Bryan Robson lifts the 1985 FA Cup.

Glory Days: How we won the FA Cup in 1985

In 1985, Manchester United lifted a sixth FA Cup trophy, as we defeated league champions Everton thanks to an extra-time winner from Norman Whiteside at Wembley Stadium.


The FA Cup campaign began with a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth, then in the third tier, which might have seemed routine but was rendered sweeter because the Cherries had dumped the Reds out of the competition at Dean Court a season earlier.

The 2-1 home triumph over Coventry was a much tighter affair, then Blackburn Rovers were beaten 2-0 at Ewood Park, before United hit a rich vein of form – a Norman Whiteside hat-trick being the centrepiece of a 4-2 quarter-final win over West Ham at Old Trafford, where Mark Hughes was also on target.

Against Liverpool in the Goodison semi, Atkinson’s men twice led through Bryan Robson and Frank Stapleton, only to be pegged back each time, just before the end of normal time and extra-time, respectively. That necessitated a replay at Maine Road, throwing up a cracking contest in which Liverpool nosed ahead through a Paul McGrath own goal, but United roared back to prevail through wondrous strikes from Robson and Hughes.


Having lost a lead twice in the first semi-final, it was imperative that the Reds struck back after falling behind in the replay. To do so in such spectacular fashion as Robson’s sublime long-range effort ensured the tide turned irreversibly United’s way.


Robson was at his inspirational best throughout the cup campaign, while Whiteside’s goals were exquisite in their timing and execution.

Ron Atkinson celebrates with a raised fist.
The 1985 FA Cup was Ron Atkinson's second as United manager, after previously lifting the trophy in 1983.

The Wembley showpiece between two old rivals was unexpectedly dull for most of its 120-minute duration, but when it burst into life it became unforgettable, as Kevin Moran’s dismissal made him the first man to be sent off in an FA Cup final. Extra-time held no terrors for the 10 men of United, however, and in the second period Whiteside bent home the most sublime and significant goal of his Old Trafford career.

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