Skip to content
An FA Cup final error saw some Tottenham players walk out without a shirt sponsor in the 1987 FA Cup final


When Tottenham players lined up for the FA Cup final in 1987, something was wrong.

SIX of them turned out to be missing the club’s main sponsor – the beer brand Holsten – on the front of their shirts.

Spurs shirt

Richard Gough’s match shirt, above, left without a sponsor, and Clive Allen’s, right. Gary Mabbutt, Glenn Hoddle, Paul Allen, Ossie Ardiles and Gary Stevens also did not have the sponsor’s name on their tops in the 1987 Cup Final

This is surely one of the biggest fashion mistakes in football.

Ahead of the Wembley showpiece, Tottenham received six full sets of manufacturer Hummel’s new kit, as Simon Shakeshaft, Daren Burney and Neville Evans explain in the book, The Spurs shirt.

Four sets featured main shirt sponsor Holsten on the front, but two sets were unmarked as they had been ordered for the youth team to use at a season-ending tournament in Germany.

Additionally, club secretary Peter Day was told by the Football Association that, given the huge global television audience the Cup final would attract, the organization was unsure of the publicity issues being given that this was the first time a team with an alcohol sponsor had appeared in football. spectacular end of season.

Either way, the FA gave Spurs the go-ahead to retain the beer branding on their shirts and all six sets of kits – youth team included – were therefore sent to have the particular match embroidery sewn onto the before. When they were returned to White Hart Lane, the kits were sitting in Day’s office.

Spurs shirt the boys pieced together what they believe happened next.


Kit man Johnny Wallis selected two sets of outfield kits, numbered 2 through 14, from the box in Day’s office, unaware that some did not have Holsten on them.

At Wembley, Wallis reportedly arranged the shirts with the number facing up, so players knew which one was theirs.

And with an FA Cup final to focus on, Clive Allen, Glenn Hoddle and their team-mates failed to notice what was on their shirts as they changed for the game.

Allen explains that he first noticed the rooster during the warm-up before kickoff. “I saw that there was no sponsor name written on Glenn Hoddle’s shirt,” he wrote in There is only one Clive Allen. “He came up to me and I said, ‘And your Holsten?’ Lightning quick, he replied, “Clive, I have a game to play. I don’t think we should have a drink right now! »

After the match, which Spurs lost 3-2, the club carried out an investigation into how the mistake could have happened, aware that Holsten had paid them a lot of money to have their name splashed on the front.

The incident actually generated a lot of publicity for the brand and Iriving Scholar, then Spurs chairman, eventually managed to put things right, but not without casualties.

An FA Cup final error saw some Tottenham players walk out without a shirt sponsor in the 1987 FA Cup final

Mabbutt above, centre, scored at both ends of the Cup final – his was one of the shirts without Holsten on the front, while Chris Waddle, left, had the mark on the front.

“Monday morning, with [manager] David Pleat, Peter Day and [Commercial Manager] Mike Rollo met Holsten,” Scolar wrote in his book, Behind closed doors. “We feared the worst, but Alan Bridget, Holsten’s chairman, took a very understanding view and made it clear there was no question of withdrawing the sponsorship.”

However, Day lost his job, while Wallis was relegated to the reserves team with Roy Reyland taking charge of the first-team kit.

When Coventry shocked FA Cup specialists Tottenham

Spurs were aiming for a record eighth competitive triumph and were heavy favorites to beat Coventry, a club playing in their first Grand Final in their 104-year history.

Clive Allen scored his 49th goal of the season, but an own goal from Gary Mabbutt in extra time earned Coventry a 3-2 win.
Keith Houchen’s diving header to level the game is one of the most famous goals in the FA Cup, while Coventry fans have named a fanzine in honor of Mabbutt’s knee!


The 2022 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Chelsea will be shown live on talkSPORT on Saturday May 14 at 4.45pm



Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.