Hendon 2 : 1 Kingstonian
Amateur Cup Final
23rd April 1960
Hendon FC 1960. Standing (left to right): Terry Howard, Ron Widdowfield, Laurie Topp, Peter Shearing, Bill Fisher, Jeff Harris. Seated (left to right): Mike Candey, Brian Figg, Charlie Murphy, Miles Spector and Jimmy Quail.
This was Hendon’s second Amateur Cup Final appearance. Laurie Topp and Bill Fisher still remained from the 1955 side that had lost to Bishop Auckland with Dexter Adams now in a non playing role as the team's coach. Kingstonian were making their first Wembley appearance although they had previously won the Amateur Cup beating Stockton 4 - 1 at Darlington after a drawn game on the Dulwich Hamlet ground at Champion Hill. The two teams both included an England international, Laurie Topp for Hendon and Hugh Lindsay for Kingstonian. Both players had also represented Great Britain in Olympic qualifying games.
Hendon started the game well and looked to be in command, keeping the ball moving accurately on the smooth Wembley surface with Charlie Murphy, Terry Howard and Miles Spector all going close to putting Hendon in front.
In the 38th minute, against the run of play, Kingstonian scored. Charlie Murphy’s headed clearance landed at the feet of Kingstonian winger Ken Harris whose cross was headed past Hendon goalkeeper Peter Shearing by Kingstonian's opportunist centre forward Johnny Whing.
The Earl of Derby meets the Hendon players before the game. Captain Charlie Murphy introduces centre forward Miles Spector.
Hendon were knocked out of their stride and just on half time Hugh Lindsay had a second Kingstonian goal ruled out after a foul on Hendon goalkeeper Peter Shearing.
The Kingstonian players await their introduction to the Earl.
In the second half Jimmy Quail took control of the game, his accurate passing enabling Hendon to put the Kingstonian defence under intense pressure. With ten minutes to go Hendon coach Dexter Adams gave Laurie Topp the instruction to move up and join the attack.
Kingstonian goalkeeper Roy Groves dives at the feet of Miles Spector.
Finally, three minutes from time, in a move straight from the Hendon training ground, Miles Spector pulled the ball back for Laurie Topp to blast a spectacular equaliser from the edge of the area. This same move had also produced a crucial goal for Laurie Topp in the semi final win over Enfield.
With just one minute remaining a defensive error let in Hendon winger Terry Howard who evaded the challenge of Kingstonian centre half John Ashworth to slot the ball past Roy Groves and put Hendon in front. There was still time, however for Kingstonian's Reg Oakes to thunder a shot against the outside of the Hendon post but, in dramatic fashion, the Cup was Hendon’s at last.
Hendon captain Charlie Murphy is presented with the Amateur Cup and his winner's medal by Lady Derby assisted by Sir Stanley Rous, the FA Secretary and soon to be President of FIFA.
Charlie Murphy with the Amateur Cup.
Charlie Murphy's rise from junior football to the pinacle of Amateur football, captaining a Cup winning side at Wembley, had been remarkable. Just twelve months earlier he had been playing parks football for St Mary’s Kilburn in the Hendon Sunday League on the Clitterhouse playing fields adjoining the Hendon ground. After having a trial for Hendon, he played five first team games for them in nine days, and he and Hendon never looked back.
The night before the final, Charlie Murphy had been playing darts in a club in Kentish Town with team mate Ron Widdowfield, club official Charles Geary and Hendon Times reporter Fred Harris. Murphy had hit a maxmum 180, declaring "If Hendon don't win the Amateur Cup after that, then they never will".
The Hendon team with the Amateur Cup.
Goalscorer Terry Howard had carried a tiny sock of his fifteen month old daughter Lorraine during the match. “Now I know its my lucky mascot“ he beamed.
Kingstonian had their taste of Wembley glory returning to win the FA Trophy 1 - 0 against Forest Green Rovers in 1999 and retaining the Trophy a year later with a 3 - 2 win over Kettering.
A YouTube clip including low resolution video of the goals from the final can be viewed below:-