15 May 1993: Arsenal v Sheffield W in the FA Cup

By Tony Attwood

The FA Cup Final of 1993 is one I particularly remember, having been there (which always helps the memory).  It was played in the days when Wembley was, to my mind, a horrible, grotty ground where, as I recall, we sat on bench seats that had been put on the original terraces, so you had no guarantee of a proper view.

We started the journey on 2 January with a 3-1 win away to Yeovil and followed that up with a 2-2 draw at home to Leeds, winning the replay away 2-3.  The 5th round was a 2-0 home win against Forest, followed by a 2-4 away win at Ipswich.

The semi-final which I also went to was a 1-0 victory over Tottenham, also at Wembley.

And so to the final against Sheffield Wednesday, whom we had already beaten to win the League Cup.  It finished 1-1, and a replay was ordered for the following Thursday.

This was Sheffield Wednesday’s first FA Cup final for 27 years, and curiously they too had reached the League Cup final, losing to … well us 2-1.  It was a that sort of deja vu thing all over again.

Although it will always be remembered for being a season in which we became the first ever team to win the Cup Double, and Sheffield W became the first team to lose in both finals, it was not a great year for us otherwise as the final league table shows.

1 Manchester United 42 +36 84
2 Aston Villa 42 +17 74
3 Norwich City 42 -4 72
4 Blackburn Rovers 42 +22 71
5 Queens Park Rangers 42 +8 63
6 Liverpool 42 +7 59
7 Sheffield Wednesday 42 +4 59
8 Tottenham Hotspur 42 -6 59
9 Manchester City 42 +5 57
10 Arsenal 42 +2 56
11 Chelsea 42 -3 56
12 Wimbledon 42 +1 54

Just to add to the fun we had played in a league game two weeks before the FA Cup Final. But our form was not that inspirational in the league.

24.03.1993 Manchester United away 0-0
06.04.1993 Middlesbrough away 0-1
10.04.1993 Ipswich Town away 2-1
12.04.1993 Aston Villa home 0-1
21.04.1993 Nottingham Forest home 1-1
01.05.1993 Everton away 0-0
04.05.1993 Queens Park Rangers home 0-0
06.05.1993 Sheffield Wednesday away 0-1
08.05.1993 Crystal Palace home 3-0
11.05.1993 Tottenham Hotspur home 1-3

Just two wins in the last ten, ending with a horrible 1-3 at home to Tottenham, except that by then we had one cup tucked away in the storeroom and the possibility of the second.  No one bothered that much about losing to the Tiny Totts.

As for this first leg of the cup final Ian Wright gave us the lead on 20 minutes and Wednesday equalised on 61 minutes.

This was the last FA Cup final to go to a replay; after this one the Cup had to be decided on the day of the first match.   It was also the first final to use squad numbers, and the squad number system that we now have was used in the Premier League from 1993/4 onwards.

Steve Morrow also got his League Cup medal before the final – having been dropped by Tony Adams after the celebrations having scored the winner in that game.  For David O’Leary this washis penultimate game.

And so the teams.


Dixon Linigham Adams Winterburn

Merson Davis Jensen Parlour

Campbell Wright

Subs: O’Leary and SmithAttendance 79,347.  It wasn’t a great game, but we still had the chance of a unique cup double.  I remember particularly how the press just didn’t seem to care.  Anything that they said about us had the word “boring” in it.  They just wanted this out of the way so they could go back to talking about Liverpool.






2 Replies to “15 May 1993: Arsenal v Sheffield W in the FA Cup”

  1. A 20th Anniversary is big, but don’t forget another, less milestoney anniversary: 15 May 2004, the completion of the unbeaten season.

    Those Cup Finals against Wednesday featured former Arsenal and Nottingham Forest star Viv Anderson. And also John Harkes, of Kearny, New Jersey. In 1984, Kearny High School’s team, already the best “soccer” program in the State went 24-0 and may have been the best scholastic soccer team in American history, as that town of 40,000 produced players who made up one-third of the U.S. national team for the next decade.

    Those Kearny players’ success, and the passion of the local Irish, Scottish, Italian, Portuguese and Brazilian fans is why the New York Red Bulls’ arena, Thierry Henry’s new playpen, is next-door in the town of Harrison, right across the river from the larger city of Newark, a “satellite city” of New York.

    Harkes’ Kearny team beat my East Brunswick team in the State Final. (I wasn’t a player at EB, just a student.) Nine years later, he became the first (and I think still the only) American to score in a Wembley Final (the League Cup). Of course, he was also a “John Terry,” if you know what I mean, and that kept him off the 1998 World Cup team — and that probably kept the U.S. out of the knockout round. Today, he broadcasts for D.C. United and runs youth soccer programs.

  2. @Uncle Mike, ah yes, John Harkes, the man who infamously labelled Arsenal as ‘Wimbledon with A Levels’ at the time in the press! Also, picture the scene: it’s 1993, Arsenal WIN TWO TROPHIES (you know, the things that are SOOOOO important these days, ignore the fact that several notable ‘trophy winners’ in the recent past have almost gone bust as a result of chasing them), were they praised for being the first English team to win a cup double? Of course not!! It was all ‘lucky Arsenal’, ‘boring Arsenal’, in fact, Trevor Francis, manager of the beaten finalists, kept moaning that Arsenal stopped his players from playing football, with which the press agreed! Compare and contrast with what happened 14 years later…a certain moneybags team from west London, with a manager who got his team playing an identical style of football to George Graham’s teams (and still does), do the same thing, and the media can’t get enough of how ‘special’ he is!

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