1959 FA Cup Final

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1959 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event 1958–59 FA Cup
Date2 May 1959
Venue Wembley Stadium, London
Referee Jack Clough (Bolton)

The 1959 FA Cup Final was contested by Nottingham Forest and Luton Town at Wembley. Forest won 2–1, with goals from Roy Dwight and Tommy Wilson just four minutes apart. Dave Pacey scored Luton's consolation goal.


Road to Wembley

Nottingham Forest

Round [1] Home teamScoreAway teamDateAttendance
Round 3 Tooting & Mitcham United 2–2Nottingham Forest10 January 195914300
Round 3 ReplayNottingham Forest3–0Tooting & Mitcham United24 January 195942320
Round 4Nottingham Forest4-1 Grimsby Town 28 January 195934289
Round 5 Birmingham City 1–1Nottingham Forest14 February 195955300
Round 5 1st ReplayNottingham Forest1–1Birmingham City18 February 195939431
Round 5 2nd ReplayBirmingham City0-5Nottingham Forest23 February 195934458
Round 6Nottingham Forest2–1 Bolton Wanderers 28 February 195944414
Semi FinalNottingham Forest1-0 Aston Villa 14 Mar 195965707
(at Hillsborough, Sheffield)

Luton Town

RoundHome teamScoreAway teamDateAttendance
Round 3Luton Town5-1 Leeds United 10 January 195918534
Round 4 Leicester City 1-1Luton Town24 January 195936984
Round 4 ReplayLuton Town4–1Leicester City28 January 195927277
Round 5 Ipswich Town 2–5Luton Town14 February 195926700
Round 6 Blackpool 1-1Luton Town28 February 195930634
Round 6 ReplayLuton Town1–0Blackpool4 March 195930069
Semi-finalLuton1-1 Norwich City 14 Mar 195965000
(at White Hart Lane, London)
Semi-final ReplayNorwich City0-1Luton18 Mar 195949500
(at St Andrew's, Birmingham)

Match Summary

The game was notable for an unusually large number of stoppages due to injury, particularly to Nottingham Forest players, which was put down to the lush nature of the Wembley turf. The most notable of these stoppages occurred when goalscorer Roy Dwight was carried off the pitch after breaking his leg in a tackle with Brendan McNally after 33 minutes.

This also proved a turning point in the game as Forest had been the more dominant team to that point, leading by two goals at the time. Luton gradually took control of the match from this point on, scoring midway through the second half.

Forest were reduced to nine fit men with ten minutes remaining when Bill Whare was crippled with cramp, being forced to play wide on the wing where he was little more than a spectator.

The high volume of injuries during the second half led to four minutes of additional time being added on by the referee, during which time Luton twice came close to forcing extra time as Allan Brown headed narrowly wide of goal before Billy Bingham hit the side netting. Given the condition of the Forest team at that time it would have been a remarkable feat for them to have won the game or even forced a replay in extra time had Luton equalised.

At the final whistle the Forest manager Billy Walker entered the field to congratulate his team and was chased by a steward who tried to marshall him back off. The steward mistook Walker to be a pitch invader.

Match details

Nottingham Forest 2–1 Luton Town
Dwight Soccerball shade.svg 10'
Wilson Soccerball shade.svg 14'
Report Pacey Soccerball shade.svg 66'
Wembley, London
Attendance: 100,000
Referee: Jack Clough
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Nottingham Forest
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Luton Town
1 Flag of Scotland.svg Chic Thomson
2 Flag of Guernsey.svg Bill Whare
3 Flag of Scotland.svg Joe McDonald
4 Flag of England.svg Jeff Whitefoot
5 Flag of Scotland.svg Bobby McKinlay
6 Flag of England.svg Jack Burkitt (c)
7 Flag of England.svg Roy Dwight
8 Flag of Scotland.svg Johnny Quigley
9 Flag of England.svg Tommy Wilson
10 Flag of England.svg Billy Gray
11 Flag of Scotland.svg Stewart Imlach
Flag of England.svg Billy Walker
1 Flag of England.svg Ronald Baynham
2 Flag of Ireland.svg Brendan McNally
3 Flag of England.svg Ken Hawkes
4 Flag of England.svg John Groves
5 Flag of England.svg Syd Owen (c)
6 Flag of England.svg Dave Pacey
7 Ulster Banner.svg Billy Bingham
8 Flag of Scotland.svg Allan Brown
9 Flag of England.svg Bob Morton
10 Flag of Ireland.svg George Cummins
11 Flag of England.svg Tony Gregory
Flag of England.svg Syd Owen


The game was televised live on the BBC Grandstand programme, which introduced score captions into their broadcast for the first time in an FA Cup final. This however caused much annoyance in Nottingham where their team's name was displayed on the screen at regular intervals as Notts Forest. Commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme apologised live on air for the mistake, stating that the caption should read Nott'm Forest. [2]

During the game the Forest fans were heard to sing the theme tune to the then-popular television programme Robin Hood (the legendary outlaw who was allegedly from Nottingham), this being the first time that popular television culture had made its way into a terrace song during a cup final.[ citation needed ]

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  1. Smales, Ken (2006). Nottingham Forest The Official Statistical History. Pineapple Books. ISBN   978-0954-357627.
  2. "1959 FA Cup Final: Nottingham Forest vs Luton Town". therollingball. Retrieved 1 April 2015.