The ‘motivational’ pre-match team talk Manchester City players received in 1969 ahead of FA Cup clash

17 May

Manchester City’s players were buzzing. They were one game away from an appearance at Wembley and a place in the 1969 FA Cup final.

Wins against Luton, Newcastle, Blackburn and Tottenham en route to the semi-final left them feeling unbeatable.

Under Joe Mercer, Manchester City won the league title in 1968 in what was a golden period for the club
Getty

“We just felt confident and then our biggest hurdle was in facing Everton in the semi-final at Villa Park,” Francis Lee told mancity.com.

And in attempt to rouse his troops the club’s chairman decided to deliver a motivational pre-match speech to the players.

It was pretty unusual, however.

“Albert Alexander our then chairman made a tear-jerking speech ahead of the game,” Lee said.

“The dressing room was reeking of embrocation when Joe suddenly said: ‘Quiet boys, the chairman would like a few words with you.’

“Albert, bless him, came in and said: ‘It’s a very good to be here. Good luck to everybody and if we win, we can get to Wembley. Then we’ll get plenty of money and win in front of a big crowd and then we can buy some new better players!’

“You can imagine how well that went down!”

It certainly motivated them to perform as a Tommy Booth goal earned City a 1-0 win and a place against Leicester in the final.

Man City won the FA Cup in 1969, a year after winning the league, while they were triumphant in the League Cup and Cup Winners Cup finals in 1970
GETTY

On 26 April 1969, Joe Mercer guided City – wearing a striking black and white striped kit – to their fourth FA Cup triumph with another 1-0 win, this time the goal being scored by Neil Young leaving the thousands of City fans rocking.

“The FA Cup final is something so special and to be able to say you played in the final means so much,” Mike Summerbee said.

Find out if Pep Guardiola will lead them to a sixth FA Cup success when Man City take on Watford at Wembley – live on talKSPORT on Satuday 18 May at 5pm.