The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888

All time greatest F A Cup Giant Killings
No 7

Harlow Town


Leicester City

Image right. Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.

Third Round Replay [Last 64]

Tuesday January 8th 1980

Attendance: 9,783

Harlow Sports Centre, Harlow

Scorer: John MacKenzie {41}

US President Carter issues a $1.8 billion bailout to troubled car maker, Chrysler.

British Steel workers go on strike for the first timer in over half a century in search of a 20% pay rise.

Dennis Christopher and Dennis Quaid were enjoying break through roles in the coming of age comedy. Breaking Away at the cinemas.

Simon Cadell and Paul Shane were starring in the debut of a new, holiday camp based comedy, Hi Di Hi.

Pink Floyd were topping the charts with Another Brick in The Wall.

This was also a big year for Non-League Football with the creation of the Alliance Premier League, an ambitious project to provide a national top tier for the English semi professional game, as well as creating a single Non-League champion to put forward for election to the Football league. The Isthmian League weren't happy with the proposed diminished status of their League to that of a feeder for the new fifth tier of Football and rejected their invitation to join, thinking they could continue on a par with the new League. Even by Christmas of the first season it was clear that the Football League were already viewing the new division as the natural pinnacle of Non-League Football. 

For the likes of Harlow Town it wasn't much of a blow. Their hopes of winning the Isthmian League and being considered good enough to try for Football League election were slim at best. The club were celebrating their centenary in 1979 but didn't start making inroads in the semi pro game until the 1950s, moving up through the London League, Delphenian League and, ultimately the Athenian League, which coincided with the club's move to the Harlow Sport Centre. Such was the prestige of the new facility, Harlow were able to provide opposition to the Uruguayan World cup team in 1966 and as a warm up for Benfica prior to their 1968 European cup final. By the seventies it was clear that the Isthmian League was a superior model and one that Harlow jumped ship to, winning promotion to the top flight to cap their centenary season.

The manager tasked with their first season among the best of the league was Ian Wolstenholme, a P E teacher who'd been the hero of Enfield's 1967 Amateur cup winning side, saving the last minute penalty that forced a replay, which they won.