Liverpool vs. Sunderland: Where Are the 1992 FA Cup Final Teams Now

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Liverpool vs. Sunderland: Where Are the 1992 FA Cup Final Teams Now
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool host Sunderland at Anfield on Wednesday night in a game that has huge importance at both ends of the table—the home side seeking to maintain their unexpected title challenge, the visitors looking to gain points that will keep them in the Premier League.

It's the biggest game between the two sides since they met in the 1992 FA Cup Final at Wembley, a match that was the Wearsiders' first FA Cup Final since winning the competition in 1973 and their last cup final until the recent League Cup Final defeat to Manchester City.

For Liverpool, it was their only piece of silverware won under then-manager Graeme Souness.

The match was won by Souness' side courtesy of goals from Michael Thomas and Ian Rush.

We take a look back at the two sides and where the players that played that day are now, 22 years on...

 

LIVERPOOL

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MANAGER: GRAEME SOUNESS

Souness' appearance at Wembley was a month after major heart surgery and so assistant Ronnie Moran actually walked the Reds' side out pre-match. The Scotsman, a legend as a player, struggled to continue the Boot Room era and after giving an interview to The Sun newspaper to celebrate the success of his heart operation, which was published on the third anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.  He finally apologised for this 20 years later, as explained in The Liverpool Echo.

Much like the side that David Moyes has inherited from Alex Ferguson, Souness inherited a very ageing Liverpool side with the best players over 30 and past their prime. His reign as manager lasted less than three years, replaced by Roy Evans in 1994.

Today, Souness can be found working as a pundit mostly for Sky Sports. He has had managerial stints at Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn and Newcastle in between times.

GOALKEEPER: BRUCE GROBBELAAR

Eccentric goalkeeper Grobbelaar was one of those players whose time at Anfield was coming to an end—he too left the club two years later.

Incredibly, he had eleven more clubs in 13 years before his retirement in 2007—although he made just one appearance for each of the last three clubs in the non-leagues.

He now resides in Canada and occasionally does media work, most recently for Norwegian TV at the 2010 World Cup.

RIGHT-BACK: ROB JONES

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Jones was a promising defender at the time and would have gone on to become a great for both club and country had injuries not plagued his career, eventually forcing his early retirement from the game in 1999 aged 27.

Jones made 243 appearances for the club in total, memorably never scoring a goal. He had a short stint with West Ham before retiring and now works part-time at the club's academy as a mentor and coach for the academy sides. He also runs a chain of nursery schools in Warrington with his wife.

CENTRE-BACK: MARK WRIGHT

Captain Mark Wright lifted the Cup for the Reds on the day and remained a key player at Anfield for the next six years. He was another whose injuries plagued his career though, eventually forcing his retirement in 1998.

He's had managerial stints with lower-league sides including Southport, Oxford United, Peterborough and Chester City—most recently in 2009. He then had a two-month spell as manager of Maltese side Floriana FC.

CENTRE-BACK: STEVE NICOL

Nicol left Liverpool in 1994 after over 400 appearances for the club, winning five league titles and three FA Cups in the process.

He went on to establish himself as a well known manager across the pond in Major League Soccer with New England Revolution, winning MLS Coach of the Year Award in 2002. He spent nine years as coach of the Revs but failed to win the MLS Cup despite reaching the final four times.

LEFT-BACK: DAVID BURROWS

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Burrows left Liverpool a year later, joining West Ham. He moved to rivals Everton from there, becoming one of the few players to have played for both sides on Merseyside. He retired from the game in 2003 and emigrated to the south of France.

RIGHT-MIDFIELD: RAY HOUGHTON

Irishman Houghton was a goalscoring midfielder who made over 200 appearances for Liverpool before leaving for Aston Villa shortly after the Cup Final. He'd lost his place due to emergence of Steve McManaman and was only in the side due to injury to John Barnes and Ronnie Whelan.

He memorably scored Ireland's winning goal against Italy at World Cup 1994 in the USA.

Houghton is now an ambassador for the Irish FA and is heavily involved in the media.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD: MICHAEL THOMAS

Thomas scored a memorable goal on the day, a superb shot on the volley from the edge of the box. He played for the Reds for another six years, a key part of their midfield under Roy Evans, eventually leaving for Benfica in 1998 and Wimbledon in 2000-01.

He now runs a security firm called 'Stop Taking The Michael' (seriously) and represents the Liverpool legends teams around the globe.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD: JAN MOLBY

Midfielder maestro Molby retired from football in 1996 and had short managerial spells with Swansea, Kidderminster and Hull between 1996 and 2004.

Nowadays, he is the chairman of the former Liverpool players association, 5Times, playing in their legends games and after dinner events.

LEFT-MIDFIELD: STEVE McMANAMAN

Liverpool's young winger on the day was crowned man of the match and went on to establish himself firmly in the Reds' side until his controversial departure for Real Madrid in 1999.

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McManaman's dribbling and trickery lit up Anfield during the 90s and he scored many memorable goals, including a virtuoso run from inside his own half against Celtic in the UEFA Cup and a stunning volley against Arsenal at Highbury. He also won man of the match in his second cup final for the club, the 1995 League Cup Final success over Bolton, where he scored both the goals in a 2-1 win.

McManaman was the first high-profile player to move under the Bosman ruling when he joined Spanish giants Real in summer 1999 as part of their galacticos era. Contrary to popular belief, Macca's time in Madrid was a huge success, he played in and won two European Cups—scoring and winning man of the match in 2000.

These days, McManaman can be found working as a pundit usually for ESPN and is a part-time mentor/coach at Liverpool's academy.

FORWARD: DEAN SAUNDERS

Saunders' short spell at Anfield came to an end later in 1992 and he went on to play for Aston Villa, Galatasaray, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Benfica and Bradford City before retiring in 2001.

Saunders made the move into management in 2008, impressing as coach at Wrexham and earning the Doncaster Rovers job in 2011. He impressed again with the Yorkshire side but the move to Wolves last January was short lived, leaving the club days after their relegation from the Championship and after just four months in charge.

FORWARD: IAN RUSH

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Liverpool's record goalscorer left the club four years after this success, initially joining Leeds United. He went on to play for Newcastle, Sheffield United (on loan). Wrexham and Sydney Olympic. He also had a short spell as manager of Chester City in 2004.

He rejoined Liverpool as a global ambassador in 2010 and can be found at various promotional events for the club's foundation, especially during pre-season activities.

 

SUNDERLAND

MANAGER: MALCOLM CROSBY

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This was Crosby's first and only managerial job. He left Roker Park a year after the Cup Final and only returned for brief forays back into management with Oxford United and Northampton Town as caretaker boss.

He later returned to Oxford as their under 18s and head of youth development coach in 2011, although he only occupied the role for a year before moving to Birmingham to become Lee Clarke's chief scout.

Crosby recently recalled his memories of the Cup run and the day itself in an interview with The Daily Mail. "In the end, we were a little bit outclassed in the second half by top-quality opposition," he admits.

GOALKEEPER: TONY NORMAN

Norman's form was key to the Wearsiders reaching the final. The Welshman remained at the club until 1995 before a two-year spell at Huddersfield prior to his retirement.

He's now the goalkeeping coach at Darlington.

RIGHT-BACK: GARY OWERS

Owers made the majority of his professional appearances for Sunderland but went on to play for Bristol City, Notts County and a handful of non-league sides before hanging up the boots in 2007.

He's now first-team coach at Plymouth Argyle, appointed to the role in 2013 after initially joining the club as a youth coach.

CENTRE-BACK: KEVIN BALL

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The intense centre-back moved into midfield during his nine years as a Sunderland player, making over 300 appearances before his departure in 1999. He joined Fulham and then Burnley before retiring in 2002.

He has been appointed Sunderland caretaker manager on two different occasions, in 2006 and 2013—when he was tipped to get the job fulltime before Paolo Di Canio was appointed. He remains at the club as the senior professional development coach.

CENTRE-BACK: GARY BENNETT

Bennett made over 400 appearances for the Black Cats from 1984 to 1995, before brief spells at Carlisle, Scarborough and Darlington—where he was briefly the reserves manager and described as "an exceptionally good coach" upon his departure in 2002, as per BBC Sport.

Bennett is now a radio pundit, following Sunderland home and away.

LEFT-BACK: ANTON ROGAN

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Northern Irishman Rogan spent only two years on Wearside before similar spells at Oxford United, Blackpool and Millwall.

He now runs an asbestos removal company in Oxford.

RIGHT-MIDFIELD: BRIAN ATKINSON

Atkinson was at Sunderland until 1996 before joining neighbours Darlington, where he remained until retiring in 2002. He was appointed assistant manager at the Quakers in June 2012, a position he continues in today, working alongside fellow former Sunderland player Martin Gray, the Darlington manager.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD: PAUL BRACEWELL

Bracewell was one of the more well known names in the Sunderland side, having spent five years at Everton before joining the club in 1989. He made over 100 appearances on Wearside before joining rivals Newcastle United shortly after the Cup Final—only to rejoin the Black Cats three years later.

He ended his career at Fulham in 1999, where he became a coach working alongside Kevin Keegan and Ray Wilkins. When Keegan left to become England manager, Bracewell took charge before being sacked in 2000, the London side appointing Jean Tigana.

Bracewell set-up Complete Football in Gosforth.

CENTRE-MIDFIELD: GORDON ARMSTRONG

Armstrong made over 300 appearances for Sunderland before shorter spells with Bury, Burnely and Accrington Stanley. He is now, according to Clarets Mad, a football agent with several Clarets players on his books.

LEFT-MIDFIELD: DAVID RUSH

Rush failed to ever fulfil his potential as a professional player, having several loan spells before joining Oxford United in 1994. A brief foray into management occurred in August 2013 when he was caretaker boss at Gateshead. He remains there now as assistant manager.

Rush can be found on twitter and runs 2TouchAcademy.

FORWARD: JOHN BYRNE

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Scorer of the goal that sent Sunderland to Wembley in the semi-final replay against Norwich, Byrne spent just one season on Wearside, joining Millwall briefly and later in 1993, Oxford United. He ended his career at Brighton in 1996 and now works as a radio commentator following the south coast side for Radio Sussex.

FORWARD: PETER DAVENPORT

Davenport was in the side due to Don Goodman being cup-tied. He left the club a year later and spent time north of the border in Scottish football before brief spells with Stockport, Southport and Macclesfield.

After retiring and having short spells in management, Davenport studied for a sports science degree, got his level two coaching badge and helped out at his sons local school, as per The Football League.

He used to play six-a-side football with Liverpool midfielders Jan Molby and Michael Thomas in Birkenhead, as of 2011.

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