Re-live Ipswich Town’s FA Cup Final triumph over Arsenal on the 39th anniversary

Sir Bobby Robson and Mick Mills lead Ipswich Town out for the 1978 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Sir Bobby Robson and Mick Mills lead Ipswich Town out for the 1978 FA Cup Final at Wembley. - Credit: Archant

May the sixth – it’s a special day in the history of Ipswich Town.

It was on this day in 1978 that the Blues beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final.

Sir Bobby Robson’s underdogs, who struggled in the league that year, hit the woodwork three times in a one-sided match played out in front of 100,000 people at Wembley Stadium.

Roger Osborne scored the only goal of the game, slotting past Arsenal goalkeeper Pat Jennings after teenager David Geddis’s cross was knocked into his path, sparking the famous piece of David Coleman commentary “taking the defender on and winning, Osborne, 1-0!”

Speaking in 2008, when the squad were together to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their success, Osborne admitted it was a moment which has probably never really sunk in.


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“I don’t know whether it ever has really,” he said. “I didn’t sign as a professional with Ipswich until I was 21, when I joined the club I just wanted to get in the first team, and because I was not one of the better players at the club I always had to play to my maximum to get in the team.

“I could never, ever have imagined when I was 18 that I could do that.

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“I still find it all a little unbelievable myself that I scored the winning goal in the cup final.”

Ipswich Town: Cooper, Burley, Mills, Talbot, Hunter, Beattie, Osborne (Lambert), Wark, Mariner, Geddis, Woods.

Arsenal: Jennings, Rice, Nelson, Price, O’Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, MacDonald, Stapleton, Hudson.

On this day in 1981 Town recorded a 3-0 home win over Dutch side AZ Alkmaar – with goals from John Wark, Frans Thijssen and Paul Mariner – in the first leg of the UEFA Cup Final. It meant that a 4-2 loss in the second leg, a whole fortnight later, couldn’t prevent them becoming champions.

Ipswich Town: Cooper, McCall, Osman, Bucher, Mills, Wark, Thijssen, Muhren, Brazil, Gates, Mariner.

What are your memories of both of those glorious days?

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