1970 FA Cup Final Replay (partially found original ITV coverage of football match; 1970)

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Chelsea's Ron Harris lifting the trophy.

Status: Partially Found

The 1970 FA Cup Final Replay culminated the 89th FA Cup season. Originating after finalists Chelsea and Leeds United drew 2-2 on 11th April 1970, the replay occurred on 29th April in front of 62,078 at Old Trafford. In a match famous for its brutality, and for being one of the most-watched football matches in British television history, the encounter was ultimately won by Chelsea 2-1, claiming its first FA Cup in the process. While the BBC coverage is widely available, much of the original ITV broadcast is missing.


Chelsea and Leeds, as First Division members, both entered the FA Cup in the Third Round Proper.[1][2] Chelsea's road to the Final saw it defeat Birmingham City, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, and Watford.[2] Meanwhile, Leeds' campaign consisted of it overcoming Swansea City, Sutton United, Mansfield Town, Swindon Town, and Manchester United.[2] Neither Chelsea nor Leeds had previously won the FA Cup, but both teams had finished runners-up in recent Finals, in 1967 and 1965 respectively.[3][4][5]

Heading into their first clash, both Chelsea and Leeds had finished strongly in the 1969/70 First Division season, finishing third and second respectively.[3][1] Both teams had also beaten one another in games; Leeds achieved a League double on the blues, whereas the London club had eliminated the Yorkshire team in the Third Round of the League Cup.[6][3] Throughout the 1960s, the clubs had developed a rivalry.[7][3][6] For example, they Chelsea won a 1967 FA Cup semi-final match between the two clubs 1-0, but Leeds were unhappy with a possible goal being disallowed minutes before full-time and were seeking revenge.[3][6] Additionally, Leeds' 2-0 League win over Chelsea on 20th September 1969 saw six different players suffer injuries that forced them out of future matches.[8][3] Further, a North and South divide was noted, with the blues linked with the posher and celebrity-obsessed culture compared to Leeds' Northern working-class roots.[6][3]

The teams met on 11th April 1970, in front of 100,000 at Wembley Stadium.[9] Leeds took the lead after 21 minutes thanks to a goal from Jack Charlton, but the blues equalised courtesy of Peter Houseman.[10][6][9] The whites again led following a Mick Jones goal at the 84th minute mark, but Ian Hutchinson levelled the game two minutes later.[10][6][9] 30 minutes of extra-time failed to break the deadlock, thus forcing a replay to be staged for the first time in the Cup's history since 1912.[11][6][9] The Wembley pitch, which was already in poor condition prior to the match, was damaged so severely that the FA were forced to relocate the Final to Old Trafford, where the replay would be held 18 days later.[12][13][10] With the match widely acclaimed, and with this being the first ever FA Cup Final replay to be televised, it enticed many throughout Britain to watch the encounter live.[11][3] The live BBC One and ITV broadcasts would draw a combined 32.5 million viewers.[14][11] To date, it is among the top ten most watched one-off television broadcasts in the United Kingdom, and the third highest drawing football match, with only the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final and the UEFA EURO 2020 Final having attracted more viewers.[14][11]

The Match

The replay occurred on 29th April in front of 62,078 at Old Trafford.[15] Just two minutes in, Chelsea's Neil Webb performed a 2-footed slide tackle on Eddie Gray, damaging the latter's left shin, most likely in retaliation for Gray's man-marking in the original match.[6][3][12] Gray was forced to limp on as no substitutions were allowed back then.[12][3] After 14 minutes, Webb performed another two-footed tackle, this time victimising Alan Clarke.[6][3] Chelsea's captain Ron Harris also injured Gray prior to half-time, crippling the latter's left knee following a late tackle.[6][3][12] Leeds responded by having Charlton headbutt and strike Chelsea's Peter Osgood with his knee, while, after both were responding to a cross, Jones kneed goalkeeper Peter Bonetti.[3] This impaired the latter and proved critical for the replay's first game minutes later.[3][12][6] Despite other serious foul play, including a punch-up between Norman Hunter, and Houseman, and a kung-fu style kick from Eddie McCreadie onto Billy Bremner, referee Eric Jennings produced just one yellow card all game, and 46 free kicks.[3][6][12] Some modern referees have stated they would have shown up to 15 red cards if they were officiating the encounter.[7][6][3][12]

In the midst of the replay's brutality, it was Leeds who opened the scoring.[3][6][10] After 35 minutes, Jones received the ball from a fast-charging Clarke, allowing him to fire the ball past a limping Bonetti.[3][6][10][15] The whites generally controlled the first-half, as Chelsea became defensive-minded to enable Bonetti to recover.[3][10] The blues were able to withstand several other opportunities from Leeds in the first-half, and late in the second, they launched a comeback.[3][6][10] Cooke managed to obtain the ball within the midfield, and chipped the ball into the centre, enabling Osgood to perform a diving header to level the game after 78 minutes.[3][6][10][15] By scoring this goal, Osgood earned the accolade of having scored in every single round of Chelsea's 1970 FA Cup campaign.[3] Neither side gained the lead within the remainder of normal time, forcing extra time to be played.[3][6][10] After 104 minutes, Chelsea gained the lead when Dave Webb fired a header into the goal after capitalising on Hutchinson's cross.[3][6][10][15]

It looked as if Chelsea doubled their lead when Hutchinson received a pass from Osgood, enabling him to tap the ball into the net.[3] However, it was ruled offside.[3] Ultimately, despite the ball's continual presence within the Chelsea area, Leeds could not find an equaliser, resulting in Chelsea winning its first FA Cup upon full-time.[6][3][10][15][4] Since then, the blues have won a further seven FA Cups, the last as of the present day being in 2018.[4] Meanwhile, Leeds would win its first, and to date, only, FA Cup in 1972.[5] The replay has been regarded as a brutal, dirty affair between two teams with a mutual dislike for one another.[6][3] It would lead to the Chelsea-Leeds rivalry further developing throughout the 1970s and 1980s.[6][3][7]


Both the BBC and ITV fully televised the match live.[11] The BBC's coverage, which had commentary provided by Ken Wolstenholme, was preserved and is widely publicly available.[11] The broadcast also occurred 30 minutes before ITV's, the latter starting their coverage just 15 minutes before kick-off.[11] Brian Moore provided commentary for the ITV transmission, with highlights later broadcast on ITV franchise channels including STV's Scotsport Special, which lasted for around 45 minutes.[11] Unlike the BBC recording, the ITV coverage is mostly missing, to the extent that for an official home media release of the replay in the mid-1990s, Moore was forced to dub in new commentary that relied upon the BBC's transmission and camera shots.[16][17][11] This is not the only missing ITV coverage of a cup game, as the broadcaster has also lost its airings of the 1967 FA Cup Final and the 1968 Football League Cup Final.[16]

The redone coverage is publicly available, and was used for The Guardian's retro MBM report in 2020 to celebrate the match's 50th anniversary.[18][17] Among original coverage that was recovered includes all three goals. However, based on a video by Ye Olde Football Channel surrounding surviving ITV footage of goals from the 1970 season, footage of Chelsea's equaliser cuts out immediately following the goal.



Full BBC coverage of the match.

Montage of foul play that occurred in the replay.

Original ITV coverage of all three goals (1:23:10-1:23:49).

Highlights utilising redubbed Brian Moore commentary and the BBC's transmission.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 English Football League Tables detailing the 1969/70 First Division table. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 RSSSF detailing the road to the Final. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 These Football Times detailing the prelude to the replay and the match itself. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Chelsea detailing its trophy cabinet. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  5. 5.0 5.1 Transfer Markt detailing Leeds' trophy cabinet. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 BBC Sport documenting the two matches and the brutality of the replay. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Rivals detailing the rivalry between Chelsea and Leeds, which culminated at the two matches. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  8. Mighty Leeds detailing the 20th September 1969 match that saw six players suffer serious injuries. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 11 vs 11 detailing the result and statistics of the first match. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 FA Cup Finals summarising both matches. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 ITV Football detailing the television coverage of the replay, and noting the original ITV coverage is now missing. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Planet Football detailing the tackles that occurred during the replay. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  13. Don Revie: The Biography noting the damaged Wembley pitch prior to the first game that only worsened throughout. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  14. 14.0 14.1 The Daily Telegraph newspaper piece detailing the BBC 1's top 15 programmes in 1970, including the replay itself. Retrieved 6th Oct '22
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 11 vs 11 detailing the replay match result and other statistics. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  16. 16.0 16.1 Missing Episodes discussing the lost original ITV coverage of the replay. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  17. 17.0 17.1 Twitter post discussing The Guardian's usage of the redubbed Brian Moore coverage that utilised the BBC's transmission. Retrieved 5th Oct '22
  18. The Guardian's retro MBM of the match. Retrieved 5th Oct '22