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'Chic' Thompson's Cup Memories

Former Forest goalkeeper Charlie 'Chic' Thomson will have mixed loyalties on Sunday.

For Thomson - one of the last survivors of Forest's 1959 FA Cup-winning team - was Chelsea's keeper when Ted Drake's dynamic side won the Championship four years earlier

Thomson - who made 136 appearances for Forest before making way for Peter Grummitt in 1961 - knows that anything can happen in the Cup.

He was in the Forest side that almost came a cropper against little Tooting & Mitcham in January 1959.

It was the biggest day in the 70-year history of the amateur club.

And, after knocking out Bournemouth and Northampton in the early rounds, they fancied their chances against Forest.

A record 14,300 crowd, packed into the small Sandy Lane ground, saw the Reds struggle on an icy, snow-covered pitch.

'We thought the game would be off,' recalled Thomson. 'But, as we prepared to return to Nottingham, the word came through that the game was on.

'Perhaps the game should never have been played and certainly Tooting gave us a shock.'

The home side, adjusting far better to the rutted conditions, were two up at half time.

'During the half time talk, we decided to drop our normal passing game and play kick and chase,' said Chic.

'Early in the second half we got the break we needed. A back pass went over the goalkeeper's shoulder and into the net. Then we got a lucky penalty. The ball hit a rut, struck a hand and the referee gave a penalty. Billy Gray scored from the spot. So we were dead lucky. But you need a bit of luck in the cup.

As we came off the pitch, we said: 'We are going to win this trophy.''

And they did.

A City Ground crowd of 42,362 saw Forest win the replay 3-0.

Grimsby were dumped 4-1 but the fifth round was another cliff-hanger.

From his goal, Thomson watched anxiously as Birmingham held the lead for an hour before Tommy Wilson headed an 89th-equaliser to force a replay.

The two sides drew again at the City Ground, before a third replay at Filbert Street, which Forest won 5-0.

Bolton were beaten 2-1 and a 65th-minute goal from the late John Quigley in the semi-final against Villa was enough to take Forest through to that historic final against Luton at Wembley. The rest, as they say, is history.

Nottingham Evening Post

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 25 2007

Time: 11:56AM


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