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Swindon 3 Arsenal 1 (1969 League Cup Final)

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Fifty years ago third division Swindon beat the mighty Arsenal at Wembley in the 1969 League Cup Final.

The 40th anniversary reunion (2009)

Much was made at the time (and after) about the pitch cutting up after the Horse of the Year show and Arsenal being stricken by flu but, whatever way you look at it, this was an extraordinary upset as two years on Arsenal won the Double.

I actually attended the match.

As I walked down Wembley Way I saw four elderly Swindon fans singing Keep Right on to the End of the Road. They had such simple conviction and faith in their team that they might pull it off. Indeed they did.

They took an early lead through Roger Smart, Arsenal equalised late through Bobby Gould, and the game went to extra time.

The fatigue of Arsenal kicked in and Swindon’s star Don Rogers scored twice.

Looking at the line-ups it was noticeable how the game has moved on.

Every player came from the United Kingdom, there were no black players on either side, neither the League Cup nor the shirts were sponsored.

Arsenal under Bertie Mee, George Graham and Arsene Wenger enjoyed the next 50 years as a top club. Swindon flourished under Spurs legends Glenn Hoddle and Ossie Ardiles as managers but are now back to where they were. The 1969 League Cup winners were not allowed to compete in Europe because of ther third division status.

Here is a clip of the game –Swindon 3 Arsenal 1

About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts