- Top Tens
The great moustaches of the FA Cup
As the month of 'Movember' draws to a close - just days before the second round of the FA Cup - we at ESPN towers decided to pluck out ten FA Cup heroes who were man enough to sport a moustache.
David SeamanWhat better way to kick off our moustachioed collection than with big David Seaman, former Arsenal and England goalkeeper. During his illustrious career Seaman, whose top lip rarely caught a chill, won four FA Cup winners medals in the years of 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2003. The final campaign, in 2003, not only saw him skipper the Gunners to glory against Southampton, he also produced a save in the semi-finals that went down in history as arguably the best stop ever made in the famous competition. Peter Schmeichel, perhaps the best keeper of Seaman's generation, labelled the arching, clawing, gravity-defying effort against Sheffield United "the greatest save I've ever seen", and it came at a time when Arsenal led by a slender 1-0 margin. It's hard to imagine him having such powers without the moustache.
The oldest man on our list, tough-tackling defender Bob Holmes sported the type of facial hair that Cristiano Ronaldo can only dream of in modern football. Looking like the footballing version of Australian cricketer Merv Hughes, Holmes won the the FA Cup with Preston in 1889 - beating Wolves 3-0 at the Kennington Oval. A one-club man, Holmes made 300 league appearance for Preston, and was still alive to witness the club's appearance in the 1954 final. He became known as a member of the 'Invincibles' for his part in the Preston side that went a season unbeaten, winning 18 and drawing four of 22 league games, and winning all five in the cup. Memories of both the man and the moustache still live on.
One has to feel sorry for John Aldridge, who lived the majority of his football career in the shadow of Ian Rush. Both out-and-out goalscorers who plundered goals for Liverpool, Rush always edged the statistics (he's the all-time leading goalscorer for the Reds with 346 goals) and even in the moustache stakes, the picture to the right proves the Welshman bested his Irish counterpart. The FA Cup also belonged to Rush, who is the second highest FA Cup scorer of all time behind Henry Cursham, and the highest in the 20th century with 44 goals. He also boasts a record five FA Cup final goals, scoring match-winning braces twice against Everton, before netting another as Liverpool beat Sunderland.
One look is all anybody needed to justify the reason why Brian Kilcline's nickname was "Killer". A mass of hair, the no-nonsense defender was the type of guy who would have been a cult hero, no matter which sport he played. In 1987 he provided the type of image that utterly suited his dishevelled appearance. Having led Coventry to the FA Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley, Killer Kilcline had to limp off in the last minute of normal time as the game headed for an extra 30 minutes at 2-2. The Sky Blues eventually won a classic 3-2, allowing Kilcline to limp up the famous Wembley steps, dragging his body towards the trophy to become the first and only man in the club's history to lift it.
Few men in Sunderland can truly pull off the Mexican gangster look, but Billy Hughes combined it with a direct style of football that led to FA Cup success in 1973. Legendary former Leeds manager Don Revie once described Hughes as a forward who "loves to go forward. He runs straight at opponents forcing them to commit themselves and can shoot with either foot." That style led to a memorable FA Cup campaign for Hughes, who scored four goals en route to the final. Three came against Manchester City, who were finally beaten in a replay, and then another arrived in the semi-final against Arsenal. Hughes, who played over 300 times for Sunderland, then had a hand in the winner against Leeds in the final, scored by Ian Porterfield for the only goal of the game.
Albert Iremonger was not your typical character. As a goalkeeper it was no surprise that he had a crazy streak, but few have forced the hold-up of a game by sitting on a football. Iremonger managed just that against Arsenal in 1912, and even a firework would not make him budge. The towering goalkeeping also loved to race from his goal to question the judgement of referees, often getting his own way due to his threatening frame. Iremonger was a serious talent too, making 37 FA Cup appearances for Notts County, and he also holds the record for the greatest number of appearances in all competitions for the club. One can only assume he got away with sporting such a ridiculous moustache due to having "the claws of a JCB" for hands.
Few men with admirable facial covering have scored a more dramatic FA Cup winner than former Arsenal forward Alan Sunderland. The £220,000 signing first tasted the ugly side of the competition when the Gunners lost to Ipswich in the final of 1978. So when he returned a year later to face Manchester United, it made the moment all the more sweet when Sunderland bagged a last-minute winner for a 3-2 victory. Arsenal had let a two-goal lead slip as Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy cancelled out efforts from Brian Talbot and Frank Stapleton, but Sunderland had the last say as he turned home Graham Rix's left-wing centre. The FA Cup proved a bittersweet competition for Sunderland, though, who suffered another defeat in the 1980 final.
Neville Southall was another to have mixed emotions in the FA Cup, having twice lost in the final, twice won, and also missed another through injury. Southall, like Killer Kilcline, cut an untidy figure at times with his shirt often hanging outside of his shorts and moustache looking like it needed a good razor. But what a goalkeeper he was - winner of Football Writers Footballer of the Year in 1985, a year in which the FA Cup eluded him in defeat to Manchester United. Twelve months earlier Southall kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Watford for his first FA Cup winners medal, and he did so again in 1995 when the Toffees beat Manchester United 1-0. The Welshman never got the better of Liverpool at Wembley, though, missing the 1986 final through injury before losing the '89 encounter 3-2 after extra-time.
Viv Anderson was destined never to fully taste the dream of playing in a winning FA Cup final team, despite collecting a winners medal in 1990. The former Manchester United man paid the price for United's poor league campaign, which saw them finish 13th, and he had to watch from the stands as Paul Ince took his place at right-back in a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace. The final went to a replay, eventually won by United 1-0, but yet again Anderson did not feature. The defender later moved to Sheffield Wednesday, where he reached the FA Cup final against Arsenal. Anderson this time started in a 1-1 draw that forced a replay, but he again missed out in the rematch as Arsenal won 2-1 with a 119th-minute winner.
Derek Dougan scored goals, and plenty of them. The only thing more guaranteed than his ample facial hair was the fact that if Dougan was on the pitch, you were more than likely to concede. A tally of 294 career goals told the story of a man who successfully converted from a defender to a centre-forward in a long career. A potential answer to a quiz question, Dougan scored hat-tricks in the First Division, the Second Division, the Third Division, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup. Yet when it came to the big moment, the FA Cup final of 1960, his goals deserted him. Blackburn were hammered 3-0 by Wolves at Wembley on a day when Dougan simply could not influence matters, and he later joined Wolves, where he spent the majority of his career.