Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United

FA Cup final, May 4, 1957

Manchester United had already claimed the League Championship and were bidding to become the first team to win the Double in the 20th Century. Could Villa upset the odds and claim the trophy for the first time in almost 40 years?

1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - The Villa side are presented to the Duke of Edinburgh before kick-off
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1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - The Villa side are presented to the Duke of Edinburgh before kick-off 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957- The United goalkeeper is carried off on a stretcher following his collision with Villa's McParland 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - Blanchflower, the Manchester centre-half takes over in the United goal following the injury to Wood after he collided with Aston Villa's McParland 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - United's stand-in goalkeeper looks on helplessley as the ball hits the net from Villa's McParland for their first goal 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - Blanchflower is beaten by a McParland shot for Villa's 2nd goal 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - The Villa goalkeeper is beaten by Taylor, United's centre-forward for their only goal of the game 1957 FA Cup final: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United, May 4, 1957 - Taylor, the United centre-forward appeals for a foul as players collide in the Villa goalmouth Johnny Dixon the Aston Villa Captain is chaired by team-mates after he has received the F.A. Cup from H.M. Queen at Wembley Stadium. The final score was a 2-1 victory over Manchester United. Johnny Dixon the Aston Villa Captain is chaired by team-mates after he has received the F.A. Cup from H.M. Queen at Wembley Stadium. The final score was a 2-1 victory over Manchester United. Johnny Dixon Aston Villa captain kisses the FA Cup May 1957after Aston Villa had beaten Manchester United in the final at Wembley
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Aston Villa
Peter McParland (68, 73)
2-1
Manchester United
Tommy Taylor (83)

FA Cup final, May 4, 1957
Wembley, Referee: F Coultas, Att: 99,225

Manchester United goalkeeper Ray Wood was forced out of the game in only the sixth minute after breaking a cheekbone in a shuddering challenge with Villa hero Peter McParland.

With the concept of substitutes yet to be introduced, United were reduced to ten men (albeit temporarily - Wood would eventually return), with Jackie Blanchflower in goal. And despite battling bravely, they could do nothing to prevent Villa from taking a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from that man McParland.

Matt Busby's side did pull one back late on through Tommy Taylor, but it proved to be barely a consolation for the beaten favourites.

Key Figures

Peter McParland

Villa’s centre-forward was on target twice at Wembley. His quickfire brace in the second half put Villa in control and it was a lead they would not relinquish, despite some late United pressure.

Ray Wood

United’s keeper saw his final cut short after just six m inutes following McParland’s challenge. Miraculously, he returned in the second half - as a winger! - and even went back between the sticks late on as United pressed for an equaliser.

Eric Houghton

Mr Aston Villa had played for the club for 20 years having joined them as a 17-year-old in 1927. He took over as manager in 1953 and this Cup triumph - his only honour with the club - was a fitting reward for his years of service.

Did You Know...?

Villa’s win was their seventh FA Cup success - a record at the time.

In December 2007, BBC Four screened a documntary called A Game Of Two Eras which compared the 1957 final to its 2007 counterpart. Using the latest technology, the programme showed how the game had changed over 50 years.

Eric Houghton stayed on as Villa manager until 1958, before becoming a club director - the only man ever to do so at Villa Park.

What Happened Next

Villa's defence of the trophy ended at the first hurdle the following year, as they lost to Stoke in a second replay at the third round stage.

Miraculously, United did return to Wembley the following season, just weeks after the Munich Air Disaster, but they again finished as FA Cup runners-up, this time losing 2-0 to Bolton.

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From the back pages

Psst...Cup Ticket For £40! Published: May 4, 1957

Thousands hit Wembley trail

Up For The Cup! Published: May 4, 1957

FA Cup final preview

Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United Published: May 6, 1957

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