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Preston v West Ham. 1964 FA Cup Final Remembered / Preston v West Ham. 1964 FA Cup Final Remembered

Preston v West Ham. 1964 FA Cup Final Remembered

By on 17 May 2018

It’s FA Cup final weekend and Soccer Attic is looking back to the 1964 final between Preston North End and West Ham. We chose this particular final partly because we have never featured it before and also because it’s one of those that often seems to get missed off the radar in TV coverage of the history of the cup. As ever, there’s also an interesting fact or two behind the story.

West Ham and Preston previous finals

When the two teams last made the FA Cup final

True to our usual modus operandum Soccer Attic has chosen Pat Collins’ annual FA Cup preview piece in the May 1964 issue of Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly to add some original content to the commentary. Not only was his prediction of the result quite correct (though not massively difficult considering Preston were in the Second Division) but it’s also interesting to hear him talk about Bobby Moore as “being an eventual ‘great’.” Though, Preston’s promotion battle he talks about didn’t work out well as they would eventually miss out finishing in third place, five points adrift of Sunderland. He does perhaps spend a little too long reminiscing about Tom Finney rather than concentrating on the current Preston side but we’ll allow him the opportunity to wax lyrical when discussing one of the greats of the game.

Howard Kendall at 17 years old became the then youngest player ever to play in an FA Cup final at Wembley – unsurpassed until the Hammers’ own Paul Allen broke the record in 1980. It was also both the first time West Ham had reached the final since the infamous ‘White Horse Final’ in 1923 and their first ever FA Cup win. As usual, you can view/expand the actual article pages or read from the text below and click on the photos to zoom in.


by Pat Collins

THE last time Preston went to Wembley they were favourites. Almost everybody outside Staffordshire was “willing” North End to win against West Bromwich Albion. It was 1954. The sentiment was not for Preston but for Tom Finney. In the twilight of his wonderful career, football wanted Tom to take a Cup winners’ medal into retirement.

At the back of this emotion was probably some thought that public “fluence” had been made to work a year earlier at Wembley for Tommy’s old pal and rival, Stan Matthews. Indeed, it had worked like a charm in 1953, for Stanley suddenly became like a man possessed in the last 20 minutes to wrench the Cup from the understandably expectant hands of the winning Bolton side.

But in 1954 the “willing” failed to work for Finney. Now Preston, a decade later, are very much the under-dogs. That is logical—they are Second Division (at the moment) against First Division rivals, rivals who knocked out Manchester United, the big favourites, in the semi-final. And they have a promotion battle besetting them, while West Ham are free from such tangles.

Nowadays, Preston have no Finney, but they are much more a team—rather than a side over-dependent upon the graceful skill of an individual. And a big, hard team at that.

In 1954 the hopes rested on the magic of Finney, the subtleties of inside men Foster and Baxter, the thumping drives of tall Angus Morrison on the left wing and the darting, dapper, fleet-of-foot CharlieWayman. And there were Tommy Docherty and Willie Forbes driving them on from wing-half, and Willie Cunningham organising a solid defence.

Alex Dawson - Preston North End

Alex Dawson Preston Goalscorer

Now, for Wayman’s impishness there is the Scottish brawn and power of big Alex Dawson. Big and quick, deceivingly so. And extremely capable in the air. There is a netful of goals from him this season to show why Jimmy Milne’s boys have been among the Second Division promotion pace-makers.

Power is the keynote of the present Preston; you can forget fond memories of ball-playing little Scotsmen who used to queue up for North End places and who put them into successive Finals in 1937 and 1938. Manager Jimmy Milne is a a survivor from the 1937 defeat by Sunderland, who had Raich Carter, Gurney, Burbanks and the rest. He missed the following year’s victory through injury.

So now he has more reasons than most to want a winning North End. Whatever happens at Wembley, or on the promotion run-in, Jimmy Milne has done a magnificent job in picking Preston off the floor.

He has done it by going for strong, forcing players like Dawson and his twin spearhead, Alec Ashworth; Ian Davidson and Tony Singleton, with the whole driven commandingly and capably by Nobby Lawton. It is a well-balanced side, with the wily Doug Holden on one wing and Davie Wilson, sure of a big future, on the other.

IS IT GOOD ENOUGH TO TAKE THE POT BACK TO DEEPDALE? I doubt it. I don’t see North End coming up with the answers to the bright, quick-witted football that is at last being laced with purpose and discipline at West Ham.


John Sissons West Ham and Howard Kendall Preston North End

Hammers scorer John Sissons consoles Howard Kendall of Preston – then the youngest player to appear in an FA Cup final

No club side offers entertainment better than that of the Hammers. But too often in the past lack of application, casualness and downright carelessness fouled their efforts. What is being built now is a formidable football machine . . . with the best days to come.

Ron Greenwood’s team, inspired at times by the individual brilliance of such as Byrne or Moore, has backbone and depth to it, purpose and plan. With it all there is the bursting enthusiasm of a young side on which one cannot put a price.

The Hammers—so frustrating, so inexplicably out of touch on occasion, yet always partially redeeming themselves by their brave attempts to be original—have grown up. They have become more aware of their obligations. Their failings were brought home to them in that humiliating 8-2 whipping from Blackburn Rovers, on their own Upton Park pitch, on Boxing Day. Now resolution has replaced easy resignation.

There is discipline and dedication, two qualities which stopped startled, then swamped Manchester United at Hillsborough when the Cup-holders believed they could repeat last year’s Wembley success.

*        *        *

The Hammers’ spirit comes from men—and boys—who have “walked tall”. Jim Standen is undisputed No. 1 goalkeeper. Bond repays the faith that brought him back for another chance. Byrne buzzes around even more . . . but with more regard for the overall effect. Brabrook is much the same.

A kid named Sissons goes in at the deep end, gets more confident after the first faltering strokes—and before long you are looking “to” him and not “after” him.

The boy Boyce keeps on going and going, always where the action is. Brown is as stable and steady as ever. Hurst is punching them home in the manner of Ashworth for Preston, while the still-callow-in-years Bobby Moore brings more fresh evidence of being an eventual “great”.

I don’t see Preston’s tall, tenacious defenders being able to corral those young Hammers on Wembley’s spacious acreage.

So there it is as I see it . . . the greater all-round mobility and higher skill of West Ham to blunt Preston power for a clear win—and Hammers’ first Final triumph!

The referee . . . ARTHUR HOLLAND

THEY call Arthur Holland, the Barnsley miner, “The Iron Man of Soccer”. He admits to being tough when in charge of a match, but players like and respect him because they know how they stand with him.

This F.A. Cup Final will be Arthur’s last big game. At 41 he has to come off the Football League list, but he intends to take games in local Leagues. “As long as I can keep up with it I shall be out there in the middle,” he says.

An international referee—rated high on the F.I.F.A. list—he has taken the Amateur Cup Final (1959), and was in charge of the European Cup Final between Milan and Benfica, at Wembley last year. He has been a top-class official for 15 years. His interest began before the last war when he realised that he would never make a name as a player. His father was a local referee for more than 20 years. Tough, he might be, but football rejoices at a very deserved reward. Arthur Holland, come what may, is always the boss once he sets the ball rolling and he will be the most composed person on that Wembley pitch.

For as he says, “All games come the same to me, they are all important”

Preston v West Ham – FA Cup Final 1964


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Preston North End Gift Mug

Mug featuring the Preston 1964 FA Cup Finalists

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Bobby Moore leading out West Ham