Where are they now: Southampton's last cup final team

Shane Long's goal bridges a gap of almost 14 years since their last major final

Southampton, 2003, 1976, FA Cup, final

The Southampton team of 2003 remember their former glories by recreating the pose of the 1976 FA Cup winning team, at the St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, ahead of their FA Cup Final match against Arsenal in Cardiff. Picture by Tom Hevezi PA Archive/PA Images

Thanks to Shane Long's speed and composure, Southampton have a chance to end a 41 year gap since they won their one and only major trophy.

The Irish striker's winner against Liverpool last night put the seal on a 2-0 aggregate victory which puts the Saints into this season's EFL Cup final.

In 1976, they beat Manchester United 1-0 at Wembley with a Bobby Stokes goal seven minutes from to win the FA Cup.

But their most recent cup final appearance came in the 2003 FA Cup when they faced Arsenal at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Unfortunately for Southampton, a Robert Pires goal shortly before half time proved enough to thwart them.

That Saints team was a decent one as they finished eighth in the Premier League that season .

But what are the starting XI from the 2003 FA Cup final up to now? 

Antti Niemi

Ultimately the Finnish goalkeeper spent almost a decade in England after moving to Southampton in 2002.

That run to the FA Cup final came in his first season but ended on a sour note as he became the first goalkeeper subbed off in a FA Cup decider.

He was stretchered off with a calf injury on 66 minutes with Welshman Paul Jones replacing him for the remainder of the match.

The 44 year old left Saints in 2006  for three more seasons in England with Fulham and Portsmouth.

Since retiring, he has gone down the coaching route, first in Finland. In 2014, he became goalkeeper coach at Brighton and Hove Albion. The connection? Well, his former international team-mate Sami Hyppia was manager there briefly.

However, he left Brighton and returned to Finland for personal reasons the following year, explaining: "It was difficult spending so much time away from my family. We came to the conclusion that it would be too difficult to carry on."

Southampton's Goalkeeper Antti Niemi is stretchered off injured during the FA Cup final against Arsenal. Picture by Neal Simpson EMPICS Sport

Chris Baird

Fortunately for the Northern Irishman, he was able to have one golden summer at international level.

The 34 year old right back was part of Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland squad for Euro 2016, featuring in their opening match defeat to Poland.

After the tournament, he had amassed 77 caps and chose to retire from international football.

At club level, Baird is on the books of Derby County in the Championship and has made 16 appearances in the league.

Flashback to the 2003 cup final though and Baird had just been breaking into the club's first team. However,  he performed well in the final when he was just 21.

Claus Lundekvam

The former Norway international defender played all 90 minutes in the 2003 final. He had been a long time stalwart for Southampton, having signed from Brann Bergen all the way back in 1996 during The Dell days.

His longevity was such that he was eligible for a testimonial as his final league game coming in May 2007. He officially retired at the club in 2008 but an ankle injury meant he did not play for the final year of his time at St Mary's. 

However, he would later detail personal problems involving drugs and alcohol in an interview with football writer Lars Sivertsen.

In the piece, he explained: "I think I was looking for something to replace the adrenaline rush, the buzz you get, that feeling of really being alive. You get used to performing in front of thousands every week and when that's gone then suddenly there's a huge mental void which becomes almost impossible to fill. At least for me. I just sat at home or did what I wanted to do, go on holiday, whatever. It became a vicious circle for me where there was more and more alcohol and I started trying this and that, and suddenly you're in trouble."

However, that is in the past and up until relatively recently, Lundekvam had been working as a pundit for TV2 in Norway.

Michael Svensson

Forming the other half of an all-Scandinavian centre back partnership was the former Sweden international.

He signed for Southampton at the start of the season which culminated in their FA Cup final run and in an interrupted spell, finally left St Mary's in 2009. Knee problems were to afflict him.

However, in recent years since retirement, it's coaching that has been his career route.

Currently he is under-19 head coach at a club he represented as a player, Halmstads BK.

Wayne Bridge

The former left back was capped by England in 2002, having been developed through the club's youth system.

The 2003 FA Cup final was the culmination of his time at his hometown club before leaving for Chelsea and then Manchester City.

The 36 year old retired in 2014 after a brief spell at Reading and last year he participated in reality TV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

Bridge was the eighth contestant eliminated from the show.

Paul Telfer 

The Scotsman spent four years at Southampton between 2001 and 2005 and was one of four Saints players booked in the 2003 final.

He also went down the coaching route, first with non league Sutton United and then as an assistant at American NASL side Indy Eleven. He left that latter role in 2015 and was in the frame for the Inverness Caledonian Thistle job at one point. 

Matt Oakley 

The midfielder's name emerged again as ex-Ireland international Clinton Morrison discussed his time at Exeter City with Newstalk in January 2016 when they were facing Liverpool in the FA Cup.

At 39, Oakley remains at Exeter City and it was he who persuaded Morrison to join the club after seeing how well he was moving on the dancefloor, as Morrison confirmed: "Basically we were out in the club, I was throwing a few shapes and he was like 'hold on, you still look like you're quite fit' and I was like 'I'm okay mate, I can still keep going' and he said 'you have to come down.'" 

Currently a player coach at Exeter, Oakley was a graduate of Southampton's academy and stayed at the club from 1993 to 2006, before spells at Leicester City and Derby County.

He would make over 300 appearances for Southampton, including the 2003 cup final. 

 

Matt Oakley. Picture by Matthew Ashton EMPICS Sport

Anders Svensson 

A veteran of two World Cups with Sweden, the dead ball expert scored a famous free kick against Argentina at the 2002 tournament.

The Gothenburg native had been at Southampton since 2001 before returning to boyhood club Elfsborg in 2005.

With 148 caps, the now 40 year old is the most capped Sweden international of all time. He did not retire from his playing career until 2015.

Svensson does commentary and punditry work with Kanal 5 in his homeland.

Chris Marsden

He wore the captain's armband for the 2003 FA Cup final and had already played for seven clubs before joining Southampton in 1999.

He was already a veteran at 34 when that match was played and retired in 2005.

Brett Ormerod

The striker has had a nomadic career, both before, during and after his five year spell at Southampton between 2001 and 2006.

He played the full 90 minutes in the 2003 final and had a shot saved by David Seaman as Southampton chased an equaliser. 

He retired last year at the age of 39 after a final period at non league Bamber Bridge and told The Times that he was planning to go into the sandwich shop business.

James Beattie

A veritable goal machine in the 2002-03 season with 23 league goals, the future Everton, Sheffield United and Stoke City striker retired at lower league Accrington Stanley three years ago before managing the side in May 2013.

But he left the role by mutual consent in September 2014.

The 38 year old remains on the coaching ladder however as he was appointed Leeds United first team coach under manager Garry Monk in the summer of 2016.