Whoever wins the European Championship today, Wembley Stadium will take the drama in its stride. Here, a fanatic's-eye view of some of countless memorable moments in its history
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The Independent Culture
1 Wembley's opening match, 28 April 1923. 126,000 spectators are expected for the FA Cup final; 200,000 arrive. Fortunately, a police- man on a white horse arrives too, and order is restored. (Bolton Wanderers 2, West Ham United 0.)

2 The Graf Zeppelin flies over Wembley during the 1930 FA Cup final. (Arsenal 2, Huddersfield 0.)

3 Dixie Dean tumbles into the net after scoring, in the first final in which players wore numbers on their shirts. (FA Cup, 1933; Everton 3, Manchester City 0.)

4 In the final minute, George Mutch prepares for a famous, decisive penalty shot. (FA Cup final, 1938; Preston North End 1, Huddersfield 0.)

5 Stanley Rous, future president of FIFA, referees the FA Cup final. (1934; Manchester City 2, Portsmouth 1.)

6 Jackie Milburn's second goal of the 1951 FA Cup final (Newcastle United 2, Blackpool 0.)

7 Mortensen's first goal, in the "Matthews final". (FA Cup, 1953; Blackpool 4, Bolton Wanderers 3.)

8 The Queen congratulates Stanley Matthews on his historic performance. (FA Cup final, 1953.)

9 Jackie Milburn scores the fastest goal in an FA Cup final with a header after 45 seconds. (1955; Newcastle United 3, Manchester City 1.)

10 Bert Trautmann, hero of the 1956 FA Cup final, is helped from the pitch. In the dressing-rooms, he realises that he has played the final 15 minutes of the match with a broken neck. (Manchester City 3, Birmingham City 1.)

11 Matt Busby leads his "Busby Babes" on to the pitch for his first FA Cup final. (1957; Aston Villa 2, Manchester United 1.)

12 Nat Lofthouse's infamous second goal in the 1958 FA Cup final. He knocks goalkeeper Gregg into the net along with the ball; to general surprise, the goal is allowed. (Bolton Wanderers 2, Manchester United 0.)

13 Spurs celebrate the first League/ Cup double of the 20th century. (FA Cup final, 1961; Tottenham Hotspur 2, Leicester City 0.)

14 Eusebio puts Benfica ahead against Milan. (European Cup final, 1963; Milan 2, Benfica,1.)

15 Jose Altafini puts Milan ahead against Benfica. (European Cup final, 1963.)

16 The Queen opens the 1966 World Cup. On her right, the Duke of Edinburgh. On her left Stanley Rous (now Sir Stanley).

17 Fair Play I. The Argentinian captain, Rattin (nickname: "The Rat") is sent off. (World Cup quarter- final, 1966; England 1, Argentina 0.)

18 Fair Play II. Alf Ramsey (now Sir Alf) prevents England players from swapping shirts with Argentina's players after their World Cup quarter-final. "They're animals," he says. (World Cup quarter-final, 1966.)

19 Geoff Hurst's shot against the bar, later transformed into a "goal" by the Russian linesman. (World Cup final, 1966; England 4, West Germany 2.)

20 Geoff Hurst scores his third, magnificent goal in the last minute of the final. He said: "I meant to kick it as far over the crossbar as possible, but made a mistake." (World Cup final, 1966.)

21 Jack Charlton kneels in the centre circle after the final. "He must have dropped a penny," says Martin Peters. (World Cup final, 1966.)

22 Nobby Stiles dances a jig after England's 1966 World Cup victory. (World Cup final, 1966.)

23 The ball used in the final becomes a souvenir for Helmut Haller, a German player. (World Cup final, 1966.)

24 The Queen presents Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet Trophy. (World Cup final, 1966.)

25 George Best scores the goal that turns the tide for Manchester United. (European Cup final, 1968; Manchester United 4, Benfica 1.)

26 Sir Matt Busby celebrates victory in the European Cup final. (1968; Manchester United 4, Benfica 1.)

27 A delighted Charlie George takes a rest after scoring the winning goal. (FA Cup final, 1971; Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1.)

28 Iann Porterfield's unstoppable shot against Leeds. (FA Cup final, 1973; Sunderland 1, Leeds United 0.)

29 Jim Montgomery's unbelievable save - from Peter Lorimer - against Leeds. (FA Cup final, 1973.)

30 Sunderland manager Bob Stokoe's unforgettable sprint after their unexpected victory in the FA Cup final. (1973; Sunderland 1, Leeds United 0.)

31 In the middle of a disastrous match, a distraught Malcolm MacDonald takes a rest on the perimeter fence. (FA Cup final 1974; Liverpool 3, Newcastle United 0.)

32 Overenthusiastic Scottish fans destroy the goalposts in their post- match celebrations. (British Home Championship, 1977; England 1, Scotland 2.)

33 9 May 1981. Parade of captains before the 100th FA Cup final. (Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 1; Spurs won 3-2 in the replay.)

34 Ricky Villa dribbles the ball around Caton, Ranson, Caton (again), Reid, Corrigan - and scores. "At last I have luck in England" (FA Cup final replay, 1981; Tottenham Hotspur 3, Manchester City 2.)

35 The Pope's visit. (1982.)

36 Kevin Moran becomes the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final. (1985; Manchester United 1, Everton, 0.)

37 Bob Geldof and friends perform for Live Aid. (1985.)

38 In mid-concert, Phil Collins flies off in Concorde to play at the other Live Aid concert, in the USA. (1985.)

39 Low points in football history: Paul Gascoigne's tackle on Gary Charles. (FA Cup Final, 1991; Tottenham Hotspur 2, Nottingham Forest 1.)

40 Fair play III: opposing managers Brian Clough and Terry Venables walk together, holding hands, before the FA Cup final. (1993; Tottenham Hotspur 2, Nottingham Forest 1.)

41 Eric Cantona raises the FA Cup (1996; Manchester United 1, Liverpool 0.)

42 The flags of the European Championship winners: 1960: Soviet Union; 1964: Spain; 1968: Italy; 1972: West Germany; 1976: Czechoslovakia; 1980: West Germany; 1984: France; 1988: Holland; 1992: Denmark; 1996: who knows?

. Research by Mike Collett, author of The Guinness Record of the FA Cup; and Ruth Metzstein