Today, we have two more finals to look back at, although at least this time there is one happy memory to relive. Let’s go:
1989 - More extra time heartache as Liverpool prevail
From those two late May 18 FA Cup final defeats to West Brom and Manchester United came another 1989; at the hands of their nearest adversaries, no less.
After the tragedy of Hillsborough five weeks earlier, Everton and Liverpool met at Wembley on a poignant afternoon which saw little separate two sides who had drawn both league encounters that season, too.
Everton had struggled for consistency that year under Colin Harvey and finished eighth, while Liverpool lost on the title courtesy of that dramatic late Michael Thomas goal for Arsenal on the final day. This, though, was to be the Reds’ day.
And they were ahead inside four minutes, a long ball looping into the path of former Blue Steve McMahon, who presented John Aldridge with a tap-in. The scoreline would remain the same until the final 60 seconds of normal time, when a goalmouth scramble resulted in substitute Stuart McCall lashing the ball home.
But Liverpool kept slipping out of Everton’s grasp. Early in extra time, Ian Rush escaped Kevin Ratcliffe before firing past Neville Southall, and though McCall would go on to net a brace with a stunning long-range equaliser, so too would Rush two minutes later to seal a 3-2 win and the FA Cup for Kenny Dalglish’s side.
1995 - Rideout seals Toffees’ fifth FA Cup
One of Everton’s more well-documented success given that, embarrassingly, it remains the most recent a quarter of a century later, today also marks the 25th anniversary of their FA Cup final win over Man Utd.
Despite the thrilling and hugely impressive nature of their 4-1 semi-final thumping over Tottenham, Joe Royle led the Blues to Wembley as rank outsiders against Sir Alex Ferguson’s United, who were pipped to the First Division title by one point by Dalglish’s Blackburn.
But Everton defied the odds. A swift counter-attack on the half-hour saw Matt Jackson tee up Graham Stuart, who could inexplicably only find the crossbar. It didn’t matter, though, for Paul Rideout was on hand to head home the rebound past Peter Schmeichel. Not the prettiest, but not at all important.
United largely dominated the second period, coming close in particular through Gary Pallister’s header, which Neville Southall rose to save with confidence.
For in an otherwise pretty miserable decade, this was to be Everton’s time. A fifth FA Cup was theirs courtesy of that sole Rideout goal. Here’s only hoping this won’t be the most recent success to speak of for much longer, though.