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What If: The Debenhams Cup

Nearly three years ago back in December 2010 I wrote a blog post about The Debenhams Cup. Go on click the link to head on over and read all about this fascinating if short-lived competition. It only lasted two seasons in the late seventies but it’s qualifying conditions were interesting and it’s a shame it didn’t continue. 

It was contested by the two teams who progressed the furthest from the first round proper of the FA Cup. Therefore only third and fourth division clubs and non-league survivors of the earlier qualifying rounds were eligible. The original blog post lists those clubs that would have contested the Debenhams Cup had it started in 1947 thirty years before it actually did. A comment on the original post mentioned how interesting it would be to see a list of finalists had the competition continued to the present day.

Compiling this list of Debenhams Cup finalists that never were is something I’ve been meaning to do ever since and after three years I’ve finally got round to it. So click through to reveal the list in all it’s glory.

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reblogged from futbolintellect
Bobby Moore after West Ham beat Preston in the 1964 FA Cup Final. (via futbolintellect)

Bobby Moore after West Ham beat Preston in the 1964 FA Cup Final. (via futbolintellect)

footballarchive:

‘Wembley Cup Final 1951’ by Henry Cotterill Deykin. Oil on canvas, 1951.Source: BBC

footballarchive:

‘Wembley Cup Final 1951’ by Henry Cotterill Deykin. Oil on canvas, 1951.

Source: BBC

fillingupmysenses:

Up for the Cup
FA Cup Round 1 day and the Blades are away at Bristol Rovers. A decent excuse to dig out my Blades Rosette, a relic of football watching past. It has a dubious replica of the FA Cup on it with the words The Football Association Cup, however I think I got it at an Anglo Scottish Cup tie v Grimsby or a League Cup tie v Arsenal!

fillingupmysenses:

Up for the Cup

FA Cup Round 1 day and the Blades are away at Bristol Rovers. A decent excuse to dig out my Blades Rosette, a relic of football watching past. It has a dubious replica of the FA Cup on it with the words The Football Association Cup, however I think I got it at an Anglo Scottish Cup tie v Grimsby or a League Cup tie v Arsenal!

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York City’s greatest FA Cup Campaign
Today is FA Cup 1st Round day so it’s fitting that for today’s dose of nostalgia we focus on a cup campaign of yore. Above you can see an article from a 1955 football annual that features the FA Cup exploits of York City during the 1954/55 season. York’s FA Cup campaign that season saw them become the first third division club to contest an FA Cup semi-final replay. On the way they knocked out Scarborough, Dorchester Town, 1953 FA Cup winners Blackpool, Bishop Auckland, Tottenham Hotspur and Notts County. 
York’s cup exploits were all the more sweeter for only five years before they’d sought re-election to the Football League after finishing the 1949/50 season in 22nd and bottom position of the third division north. Season 1953/54 saw them again finish in 22nd position of the same division, avoiding re-election only because the division had previously been expanded to 24 clubs. 
York met the mighty Newcastle United in the FA Cup semi-final played at Hillsborough and held them to a 1-1 draw but perhaps as the picture caption above suggests could have won the game if York City’s talismanic striker Arthur Bottom had managed to get to the loose ball in the Newcastle goalmouth. The replay a few days later was held at Roker Park and Newcastle saw off their third division opponents two nil to reach their third cup final in five years, a final in which they beat Manchester City 3-1 to lift the cup for the fifth time.

York City’s greatest FA Cup Campaign

Today is FA Cup 1st Round day so it’s fitting that for today’s dose of nostalgia we focus on a cup campaign of yore. Above you can see an article from a 1955 football annual that features the FA Cup exploits of York City during the 1954/55 season. York’s FA Cup campaign that season saw them become the first third division club to contest an FA Cup semi-final replay. On the way they knocked out Scarborough, Dorchester Town, 1953 FA Cup winners Blackpool, Bishop Auckland, Tottenham Hotspur and Notts County. 

York’s cup exploits were all the more sweeter for only five years before they’d sought re-election to the Football League after finishing the 1949/50 season in 22nd and bottom position of the third division north. Season 1953/54 saw them again finish in 22nd position of the same division, avoiding re-election only because the division had previously been expanded to 24 clubs. 

York met the mighty Newcastle United in the FA Cup semi-final played at Hillsborough and held them to a 1-1 draw but perhaps as the picture caption above suggests could have won the game if York City’s talismanic striker Arthur Bottom had managed to get to the loose ball in the Newcastle goalmouth. The replay a few days later was held at Roker Park and Newcastle saw off their third division opponents two nil to reach their third cup final in five years, a final in which they beat Manchester City 3-1 to lift the cup for the fifth time.

Nat Lofthouse smoking & boozing after the 1958 FA Cup Final

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reblogged from retrofootball
Nat Lofthouse with the FA Cup | 1958  via retrofootball

Nat Lofthouse with the FA Cup | 1958  via retrofootball

1901 FA Cup Final Sheffield Utd v Tottenham Hotspur at Crystal Palace. Attendance 110000.
The first football game in the World to attract a six figure crowd. (via carltonbasks)

1901 FA Cup Final Sheffield Utd v Tottenham Hotspur at Crystal Palace. Attendance 110000.

The first football game in the World to attract a six figure crowd. (via carltonbasks)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1893
Team shot of the players and the two trophies they won that year. The FA Cup, won for the first time by a Wolves team, after a 1-0 win over Everton and the Birmingham Senior Cup which they won after a 3-0 win over Aston Villa in the final.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1893

Team shot of the players and the two trophies they won that year. The FA Cup, won for the first time by a Wolves team, after a 1-0 win over Everton and the Birmingham Senior Cup which they won after a 3-0 win over Aston Villa in the final.

Filling Up My Senses is a tumblr blog all about Sheffield United. It’s aim is to curate the memories of Blades fans in visual form. Even if you’re not a Sheff Utd fan there’s some great stuff to see. The image above is a collage of the match tickets from the Blades cup runs of 2002/03. Here’s a little something I’ve written about those cup runs & the stand-out memories from some great games.
Typical Blades - Sheffield United’s 2002/03 season

Filling Up My Senses is a tumblr blog all about Sheffield United. It’s aim is to curate the memories of Blades fans in visual form. Even if you’re not a Sheff Utd fan there’s some great stuff to see. The image above is a collage of the match tickets from the Blades cup runs of 2002/03. Here’s a little something I’ve written about those cup runs & the stand-out memories from some great games.

Red, White & Khaki - The Story of the 1915 FA Cup Final


Red, White and Khaki: The Story of the Only Wartime FA Cup FinalA new book all about the only FA Cup Final to be played during wartime will soon be published. Written by Matthew Bell (who co-authored Fit and Proper?: Conflicts and Conscience in an English Football Club) it tells the story of how Sheffield United and Chelsea reached the 1915 FA Final amidst the chaos of a world at war.

"When, on April 24th 1915, Sheffield United captain George Utley lifted the FA Cup, it brought to a close one of the most controversial football seasons in history. The same day, thousands of allied troops were killed or injured in a German poison gas attack near Ypres.

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Vintage Football Fans

Some great shots of football fans from another age. From top to bottom and left to right ..

  • An Everton fan celebrates his team’s 3-0 FA Cup final win over Man City in 1933. 
  • Spectators at the old Crystal Palace football ground get a great if uncomfortable view of the game.
  • West Ham fans at their FA Cup semi against Everton in 1933 at Molineux
  • West Ham fans again. This time on their way to the first Wembley Cup Final in 1923
  • An ecstatic Littlewoods pools winner from the 1930s
  • A Wolves fan in 1949 enjoys a cigarette. Could have been taken yesterday. 

FA Cup Controversy - 13th February 1999 - Arsenal v Sheffield United

13/02/99. FA Cup 5th round. Arsenal won 2-1. Att: 38020.

One of the most controversial FA Cup ties of all-time. Roared on by 6000 fans the Blades fancied themselves for a bit of an upset in this game. Arsenal went in at half-time with a one goal lead courtesy of Patrick Viera. The Blades equalised through Marcelo after an hour and only  a few minutes later the same player nearly snatched the lead when he hit the post. Things were hotting up and the Blades had the Gunners rattled. Then it all kicked off.

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What was: The Debenhams Cup

The Debenhams Cup was a minor English cup competition played for during the late seventies. It took place two seasons only in 1977 and 1978 and was contested by the two teams who progressed the furthest from the first round proper of the FA Cup. Therefore only third and fourth division clubs and non-league survivors of the earlier qualifying rounds were eligible. 

How did the competition come about? Debenhams, a large British retailer, were wanting to get involved with football through some sort of sponsorship deal and they put their idea of a sponsored competition for the smaller less glamorous clubs involved in the FA Cup to FA secretary Ted Croker. He liked the idea and the fact it only added two games to the fixture list and so added an item to a FA Council meeting agenda. This was approved pending agreement from the Football League which was promptly given and so the competition got the green light just prior to the FA Cup first round games of the 76/77 season. This was the first time a sponsor had been associated with the FA Cup.

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