The 1982 FA Cup Final: QPR (1) – Tottenham Hotspur (1)

Team: Hucker, Fenwick, Gillard, Waddock, Hazell, Roeder, Currie, Flanagan, Allen (Micklewhite), Stainrod, Gregory

Attendance: 100,000

Clive Allen’s goal at Highbury secured our place at Wembley and Tottenham had defeated Leicester City 2-0 at Villa Park so the FA Cup Final was to be an all-London affair. Elsewhere, the campaign to re-take the Falklands was still underway, which provoked an intense media debate as to whether Tottenham’s two Argentine players should play in the final. As it turned out Ossie Ardiles left for Argentina to prepare for the World Cup and apparently Ricardo Villa withdrew himself from the squad. Ken Jones’s match report appeared in the Sunday Mirror the following day:

‘Rangers climbed up from the floor just when it seemed that Glenn Hoddle had won the Cup for Spurs. Free at last from the attentions of young Gary Waddock, with room to move in on the Rangers goal, Hoddle struck in the 109th minute, So despairing were the Second Division club that some of them slumped agonisingly to the floor.
fa cup first game
But somewhere in their heavy legs Rangers had one more attack to offer, one more example of the enthusiasm that had brought them all the way to Wembley. Stainrod hurled the ball in from Tottenham’s right, Hazell headed on and Terry Fenwick, arriving on the far post, put the chance high into Ray Clemences’s net. All joy on the touchline, where Rangers manager Terry Venables was on his feet applauding, while others hugged each other excitedly. Rangers had survived when it looked as though they were dead in what had never been more than a moderate Cup Final.

The teams play again in the famous old stadium next Thursday night and it must be hoped that they will be able to offer more than they did in this match. It wasn’t that either team broke any promises, but simply that they weren’t able to play well enough on the day. Cup Finals are not usually the most exciting of contests, most of them failing to fulfil the pre-match promise and publicity.

So it was at Wembley this time, to where Rangers came hoping that they could add their name to the romantic achievements of Second Division clubs who had succeeded before them. Spurs, on the other hand, were looking to take at least one prize from a season that had promised so much until the final wearying weeks, when fixtures caught up with them.

Spurs were bound to be apprehensive, fearing perhaps that their destiny was to win nothing in 1982. But for a long period in the first-half and indeed throughout most of the match, they looked the more superior, the classier team. Had their finishing matched their work in midfield, had they been able to take advantage of Rangers inability to play as a convincing unit, then Spurs might have made sure of it long before the match dragged into another 30 minutes that had a deadening effect on already tired legs.
fa cup first game 2
But for two of the Rangers men, two of the younger ones, the memories will be bright and worth recalling. Peter Hucker had a fine match in goal until the faintest of a deflection deceived him when Hoddle shot Spurs ahead. Waddock, a ginger-haired terrier in the tradition of combative midfield players, also had an outstanding game, worrying Hoddle into long periods of ineffectiveness. With Hoddle being kept at bay, Spurs had to rely on more orthodox methods to try and penetrate the Rangers defence. They were helped by Tony Currie’s deployment, so deep in his own half that Hazard was able to push forward from midfield, an attacker within range of goal whenever Currie could be dispossessed.

Rangers tried to take the game to Spurs from the opening minutes, but once Allen was seen to be limping after a heavy tackle on the edge of the penalty area, that early purpose disappeared from the Second Division team’s play. And there was an ominous moment for Rangers when Crooks swept on to a pass from Hazard to unleash a curling left-footed shot that skimmed the crossbar.

Graham Roberts, who was used in midfield after the Spurs manager Keith Burkinshaw had chosen not to select the Argentine Ricky Villa, gave early notice that his tackles are less effective when delivered away from his familiar station alongside the Tottenham centre-half. That was not the only function of this solid man from Dorset, who was soon seen thrusting forward from midfield to shoot fiercely into Hucker’s hands. Those hands were to be warmed all afternoon.

Much of Spurs’ early hopes rested with Galvin’s pace and he had to be pulled down in full flight on the edge of the area, leaving Hoddle with a chance to employ his skills at a free kick. The shot skipped just wide of the near post – but within a minute Spurs were back again. Archibald centred from the right and Hucker was in trouble until he palmed the ball on to the top of his own net. Hucker did well again, this time responding quickly to make a reflex save from Hazard. Hucker was stopping everything and he made another splendid save, pushing Archibald’s shot away one-handed after Crooks had set up the chance.
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The Cup was almost won in romantic style when Hoddle found a way to free his captain, Steve Perryman, who was doubtful until a couple of hours before the match. Perryman is ‘Footballer of the Year’ and he was almost a Cup winning hero, but Hucker went bravely at his feet.

Stainrod got to the ball, hooked it expertly, but the roar died in Rangers throats when Clemence managed to reach the shot. Spurs brought on Brooke for Hazard and he immediately drove in a powerful shot that Hucker fisted acrobatically, over the bar. Then Hoddle managed to steer clear of Waddock in the 109th minute. He exchanged passes with Roberts and shot as he was falling. The ball glanced minutely off Currie’s left leg – and that was too much even for Hucker. So to the final drama, to Fenwick’s goal, to the prospect of yet another match for Spurs this season.’
MOM: Peter Hucker

Unfortunately Clive Allen was injured after only 10 minutes, but he managed to continue until the 52nd minute when he was replaced by Gary Micklewhite. I can still see our dramatic equaliser in my mind’s eye, Simon Stainrod’s throw-in from the left, flicked on by Bobby Hazell and put away superbly by Terry Fenwick. The replay was set for the following Thursday and I can also remember coming out of White City Station and joining a very, very long queue before eventually purchasing a ticket.

Steve Russell

7 thoughts on “The 1982 FA Cup Final: QPR (1) – Tottenham Hotspur (1)

  1. I was there as a Steward – fortunately my neighbour organised them!

    But it was a VERY dull game!

  2. Met up with mates at the North Pole pub for a liquid breakfaast at about 8am.There were about 200 fans in the pub already. Plod then turfed us out at 10am and we walked up to the Cow Shed on Ladbroke Grove but the Met were quick to close that as well. So we had no choice but to walk to Wembley along the Harrow Rd. Bumped into a kid I was at primary school with when we were the dynamic duo when it came to shoplifting. So we hatched a plan that on the way we would rob an offy , he would get some spirits and I would get the mixers.So the first offy by the William IV boozer got blitzed by about 50 of us. As planned my mate got two bottles of Scotch Whisky/Barley Wine ( in the same bottle !! ?? ) while I got some mixers that said ‘cola’ on the bottle. It turned out I had liberated some bottles of cola flavoured syrup for a soda stream machine !!! So the spirits were downed neat as the ‘cola’ ended up in the bin.The rest of the walk was a bit of a blur due to the alcohol intake.But I do recall seeing flags out of windows all along the Harrow Rd which was superb.
    The sheer relief and pandemonium when Fenwick scored has never been bettered in my lifetime.

  3. Good report and Pics Steve.

    When watching R’s as a kid in the late 1950’s it was almost impossible for me to even Dream of QPR FC being in an FA Cup Final!!

  4. Great work Steve, where do 30 years go? great stories there Chris I never had you down as a shoplifter I thought you were a fine upstanding member of the community.
    You must have been about 10 then anyway!

  5. Nice Chris , but I was 18 .I know its hard to believe what with my youthful good looks and all that !!!
    I was in tears when Hoddle scored. Then they came again when Fenwick equalised . Spurs didn’t do their homework on us it seems as we scored an identical goal in the away game vs Luton a couple of weeks previous.The morning of the game news broke that the British forces had landed on St Georgia islands in prep for the Falklands conflict hence QPR fans singing ‘we’ve took the Falklands back , Ardiles !!! ‘

  6. I’m a technophope who’s only ever been able to log into this site. Luckily it’s the best. Could I just complain about the weather? I can’t breathe. The Cup Final…we dominated the replay but innocence was gone once we put down that pitch. Everything we ever achieved was supposedly down to that pitch and an offside trap, so although we were winning the Combination and the South-East Counties and producing fantastic players – Hucker, Neill, Dawes, Waddock, McDonald, Fereday, Allen, Goddard, Neal etc, etc – we never got a crumb of credit, plus Graham Taylor knock it long was considered the future of football. The weather, the weather. If the 76/77 season had begun with a downpour we’d have stuffed Everton at Loftus on the opening day just like we did the season before and been European champions the season after.

  7. Great report Steve! My memories of this Final are vague and clouded in the mists of time, and alcohol. When we reached the final i booked a package, boat, train, hotel and match tickets. I got on the boat at Dun Laoighre, outside Dublin and met up with two Qpr lads from Wexford. A Spurs fan who had travelled over on the boat with us soon realized as we qeued outside Wembley that he was at the wrong end of the ground. Once inside he went of hopping over barriers all the way to the other end of the pitch, like he was in the Grand National. I lost the other lads inside the ground but was well comforted inside the ground when the bloke beside produced a flask containing whiskey, and insisted i partake. I don’t ever drink whiskey but i had several gulps on that day, but never since. My only memories of the match are the goals and the apprehension any time the ball got to Archibald. When Fenwick scored i was in dreamland. Met up with boys again as the ground cleared and we headed for Soho. Ended up in a nightclub the size of a telephone box. It looked bigger as you walked in as they had a mirror covering the end wall. After that we spent the early hours walking the streets singing until one of the lads wanted to go to sleep on a bench. After what seemed like an hour we convinced him to go back to the hotel. Next morning in the hotel in Kensington i encountered my first buffet breakfast, which seems a strange thing to say but its true. When we headed back to Dublin on the boat we had a great sing-song and slagging with about eight Spurs supporters, some craic. We made up a song “Archibald couldn,t score in Soho, he hadn,t got the know-how, la,la,la,la! la,la,la,la!” which won us the battle,as the Spurs fans had been winning up to then! Memories, thank you Steve!

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