When Dave went up to lift the Milk Cup

I went to the 1985 Milk Cup final against Sunderland.

Without doubt, seeing the Canaries win at Wembley has been one of the highlights of my lifetime following the club.

We had come close to getting to a cup final for a few seasons before the Milk Cup final. 

The Canaries reached the FA Cup quarter-final losing 1-0 at Brighton in 82/83. Then the Milk Cup quarter-final in 83/84 losing 2-0 at home to Aston Villa.

Route to the final

The path to the 1985 final included home and away legs against Preston North End in the 2nd round. A home game and replay against Aldershot in the 3rd. Notts County at home in the 4th round. Grimsby Town away in the quarter-final. Then away and home legs against Ipswich Town in the semi.

I went to all of the home games and the matches at Grimsby and Ipswich.

To be honest, we did well only to lose 1-0 at Portman Road in the semi-final. They missed a number of really good opportunities.

At the end of the first leg, I was very confident we would turn it around at Carrow Road. I had a ticket in the South Stand. I can still close my eyes and see Steve Bruce running in to head that late winner in front of the Barclay. No better way to beat your rivals and reach a cup final!

I had been to Wembley a few times before the Sunderland game to watch England play which had been great. However, it was so much more exciting to be heading to the stadium to watch Norwich. 

The friendly final

The official attendance on the day was 100,000. It was easily the largest crowd I had ever been part of. There was genuine warmth and friendship between the fans of the two clubs before and after the match. Calling the game the “friendly final” was very apt indeed. 

On the day, I thought it was a good match and we deserved to win.

As always with Norwich, we nearly blew it by giving away a very soft penalty just after we had taken the lead in the second half. I still can’t understand how Clive Walker missed as I fully expected him to score. I bet he still has nightmares about it too. Sunderland knew it wasn’t going to be their day after that.

The final was on a Sunday and the team paraded the Milk Cup in front of City Hall the next evening. I was right at the front for that too. My main recollection was it rained really all night during those celebrations. 

Milk Cup Final shirt

This is a spare, unnumbered short-sleeve shirt from the 1985 Milk Cup final. It’s one of only 15 produced for the game. The label has “spare” written on the back.

You can see a full set of programmes from the Milk Cup run and all the other games from 84/85 here.