Extract taken from the just published book ‘Wembley: Stadium of Legends’ by Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media 2007
Brighton and Hove Albion were enjoying a rare spell in the top flight in 1982-83, and after a good cup run their loyal fans were in disbelief to also find themselves in the 1983 FA Cup Final. However, it was no fluke that they had reached the final.Although doomed to relegation back to Division Two that season, they had claimed some major scalps on the road to Wembley, knocking out the likes of Newcastle United, Manchester City and Liverpool en route.
Inevitably they were touted as the underdogs, and rightly so considering theywere up against Manchester United. United were out to make up for their last visit to the stadiumwhen they had lost the 1979 final, but Jimmy Melia’s spirited Brighton team made a decent match of it.
The final was close and exciting, going into extra time after Gordon Smith and Gary Stevens had scored for Brighton, with Ray Wilkins and Frank Stapleton scoring for Manchester United.
In the last minute of extra time Brighton’s Gordon Smith was clear through on goal with just Gary Bailey to beat in the United goal. Time seemed to stand still, everyone watching echoing the radio commentator Peter Jones’ scream of ‘and Smith must score…’. Unfortunately for Albion he didn’t but the phrase entered football parlance. Brighton fans had a good sense of humour and with the advent of the self-publishing fanzine era from the mid 1980s, a Brighton fanzine was produced, entitled ‘And Smith Must Score’. So, for the third successive year the FA Cup Final required a replay. But the chance for a famous Seagulls’ victory had flown. The true gulf between the two teams was in evidence in the replay, which yielded four goals, this time all for Manchester United
A RED, BLACK AND WHITE MANCHESTER UNITED F.A. CUP FINAL TRACKSUIT TOP with embroidered badge, inscribed Manchester United Football Club, F.A. Cup Final, Wembley 1983 Lot Notes In the above F.A. Cup Final played on 21st May 1983 at Wembley, Manchester United drew 2-2 with Brighton and Hove Albion. In the Replay played on 26th May 1983 at Wembley, United defeated Brighton 4-0. The above top was worn for the first Final (not in the book)
© Wembley: Stadium of Legends, Tomsett & Brand, Dewi Lewis Media 2007. wembleystadiumoflegends