|Event||1994–95 FA Cup|
|Date||May 20, 1995|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||Dave Watson (Everton)|
|Referee||Gerald Ashby (Worcestershire)|
The 1995 FA Cup Final – the 50th Wembley FA Cup Final to be held since the Second World War – was contested between Everton and Manchester United on Saturday, 20 May 1995. Everton won the match 1–0 via a headed goal by Paul Rideout, after Graham Stuart's shot rebounded off the crossbar. The rest of the game from this point onwards saw Manchester United dominating the attack, only for Welsh international goalkeeper Neville Southall, to make a series of saves, including a double block, the second of which was performed with his foot.
Everton had secured Premier League safety two weeks earlier, and Manchester United, double-winners the previous season, had lost their league crown the previous Sunday to Blackburn Rovers. United had to play the final without three of their most important players: Eric Cantona (suspended), Andrei Kanchelskis (injured), and Andy Cole (cup-tied). Between them, those three players had scored 41 goals during the season. Kanchelskis was signed by Everton later in 1995, meaning that he never played for United again. The final was also the last game that Paul Ince and Mark Hughes (who had contributed greatly to United's successes under the management of Alex Ferguson) played for United, as they both moved to new clubs within weeks of the final. However, the game saw some promising performances from breakthrough players Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, who would all go on to win numerous major honours for the club. Neville and Scholes (along with Ryan Giggs) were the United players who featured in the final and were still with the club 15 years on.
Everton also had their weaknesses, they played most of the match without Duncan Ferguson (injured). It had been a Ferguson header which sunk Man Utd at Goodison three months earlier. Also they were missing Jason Kearton in goal. In his only match in the 1994/95 season against Aston Villa, he kept a clean sheet. Also, defender Earl Barrett was cuptied.
Everton, meanwhile, had escaped from a relegation dogfight which had seen them make their worst start to a league campaign (8 points from a possible 42 after 14 games), with a superbly successful cup run which saw them reach Wembley having conceded only one goal (a penalty for Jürgen Klinsmann of Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final, which Everton won 4–1).
It was Everton's first major trophy since they won the league championship eight years earlier, and is their most recent major trophy to date.
In contrast, Manchester United (who had been beaten to the Premier League title by Blackburn Rovers a week earlier) were left without a major trophy for the first time since the 1988–89 season and were denied the opportunity to become the first club to win the FA Cup nine times.
This was the last time that an English manager had won the FA Cup, as well as the last time a club outside of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United had won the FA Cup until 2008, when Harry Redknapp managed Portsmouth to victory.
The trophy was presented to Everton captain Dave Watson by The Prince of Wales, whose sons Princes William and Harry were attending their first FA Cup Final.
Road to Wembley
Home teams listed first.
Round 3: Everton 1–0 Derby County
Round 4: Bristol City 0–1 Everton
Round 5: Everton 5–0 Norwich City
Round 6: Everton 1–0 Newcastle United
Home teams listed first.
Round 3: Sheffield United 0–2 Manchester United
Round 4: Manchester United 5–2 Wrexham
Round 5: Manchester United 3–1 Leeds United
Round 6: Manchester United 2–0 Queens Park Rangers
(replay) Manchester United 2–0 Crystal Palace
|20 May 1995
|Everton||1–0||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium, London|
Referee: Gerald Ashby (Worcestershire)
Man of the match