After 17 years without a trophy, the glory days returned to Highbury with a dramatic victory in the 1970 Fairs Cup Final.
Having seen off the challenge of Ajax, a team boasting the likes of Johan Cruyff, Rudi Krol, Piet Keizer and Gerrit Muhren, in the Semi-Finals, Anderlecht were all that stood between Arsenal and the end of their agonising hiatus.
|Arsenal 3-0 Anderlecht
(Arsenal win 4-3 on aggregate)
Fairs Cup Final 2nd Leg
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
28 April, 1970
Scorers: Kelly 25, Radford 75, Sammels 76
Referee: Gerhard Kunze (East Germany)
Bertie Mee's side looked down and out after slumping to a three-goal deficit in the first leg in Belgium, but a late header from substitute Ray Kennedy gave them a glimmer of hope.
Frank McLintock's post-match rallying call lifted Arsenal's spirits and they were an irresistible force when Anderlecht travelled to Highbury for the second leg six days later.
Eddie Kelly's early goal was the perfect tonic and Mee's men piled on the pressure. They got their reward when John Radford levelled it up on aggregate with a second-half header.
Arsenal had the edge courtesy of Kennedy's away goal but the dangerman Mulder hit the post to remind the Gunners they still had work to do. Then Jon Sammels made it 3-0 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate; Anderlecht were unable to respond.
The final whistle was the cue for Arsenal's fans to surge onto the pitch and celebrate with their heroes. McLintock, after picking up four losers' medals, finally had his hands on a trophy.
Arsenal: Bob Wilson, Peter Storey, Bob McNab, Eddie Kelly, Frank McLintock (c), Peter Simpson, George Armstrong, Jon Sammels, John Radford, Charlie George, George Graham. Manager: Bertie Mee
Anderlecht: Jean-Marie Trappeniers, Georges Heylens, Maurice Martens, Tomas Nordahl, Roland Velkeneers, Julien Kialunda, Gerard Desanghere, Johan Devrindt, Jan Mulder, Paul Van Himst (c), Wilfried Puis. Manager: Pierre Sinibaldi
This information has been verified by Arsenal's Club Historian