Friday, April 12, 2024

1970 FA Cup final: The most brutal game in English football history


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In a fierce clash, Eddie Gray charges towards Chelsea’s goal, only to meet a determined challenge from David Webb, echoing their past encounters. The 1970 FA Cup final replay begins with a ferocity that sets the tone for a match not for the faint-hearted.
This historic showdown epitomizes a clash between Leeds United’s robust style and a flamboyant Chelsea side. Football in that era allowed bone-crunching tackles, and even by those standards, the match was brutal, leading to it being re-refereed twice due to its aggressive nature.
As Leeds and Chelsea gear up for another FA Cup encounter, BBC Sport revisits this infamous match, delving into one of English football’s most notorious chapters.The clash embodies the North-South rivalry, with Leeds representing gritty northerners and Chelsea the fashionable southern elite. Despite their differences, both teams shared power and skill, fueling a bitter rivalry. This mutual intensity led to deep-seated animosity, with individual grudges adding fuel to the fire.
Leeds carried resentment from previous encounters, notably their controversial 1967 FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea. The 1969-70 season saw multiple tense meetings, including a heated duel between Webb and Gray, culminating in Webb’s brutal challenge that left a lasting mark.
In a game where referees showed restraint, infractions went unpunished, leading to chaos on the pitch. Webb’s ruthless tackles crippled Gray, depriving Leeds of their star attacker. Decades later, the scars of that fateful encounter remain, a testament to a bygone era in English football. As Leeds and Chelsea prepare to renew their rivalry, the echoes of that infamous clash serve as a reminder of a time when football was played with passion and brutality. (Agencies)


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