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Hugh Fisher speaks exclusively to St. Mary's Musings!

Scottish midfielder Hugh Fisher, who was an unused substitute in the 1976 FA Cup Final, speaks to St. Mary's Musings about that famous day and more, in an exclusive interview.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Hugh Fisher represented Southampton on 366 occasions, scoring 11 goals during a ten-year association with the club.

He joined the club following five seasons with Blackpool, and was signed by the legendary Ted Bates for a fee of £35,000.

Although he was an unused as Southampton's substitute in the famous win over Manchester United at Wembley in 1976, he scored a crucial goal in Saints' run to the final.

On the 3rd of January 1976, with Southampton trailing Aston Villa at The Dell with the score at 0-1, Fisher scored his first goal in 16 months after being teed up by Mick Channon, ultimately keeping Southampton in the competition. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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Fisher played in every round of the 1976 FA Cup, until the semi-final stage, when he was forced to withdraw from the starting eleven following a pelvic injury. Paul Gilchrist took his place for the semi-final against Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, with Saints winning 2-0.

Fisher was on the bench for Southampton's win at Wembley, but his time at Saints would draw to a close just 12 months later.

Following the arrival of Alan Ball, and the continued development of Steve Williams in midfield, Fisher was soon limited to reserve team football.

In March 1977, he departed The Dell to take the role of player-manager at Fourth Division side Southport.

On Friday the 1st of May, exactly 39 years to the day since Southampton's one and only FA Cup win, St. Mary's Musings were invited to meet Hugh and other members of the cup-winning side, as well as manager Lawrie McMenemy.

The following interview took place during a Mayoral Reception at Southampton Guildhall.


Approaching the 40th anniversary, what are your fondest memories - the parade?

Yeah, I would say so, that was fantastic - I've never seen the city like it. It was unbelievable coming back, even from Basingstoke, we could tell we were driving into something special.

We made a big mistake, I think, on the Saturday night when we won it. We stayed up in London, and we should have come back to Southampton that night and joined in the celebrations with the Southampton fans that night.

Does it make it more special that you're the only Saints team to have won the FA Cup?

No, I'd love the current squad to win it!

It is great, when you look back and it's the biggest prize the club has ever won, we're really proud of it. But we'd love the team to come to the fore and win the cup.

Do you think they've got a good chance of winning the FA Cup then?

Yeah, they have! They had a chance last year. There seems to be some clubs that don't have the same recognition for it, so it seems to have lost a little bit of sparkle in some managers' eyes, playing reserve teams and all that.

Do you like Ronald Koeman for having the guts to put the majority of the first team out?

Yes. The way he's been putting out his strongest teams and trying to win it, that's the way it should be. I'm sure the fans appreciate that, rather than chopping and changing.

If you could pick one player from the current squad to play alongside, who would that be?

Ah yes, that's an interesting question. I've seen them about six times this season and that's all I've seen. There's some really good players and they're passing the ball really well. The two full-backs are excellent, but Schneiderlin I think, being a midfield player myself.

Is it nice, even 40 years on, that people still want to commemorate the win?

Well, we're amazed that the interest is still here. Excuse my language, but we're getting a lot of old farts now - so it's interesting that there's still a bit of interest going on, which is nice.

What do you remember of the match day - players speak about getting out on the pitch and the nerves disappear, was this occasion different?

Well, we were also-rans!

The bookmakers had written us off, 10-1 or something - we were also-rans. Manchester United were top of the First Division as it was called then and nobody gave us a chance really.

We believed in ourselves. We were quite a good side. We were well-organised and had gone through four or five games to get there, and were pretty confident we could give a good performance.

We carried a bit of a luck in the first quarter of an hour, I must admit. They were unlucky not to score, the goalkeeper [Ian Turner] made a couple of scrambling saves. But after the first quarter of an hour, the game settled down and we were back in it then.

What do you remember of Bobby Stokes' goal?

Well, I just remember the long through ball from Jim McCalliog, he hit it early and the back four got caught a bit square. Tight decision, but he didn't put his flag up - it looked tight and it could've gone either way. Of course, he never really hit it that well to be honest and I think that's what beat him [Alex Stepney - Manchester United goalkeeper], he scuffed it a bit. That kept it low and that was just perfect. From where we were, we could see it was going in and 83 minutes, you know, with seven minutes to go, that was a vital time to score.

With a nod to the current squad, what do you think of the job that Ronald Koeman is doing?

Oh, it's fantastic. He was left with a shell of a team as you know. To come through that, and buy six or seven players - as you know, that's one of the most difficult things in the game, to get that correct and spend that type of money.

I think everyone one of his buys has been successful. To end up 6th or 7th, that's a fantastic season.

Lawrie was your manager on that day, what do you remember of playing for him and what sort of manager was he?

He was a good manager. Strict, and would give you a rollicking if you stepped out of line or anything, but yeah, he was also there to praise us and was a very good man-manager.

St. Mary's Musings would like to thank Hugh for taking the time to speak to us.