This will always be remembered as the final where Paul Gascoigne's career officially ended, overshadowing the fact Spurs were fielding a team with Justin Edinburgh, Steve Sedgely, David Howells, Pat Van Den Hauwe and Vinny Samways. Even more bemusing was the fact they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1, eclipsing a team containing Forest legends including Ian Woan, Steve Chettle, Steve Hodge and a fresh faced Roy Keane.
The final was supposed to be Brian Clough's day, as he hoped to add the elusive FA Cup to his league championship and European Cups from an era when Forest were somehow world feared. Gazza didn't help his cause, fouling Woan with a savate kick in the tunnel prior to the entrance of both sides. Upon kick off Gazza continued his rampage, fouling all the Forest starting eleven, plus Clough and the bench. Gazza somehow avoided a yellow card from referee Roger Milford, who laughed off every challenge as Gazza 'being a cheeky git.' Following Gazza's tenth full studded tackle on Gary Charles in the 15th minute, he was stretchered off for good, allowing stone faced Stuart Pearce to slam home the opener. Clough was even more stone faced and old Terry Venables clenched his teeth, knowing the law was closing in on him.
Spurs fought back and missed penalties in the 19th, 27th and 36th minutes, all by Gary Lineker, who failed to repeat his Italia' 90 heroics, when he scored 12 penalties against Cameroon alone. It wasn't until the 55th minute that Spurs equalized as Liverpool flop Paul Walsh set up future Liverpool flop Paul Stewart to make it 1-1. Future Liverpool flop Nigel Clough couldn't influence the game and Keane lived up to his burgeoning reputation when he floored Mark Falco in the stands. While this was happening one time star defender Des Walker suffered the indignity of scoring an own goal, giving Spurs the lead in extra time. Tottenham skipper Gary Mabbut, who had suffered the same fate back in 1987, equalized for Forest out of sympathy for Walker in the 100th minute but was ruled offside by a smirking Milford.
Nearing the end of the match Keane, clearly enraged by the reversal of fortune, was mocked by Howells and Edinburgh, with Howells making a masturbatory gesture and calling Keane a 'wanker.' Commentator Martin Tyler said 'well those gestures are not worthy of an FA Cup Final.' Tyler would publicly retract this in 2008, stating even more unworthy moments, such as Manchester United not competing in the tournament in 2000, Portsmouth winning the final in 2007, three clubs winning the cup over a 35 year period and Middlesbrough making the final in 1997.
Clough maintained the same stone face as Spurs lifted the cup and kept it until 1993 when Forest were relegated, thereby confirming their status as also rans for an infinite period. Lineker seemed incredulous to have actually won a medal with Spurs and fans were fooled into thinking glory days were on the horizon for the team. Charges were later pressed against Venables, claiming Spurs road to the final was rigged, after beating the likes of Blackpool, Oxford, Portsmouth and Notts County. The win against Arsenal in the semi-finals was put down to Tony Adams and Paul Merson wanting to 'leave early' to beat the rush to a string of local taverns and that winning the league was 'good enough.'