|Event||1967–68 FA Cup|
|Date||18 May 1968|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
The 1968 FA Cup Final was contested by West Bromwich Albion and Everton at Wembley. West Brom won by a single goal, scored by Jeff Astle three minutes into extra time. The goal meant that Astle had scored in every round of that season's competition.
The 1968 Cup final was the first final to be televised live in colour. Both teams wore away strips, with Everton wearing bright amber shirts and blue shorts and West Bromwich Albion in white shirts and shorts with red socks.
The first substitute to be used in an FA Cup final was Dennis Clarke for West Bromwich Albion.
Albion won the cup for the fifth time and in doing so qualified for the 1968–69 European Cup Winners' Cup.
Both clubs were members of the First Division, Everton having finished fifth during the 1967–68 league season and West Bromwich Albion eighth. Everton were victorious in both league matches between the two sides, winning 2–1 at Goodison Park and 6–2 at The Hawthorns. The teams had met on four previous occasions in the FA Cup. Everton had won three of those ties, including the 1906–07 semi-final, while Albion's sole victory was in the semi-final of 1930–31. Both teams were renowned for their attacking styles at the time so an exciting match was expected. Instead a tense rather drab affair ensued before Astle struck in extra time. Despite taking part in what was then a record 10th final Albion have failed since to win the competition or indeed reach the final.
Albion's journey to the final began at lower league Colchester in Round 3. Albion took the game to a replay thanks to an equalising Tony Brown penalty, though they were second best for large periods. They had no problem in the replay however, winning 4–0 in front of near 40,000 at home. Round 4 saw Albion draw at home against Southampton before prevailing in a replay 3–2 at the Dell. Next came second Division Portsmouth in Round 5 at a packed Fratton Park. Albion triumphed thanks to goals from Astle and Clark though a Portsmouth goal made for a tense finish. Albion were then drawn at home against Bill Shankly's Liverpool side in the quarter-final. Demand for the game was huge with eager fans queuing for hours on end. However, despite being roared on by a crowd of 53,052, Albion's largest for six years, the Baggies could only manage a goalless draw, meaning a replay at Anfield, where Albion had been beaten 4–1 earlier in the league season. Albion went behind, but an Astle header took the game to yet another replay, this time at Maine Road. Despite it being a wet midweek night, a crowd of 56,000 watched the game, 20,000 of them Albion fans who had made the journey north. Despite being underdogs Albion won 2–1 with goals from Clark and Astle.
The semi-final saw Albion drawn against local rivals Birmingham City, who were chasing promotion from the second division at the time. The clubs had met in a final back in 1931, which Albion had won, and the match was staged at the neutral venue of Villa Park. In front of a crowd of over 60,000 goals from Brown and Astle saw Albion through to a record tenth final.
Route to the final
West Bromwich Albion
R3 = Colchester (A) 1-1 (16,981) R = Colchester (H) 4-0 (40,448) R4 = Southampton (H) 1-1 (30,987) R = Southampton (A) 3-2* (26,036) R5 = Portsmouth (A) 2-1 (43,642) R6 = Liverpool (H) 0-0 (53,062) R = Liverpool (A) 1-1* (54,273) R = Liverpool (Maine Road) 2-1 (56,189) SF = Birmingham City (Villa Park) 2-1 (60,831)
R3 = Southport (A) 1-0 (18,795) R4 = Carlisle (A) 2-0 (25,000) R5 = Tranmere (H) 2-0 (62,634) R6 = Leicester (A) 3-1 (43,519) SF = Leeds (Old Trafford) 1-0 (63,000)
|18 May 1968
|West Bromwich Albion||1–0