Alan Pardew has called on the Crystal Palace players to finish the job he started 26 years ago and create a club legacy by lifting The Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
A 28-year-old Pardew was part of the Eagles team that held Manchester United to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling final in 1990, before his team fell to a 1-0 defeat in the replay.
It was the first trophy United won under Sir Alex Ferguson and by the time he retired in 2013, he had added a further 37 to the Red Devils’ cabinet.
Crystal Palace v Man Utd
Emirates FA Cup Final
5.30pm, Saturday 21 May 2016
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BBC One and BT Sport 1
by Andrew Lawton
Though Palace finished third in the top flight 12 months later, they could not maintain their progress and remain without a major trophy win in their history.
This season, victories over Southampton, Stoke, Spurs, Reading and Watford, aided by the guile of Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie plus the grit of Scott Dann and Damien Delaney, give Palace another chance to end that wait.
And Pardew hopes Palace’s current crop can go one better than he did and bring home the trophy.
“The 1990 final, in many ways, made this club,” said the former midfielder, who scored in the 4-3 semi-final win over Liverpool at Villa Park.
“But I’ve tried to distance ourselves from 1990 because it’s nothing to do with this era.
“It’s about this team getting to a cup final and winning. We’re not going to drown ourselves in 1990.
“It would be good for football, for the DNA of this club, to win a trophy. We play street football, with players from different roots.
“This group has the opportunity to put something permanent there, the first major trophy for this club.”
Harry Redknapp was the last Englishman to guide his team to an FA Cup triumph, when Portsmouth beat Cardiff City in 2008.
No English manager has won the Premier League since its inception in 1992 and none of the top eight finishers this year were led by a man from these shores.
And Pardew, expected to sign a new contract before kick-off, believes a Palace triumph on Saturday would not just be a big deal for the south London club, but for all of his peers.
“It will not just be good for me and the club to win it but good for English coaches,” he added.
“I’ve come so close, as an English manager probably the closest for a long time, to winning it.
“It gives me an opportunity to try and win it.”