RETRO: Pride and agony as Owls lose thrilling Cup final to Everton

Wednesday become the first losing FA Cup finalists to do a lap of honour - from the left: Johnny Quinn, David Ford, Don Megson, Wilf Smith and Johnny Fantham
Wednesday become the first losing FA Cup finalists to do a lap of honour - from the left: Johnny Quinn, David Ford, Don Megson, Wilf Smith and Johnny Fantham
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Sheffield Wednesday’s trip to Wembley 50 years ago ended in agony.

For the Owls lost a 2-0 lead as Everton beat them 3-2 - but the club rightly took pride from being involved in what is still known today as one of the finest FA Cup finals.

Vic Mobley with Alan Brown at Wembley, 1966

Vic Mobley with Alan Brown at Wembley, 1966

And they made a little bit of history as they became the first losing finalists to do a lap of honour at the end.

Manager Alan Brown, proud of his team’s achievement in reaching Wembley, had insisted before the match that captain Don Megson would lead the lap win or lose.

Fifty years may have passed but one thing which hasn’t changed is the fanatacism of Wednesday fans.

Ticket allocation in those days was very poor with each club only receiving around 17,500 each.

Sheffield Wednesday's 1966 FA Cup Final team, which was beaten 3-2 by Everton at Wembley,
Back row, left to right, Jim McCalliog, Peter Eustace, Ron Springett, Gerry Young, Sam Ellis, Wilf Smith;
Front row, Graham Pugh, John Fantham, Don Megson (Captain), David Ford and John Quinn

Sheffield Wednesday's 1966 FA Cup Final team, which was beaten 3-2 by Everton at Wembley, Back row, left to right, Jim McCalliog, Peter Eustace, Ron Springett, Gerry Young, Sam Ellis, Wilf Smith; Front row, Graham Pugh, John Fantham, Don Megson (Captain), David Ford and John Quinn

After season ticket holders and shareholders had received theirs the Owls were only able to put 9,000 on general sale on May 3.

The following day the club received 80,000 applications and by deadline day of Friday May 6 another 20,000 had arrived.

Post offices were swa mped by demand for 10 shilling postal orders (50p in today’s money) for tickets.

Spivs cashed in, charging £10 for the 10 shilling tickets and £17.10s for the £3. 6d tickets.

Wednesday players David Ford and Jim McCalliog wave to  crowds from Sheffield Town Hall balcony May 1966

Wednesday players David Ford and Jim McCalliog wave to crowds from Sheffield Town Hall balcony May 1966

Wednesday had reached the final the hard way - being drawn away in every round.

They had sealed their Wembley place with a 2-0 semi-final win over Chelsea at Villa Park.

Goals from Graham Pugh and Jim McCalliog saw them through, but the victory was marred by an injury to brilliant centre half Vic Mobley which was to cost him a place at Wembley. The popular defender was seen on television that night in the mud-splattered all white strip the team wore throughout the cup run, limping off in pain but with the grin of victory on his face.

The Owls made a flying start to the final, McCalliog putting them ahead in only the fourth minute.

And when David Ford made it 2-0 on 57 minutes, the Cup seemed destined for the Hillsborough Boardroom.

But Mike Trebilcock pulled one back only two minutes later and completed a brace after another five minutes.

And on 74 minutes the Toffees comeback was complete when they scored the winner, the ball squirming under Owls stalwart Gerry Young’s foot for Derek Temple to slot the ball past Wednesday’s England keeper Ron Springett.

So the Cup went to Everton - managed by former Wednewsday boss Harry Catterick - for the third time.

Disappointed but proud, Wednesday supporters gave the team an incredible reception back in Sheffield on the Sunday when an estimated 100,000 turned up. How many would have been there if they had won?

The party arrived by train at the Midland Station to be picked up by an open-topped bus. Crowds thronged the route to the Town Hall, via Leadmill Road, Suffolk Road and St Mary’s Gate to the Moor before being greeted by around 30,000 outside the Town Hall.