1972 Football League Cup Final

1972 Football League Cup Final
Event 1971–72 Football League Cup
Date 4 March 1972
Venue Wembley Stadium, London
Referee Norman Burtenshaw (Great Yarmouth)
Attendance 97,852

The 1972 Football League Cup Final took place on 4 March 1972 at Wembley Stadium and was contested by Chelsea and Stoke City.

Chelsea went into the match as strong favourites having won the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in the previous two seasons, whereas Stoke were attempting to win their first major trophy. Terry Conroy put Stoke into the lead early on but Chelsea hit back through Peter Osgood just before half time. Stoke got the decisive final goal from veteran George Eastham to end their 109-year wait for a major honour.[1] It remains the club's only major trophy victory; the closest they have come since then to beating this achievement was in 2011 when they lost to Manchester City in the 2011 FA Cup Final.

Match review

Both sides reached the final after epic semi-final ties with Chelsea beating Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke, West Ham United.[1] The match took place on 4 March 1972 at Wembley Stadium in front of 97,852 with around 35,000 travelling down from Stoke-on-Trent.[1]

Despite it being Stoke's first major final they showed no signs of nerves as they took the game to the "Blues" and after only five minutes, a long throw-in from Peter Dobing was headed on by Denis Smith.[1] Chelsea's defence panicked and Terry Conroy was quickest to react to put Stoke into the lead.[1] Chelsea improved their game, but it was Stoke who should have scored again with both Dobing and Jimmy Greenhoff being denied by the agile Peter Bonetti.[1] A rare mistake from Alan Bloor inside his own goal-area brought Chelsea an equaliser just before half-time with Peter Osgood taking full advantage.[1]

After the break Stoke again forced Chelsea back into their own half and although the play became rather scrappy both sides should have scored.[1] But then on 73 minutes George Eastham scored a second goal for Stoke after Greenhoff's shot was only blocked by Bonetti.[1] Gordon Banks made a number of fine saves to keep Stoke's one goal advantage intact and Stoke held out to secure their first major trophy.[1] The club marked the achievement by parading the trophy in an open top bus around Stoke-on-Trent.[1]

Match details

Stoke City 2–1 Chelsea
Osgood  45'
Attendance: 97,852
Referee: N. Burtenshaw
GK1 Gordon Banks
DF2 Jackie Marsh
DF3 Mike Pejic
MF4 Mike Bernard
DF5 Denis Smith
DF6 Alan Bloor
MF7 Terry Conroy
MF8 Jimmy Greenhoff
FW9 John Ritchie
FW10 Peter Dobing
MF11 George Eastham
MF12 John Mahoney
Tony Waddington
GK1 Peter Bonetti
DF2 Paddy Mulligan
DF3 Ron Harris (c)
MF4 John Hollins
DF5 John Dempsey
DF6 David Webb
MF7 Charlie Cooke
FW8 Chris Garland
FW9 Peter Osgood
MF10 Alan Hudson
MF11 Peter Houseman
FW12 Tommy Baldwin
Dave Sexton

Road to Wembley

Home teams listed first.

Stoke City

Round 2: Southport 1–2 Stoke City

Round 3: Oxford United 1–1 Stoke City

Replay Stoke City 2–0 Oxford United

Round 4: Manchester United 1–1 Stoke City

Replay Stoke City 0–0 Manchester United
2nd Replay Stoke City 2–1 Manchester United

Quarter final: Bristol Rovers 2–4 Stoke City

Semifinal, 1st leg: Stoke City 1–2 West Ham United

Semifinal, 2nd leg: West Ham United 0–1 Stoke City

Replay Stoke City 0–0 West Ham United
2nd Replay Stoke City 3–2 West Ham United


Round 2: Plymouth Argyle 0–2 Chelsea

Round 3: Nottingham Forest 1–1 Chelsea

Replay Chelsea 2–1 Nottingham Forest

Round 4: Chelsea 1–1 Bolton Wanderers

Replay Bolton Wanderers 0–6 Chelsea

Quarter final: Norwich City 0–1 Chelsea

Semifinal, 1st leg: Chelsea 3–2 Tottenham Hotspur

Semifinal, 2nd leg: Tottenham Hotspur 2–2 Chelsea

Chelsea won 5–4 on aggregate


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.
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