Hendon 1 : 3 Wealdstone
Amateur Cup Final
16th April 1966
Hendon FC 1966. Back Row (left ro right): David Shacklock, David Hogwood, John Swannell, Geoff Riddy, David Swain, David Hyde, Bill Fisher. Front Row (left to right): Laurie Churchill, John Evans, Bobby Cantwell, Roy Sleap, Jimmy Quail, and Mickey Cooper.
Jimmy Quail, a hero of Hendon' s 1960 and 1965 Cup wins missed the 1966 Final after suffering a double leg fracture in the quarter final game against Wycombe Wanderers.
Against all odds, Hendon had reached a second consecutive Wembley final despite suffering a crippling catalogue of injuries. Four players, David Hyde Jimmy Quail, Roy Drake and Dave Bassett had all suffered leg breaks during the season, skipper Bobby Cantwell had a spell in hospital for a leg operation, Danny Lakey was a long term absentee with a stomach muscle injury and Geoff Riddy had been plagued all season with a serious ankle ligament problem. Hendon’s local rivals Wealdstone were appearing in their first and only Amateur Cup Final having never before managed to do better than reach the last eight despite sixty five years of trying. The conditions for the final were far from ideal, the match was played in drizzle and a cold wind and April snow and heavy rain on the preceding two days had almost waterlogged the lush Wembley turf.
Hendon took an early lead when centre half Geoff Riddy shot through a ruck of players to beat Bryan Goymer the Wealdstone goalkeeper. Wealdstone fought back and just before half time a tentative cross shot from Bobby Childs deceived John Swannell in the Hendon goal for the equaliser.
Jim Cooley is seen leading a Wealdstone attack.
In the second half Wealdstone gained the upper hand as the Hendon players seemed to tire on the heavy pitch. Bernie Bremer's scrambled goal three minutes from time gave Wealdstone the lead and just before the final whistle Bobby Childs scored his second goal, following up after John Swannell had saved well from Hugh Lindsay.
Hendon goalkeeper John Swannell dives at the feet of Wealdstone forward Bobby Childs.
Wealdstone's John Ashworth receives the Amateur Cup from Earl Alexander of Tunis. This was a particularly sweet moment for the Wealdstone captain who, with team mate Hugh Lindsay, had been in the Kingstonian side that lost to Hendon in the 1960 final.
The Wealdstone players celebrate with the Amateur Cup.
Wealdstone captain John Ashworth obviously knew a good thing when he saw one and promptly joined Hendon at the start of the next season. Two goal hero Bobby Childs joined Hendon in 1971 and won his second Amateur Cup winner's medal with them in 1972.
The Wealdstone team led by Hugh Lindsay, John Ashworth and Jim Cooley on their victorious lap of honour.
This was Wealdstone FC's second Wembley appearance. They had beaten RAF Uxbridge 5 - 2 in a wartime Middlesex Red Cross Cup final here in 1942. They would return in 1985 to claim the FA Trophy with a 2 - 1 win over Boston United to maintain their 100% record at the old stadium.
A YouTube clip containing cine film footage of the first half of the 1966 Amateur Cup semi final between Hendon and Whitley Bay can be viewed below. The game was played at Sunderland's Roker Park ground (a "neutral" venue?). Hendon took a 2 : 0 lead early in the game through Geoff Riddy and Roy Sleap but were put under intense pressure by Whitley Bay as this clip shows. A Tony Knox penalty put Whitley Bay back in the game but Hendon goalkeeper John Swannell was brilliant throughout and somehow Hendon held out to win "Swannell and bad luck rob the Bay" was the headline in a northern newspaper:-