Classic Hatchet Jobs: Eddie McCreadie Very Nearly Decapitates Billy Bremner And Referee Waves Play On, 1970 FA Cup Final Replay (Video)

Chris Wright

5th, April 2019


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Three weeks after the original fixture at Wembley finished 2-2, Leeds United and Chelsea reconvened at Old Trafford to have another stab at the 1970 FA Cup Final.

As you might expect given the teams involved, both games proved to be exceedingly rough, with players knocking lumps out of each other left, right and centre as the likes of Jack Charlton, Ron Harris, Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter went at it.

The replay was arguably the filthier of the two ties, with (a then-record) 28 million people tuning in to watch a final that never really made it beyond the ‘glorified pub car-park brawl’ stage.

Referee Eric Jennings only showed one yellow card, and amazingly that didn’t come when Chelsea left-back Eddie McCreadie did his level best to actually kick Bremner’s head off his shoulders…

Indeed, Jennings waved play on as McCreadie made a half-hearted attempt to check his Scotland teammate for signs of life.

Chelsea eventually won the final 2-1 in extra time and both teams were by and large commended for their fearsome dedication to the cause.

In 1997, Premier League referee David Elleray retrospectively reviewed the final replay, ultimately concluding that six red cards and 20 yellows would have been administered by modern standards.

Two decades later still, there’s a very real chance that the army would have been called in and martial law declared.

Posted in FA Cup, Hardmen, Injuries, Retro, Videos

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  1. Liquid says:

    The original 1970 final was no pillow fight either. Chopper Harris buried his studs into Eddie Gray’s chest if I recall correctly. I guess Mccreadie wanted to go one better.

    Thankfully the FA disciplinary people are a bit less toothless in general in the modern era. There are still people who think it was better back then. Generally speaking its old fans whose teams did well out of it back then.

    It brought to mind the 1974 Charity Shield which you’ve covered before (Dirty bloody Leeds)

  2. Rob says:

    That was crazy!! Not even a free kick!
    I wonder what those players think about teams take selfies of themselves on Instagram after scoring?

  3. Geraldo says:

    I once read a description of Leeds as “an English soccer team, notably successful in the 1960s and 1970s, who won most of their honours by kicking the sh1t out of their opponents”. I don’t think anyone can compete with that description…from front to back (even their keepers were thugs), they were football filth.

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