To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Swindon Town's 1969 League Cup triumph, all week Adver Sport will be publishing a series of stories to mark the momentous occasion.

MOMENTUM may have been behind Arsenal as the 1969 League Cup final headed for extra time, but Swindon Town defender Joe Butler never doubted it would be his side who went on to lift the trophy.

Bobby Gould’s strike for the Gunners with five minutes to go at Wembley cancelled out Roger Smart’s first-half opener.

With their First Division pedigree to call upon, the form book would point to Arsenal pulling clear in the additional 30 minutes.

But having gone the extra mile on the road to the final – including replays, Town played 11 matches through the rounds to Arsenal’s six – Butler was sure Swindon would be able to raise their game again when it mattered most of all.

“We always believed we could win,” said Butler, who played more than 400 times for Town.

“We played some good sides during the run to the final and had given a really good account of ourselves. Once we got to the final, we fancied our chances against anybody.

“We travelled up on the Friday and stayed overnight and when we got there, it was amazing to walk out at Wembley.

“We played really well and I remember when Arsenal scored near the end, it was just a case of ‘we go again’ from everyone.

“A couple of games went to extra time on the way to the final, so it wasn’t something new to us.

“We seemed stronger the longer the game went on, so it wasn’t a big issue. The Arsenal players looked a lot worse for wear than we did at full-time, so I wasn’t worried at all.

“I remember Don Howe – who was part of the Arsenal coaching staff at the time – was on at the referee trying to get the game postponed.

“We felt playing extra time was more in our favour than theirs and it worked out well in the end.”

The prospect of playing in a Wembley final would be enough to solely occupy the thoughts of any player in the days leading up to it.

For Butler, however, thoughts of his wife Ann – who was due to give birth to their son Neil the week after the final – was more than a slight distraction.

“Personally, there was a lot happening leading up to the game because my wife was due to give birth,” said 76-year-old Butler.

“She wanted to go to the game, so we had to arrange for an ambulance to be ready if necessary.

“As it turned out, nothing happened and Neil was born just under two weeks after so that was all OK, but having that on my mind along with the rest of the build-up was quite a lot to take in.”

As well as unforgettable celebrations at Wembley, Butler says the team’s triumphant return to Swindon was equally memorable, with Danny Williams’ legendary cup winners given a hero’s reception.

“For the spectators, it was a massive thing,” said Butler.

“It was really nice when we came back to Swindon, it was as if the whole town had turned out.

“Wherever we drove, there were big crowds either side of the street. It was very special.”