Robins take heart from 1969 Wembley glory

editorial image

The Robins showed the courage of Lions to bring the FA Amateur Cup to Tyneside, becoming the only Northumberland club and last Northern League side to win the coveted trophy.

On their way to the Twin Towers, North Shields first took on Spennymoor united and emerged 4-1 winners with goals from Alan Driver, John Rutherford (two) and Ray Wrightson.

Coventry Amateurs were the next opponents and the Robins enjoyed a 3-0 success thanks to a Micky Lister brace and another from Rutherford.

Formidable visitors Hendon then lined up and after a 1-1 draw (Wrightson) and a frozen pitch a week later the replay eventually took place with Frank Brennan’s side travelling back north toasting a 2-0 win with Wrightson and Brian Joicey on target.

Another London outfit Wealdstone were seen off by a late Richie Hall header.

At Middlesbrough’s Ayresome Park, Skelmersdale United led in the semi-final, but a 10-man Robins fought back superbly to force a replay as ‘supersub’ Tommy Orrick bagged the leveller.

Onto a windy Southport and again it was an uphill battle for Ron Tatum and his merry men. Shields came from behind and two Joicey strikes took his side to Wembley.

Frank Brennan and his 13 man squad travelled with quiet confidence keeping an injury to Driver on the morning of the match under wraps.

Bobby Wake was again the unlucky player not to make the final 12 as Orrick was the only man on the bench. The Shieldsmen shrugged off the setback of a fourth minute Sutton United opener and a resolute defence and heroics from keeper Micky Morgan kept the Surrey side at bay.

Orrick was introduced – his corner found the head of Hall who rose like a salmon to nod the equaliser then the substitute fed Joicey who shrugged off the pain of an injured shoulder to glide through tackle after tackle to jubilantly rifle in the winner.

The Shields fans were ecstatic – what a great day.

Amazingly Shields then went on to play 13 Northern League matches in 26 days, winning all bar a draw at Blyth to win the title and also the League Cup to complete a glorious treble.

The next season Ron Tatum took his side to take on Almas of Rome as Shields ruled Europe.