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The 1974 FA Cup Final: Liverpool v. Newcastle United

After 1965's FA Cup victory over Leeds United, Liverpool's next trip to the final saw them come up short in a hard-fought game against Arsenal in 1971. As in 1965, the match had gone to extra time a goalless draw, and once again three goals had then been scored—only this time, it was Liverpool on the losing end of a 2-1 scoreline. However, unlike in 1950 when they lost to Arsenal, this time another chance to head to Wembley came quickly, and in 1974 Liverpool faced off against Newcastle United.

There was no need for extra time in this final, as Liverpool crushed a strong Newcastle side 3-0 thanks to a goal by Steve Heighway and a Kevin Keegan brace. Once again, Liverpool's league form dipped in a year they won the FA Cup, though the drop wasn't quite so precipitous this time and a Liverpool side better able to handle competing on multiple fronts only fell to second. The club's increasing stature would be fully confirmed three seasons later in 1976-77, when Liverpool won their first European Cup alongside their tenth league title, a Charity Shield, and runners-up status in the FA Cup.

That success, however, would come under new manager Bob Paisley, and for many the 1974 FA Cup final victory over Newcastle remains most noteworthy for being Bill Shankly's final game in charge. Shankly would announce his retirement two months later, a decision that shocked those watching but that he had known was coming from the minute Liverpool won the cup:

After the FA Cup Final I went into the dressing room and I felt tired from all the years. I said to a bloke who was looking after the dressing room, "Get me a cup of tea and a couple of pies, for Christ's sake." When I sat down with my tea and pies, my mind was made up. If we had lost the final I would have carried on, but I thought, "Well, we've won the Cup now and maybe it's a good time to go."

Shankly had guided the club for fourteen seasons, winning two FA Cups, one UEFA Cup, two Charity Shields, one European Cup Winner's Cup, three First Division titles, and the Second Division title that secured Liverpool's promotion back into the top flight in 1962.

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