Everton have been in the FA Cup final a total of 13 times, but it’s possible none were more important to their success as a club than the one they reached in 1984. So let’s take a look at how this date shaped Everton history as we know it!
1984: Everton win FA Cup, beating Watford
The 1983-84 campaign was a tough one for the Toffees. Coming off a 7th and 8th place finish in consecutive seasons, the club was looking to make that jump to the next level, but instead, they went in the opposite direction. After losing 4 of 6 in November, there were talks of sacking manager Howard Kendall after the team slipped into 18th place, but Everton would respond. The club went on to lose just 2 of their next 21 matches and finished the season in 7th place. Not where they wanted, but significantly better than they could have been. Despite the average finish, though, there was still hope for a trophy. The Toffees were rolling in the FA Cup.
After defeating Stoke 2-0, taking down Gillingham in the 2nd replay and handling Shrewsbury town easily, 3-0, Everton were set to take on Notts County in the quarterfinals. Despite Notts being in a relegation battle, this one was not easy by any means. The Toffees would give up their first goal of the competition, but, fortunately, that wouldn’t mean much as Andy Gray and Kevin Richardson bagged a goal each to lead Everton to a 2-1 victory. It wouldn’t get easier from there as Southampton gave Everton a tough battle in the semis, as well. The Saints were in a fight for the title and were hoping to get a chance at two trophies in the season with a trip to the FA Cup Final, but the Toffees were having none of that. The defense showed up once again, holding Southampton scoreless for all of regulation and extra time as Adrian Heath grabbed the only goal of the game in the 117th minute to send Everton to the FA Cup Final. That brings us to May 19th, 1984.
With the opportunity to win their first trophy in 14 years and in their first FA Cup Final since 1968, Everton took on Watford FC at Wembley. The Hornets did not have the best of seasons, either, finishing 11th after a 2nd place finish the year prior, but they were hoping to save the season, like the Toffees, with a trophy. The two teams met twice that campaign, with Everton winning the first before drawing at Watford later in the year. The one issue for Watford, though? The Toffees were in great form and they were on the verge of something special. It didn’t take long for Everton to prove that, either, as they got off to a great start with Graeme Sharp giving them the lead in the first half. The Toffees would only get better from there with the defense stepping up in impressive fashion to keep things scoreless heading into the break.
The game was still in reach for the Hornets, but it was only a matter of time before Everton built on their lead. 6 minutes into the second half Andy Gray drilled a powerful header towards the net that sent both the ball and the keeper into the goal to extend the lead to 2 and with the Toffee defense playing on another level, that is all they would need. Once again, Everton were FA Cup Champions, hoisting the trophy for the first time in 18 years. And, as we all know, this was just the beginning for Howard Kendall and the talented Toffees.
And THAT is today in Everton history!