E.ON Great Saves No.2: Jim Montgomery
FA Cup final, May 5, 1973
Don Revie's Leeds United were overwhelming favourites to defeat Second Division Sunderland and win the FA Cup for a second successive year. But, in Jim Montgomery, Bob Stokoe's boys had one of the best goalkeepers in the land - and he would not be beaten.
Ian Porterfield (31)
FA Cup final,
May 5, 1973
Wembley, Referee: Ken Burns, Stourbridge, Att: 100,000
After Ian Porterfield had given the Black Cats a shock lead, Montgomery proceeded to time and again thwart the mighty Leeds with a string of outstanding stops. But his most memorable contribution came midway through the second half with an incredible double save, first clawing out Trevor Cherry's header before miraculously turning Peter Lorimer's fierce drive onto the bar and away to safety. With magic Montgomery continuing to stand firm, Sunderland held on for victory - causing one of the greatest upsets in the history of the FA Cup.
Montgomery was renowned for being a top-class shot stopper but his save from Lorimer defied the laws of physics. After flinging himself to the left to keep out Cherry's header, Montgomery somehow recovered to palm Lorimer's follow-up onto the woodwork and to safety. It is considered by many to be the greatest double save ever.
Before the match, Lorimer had unwisely told the BBC he was expecting an exhibition performance from Leeds if they could open the scoring early on. But he hadn't reckoned for the brilliance of Montgomery. Lorimer did everything right when the ball fell in his path after Cherry's header was parried but could only watch as the Sunderland stopper recovered to get a hand on his powerful drive and deny Leeds a leveller.
Almost as memorable as Montgomery's miraculous double stop was Stokoe's post-match celebratory jig across the Wembley turf. The Sunderland boss, in his red tracksuit, coat and trademark trilby, ran to embrace Montgomery - in the process producing one of the most enduring images in the history of the FA Cup.
Did You Know...?
Montgomery is the only English player to collect a European Cup winners' medal without ever making an appearance for the club that won it, having been a substitute for Nottingham Forest in 1980 when they defeated Hamburg.
Montgomery made a fool out of BBC commentator David Coleman, who was so sure Lorimer would score that he shouted: "And Lorimer makes it one each." ITV Commentator Brian Moore was similarly convinced Montgomery had no chance of keeping Lorimer's effort out, exclaiming: "And Cherry going in … and a great save … and a goal" before being forced to correct himself.
The 1973 final was the first and only time an orange ball has been used in an FA Cup final.
What Happened Next
Montgomery remained at Roker Park until 1977 and still holds the club record for most appearances, having turned out 537 times in the league over the course of 17 years. He can also claim to be a part of the last Sunderland team to win a major trophy, as the 1973 FA Cup remains the last honour won by the North East club.
This season E.ON is celebrating Great Saves - great energy saves at home and great goalkeeping saves on the pitch. To win an exciting range of football prizes, with everything from signed football and shirts to a set of four family tickets at the FA Cup final go to eongreatsaves
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