the FIFA Club World Cup


A clash of styles. Wimbledon's unfancied 'Crazy Gang' up against the 'Culture Club' of Liverpool – English football's dominant side of the 1980s, which was crowned Division One Champions in 1988. Wimbledon had completed two seasons in the top division and were only elected to the Football League 11 years earlier.

FA Cup final hero Lawrie Sanchez holds the coveted trophy aloft, from the balcony of Wimbledon's Town Hall, on May 24, 1988 when thousands of supporters welcomed the dons home after their one-nil win against Liverpool at Wembley.

But Lawrie Sanchez headed in Dennis Wise's free-kick and Dave Beasant became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in a Wembley FA Cup final as Wimbledon ripped up the script in one of the biggest upsets in the competition's illustrious history.


Just two years later in the 1990 FA Cup final, Crystal Palace was seven minutes from glory in a harum-scarum affair. Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes had cancelled out Gary O'Reilly's 19th-minute opener only for Ian Wright's equaliser to force extra time. Wright had been out for eight weeks with a broken leg that saw him miss the semi-final and his second goal early in the additional period had the Eagles' fans dreaming.

Alex Ferguson, erstwhile manager of Manchester United, lifts the FA Cup after his team defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 in the replay final at Wembley in 1990.

But Hughes completed his own brace in the 113th minute to herald a replay, which United won 1-0 thanks to Lee Martin. It was the first trophy of Alex Ferguson's Red Devils tenure…the rest is history.

WATCH :Charlie Adam: Dalglish started Liverpool's winning trend


It had been 10 years since the tragic Munich air disaster, which claimed the lives of 23 people including eight United players. So, it was a particularly poignant victory for Matt Busby and his celebrated team, who defeated Benfica 4-1 in the 1968 European Cup final.

Jubilant David Sadler, held by Pat Crerand, as he crowns himself with the European Cup. Behind is Britain's 'Footballer of the Year' George Best. Manchester United won a dramatic 4-1 European Cup final win in extra time over the Portuguese champion, Benfica, in London

With the scores at 1-1 after regulation time, George Best and Brian Kidd were on target before Bobby Charlton's second of the game saw United become the first English team to win the European Cup.


There was nothing to split Tottenham and Manchester City in a 1-1 draw the first time around in the 1981 FA Cup final – City's Tommy Hutchinson scoring at both ends - but the replay is best remembered for one of the greatest goals in Wembley history from Argentine wizard Ricky Villa.

Ricardo Villa (left), scoring for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City during the FA Cup Final replay at Wembley on May 14, 1981. Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Corrigan (right) can only watch, beaten.

Villa had already opened the scoring and Garth Crooks equalised for Spurs after Steve MacKenzie scintillating volley and Kevin Reeves' penalty put City ahead. With 14 minutes remaining, Villa waltzed his way through a tired City defence and coolly slotted home to win the cup for Spurs in a 3-2 thriller.


"And here comes Hurst. He's got...some people are on the pitch, they think it's all over…it is now!" The immortal words uttered by Kenneth Wolstenholme described the moment when England put the finishing touches on a famous 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany to win the World Cup on home soil.

This was England's controversial third goal scored by Geoff Hurst (not shown) during the World Cup football match final against German, in Wembley on July 30, 1966.

Geoff Hurst was the hero with a hat-trick, albeit there was a touch of controversy about his second and England's third. Alas, goal-line technology was more than half a century away. There was nothing controversial about his emphatic fourth in the final minute of extra time, though, clattered deliriously into the top corner.

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