The 1959 FA Cup final was contested by Nottingham Forest and Luton Town at Wembley. Forest were playing in their second FA Cup final, while Luton were making their first final appearance in their history. Forest won 2–1 to win their second title, with goals from Roy Dwight and Tommy Wilson just four minutes apart. Dave Pacey scored Luton's consolation goal. As of 2024, this is Forest's most recent FA Cup title.

1959 FA Cup final
Event1958–59 FA Cup
Date2 May 1959
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeJack Clough (Bolton)
Attendance100,000
1958
1960

Road to Wembley

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Nottingham Forest

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Round[1] Home team Score Away team Date Attendance
Round 3 Tooting & Mitcham United 2–2 Nottingham Forest 10 January 1959 14300
Round 3 Replay Nottingham Forest 3–0 Tooting & Mitcham United 24 January 1959 42320
Round 4 Nottingham Forest 4-1 Grimsby Town 28 January 1959 34289
Round 5 Birmingham City 1–1 Nottingham Forest 14 February 1959 55300
Round 5 1st Replay Nottingham Forest 1–1 Birmingham City 18 February 1959 39431
Round 5 2nd Replay Birmingham City 0-5 Nottingham Forest 23 February 1959 34458
Round 6 Nottingham Forest 2–1 Bolton Wanderers 28 February 1959 44414
Semi Final Nottingham Forest 1-0 Aston Villa 14 March 1959 65707
(at Hillsborough, Sheffield)

Luton Town

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Round Home team Score Away team Date Attendance
Round 3 Luton Town 5-1 Leeds United 10 January 1959 18534
Round 4 Leicester City 1-1 Luton Town 24 January 1959 36984
Round 4 Replay Luton Town 4–1 Leicester City 28 January 1959 27277
Round 5 Ipswich Town 2–5 Luton Town 14 February 1959 26700
Round 6 Blackpool 1-1 Luton Town 28 February 1959 30634
Round 6 Replay Luton Town 1–0 Blackpool 4 March 1959 30069
Semi-final Luton 1-1 Norwich City 14 March 1959 65000
(at White Hart Lane, London)
Semi-final Replay Norwich City 0-1 Luton 18 March 1959 49500
(at St Andrew's, Birmingham)

Match summary

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The game was notable for an unusually large number of stoppages due to injury, particularly to Nottingham Forest players, which was put down to the lush nature of the Wembley turf. The most notable of these stoppages occurred when goalscorer Roy Dwight was carried off the pitch after breaking his leg in a tackle with Brendan McNally after 33 minutes.

This also proved a turning point in the game as Forest had been the more dominant team to that point, leading by two goals at the time. Luton gradually took control of the match from this point on, scoring midway through the second half.

Forest were reduced to nine fit men with ten minutes remaining when Bill Whare was crippled with cramp, being forced to play wide on the wing where he was little more than a spectator.

The high volume of injuries during the second half led to four minutes of additional time being added on by the referee, during which time Luton twice came close to forcing extra time as Allan Brown headed narrowly wide of goal before Billy Bingham hit the side netting. Given the condition of the Forest team at that time it would have been a remarkable feat for them to have won the game or even forced a replay in extra time had Luton equalised.

At the final whistle the Forest manager Billy Walker entered the field to congratulate his team and was chased by a steward who tried to marshall him back off. The steward mistook Walker to be a pitch invader.

Match details

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Nottingham Forest2–1Luton Town
Dwight   10'
Wilson   14'
Report Pacey   66'
Attendance: 100,000
Referee: Jack Clough
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nottingham Forest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Luton Town
1   Chic Thomson
2   Bill Whare
3   Joe McDonald
4   Jeff Whitefoot
5   Bobby McKinlay
6   Jack Burkitt (c)
7   Roy Dwight
8   Johnny Quigley
9   Tommy Wilson
10   Billy Gray
11   Stewart Imlach
Manager:
  Billy Walker
1   Ronald Baynham
2   Brendan McNally
3   Ken Hawkes
4   John Groves
5   Syd Owen (c)
6   Dave Pacey
7   Billy Bingham
8   Allan Brown
9   Bob Morton
10   George Cummins
11   Tony Gregory
Player-Manager:
  Syd Owen

Coverage

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The game was televised live on the BBC Grandstand programme, which introduced score captions into their broadcast for the first time in an FA Cup final. This however caused much annoyance in Nottingham where their team's name was displayed on the screen at regular intervals as Notts Forest. Commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme apologised live on air for the mistake, stating that the caption should read Nott'm Forest.[2]

During the game the Forest fans were heard to sing the theme tune to the then-popular television programme The Adventures of Robin Hood (the legendary outlaw from Nottingham), an early example of popular television culture making its way onto the terraces.[3]

References

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  1. ^ Smales, Ken (2006). Nottingham Forest The Official Statistical History. Pineapple Books. ISBN 978-0954-357627.
  2. ^ "1959 FA Cup Final: Nottingham Forest vs Luton Town". therollingball. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  3. ^ McVay, D. (2013). Steak Diana Ross. United Kingdom: Reid Publishing.
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