1973 FA Cup Final

The 1973 FA Cup Final was the 92nd final of the FA Cup. It took place on 5 May 1973 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Leeds United, the previous season's winners and one of the dominant teams in English football at the time, and Sunderland, then playing in the Second Division.

1973 FA Cup Final
Event1972–73 FA Cup
Date5 May 1973
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeKen Burns

In one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition, Sunderland won 1–0 to become the first Second Division side to lift the Cup since West Bromwich Albion in 1931. It remains Sunderland's only major trophy since World War II. Sunderland's team were the only FA Cup winners of the 20th century not to field any full internationals,[citation needed] although some of their players were capped later.

Road to Wembley

Leeds United
Home teams listed first. Round 3: Norwich City 1–1 Leeds United

Replay: Leeds United 1–1 Norwich City
2nd Replay: Leeds United 5–0 Norwich City (at Villa Park)

Round 4: Leeds United 2–1 Plymouth Argyle


Round 5: Leeds United 2–0 WBA


Quarter-Final: Derby County 0–1 Leeds United

Semi-Final: Leeds United 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

(at Maine Road, Manchester)

Home teams listed first. Round 3: Notts County 1–1 Sunderland

Replay: Sunderland 2–0 Notts County

Round 4: Sunderland 1–1 Reading

Replay: Reading 1–3 Sunderland

Round 5: Manchester City 2–2 Sunderland

Replay: Sunderland 3–1 Manchester City

Quarter-Final: Sunderland 2–0 Luton Town

Semi-Final: Sunderland 2–1 Arsenal

(at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield)

Match summary

The only goal scored
The final match ball with the Golden Boot awarded to Ian Porterfield of Sunderland

Sunderland established their tactics immediately from the kick-off and refused to be intimidated by their more illustrious opponents, tackling fiercely and defiantly with an unremitting determination. Leeds looked anxious, lacking their usual composure. The match itself was decided by two crucial moments that would be talked about for years to come.

After 32 minutes Sunderland took the lead when Vic Halom chested down a corner from Billy Hughes. Assisted by Dave Watson between two defenders, the deflected high ball was controlled by Ian Porterfield who shot home from 12 yards. Leeds, shocked, battled back with predictable determination. Sunderland’s goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery was outstanding, defying Leeds with a string of fine saves and preserving his team’s lead.

The turning point of the match came midway through the second half. Montgomery dived to palm away a close range header from Trevor Cherry. It fell into the path of Lorimer who blasted goalward from 10 yards but Montgomery managed to divert the ball on to the underside of the bar and Malone scrambled the ball clear. The save has been compared with that made by England’s Gordon Banks in the 1970 FIFA World Cup match against Brazil.[1]

The North East team survived more pressure from Leeds to secure a notable upset.[2]

The 1973 showpiece is the last FA Cup final to be played with an orange ball.

Sunderland's FA Cup record, "Sunderland All the Way", was recorded by comedian Bobby Knoxall.[3]

Match details

Leeds United0–1Sunderland
(Report) Porterfield  32'
Attendance: 100,000
Leeds United
GK1 David Harvey
DF2 Paul Reaney
DF3 Trevor Cherry
MF4 Billy Bremner (c)
DF5 Paul Madeley
DF6 Norman Hunter
FW7 Peter Lorimer
FW8 Allan Clarke
FW9 Mick Jones
MF10 Johnny Giles
MF11 Eddie Gray  75'
MF12 Terry Yorath  75'
Don Revie
GK1 Jimmy Montgomery
RB2 Dick Malone
LB3 Ron Guthrie
CM4 Micky Horswill
CB5 David Watson
CB6 Richie Pitt
RCM7 Bobby Kerr (c)
RW8 Billy Hughes
ST9 Vic Halom
LCM10 Ian Porterfield
LW11 Dennis Tueart
CB12 David Young
Bob Stokoe

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay if scores still level.
  • One named substitute.


  1. "Dream comes true for Sunderland". Glasgow Herald (page 4). 7 May 1973. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  2. "1973 FA Cup Rune". Roker Roar.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  3. Tim Booler and Jessica Forster (21 July 2009). "Comic legend Bobby Knoxall dies". Sunderland Echo. Archived from the original on 27 July 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.