Liverpool v Leeds 1965 FA Cup Final

In 1965 Bill Shankly's Liverpool won the FA Cup final against Leeds United. The iconic FA cup is pictured below and is easily recognised by its sticky out handles.

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The Liverpool team consisted of the following players:

Tommy (tubby) Lawrence. Unusually for Scottish goalkeepers at that time he didn't seem to have any problems with his eyesight or co-ordination.

Chris Lawler. A right back known as the "Silent Knight" for his ability to arrive from nowhere in the penalty area and score vital goals, 61 in total.

Gerry Byrne. A one club marauding left back (sounds familiar?). Broke his collar bone in the third minute of cup final but played the full 90 minutes plus extra time! The medical team knew he had broken his collar bone but as no substitutes were allowed at that time Bill Shankly didn't tell him until after the game ;-)

Ron Yeats. Another legendary figure. When Shankly signed him he said to the press. "The man is a mountain, Go in the dressing room and walk round him"  Yeats added real stability and presence to the Liverpool defence and as such was the VVD of his day.

Tommy Smith. What more can I say about Mr Smith? Rugged, uncompromising and Liverpool through and through.

George Stevenson. Another Scot who played in various positions in the team and later replaced by the Emlyn Hughes.

Ian Callaghan. The indefatigable ever present who still holds the record for the most appearances in a Liverpool shirt (857). He might have had even more if they could only have persuaded him to wear his shorts and socks too......

Geoff Strong. A utility player who played in virtually every outfield position.

Roger Hunt. A legendary goal scorer who still holds the record for the number of league goals. Quite a feat when you consider the great goal scorers that have played for Liverpool over the years.

Ian St John. He was one of the players lots of supporters most wanted to be. A nippy busy goal scoring inside forward. It is claimed that when a local church put up a sign that said "Jesus saves" some wag added "but St John scores". On a similar theme "what are you going to do when Jesus arrives" the response being "move St John out to the wing".

Phil Thomson. A tricky left winger (or outside forward) who could beat people for fun.

Gordon Milne. An ever present and Shankly favourite who was unfortunate to miss the final through injury.

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Back row, from left to right, Ron Yeats, Gordon Milne, Willie Stevenson, Ian St John, Chris Lawler and Gerry Byrne, front row, left to right, Tommy Lawrence, Peter Thompson, Geoff Strong, Tommy Smith, Roger Hunt and Ian Callaghan.

As so often with finals (CL anyone?) it was not a classic with two equally matched teams cancelling out each other. The score after 90 minutes was 0-0 but in extra time Liverpool took the lead with a headed goal from Roger Hunt with Leeds equalising shortly afterwards through a goal from another famous Scot Billy Bremner. The match was won though by a diving header from Ian St John and Wembley and Liverpool erupted in a frenzy of red and white or err, in this case, black and white. (Didn't know Carlsberg was big as far back as that)

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The Liverpool team had a Scottish manager and four Scottish players Lawrence, Stevenson, Yeats and St John enough to start a riot anywhere:-) Despite this they somehow managed to win the first FA Cup in the history of LFC and this team which had won the League the previous year also went on to win the league again the following year. These were the peak years of Shankly's team and coincided with the rise of Liverpool as the working class cultural centre of England in conjunction with Beatlemania and the swinging sixties. In time though the team started to fall away a little so Shankly knew that to keep Liverpool at the top he had to rebuild but that is another story for another day...…..
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