BARRY HORNE loved FA Cup Final day - especially the one in 1995!

Horne lifted the famous trophy as Everton beat Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley 25 years ago in what he described as one of the pinnacles of a player’s career.

“I think that final was one of the last classics in the days when the FA Cup really meant something and top clubs didn’t field weakened teams like they do now,” said Horne, who spent four years at Goodison Park where he claims he played his best ever football under Toffees legend Joe Royle.

“By that I didn’t mean it was a classic game. It was anything but. But it was a classic FA Cup Final day.

“To get to the final we had to beat Jurgen Klinsmann’s Tottenham in a semi final performance recognised as possibly the finest Everton display since the great team of the mid eighties.

“You used to dream of reaching the FA Cup Final and playing at Wembley and that one in 1995 was just how I remembered the days watching it in front of the television.

“All the build-up, we had a song in the charts, cameras on the bus on the way to the ground and pitch-side interviews.

“The first time I saw a colour TV, it was the Leeds v Chelsea final and I watched every final after that. It was the done thing to spend all day in front of the TV with your dad, who would stock up with beer and if your were lucky you’d get a real shandy.

“And you could reel off all the finals because it was the highlight of the year. Sunderland won it and I was at the 1976 final when Southampton beat Manchester United.”

Almost 20 years later and Horne, then aged 33, was getting to grips with the Manchester United midfield as Everton produced a typical battling Blues display to edge out their arch rivals 1-0.

Paul Rideout scored the only goal of the game as Dave Watson, nine years after his team-mate Kevin Ratcliffe - another of Flintshire’s finest footballing finds - did the same and lifted the trophy at the iconic London stadium.

“Joe Royle was the manager and I played my best football under him. He made me captain at Everton and that was a great honour for someone who grew up supporting the team,” added Horne, who took his number of European Cup Winners Cup appearances to 12 - eight of those were with Wrexham - as Everton were knocked out by Feyenoord.

You only have to look at the smile on his face at how much Horne, who hails from Bagillt, enjoyed the FA Cup winners’ experience as he partied the weekend away - and the same can be said of his old Wales and Hawarden Rangers team-mate, Ian Rush, after Liverpool had beaten Everton in the all-Merseyside final of 1986.

Ratcliffe, incidentally is one of four ex-Chester City managers to lift the FA Cup as a player. Mark Wright won it alongside Rush for Liverpool in 1992 while Manchester United’s Gordon Hill was a winner in 1977.

Other former Chester players to have experienced Wembley glory are the late, great Cyrille Regis (Coventry City 1986), Arthur Albiston (Manchester United 1977, 83, 85), Lee Dixon (Arsenal 1993, 98) and Billy Foulkes (Newcastle 1952) while former Blues captain Roberto Martinez managed Wigan to a shock 1-0 win over Manchester City in 2013.

Chester-born Liverpool and England duo Michael Owen and Danny Murphy led Liverpool to success in the 2001 final and some more ex-Wrexham players to feature in the squad.

Former Wrexham player-boss Ken Barnes helped Manchester win it in 1956 and four years later, George Showell, long-term physio and assistant manager at The Racecourse, was victorious as a player with Wolves.

Jimmy Case played his part for Liverpool in 1974 and Chelsea’s Frank Sinclair in 1997 while ex-Wales duo Vinnie Jones and Bobby Gould masterminded Wimbledon’s shock 1-0 win over Liverpool in 1988.

The Football Association remains committed to completing the final three rounds of the FA Cup if the professional game can safely restart amid the coronavirus pandemic. FA chief executive Mark Bullingham told FA Council members that the intention remains to wrap up the competition alongside the Premier League.


1. NEVILLE SOUTHALL: Kept a clean sheet as Everton beat Watford 2-0 in 1984.

2. DAVID PHILLIPS: The reliable right back tasted glory in 1987 as Coventry City beat Tottenham in a 3-2 thriller.

3. GRAHAM WILLIAMS: A one-club man at West Brom, Denbighshire-born Williams helped The Baggies to a 1-0 win over Everton in 1968.

4. KEVIN RATCLIFFE: The Everton and Wales captain just about managed to lift the 1984 trophy as he was struggling with a shoulder injury picked up in the game.

5. MIKE ENGLAND: The Tottenham defender, who went on to become Wales boss, won the cup in 1967 after a 2-1 win against Chelsea.

6. AARON RAMSEY: Ramsey loved the FA Cup runs at Arsenal where he won the cup in 2015 and 2017.

7. BARRY HORNE: A cup winner with Joe Royle’s Everton in 1995 after a 1-0 success over Manchester United.

8. DEAN SAUNDERS: Played alongside FA Cup king Ian Rush in a 2-0 win over Sunderland in 1992.

9. IAN RUSH: Scored five times in his three FA Cup Final wins. Four of them came against Mersey rivals Everton in 1986 and 1989 and the other against Sunderland in 1992.

10. MARK HUGHES: The Ruabon-born striker’s record in finals was even better. Two winners medals with Manchester United in 1985 and 1990 and two with Chelsea in 1994 and 1997.

11. RYAN GIGGS: Another United ace to love FA Cup Finals after successes in 1996, 1999 and 2004.

12. BILLY MEREDITH: The Welsh legend from Chirk scored the only goal in Manchester City’s 1904 victory.

13: CLIFF JONES: Won the cup two years on the trot with Tottenham in 1960 and 1961.

14. ALAN DAVIES: The winger played in Manchester United’s 1983 success over Brighton

15. PAT VAN DEN HAUWE: Another of the Everton’s Welsh winners in 1984.

16. JOHN TOSHACK: Big Tosh helped Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Newcastle in 1974

BOSS: WALLEY BARNES: Helped Arsenal to a 1-0 win over Liverpool in 1950 before going on to be Wales’ international manager four years later.