Ghana's No. 1

Oliver 'would have given 11 RED cards' in Chelsea vs Leeds FA Cup final in 1970

Published on: 15 April 2020

Michael Oliver would have issued out 11 red cards if he had been in charge of Chelsea's notorious FA Cup final replay against Leeds back in 1970.

With the coronavirus pandemic decimating the football calendar, all those involved within the sport are constantly thinking of ways to keep themselves occupied.

And for the Premier League's top referee, Oliver, he has been keeping busy in a very unique way by providing a very modern take on Chelsea's 2-1 FA Cup final triumph over Leeds 50 years ago in the more than feisty replay at Old Trafford.

The 120-minute encounter on April 29, 1970, was notorious for its full-blooded, old-school, crunching tackles, in which Chelsea ran out triumphant thanks to Peter Osgood and David Webb's extra-time winner.

'It's amazing to watch them – not a single player ever appeals to the referee,' Oliver told the Telegraph as Webb, who should have already received his marching orders, crunches into another challenge.

'Eddie Gray just gets up. You didn't get the reaction then that you do now. And what you also don't get is 20 more players running into the situation in the aftermath.

'Which [nowadays] means you invariably end up with more hassle and more cards anyway.'

After watching on as the crunching tackles continue to land, Oliver - who viewed the fixture back on Youtube - admits: 'For want of a better explanation... it's almost "proper football".'

On the day, referee Eric Jennings remarkably only handed out one yellow card for Chelsea's Ian Hutchinson.

Jennings allowed rough play by both sides throughout, playing advantage to the full extent to let the match run smoothly.

Tommy Baldwin and Terry Cooper kicked lumps out of each other as the battle began while not much longer into the game, Chelsea's Ron Harris caught winger Eddie Gray with a kick to the back of the knee.

Norman Hunter and Hutchinson traded punches while Eddie McCreadie, in his own box, produced a flying kick to Billy Bremner's head.

Jack Charlton also lunged at Osgood while Chelsea's late goalkeeper Peter Bonetti was injured after being bundled into his own net by Mick Jones, who would go on to put Leeds 1-0 ahead in the 35th minute.

The ill-tempered affair has previously been re-refereed by David Elleray in 1997 - then considered England's most senior referee.

And he had dished out six red cards and 20 yellow cards to the 23 players who featured at Old Trafford 50 years ago.

But Oliver had gone one step further by handing out 11 reds, two of which were for Chelsea's left back McCreadie.

The Premier League referee jotted down 16 bookings overall, three apiece for Webb, Hutchinson and Charlie Cooke.

Meanwhile, seven of the reds were awarded to Chelsea players, as well as Hunter, Gray, Charlton and skipper Bremner.


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