Date: 23rd March 2018 at 10:17am
Written by:

On this day, back in 1986 I was amongst 67,236 football supporters that flocked to the old Wembley Stadium, for the very first Full Members Cup Final, between Chelsea and Manchester City, it was to be quite a memorable game.

With no European football on offer, courtesy of the ban inflicted by UEFA on English clubs following the Heysel disaster, the Full Members Cup was another competition whereby silverware was up for grabs, although participation was voluntary rather than compulsory.

On a bright March Sunday, the masses converged on Wembley Stadium with the vast Chelsea support hoping that their club could win a piece of silverware, a rarity in those days.

But, in true Chelsea style, things didn`t go smoothly.

Trailing to and early strike from Steve Kinsey, Chelsea battled to get back into the game, something that was achieved when David Speedie headed home the equaliser.

In what was an incredibly open game, the Chelsea fans must have thought they were in Utopia when their side dominated play to open up a 5-1 lead, with the other goals coming from two more from Speedie, giving the Scot as hat-trick (the first at the stadium since Geoff Hurst had netted three in the 66 World Cup Final) and a brace from Colin Lee who was playing in place of the injured Kerry Dixon.

But, with minutes to go, the Chelsea faithful were left biting their finger-nails as Manchester City launched what was almost an historical fight-back.

Three goals in the last five minutes, two from Mark Lillis and an own-goal from Doug Rougvie, saw Manchester City drag the game back to 5-4 and almost force extra-time.

Thankfully, Chelsea held on for victory in what was a remarkable game and Colin Pates made the magical walk up the Wembley steps to lift the trophy.

But what made the final even more remarkable was the fact that both sides had played First Division fixtures the day before, Chelsea travelled to the Dell to beat Southampton whilst Manchester City drew 2-2 with Manchester United in a Manchester derby.

Amazingly, both sides selected ten players, in their starting elevens, that had played the previous day.

For those interested, highlights of the game can be viewed below:

Will we ever see the like of it again?

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