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Aubameyang adds to Africa’s FA Cup landmarks

4:59 PM WAT 03/08/2020
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2019-20
The Arsenal frontman wrote another chapter of continental footballing history on Saturday

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Mikel Arteta Arsenal FA Cup 2019-20

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    Arsenal striker Aubameyang wrote another chapter of African FA Cup final history on Saturday as the Gunners defeated Chelsea in the final of the world’s oldest club competition.

    It’s been almost 70 years since the first African involvement in the showpiece fixture in the English football calendar, with the continent’s stars having an increasing presence in the match in recent decades.

    Indeed, as well as scoring twice against the Blues, Auba became the first African player to captain a team in the FA Cup final—an outstanding landmark.

    Here are some of Africa’s other history makers from FA Cup finals past.

  • Stanley Matthews Blackpool Bolton Wanderers 1953 T10

    Bill Perry

    Way back in 1953, Perry became the first player born in Africa to get his hands on the cup.

    He played in the famous ‘Matthews final’—the showpiece dominated by the performance of England great Sir Stanley Matthews—as Blackpool defeated Bolton Wanderers 4-3.

    Even though the match carries Matthews’ name, it was the only final where a hat-trick was scored in the biggest showpiece of the year—by Stanley Mortensen, while Perry also netted the 92nd-minute winner for the Tangerines.

    Perry, who was born in South Africa, would go on to win three England caps.

  • Don Revie - Leeds United

    Albert Johanneson

    Johanneson was a pioneer for African football in England, and became the first person of black African origin to play in the final when he took to the field for Leeds United in 1965.

    He played against Liverpool despite picking up an injury against Birmingham City earlier in the week, and was criticised for his performance as the Reds picked up a 2-1 victory against Don Revie’s historic side.

    South African Johanneson had departed Elland Road by the time they did finally get their hands on the cup seven years later.

  • Bruce Grobbelaar

    Bruce Grobbelaar

    The first African international player to win the cup was Grobbelaar in 1986, when he won the first of three FA Cup successes with Liverpool.

    The Zimbabwe keeper, famed for his heroics as the Reds won the European Cup in 1984, was present for victories over Everton (1986 and 1989) and Sunderland (1992).

    No African goalkeeper in history has achieved as much at club level—at such a high level—as Grobbelaar.

  • Daniel Amokachi - Spurts v Everton 04091995

    Daniel Amokachi

    It would be 30 years after Johanneson became the first black African to play in the final that a black African player would get their hands on the title.

    In 1995, Amokachi was part of the Everton side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final—the Nigerian netted twice—before seeing off Manchester United at Wembley.

    In the intervening years, however, Chris Hughton (a Republic of Ireland international of Ghanaian origin) had also won the big one, while John Fashanu (an England international with a Nigerian father) also clinched the crown in ’88.

  • Didier Drogba Juan Mata Chelsea Bayern Munich Champions League Final 2012

    Didier Drogba

    Despite Aubameyang’s double on Saturday, no African player has dominated the FA Cup final like Drogba.

    No African has won more than his four titles, and his record of having scored in four separate finals is unparalleled in the history of the world’s oldest club competition.

    In 2007, he became the first African player to score a goal in the final when he made his first decisive intervention, netting a 116th-minute extra-time winner against Manchester United to ensure Chelsea got their hands on the historic cup.