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The mystery of Arsenal’s 1971 FA Cup final goal is finally SOLVED 50 years after new video footage reveals who actually scored

EDDIE KELLY has been the answer to pub quiz questions for generations as the first substitute to score in an FA Cup final.

Did he score Arsenal’s extra-time equalizer in a 2-1 win over Liverpool in 1971… or he?

Eddie Kelly and George Graham lift the FA Cup in 1971...but who scores the equalizer for Arsenal?

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Eddie Kelly and George Graham lift the FA Cup in 1971…but who scores the equalizer for Arsenal?Credit: Rex
Kelly is the scorer but will Graham reach the finish line?

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Kelly is the scorer but will Graham reach the finish line?Credit: Alamy

The debate is still raging 50 years later – whether it’s Kelly or Gunners teammate George Graham.

But, today, SunSport revealed new video of the goal from a different angle, seemingly proving Graham had the last touch of the ball.

Incredibly, two former Gunners admit they have NEVER discussed goals.

Kelly still believes it’s hers as “my mother said I scored”.

While Graham, who has gone on to lead Arsenal to League, FA Cup, League Cup and European glory, says he is happy to let people decide for themselves on new evidence.

Graham was initially credited with the goal but it was later awarded to Kelly after ITV commentator Brian Moore highlighted behind-the-scenes TV footage on his Big Match show the next day.

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However, a new fan video – unearthed by britishpathe.com – paints a different picture.

Graham, 77, admits: “Honestly, I have no intention of wanting to make any statement about goals for the next half century.

“I don’t know of any new footage but it’s one of the scariest targets you’ll ever see.

“At the time, I thought I had scored. I have a contact. But the next day, Brian Moore on ITV said that was Eddie’s goal.

I cared a lot about people thinking that I made it my goal.

George Graham

“I cared a lot about people thinking that I made it my goal.

“But as far as I know, getting us back in the game is the most important thing.

“It was lovely when the scene was out there. After watching, you can give everyone your opinion.

“That final has so many happy memories for me and the rest of that great Arsenal team.”

SunSport also showed Kelly the unearthed footage. It seemed to show Graham redirecting Kelly’s scramble efforts to Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence’s desperate dive.

However, Kelly, 70, said: “I took a look. It’s at a different angle but it looks like I’ve got the last touch.

“I’m a bit disgruntled because I never got the credit I deserved for a goal.

“Teammate John Radford always jokes that George only got the Man of the Match award because he scored the goal – and he’s waiting for George to hand him the trophy!”

It was Steve Lawrence, FA Cup fan, who found the archive of goal replay images.


THE EVIDENCE

Kelly dribbles towards goal

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Kelly dribbles towards goal
Ball seems to be redirected home by Graham

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Ball seems to be redirected home by Graham
Graham turned away to celebrate

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Graham turned away to celebrate


Lawrence, custodian of the Twitter account @facupwembley, said: ‘I came across it by chance while looking through Pathe’s UK archives.

“I’m glad it was able to settle a controversy and get George and Eddie’s version of the game and their ‘goal’ half a century later.” Neither of the former Gunners players spoke. about who touched the ball last.

Graham said, “No. It was never discussed. I think we’re both just having fun celebrating the FA Cup. “

Kelly added: “We never had a conversation about it.

“But George thinks he has scored. It has to be the worst goal ever scored at Wembley and probably the most important goal of my career.

“It was our left-back, Bob McNab, who told me I scored because he did a bit of work on television.

“Our manager, Bertie Mee, never even mentioned it to me.

“My mother also said that I scored. She only came to watch me play twice, once in this final and another when I was in charge of Arsenal.

“Honestly, I loved winning the Fairs Cup last year because it was the first trophy Arsenal won in 17 years and winning it at Highbury was fantastic.

“I also scored that night – and George never claimed it!”

Graham has nothing but fond memories of the incredible Arsenal team, who played 64 games in the 1970-1971 season and employed only 16 players. He said: “What you have to remember is five days ago we had to go to Tottenham and get the result to win the title, which we did.

I had a look. It’s at a different angle but it looks like I’ve got the last touch.

Eddie Kelly

“It is quite an achievement. We have never received the credit we deserved for winning those two games in the same week to become only the fourth team in English football history to win the Double.”

Kelly added: “After winning the FA Cup at Wembley, we had a gig at a London hotel. It feels like it lasted two weeks!

“During the season, we also frequent the pub called White Hart in Southgate after games. Not all of the team, just a few of us.

“It is a great atmosphere with the boys and we will talk about the games.

“The teamwork over there is amazing.”

Both praised captain Frank McLintock for scoring the Gunners’ double.

Graham said: “Arsenal have been very, very fortunate to have a captain like him, without a doubt the best captain I have ever played with. He is an excellent leader. I still go golfing with Frank and it was a great opportunity to talk about football then and now and share a lot of great memories. ”

Kelly added: “I can remember Frank was in a team meeting after we lost 5-0 at Stoke in September of that season. What he said and the way he said it was amazing.

“After that defeat and his talk, we were on a 14-match unbeaten run in the league until mid-January.

“Frank is the greatest. He was the total winner and he made us win.

“He will never be beaten and he has helped the young players on the team, like Ray Kennedy, Charlie George, Pat Rice and me, a lot.”

So the answer to the FA Cup puzzle of who was the first substitute to score in the final is Stuart McCall – the next man to score 18 years after he came on for Everton when they lost 3-2 in the Mersey derby final against Liverpool in 1989?

Ironically, it was Ian Rush who helped the Reds win that day with 2 goals for himself … all coming off the bench!

Graham is willing to let the public decide

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Graham is willing to let the public decideCredits: Arfa Griffiths – The Sun
Eddie Kelly is still adamant that he has one last touch

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Eddie Kelly is still adamant that he has one last touchCredits: Rex Features

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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4301152/arsenal-1971-fa-cup-final-goal-mystery-solved-graham-kelly/ The mystery of Arsenal’s 1971 FA Cup final goal is finally SOLVED 50 years after new video footage reveals who actually scored

Huynh Nguyen

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