Where are they now? The men who made the 1990 FA Cup final
This Saturday’s FA Cup final is producing an eerie amount of flashbacks, as Manchester United and Crystal Palace meet at Wembley in the battle to lift the famous old trophy.
It’s only Palace’s second appearance in the showpiece, their first coming back in 1990, where Manchester United lay in wait, led by an under-pressure Alex Ferguson.
One of the great cup finals of all-time ensued, with the Eagles and United playing out a 3-3 thriller after extra-time.
Back then a replay was needed, and a much-cautious affair was had, as United prevailed 1-0 thanks to an unlikely hero in Lee Martin.
So with rose tinted glasses on and our hazy memories ready to play out, we take a look back at the teams who did battle 26 years ago…
GK: Jim Leighton/Les Sealey
Infamously ditched for the replay by Fergie after an erratic display, Leighton rediscovered his form in Scotland and even played at World Cup ’98 aged 39.
Replay hero Sealey was ousted by Peter Schmeichel, and later played for Aston Villa and Birmingham before he tragically died of a heart attack aged just 43 in 2001.
DF:Mike Phelan/Steve Bruce/Gary Pallister/ Lee Martin
Left-back Martin would prove the match-winner in the replay, and both he and Gary Pallister can today be often found working the TV pundit circuit.
Meanwhile, Phelan and Steve are currently trying to take Hull back into the Premier League.
MF: Neil Webb/Paul Ince/Bryan Robson/Danny Wallace
Ince and Robson were a powerhouse of a midfield, before leaving Old Trafford in the mid-90s and both enjoyed varying levels of success in management.
Wallace has become a fundraiser for sufferers of multiple sclerosis, while Webb became a postman.
CF: Brian McClair/MarkHughes
A classic United duo, McClair and Hughes were two of Fergie’s prize assets as they become multiple Premier League winners.
McClair spent nine as Director of Youth Academy at Old Trafford before becoming Scotland’s national performance director last year, while Hughes of course, is turning Stoke into a central hub of silky European football.
GF: Nigel Martyn
A 1990s Premier League legend. The first keeper to attract a £1m fee, Martyn would become a hero at Palace, Leeds and Everton before hanging up his gloves in 2006.
DF: John Pemberton/ Andy Thorn/Gary O’Reilly/Richard Shaw
Right-back Pemberton was most recently seen as caretaker manager at Bristol City, while after stints at Millwall and Coventry, Shaw is back at Selhurst Park as Head Coach of the U16 team.
O’Reilly became a regular sports pundit and commentator, while Thorn had a bash at management with Coventry City and Kidderminster Harriers.
MF: John Salako/Alan Pardew/Geoff Thomas/Andy Gray/Phil Barber
Salako is now a regular on the Sky Sports screens, while Pardew is, of course, preparing to lead Palace out as manager this weekend.
Eagles skipper Thomas was diagnosed with leukaemia after retiring, and has since raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for various charities.
Gray made one England appearance in 1991, before retiring with Millwall in 1998, while Barber also enjoyed a stint at the Den after leaving Palace in 1991.
CF: Mark Bright
Demon goalscorer Bright left Selhurst for Hillsborough in 1992, before winding down his career with Charlton in 1999 and is nowadays a regular in front of our tv screens.
Subs – Ian Wright
Special mention should go to hotshot Wright, whose two-goal salvo forced a replay. He went on to do alright at Arsenal…
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.