Enfield Town are getting ready to head north next Saturday to take on Skelmersdale United in the first of two special friendlies to mark the fiftieth anniversary of their epic meeting in the FA Amateur Cup Final.
Enfield claimed the cup back in 1967 with a 3-0 win at Maine Road following a 0-0 draw at Wembley seven days earlier in front of 75,000 supporters on Saturday 22 April 1967.
After travelling to the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club’s Stormy Corny next weekend, the Towners, the successor club founded by fans of the original Enfield, will host Skem next summer at their Queen Elizabeth II Stadium.
Enfield reached the FA Amateur Cup Final for the first time in 1964, only to lose 1-2 to Crook Town after goalkeeper Malcolm Mitchell sustained a broken arm after 25 minutes
The 1966-67 season was arguably the most successful in the history of the club which saw them finish fourth in the league.
Before beating valiant underdogs Skelmersdale United in the final, Enfield disposed of Sutton United, Isthmian League champions that season, 3-0 in the first round. The Southbury Road outfit then visited Athenian Leaguers Wembley in Round Two, coming away with a hard-fought 2-1 win after going behind early on.
Isthmian League rivals Leytonstone were next up and, after a 1-1 draw at Granleigh Road, a goal from Lawrie Churchill in front of a 4,000 gate saw the Es through in the replay.
Sadly, the quarter-final was a traumatic affair when a visit to Worcestershire Combination side Highgate United ended in tragedy, the game abandoned with Enfield leading 1-0 following a freak lightning strike on 28 minutes that struck Tony Allden, the home defender later dying in hospital.
Enfield eventually progressed 6-0 in front of a crowd of 31,750 when the game was replayed on an emotional night at Villa Park. Selhurst Park hosted their semi-final against Walthamstow Avenue, Churchill scoring again with a decisive 30th minute header.
Skem are hoping for a bumper turn-out when the clubs meet again next Saturday as they remember one of the biggest days in their history which saw a mass exodus from the Lancashire town to Wembley.
Officials say many of the Skem players who were in action that day have pledged to be at the reunion match including Alan Bermingham, John Unsworth, Richie Wade, Dave Moorcroft, Micky Worswick, Wally Bennett, Micky Burns and Alan McDermott.
Skem, coached by Liverpool legend Ian St John on their route to the final, went on to lift the FA Amateur Cup four years later when they beat Dagenham at Wembley in 1971.
Skelmersdale United press officer Neil Leatherbarrow said: “It was one to remember, the day Skelmersdale left en bloc for London. It was a massive thing for the town and almost 50 years later this is arguably the era when Skelmersdale have had our best team since then. We’re hoping for a big crowd to celebrate a special day.”