34 Years Ago Today, Vinnie Jones Produced The Most Brutal Tackle Ever Seen And Didn't Even Get A Yellow Card
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34 years ago today, Vinnie Jones snapped Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon in half in the 1988 FA Cup final and didn't even get a yellow card.
Underdogs Wimbledon, aptly nicknamed the 'Crazy Gang', produced one of the FA Cup's biggest ever upsets when they beat league champions Liverpool at Wembley courtesy of a Lawrie Sanchez header in the first half.
Goalkeeper Dave Beasant also saved a penalty from John Aldridge, but the game's most memorable moment happened minutes in.
Jones immediately set about leaving one on McMahon, who was Liverpool's hardman in the middle of the park.
It was completely premeditated, with Jones going right through the midfielder after he'd passed the ball.
This Vinnie Jones tackle in the early moments of the FA Cup Final is 34 years old today.— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) May 14, 2022
Steve McMahon jumps back to his feet. No booking. On with the game, chaps…pic.twitter.com/es7Cifiuyc
In all truth it was more of an assault than a tackle. But remarkably, all that the referee awarded was a Liverpool free-kick.
There was no caution for Jones and McMahon didn't even make a meal out of it. Instead of rolling about, he got straight back up and play resumed.
In fact, when the two met again on the pitch the following season, McMahon levelled the scores.
But McMahon had his revenge when the two teams met at Anfield the following season.— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) May 14, 2019
Explaining his thought process on the tackle 30 years later, Jones told talkSPORT: "I'd watched a video and [Alan] Hansen or someone would knock the ball to [McMahon] who'd then let it come across him to open up so he could play it out the other side.
"The boys knew I was going to smash him because I'd told them that if I could early enough, the referee wasn't going to send me off in front of in front of about 100,000 people, but I didn't get too much of a response from the lads, so it was a bit of a gamble!
"So when the ball came into him, I started running. I was about 30 yards away and I kept thinking, 'just open up' and he did and I thought, 'Merry Christmas, BOOM!"
Wimbledon, under Bobby Gould, had a knack for roughing up other teams and it proved to be successful - particularly on that day in Wembley on 14 May 1988.
Jones, who has gone on to have a productive acting career in Hollywood, was sent off 12 times in his career.
He was once booked just five seconds from kick-off against Manchester City when playing for Sheffield United.