This weekend (Saturday 4th January 2014), Bolton Wanderers will play Blackpool in the third round of the FA Cup at the Reebok Stadium.
61 years ago, these two teams competed against each other in the 1953 FA Cup Final (the “Matthews Final”), with Blackpool coming out on top. The British Pathé archive has original newsreel coverage of that match. Click here to take a look.
We also have some silent footage from the game that never made it into the final edited newsreel:
The archive holds a great many other FA Cup matches, including nearly every Final from 1920 to 1970, and all of these are viewable on the British Pathé website. A good tip: Don’t put the year of the match in the search box. Search for the team and filter by date afterwards using the year slider.
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:
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.
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.
It was the first times Wales has beaten England in over 17 years. An exciting piece of 1950s football footage with great crowd shots conveying the anxiety and ecstasy of the fans, in the hectic match Welsh centre-forward John Charles even scores an own-goal with his head at one point.
“Even the war hasn’t affected the billiard table smoothness of the Wembley grass… Wales are buzzing around the English goal like bees round a honey pot”
After a fairly equal start Wales suddenly smash Britain with goal after goal. A brilliant 1930s football reel from Pathé with great quality close-up shots for the period. Some of the details are fantastic too – look out for the giant cigarettes advert on the stadium’s roof!
A mute clip of course as we’re now way back in the 1920s! Lovely shots of the teams coming out of the tunnel, and of players congratulating and cordially shaking hands with the Welsh player upon scoring a goal.
MORE WALES Vs. ENGLAND FOOTAGE:
There are considerably more reels of Wales being defeated by England, and so rather than go into them individually we’ve put them all together for you on this page here: