Earlier in January, the Football Association kicked off celebrations to mark its 150th anniversary.
The FA was established in 1863 and codified the modern rules of that great English sport. Not too long after, in 1871, the very first FA Cup match was held. Sadly, this was too early to be captured by motion picture cameras and the first FA Cup material photographed by British Pathé seems to be some shots of the winning 1914 Burnley team (they beat Liverpool 1-0). The earliest actual in-game footage, though, appears in the clip “ASTON VILLA WIN English Cup for the sixth time – defeating Huddersfield in Cup Final by a lucky goal after extra time”. The film dates from 1920. Almost all of the Cup Final matches were covered by British Pathé from that date on, until the company finished newsreel production in 1970. A collection of the films can be explored here, in date order.
As well as coverage of the FA Cup, the British Pathé archive holds a wealth of other great games and classic football moments. Simply searching for “football” on our website brings up an astonishing 2333 clips - far too many to detail here! But some particularly interesting material can be found via these links:
That cherished World Cup win for England was filmed in colour and a special 9-minute newsreel summarised the game for cinema audiences. Re-live the match by watching it here.
A Football Legend – Pele, Brazil v Sweden, 1958
Brazilian footballer Edison Arantes do Nascimento (or “Pele”) performed so well at the 1958 World Cup Final v Sweden that it was documented in an episode of A Day That Shook The World. Click here to view the episode.
A Great Goal - Helmut Rahn, West Germany v Hungary, 1954
The late Helmut Rahn of Germany scored the winning goal in the 1954 World Cup final. He was playing for West Germany against Hungary. Click here to view the film.
Another Great Goal - Ferenc Puskas, England v Hungary, 1953
The year before, it was the Hungary team which was scoring with exceptional skill. Ferenc Puskas, that legendary player and coach, was playing against England when he scored this terrific goal. Click here to view the film.
Filmed in 1966. Click here to watch.
The Chelsea team sing “Blue Is The Colour” in this 1970 film.
Newsreels from 1918 onwards document the attitudes towards women’s football and illustrate its growing popularity over time. Click here for a collection.
Visit British Pathé’s collection of FA Cup Final coverage, 1920-1970, here.
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Search the archive for more football clips. If you find some worth highlighting, leave us a comment below!