By David Barber
Both of this season’s Semi-Finals in The FA Cup with Budweiser are ‘local derbies’. Liverpool play Everton in an all-Merseyside affair on the Saturday while Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Chelsea, a repeat of the first all-London Final back in the 1960s, takes place on Sunday.
Previously there have only been two instances of ‘Double Derbies’ at The Cup’s Semi-Final stage. In 1950 Liverpool beat Everton 2-0 at Manchester City’s former home at Maine Road and Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 after extra time in a replay at White Hart Lane after a 2-2 draw at the same ground. In 1993, with both ties at Wembley, Arsenal beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 and Sheffield Wednesday beat Sheffield United 2-1.
Arsenal, with Tom Whittaker at the helm, won The Cup 1950 without leaving the capital. They enjoyed home victories against Sheffield Wednesday (1-0), Swansea Town (2-1), Burnley (2-0) and Leeds United (1-0) before the Semi-Final matches at Tottenham and the Wembley Final.
Those Semi-Final matches had crowds of 67,752 and 66,482. Freddie Cox and Leslie Compton, the latter England’s oldest debutant at 38, scored in the first match for the Gunners while Roy Bentley, another England star, netted both for the Blues. It was Cox, who had started as a Spurs Junior, who grabbed the only goal of the replay. An even more massive 72,000 saw Anfield legends Bob Paisley and Billy Liddell score to book Liverpool’s Final place.
Wembley hosted both Semis for the first time in 1993. Tony Adams’ goal separated the north London rivals, watched by 76,263, and Mark Bright notched an extra-time winner to delight Wednesday fans in a crowd of 75,364. Goals by Chris Waddle (Wednesday) and Alan Cork (United) had left the teams locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes.