FA Cup Final Vintage 1957-79

England flagAs part of our build up to the FA Cup Final this weekend, today we have our second Cup Final Vintage post dedicated to some of the wonderful photos taken of happy fans preparing for, or enjoying their team’s big Wembley day out. All picture rights rest with their owners. Missing credits available on request.



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FA Cup Final Vintage 1913-56

England flagHowever much the BBC marketing department might tell you otherwise, the FA Cup Final isn’t and never will be the momentous event it once was. I’m Scottish and while our Cup Final was a big event in each season’s calendar, unlike its English counterpart it really never came close to being a cultural occasion that fascinated an entire nation one Saturday in May each year.

Following a club that battled all the way through to a Wembley Final was a thrilling event in the life of a football supporter and we’re dedicating a couple of Vintage posts this week to some of the joyous photographs taken over the decades of fans enjoying their Wembley day out. All picture rights rest with their owners. Missing credits available on request.


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Bill Nicholson – The Player

England flagWhile Spurs claim to have aspirations as top four contenders, the reality is that this has been another subdued season for the club. There was a Wembley Final appearance of course along with wins over Chelsea and bitter rivals Arsenal, but a finish in the Europa League placings will do little to appease the supporters.

Chairman Daniel Levy insists that if the club are to break into the Champions League places on a consistent basis, they simply have to move to a new stadium. Earlier this month that switch began in earnest with the removal of the entrance gates named after the very man whose success the club has been trying to emulate for over forty years.

Bill Nicholson, TottenhamDespite what Tim Sherwood might say, Bill Nicholson was the most successful manager in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. In 16 years at the helm ‘Billy Nick’ secured a League Championship, three FA Cup and two League Cup wins. Spurs became the first club in the 20h century to complete the mythical Double and there was European glory to accompany the domestic success too. Nicholson oversaw the first British side to win a European trophy – the Cup Winners Cup in 1963 – then added the UEFA Cup nine years later for good measure.

His managerial record is well-known, but those of us who began watching the team at the end of his time there have only vague knowledge of Bill Nicholson the player. Sadly his exploits on the field are not so comprehensively documented, but during a long career he did manage to break one national record that’s unlikely to ever be superseded .

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The White Horse FA Cup Final 1923 Vintage

England flagBolton Wanderers and West Ham United. One of the more unusual aspects of the 1923 FA Cup Final is how few people remember the teams that contested the Final that year. On no other occasion in its long and illustrious history has the FA’s showpiece event been all about what happened off the pitch rather than on it.

This match was the first to be played at the newly constructed Wembley Stadium and, ironically, the FA had concerns it would be unable to fill the new ground’s huge 125,000 capacity. Those doubts were misplaced. A combination of public curiosity about the new venue, an extensive advertising campaign, good public transport links and a London team participating in the Final meant interest in the occasion would be unprecedented.

Wembley was full hours before kick off, but dangerous congestion outside the turnstiles caused many thousands of supporters to climb over the now locked gates and into the packed stadium.
It’s estimated that any number between 200,000 and 300,000 fans gained admission making this probably the biggest unofficial attendance in world football history.

The match finally started 45 minutes late after the intervention of mounted policemen to clear fans who had overflowed right to the edge of the pitch. One of the police horses was named Billie and her distinctive white colour ensured she would be remembered as the visual icon of that day. Ninety years later the 1923 FA Cup Final is still known as the White Horse Final. This Vintage post visually recreates the madness of that day in some sort of chronological order.

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Everton’s European Enigma

England flagThe European club competition party is the event of the year. Liverpool and Chelsea sit on the stairs flirting outrageously with a gaggle of giggling girls; Manchester United spin some banging tunes on the decks in the dining room; Nottingham Forest and Arsenal wow the kitchen crowd with their cocktail mixology skills while Leeds, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Ipswich Town regale the living room folks with a procession of fabulously witty anecdotes. Assured by the rest that their invitation must have been lost in the post but had definitely, absolutely, probably been sent; Everton sit at home on the sofa with a Pot Noodle watching Cash In The Attic.

Romelu Lukaku

Everton’s enduringly difficult relationship with European football was forcefully brought home during one of their Europa League ties earlier this season. Upon Romelu Lukaku scoring his second goal of the evening at Goodison against the limp Young Boys of Berne, the match commentator informed his ITV4 audience that the Belgian had now become Everton’s record scorer in European competition history.

Just seven days earlier Lukaku had but two European goals to his name before a five goal spree over the two games against the Swiss side upped his total to seven, bettering Fred Pickering’s six Fair’s Cup goals in the 1960s. The Belgian forward would even extend that record to eight goals by the time Everton’s campaign ended, although this still didn’t seem very many to me.

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Aston Villa Vintage 1971-73

EnglandThe second post in our Aston Villa Vintage series brings you another collection of retro player and team images from the years 1971 to 1973. These seasons were probably the worst in Villa’s history with the club suffering a punishing relegation to Division 3 in 1970.

It would take two seasons of toil before Division 2 status was restored under manager Vic Crowe – still an underwhelming achievement for a club  of Villa’s stature of course.


Yugoslavs In France Eleven

YugoslaviaSo impressed was Pelé with the technical ability of the Yugoslavian footballers he played against that he labelled them as ‘the Brazilians of Europe’. He was more right than he realised. As well as parallels in the natural flair of the players both countries produced, Yugoslavia became just as prodigious an exporter of its talent to other countries as Brazil.

FranceOne big difference between the two was that many Yugoslavs forged great reputations in the west despite not being permitted officially to move abroad earlier than 28, an age when many were past their peak. Even with this significant obstacle you could create a brilliant Eleven for almost any League in Europe based around late-career Yugoslav players whose talents crossed borders so seamlessly.

We have done just that here with our Yugoslavs in France Eleven, a team consisting of capped Yugoslav internationals who, in our view, made the biggest impact on Ligue 1. Click on More below to read in more detail about the players we have selected.

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