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Unlikely Semi Finalists?

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FA Cup semi-final weekend.
It will for many be the high point of the season, but ultimately the unsuccessful semi finalists will largely be forgotten.
If we accept a certain standard of knowledge of the antiquity of football and a familiarity with the list of FA Cup Winners of the 19th century, I think you'll agree that a look at the semi finalists of that era still throws up some unexpected names.
Incidentally there was only one semi final in the 1872-73 season, when the competition was played as a 'challenge cup' for the only time. There were also a further 5 seasons in which teams received a bye at the semi- final stage.



1874, 1876, 1886:  Swifts
The origins of this Slough based  club are somewhat obscure, but they seem to have been active as early as 1868.
8 Swifts players represented England, including the 3 Bambridge brothers.
 The club were absorbed in a merger in 1890.


1875: Shropshire Wanderers
An example of the way in which the model of the aristocratic gentleman's club was transferred into a more provincial setting. Wanderers feature significantly in the history of Welsh football- their semi final team featured founder of the Football Association of Wales Llewelyn Kenrick and Wales/England international John Hawley-Edwards.  

1881: Darwen
Before being eclipsed by Blackburn Rovers Darwen were the pre-eminent side in Lancashire. In 1879 they had been in the headlines for their epic 3 game quarter final struggle with Old Etonians .
In 1881 they went one better, marching to the semis with 33 goals in 4 matches. However, Old Carthusians swept them away with a second half comeback.

1882: Marlow
In the season in which the names of  familiar professional teams began to appear with greater regularity (The  Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers contesting one semi final), Old Etonians' opponents were Marlow, who had played in the very first FA Cup.

1886: Small Heath Alliance
In 1886 the club that evolved into Birmingham City joined Swifts in the semis, but they lost out to West Bromwich Albion and Blackburn Rovers.

1887: Glasgow Rangers 
 Every schoolboy knows that Queen's Park of Glasgow reached 2 consecutive FA Cup Finals. Rangers sought to emulate them in the 1886-87 season, when as one of 7 Scottish clubs to enter they reached the semis before losing to Aston Villa at Crewe.

1888: Crewe Alexandra,  Derby Junction
What a final that would have been. The public had to settle for West Bromwich Albion versus Preston North End. 
Crewe would win the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937 but they've not yet had another sniff of FA Cup glory.
Derby Junction were a club formed by the alumni of Junction Street School. They folded in 1895.

1900: Milwall Athletic
Milwall had been Southern League champions in both 1895 and 1896. Their semi final appearance ended in a defeat at the hands of Southampton, also of the Southern League.




Manchester United in Budapest

Standard Athletic Club

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La Coupe Dewar was a knockout tournament contested by Parisian clubs from 1899-1900.
Standard Athletic Club won 4 of the first 6 editions.
Here we see action from the 1902 final in which Standard beat United Sports Club at the ground of Racing.
Standard's winner was scored by Wooley. Their players appear to have been predominantly Englishmen.

Coupe Dewar final, 1902. The ball goes into orbit.


The Edinburgh Cup

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By my reckoning this competition (still played for today in the guise of the East of Scotland Shield) is the third oldest Association football cup tournament in the World. This despite the apparent slowness of the east of Scotland in taking to the game (Rugby was the favoured code).



Hibernian 1880


11.03.76

Third Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers

6

0

Thistle


3ERV became St Bernard’s in 1878.


1876–77

Thistle

Walk over

Third Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers


Revenge after a fashion for Thistle as 3ERV did not turn up.


20.04.78

Heart of Midlothian

3

2

Hibernian


This match required 4 replays to produce a winner, and is credited with cementing the popularity of both clubs.


1

09.02.78

Heart of Midlothian

0

0

Hibernian



2

16.02.78

Heart of Midlothian

1

1

Hibernian



3

23.02.78

Heart of Midlothian

1

1

Hibernian



4

06.04.78

Heart of Midlothian

1

1

Hibernian



5

20.04.78

Heart of Midlothian

3

2

Hibernian





29.03.79

Hibernian

2

0

Heart of Midlothian


Another replay, following a 1-1 draw (01.03.79) . 4,000 watched the first match, whereas the average attendance for the 5 matches the previous season had been 1200.


20.03.80

Hibernian

5

0

Dunfermline


Another replay, albeit in different circumstances. Hibernian won the original match (06.03.80) by 6 goals to 3. Dunfermline protested that crowd encroachment had affected the game so a rematch was ordered. Dunfermline were not connected with the present day Dunfermline Athletic


02.04.81

Hibernian

1

0

St Bernard’s


Hibernian were awarded the trophy in perpetuity having won it 3 times in succession.






Say it with flowers #1

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Wherever it appears on the internet, this picture is invariably described as 
Copa America 1921. Emilio Solari, captain of  Argentina, greeting  Bartolome Brizuela of Paraguay at the 1921 South American Championship of Nations. 
However, Brizuela made his international debut in 1925 and did not appear at the South American Championship of Nations until 1926, whereas Solari's last appearance at the championships was in 1924. 
My theory is that the Paraguay player pictured is in fact the legendary Manuel Fleitas Solich.



The Oval

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In the 1860s London's football was played in public parks such as Clapham Common and Battersea Park. There were no enclosed football grounds.
A significant change occurred on Saturday October 9th 1869, when The Wanderers v West Kent was played at the Kennington Oval, the home of Surrey Cricket Club. This was the first football match to be played at the famous venue.
The cricket ground had been laid out in 1845.
Charles Alcock had good connections in the cricket world. He played for Middlesex and would, in 1872, become secretary of Surrey. He was able to persuade the current Surrey secretary, William Burrup, that allowing the footballers to use the outfield in the winter months was a good thing.
The orientation of pitch was east to west.


Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle 13.10.69


Charles Nepean, scorer of the 1st goals at The Oval 

Over the following 23 seasons The Oval was England's leading football venue, hosting 22 FA Cup Finals (including 2 replays) and 10 internationals (8 v Scotland, 2 v Wales). It was also used as a venue for Rugby.

In 1892 Surrey County Cricket Club made it known that they wouldn’t be allowing any football to be played at The Oval until the end of October.Then, in January 1893, it was announced that because the square had been relaid there would be no football at The Oval that season.


Last day drama -1903

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On Saturday April 18th 1903 (which was FA Cup Final day) The Wednesday completed their League campaign with a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at Owlerton (goals from Andy Wilson, Fred Spikesley and Ambrose Langley).
Sunderland, in second place , just one point behind, had a game in hand.
The following Saturday Sunderland traveled the 20 km to play their local rivals Newcastle United at St James' Park. A win would see them retain the League title (they had won 4 previous titles in total; Aston Villa held the record with 5).
Newcastle went ahead in the 48th minute- a short range effort from Robert Smyth McColl. 
In the latter stages of the game, pressing for the  equalizer, Sunderland changed formation to 1-4-5 (Rhodes 'joining the halves'). Under the rules of the day  this led to  a lot of off sides- much to the anger of the Newcastle fans.

Newcastle United


Sunderland

Charlie Watts

GK

Ned Doig

Andy Aitken

RB

Jimmy Watson

William Agnew

LB

Ephraim 'Dusty' Rhodes

Peter McWilliam

RH

Billy Farquhar

Colin Veitch

CH

Alex Barrie

Jack Carr

LH

Dicky Jackson

Archie Turner

OR

Billy Hogg

Alec Gardner

IR

Robbie Robinson

Bob McColl

CF

Jimmy Millar

Bill Appleyard

IL

Joe Hewitt

Bobby Templeton

OL

Arthur Bridgett


'Toffee Bob' McColl was the founder of a chain of corner shops that can still be seen to this day.



Augusto Rangone

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When we think of Italian managers in the pre war era the name of Vittorio Pozzo will, of course, forever dominate, leading the Azzuri on 95 occasions including 2 World Cup wins.
In the majority of other matches in this era the team was run by a group of coaches referred to as the Technical Committee. They were also overseen by Augusto Rangone for 24 matches, of which they won 12.
The Alessandria manager first contributed to the national scene in 1922 -24 as part of the Technical Committee (along with Umberto Meazza and Augusto Galletti, with Silva and Agostini also contributing for the game on 20.01.24).

03.12.22

Italy

2

2

Switzerland

01.01.23

Italy

3

1

Germany

04.03.23

Italy

0

0

Hungary

15.04.23

Austria

0

0

Italy

27.05.23

Czechoslovakia

5

1

Italy

20.01.24

Italy

0

4

Austria



This lack of success prompted the appointment of Pozzo as national coach, a position he held for 5 games, including the 1924 Olympic tournament.
In November 1924 the Technical Committee approach was given another try. This time Rangone, Milano and  Baccani formed the triumvirate.

16.11.24

Italy

2

2

Sweden

23.11.24

Germany

0

1

Italy

19.01.25

Italy

1

2

Hungary

22.03.25

Italy

7

0

France

14.06.25

Spain

1

0

Italy

18.06.25

Portugal

1

0

Italy


In November 1925 Rangone alone was entrusted with the running of the national side. Rangone contributed to the nations first 2 international honours- he oversaw the  first 50% of Italy's victorious Coupe Internationale européenne campaign of 1927-30 and led them to a Bronze medal at the 1928 Olympics.

04.11.25

Italy

2

1

Yugoslavia

08.11.25

Hungary

1

1

Italy

17.01.26

Italy

3

1

Czechoslovakia

21.03.26

Italy

3

0

Irish Free State

18.04.26

Switzerland

1

1

Italy

09.05.26

Italy

3

2

Switzerland

18.07.26

Sweden

5

3

Italy

28.10.26

Czechoslovakia

3

1

Italy

30.01.27

Switzerland

1

5

Italy

20.02.27

Italy

2

2

Czechoslovakia

17.04.27

Italy

3

1

Portugal

24.04.27

France

3

3

Italy

29.05.27

Italy

2

0

Spain

23.10.27

Czechoslovakia

2

2

Italy*

06.11.27

Italy

0

1

Austria*

01.01.28

Italy

3

2

Switzerland*

25.03.28

Italy

4

3

Hungary*

15.04.28

Portugal

4

1

Italy

22.04.28

Spain

1

1

Italy

29.05.28

France

3

4

Italy **

01.06.28

Italy

1

1

Spain **

04.06.28

Italy

7

1

Spain **

07.06.28

Italy

2

3

Uruguay **

09.06.28

Italy

11

3

Egypt **



*Coupe Internationale européenne
** Olympic Games 

As part of Technical Committee:


P

W

D

L

F

A

12

3

4

5

17

18


As sole coach/manager:



P

W

D

L

F

A

24

12

7

5

68

44




Bovril Wins

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Nottingham Forest won the FA Cup in 1898, beating local rivals Derby County 3-1 at Crystal Palace.

Polyteknikkojen urheiluseura (PUS)

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1906

Polyteknikkojen urheiluseura  (PUS) was founded in 1903 at the Helsinki University of Technology. In 1909 they won the national championships. Finland was, at the time, a part of the Russian Empire. The club name was changed to Aalto-yliopiston urheiluseura as recently as 2010. The shin guards on display above are pretty impressive. Note also the gauntlets won by the goalkeeper (seated).

1909



Westfalia Schalke

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1908
The earliest known photograph of Schalke 04 (above) dates from 1908, when the club was still known as Westfalia Schalke. 
At the time of the club's formation in 1904 the protagonists were around 14 years of age.
They came from the neighbourhood of the Consolidation Colliery, and the team still carry the nickname Die Knappen (The Miners).
The class divide in German Association football effectively excluded Schalke from official league competition until 1912.


The World ...1871

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In 1871, when the Wanderers were beginning to feel their omnipotence, they issued a challenge to the Rest of the World.
A number of the players from the 1867 matches were still involved.  The World remained a very metropolitan outfit- R Smith of Queen's Park was now London based and also played for South Norwood.

The match was played at The Oval  on 25.03.71. It ended in a 1-1  draw, with goals from Howard and Dixon .

Both teams lined up 1-1-8
The World: W.R Dent (Forest Club)
W.S Rawson (Westminster School)- capped twice by England 1875-77
R.H Birkett (Clapham Rovers)- represented England at Association and Rugby.

S.R Tatham (Hampstead Heathens)

R.S.F Walker (Clapham Rovers)

G Holden (Clapham Rovers)

H.B Dixon (Westminster School)

W.C Butler (Civil Service)

R Smith (Queen’s Park) - represented Scotland 

in the 1872 international
R Barker (Hertfordshire Rangers) - played for England in the 1872 international
C.J Morice (Crystal Palace)- England international.



Wanderers:
A.F Kinnaird
W.H Gladstone
Q Hogg
C.W Alcock
A.J Baker
W.P Crake
A.W.H Howard
C.E.B Nepean
Hon T.H Pelham
T.C Hooman
R.W.S Vidal




Hibernian 1902

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The 1902 Scottish Cup Final was due to be played at Ibrox on 12th April, but due to the tragic Ibrox disaster the match was delayed until the 26th . The venue was changed to Celtic Park, giving Celtic home advantage in the final, though curiously only 16,000 attended. Hibernian won the match 1–0 through a 75th minute goal from Andy McGeachan.


GK

Harry Rennie*

RB

Archie Gray*

LB

Robert Glen*

RH

Bernard Breslin*

CH

Jimmy Harrower

LH

Alex Robertson*

OR

Johnny McCall

IR

Andy McGeachan

CF

John Divers*

IL

Paddy Callaghan *

OL

Bobby Atherton **


Manager: Dan McMichael


* Scottish international

** Welsh international


Spot The Ball

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Spot the Ball competitions used to be very popular, appearing on the back pages of most newspapers, with large cash prizes on offer.  To mark FA Cup Final day here are 4 Cup Final Spot the Balls. Click on the date to reveal the solution.

1882






1909 





Say it with flowers #2

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     Américo Miguel Tesoriere                                                             Agostinho Fortes Filho

Estadio das LaranjeirasRio de Janeiro 15.10.22. Brazil 2 Argentina 0.

Berlin

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Footballers in Berlin's Tempelhofer Park c.1900. Fantastic berets.


FC Young Boys Bern

The Oval, 1869-70 season

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Having secured the use of the Surrey County Cricket ground at Kennington Oval The Wanderers put it to good use for the 1869-70 season.
Contemporary reports reveal that the Association game was still very much in its infancy. More than one of these fixtures was played between unevenly matched teams who failed to field eleven players.
Of the 19 known matches to have taken place at The Oval that season Wanderers featured in 15. They won 9 of these games and scored 29 goals.
The Wanderers had not yet reached their zenith. During the following 2 years football would undergo significant advances with the introduction of the FA Cup and international matches. The Oval would then assume the mantle of England's premier football venue.
Let's take a look at the first season:


09.10.69

Wanderers

0

2

West Kent

23.10.69

Wanderers

0

2

Old Etonians

27.10.69

Wanderers

3

0

Rochester

06.11.69

Wanderers

2

1

Upton Park

10.11.69

Wanderers

2

1

Royal Engineers

13.11.69

Civil Service

0

1

West Kent

20.11.69

Wanderers

0

0

Gitanos

01.12.69

Wanderers

4

2

Civil Service

04.12.69

Wanderers

2

0

Hampstead Heathens

11.12.69

Wanderers

1

2

Crusaders

14.12.69

Wanderers

1

2

Desperadoes

18.12.69

Civil Service

1

2

Old Harrovians

15.01.70

Wanderers

1

1

Gitanos

19.01.70

Wanderers

1

0

Harrow Pilgrims

22.01.70

Wanderers

3

0

Civil Service

29.01.70

Civil Service

0

2

West Kent

26.02.70

Wanderers

7

0

Forest

05.03.70

English

1

1

Scotch


19.03.70

Wanderers

2

1

Hampstead Heathens





Postponements/ cancellations:

24.11.69

Wanderers

P

P

Crystal Palace

05.02.70

Civil Service played a scratch team instead of the advertised match with Old Etonians
12.02.70

Civil Service

P

P

Old Harrovians


English v Scotch was arranged for this date…
12.02.70

English

P

P

Scotch


Postponed due to frost.
19.02.70

Wanderers

P

P

West Kent


Result or whether played unknown:

18.12.69

Gitanos

?

?

Harrow Pilgrims

05.03.70

Civil Service

?

?

Crusaders

14.03.70

Civil Service

?

?

Royal Engineers


Advertised but not played:

21.12.69

Gitanos

v

Bedouins


Played at Blackheath.
08.01.70

Wanderers

v

Brixton

12.01.70

Wanderers

v

Bedouins



Newton Heath's first competitive match

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Three pence was the price of admission to the North Road ground on 27.10.83 to witness Newton Heath LYR's first competitive match. Three pence to see the FA Cup holders? That seemed to be the deal as the visitors for the first round of the Lancashire Cup were Blackburn Olympic.
Olympic, however, fielded a reserve team.


The Athletic News 31.10.83


The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 29.10.83

Singer's FC

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1885-86
Singer's was a bicycle factory in Coventry. The works team was founded in 1883. 
In 1892 they won 3 cup competitions (The Birmingham Cup, The Wednesbury Cup and The Walsall Cup).
In 1894 the club joined the Birmingham League (finishing 13th out of 16 in each of their first 3 seasons).
Singer's first entered the FA Cup in the 1895-96 season, losing to Burton Swifts.
In 1898 the name of the club was changed to Coventry City.