Ben Watson relives his champagne FA Cup moment

Wednesday 17 Feb 2016
Ben Watson and Roberto Martinez pose with The FA Cup in 2013

Not many players can claim to have scored the winning goal in an FA Cup Final – but Ben Watson is one of the few that can.

From Ian Porterfield (1973) to Lawrie Sanchez (1988), certain players have etched themselves into the history of a club by bagging the winner at Wembley.

And Watson joined that exclusive set while playing for Wigan in 2013 when his champagne moment arrived against Manchester City.

Watford v Leeds United

Emirates FA Cup
Fifth Round
3pm, Saturday 20 February
Vicarage Road
Winning club will receive £180,000 from FA prize fund

The midfielder had missed most of the season with a broken leg, but he bounced back and came off the bench with 10 minutes to go to shock Roberto Mancini’s expensively-assembled squad.

Watson told FATV: “[Being] involved in an FA Cup Final is what dreams are made of.

“I worked really hard to get back fit for the end of that season and the rest is history.

“It was sort of written in the stars. If anyone was going to score it was myself, just for what had happened.

“No-one gave us a chance against a City team that had spent hundreds of millions. They were up against little Wigan who had no chance.”

As the clock ticked into the 90th minute, the Latics won a corner which Shaun Maloney slung into the box.

Watson found himself unmarked and he glanced a near-post header past Joe Hart to send Wigan fans into ecstasy. The Latics went on to win the first trophy in their 81-year history.

Watson added: “I just sort of walked into the box and no-one picked me up.

“A few people said it was a flick-on. It was obviously the best header I’ve scored in my life.

“It was at a time when there was no time for them to get back into it, and it was a case of having to hold on for about a minute, and we [were] FA Cup winners.

“It was a dream come true. I can’t explain it. The FA Cup is that tournament, it’s that competition that as a kid you’re forever playing it with your mates wherever you are. 

“To score the winner was a dream come true.”

Watson is now at Watford, who will entertain 1972 Cup winners Leeds United in the fifth round on Saturday.

By FA Staff