Rush nets twice as Reds win Cup

20th May 1989

It was befitting that in a season when the club suffered one of the biggest tragedies to have ever darkened English football, the Reds went on to lift the FA Cup for the fourth time in our history.

It was won on a day that was an all-Merseyside occasion, one full of emotion and significance, as Reds boss Kenny Dalglish led his men out at Wembley just five weeks after the sad events that transpired during the semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest in Sheffield.

Ahead of the clash with Colin Harvey's Everton, Gerry Marsden took centre stage to give an emotional rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and 'Abide with me', which was then followed by one minute of silence in memory of the 95 supporters (later to become 96) who lost their lives in the Leppings Lane end at Hillsborough.

It set the tone for a final Liverpool were determined to win so they could dedicate the success to those who had been lost and they got off to the best possible start inside the opening five minutes.

Steve Nicol played a superb through ball for Steve McMahon to chase and when the midfielder crossed low from the right John Aldridge was on hand to mark his 100thgame for the Reds with a first-time effort that flew into the top left-hand corner.

It was a superb team goal and one that went some way to exorcising the demons of the previous year's final in which Aldridge became the first player to miss a penalty in an FA Cup final in the 1-0 defeat against Wimbledon.

It looked like being the winning goal too until late pressure from the Blues paid dividends courtesy of substitute Stuart McCall.

Pat Nevin fed Dave Watson in the penalty area and when his low shot was palmed out by Bruce Grobbelaar, McCall reacted to steer a first-time effort into the back of the net.

It was a bitter pill for the Reds to swallow after they had been within touching distance of lifting the cup.

However, they responded well in extra-time and within four minutes of the kick-off they had regained the advantage courtesy of substitute Ian Rush.

The Welsh marksman had replaced Aldridge with just 18 minutes of normal time remaining and made the most of his first real opportunity of the contest when he received the ball from Nicol, before swivelling on a six pence and firing the ball beyond Neville Southall.

It was a magnificent finish and one that saw him net his 20th derby goal to break the record previously set by Blues legend Dixie Dean.

It was a strike worthy of winning a cup final, but sadly, that would not be the case as Everton once again fought back to draw level courtesy of McCall's second of the match.

The Scottish midfielder chested down Alan Hansen's headed clearance just outside the penalty area to volley in a sublime equaliser three minutes before the end of the first period of extra-time to become the first substitute to score a brace in an FA Cup final.

And so, once again the Reds had been pegged back and once again they needed to pick themselves up and make one last effort to secure the cup.

Both sides pushed forward in an attempt to strike the killer blow in what had been a rollercoaster of a match and just two minutes after the Blues had levelled, Liverpool took the lead for the third and final time.

John Barnes produced a delightful run and cross from the left with Rush nipping in ahead of his marker to stoop low and guide a superb header wide of Southall to notch his second of the contest and secure the trophy for Liverpool.

After the match boss Kenny Dalglish paid tribute the loyal fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough.

"Obviously we'd like to think this win can help people in some way," he said.

"That's probably why it makes it a little bit better than some of the other wins.

"It's better than the last one because of Hillsborough."