6 players whose FA Cup heroics helped earn them big transfers elsewhere

Will a Sutton striker seal a move to Arsenal after the two sides lock horns on Monday? Er, maybe not, but Tom Seymour picks out the stars who chose good days to play well

1. Tim Cahill, Millwall to Everton (2004)

Toffees manager David Moyes was impressed by Cahill, who scored three goals in the tournament

With eight years' service, 278 appearances and 68 goals to his name (a large proportion of which were headers) Cahill became synonymous with Everton – but the Australian was a hugely popular figure at Millwall first. 

Having joined the Lions as a teenager in 1997, the defining moment of Cahill's time at the Den came in the 2004 FA Cup when Dennis Wise's second-tier side made it all the way to the final, and eventually lost 3-0 to Manchester United.

Toffees manager David Moyes was impressed by the then-24-year-old, who scored three goals in the tournament – including the semi-final winner against Sunderland – and paid a bragain £1.5m for the midfielder that summer.

"It put me out there and I guess people finally got to know who the real Tim Cahill was," he told the Observer in 2009. "[By] grabbing that winning goal against Sunderland, people were proud of the Australian who got one of the lower league clubs to the final. It was one of the finest moments in my career."

2. Dudley Tyler, Hereford to West Ham (1972)

The First Division side knocked Hereford out in a replay, but manager Ron Greenwood didn't forget about Tyler and duly paid £25,000 for the part-timer

Think big FA Cup shocks and great FA Cup goals, and there's a good chance that Ronnie Radford's winner for non-league Hereford United against Newcastle in 1972 springs to mind (note: Ricky George actually scored the winner in extra-time, but no one ever remembers that. Poor bloke).

It may have been Radford's thunderbolt (and George's turn and shot) that secured a fourth-round tie with West Ham, but it was winger Dudley Tyler who caught eyes at the Boleyn Ground. The First Division side knocked Hereford out in a replay, but manager Ron Greenwood didn't forget about Tyler and a few months later paid £25,000 for the part-timer, who was working in the accounts department of electronic company Plessey in Swindon.

“At 26, I was probably a bit old to be turning pro for the first time but I didn’t take too much time over making the decision," Tyler told the Hereford Times in 2012.

3. Steve Carney and Alan Shoulder, Blyth Spartans to Newcastle (1978)

Newcastle signed both Carney and Shoulder, who had been given £350 worth of furniture by a local business for their cup heroics

With both Lincoln and Sutton in the fifth round this year, it's inevitable that other non-league clubs' exploits in the competition will be recalled. One such run occurred in 1978, when Blyth Spartans of the Northern League also reached the fifth round by beating Stoke – who had recently been relegated from the top flight – 3-2 away from home.

Blyth exited after a replay to Wrexham, played in front of 42,000 fans at St James' Park in nearby Newcastle rather than their own Croft Park home. The Magpies' hierarchy clearly wanted some of Blyth's stardust and subsequently signed both Carney and Shoulder, who had been given £350 worth of furniture by a local business for their cup heroics.

Blyth Spartans

Blyth Spartans upset the odds to reach the fifth round in 1978