Today is the 141st edition of the English FA Cup final and it will be between Leicester City and eight-time winners, Chelsea.
The FA Cup has always been the tournament of the underdogs and there was no greater underdog in the 1995 edition, especially in the semi-final when Everton drew the Jurgen Klinsmann-led Tottenham.
In the Everton team was a certain Nigerian, Daniel Amokachi. ‘Da Bull’ had starred for Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup in the US but on April 9, 1995, at Elland Road Stadium, Amokachi created another historical moment.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in February 2021, the Olympic gold medalist revealed how he sent himself on against Tottenham without his manager’s knowledge.
“I told Jimmy Gabriel, who was in charge of subs, that the gaffer [Joe Royle] had said I was to go on. Jimmy gave the paper to the fourth official, and I ran on the pitch. I turned just as the gaffer was running towards the sideline shouting, “what the hell are you doing?” Poor Jimmy was left to explain.”
This happened as Everton’s top striker, Paul Rideout was being treated on the side of the pitch and actually, the medic had signalled he would be able to continue.
But fortunately for Amokachi; with the game in the balance at 2-1 and Tottenham pushing for the equaliser, he settled the game with a brace. The first was a bullet header at the back post in the 82nd minute and his second, scored in the 90th minute, was a half volley, again at the back post.
The reward for his deceit and impudence was Everton reaching the final where they beat Manchester United 1-0. Rideout scored the goal in the final and Royle sent on Amokachi in the 69th minute, this time legally and properly as promised by the manager after the semi-final fiasco.
Royle also revealed to Daily Mail, “I wanted them to hold on for a few seconds but Daniel [Amokachi] wandered on to the pitch and that was it. He was desperate to play but he should not have been on.”
The history books record that Amokachi, a substitute, scored a brace for Everton against Tottenham in the 1995 FA Cup semifinal. Many will think and say, ‘what an inspired sub by Royle’ when they should actually say, ‘how did that happen’?
Relive the moment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=515QJhovCvw&authuser=1
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