“Founded in 1905, beaten finalists in 1915, they have taken another 52 years to reach the grand experience again. At last, Chelsea had found the end of the rainbow, though those of us who have followed Chelsea through the years will not really believe it until we see the Blues emerging through the tunnel. It is understandable. Chelsea had lost their last six semi-finals when, three weeks ago, they journeyed again to Villa Park, scene of their Wembley-minus-one defeats in 1965 and 1966. Even when they had beaten Leeds, the players who had done so and the fans who had acclaimed them, feared they might wake up in the morning and find it was all a dream. For with rare exception, yet in a curiously fascinating way, Chelsea have been a club of rich promise and scant achievement“, said Albert Sewell while introducing Chelsea in the Wembley programme of the FA Cup, 1967.
That day, Albert perfectly summed up what Chelsea had been until that year and beyond, till the 90s. Since then the famous club from West London has tried to make up for its lack of achievement during the major portion of its history. So much so that, Chelsea have won the FA Cup 6 times and are presently unbeaten in their last 21 FA Cup games. If they win against the Spurs on Sunday, they’d be competing in their 3rd final in the last four editions of England’s premier cup competition.
However, that day – 20th May, 1967 – belonged to their bitter rivals from North London, Tottenham Hotspur.
Peter Bonetti, Ron and Allan Harris, John Hollins, Bobby Tambling, John Boyle started for Chelsea, in what could be the youngest team to compete in the FA Cup final, until then. They all had graduated from the now much-criticized youth system of the club.
Tottenham took a 2-0 lead, with Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul, before Bobby Tambling scored in the 85th minute to cut the deficit down to half, but Chelsea couldn’t equalize and lost the final.