1937 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1937)

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Raich Carter scoring for Sunderland

Status: Partially Found

The 1937 FA Cup Final culminated the end of the 62nd FA Cup season. Occurring on 1st May 1937, it featured Sunderland facing and ultimately beating Preston North End at Wembley Stadium in front of an audience of 93,495 to win its first FA Cup.[1] it provided television history by being the first competitive football match to be broadcast live, as well as the first FA Cup Final shown on television too.


Both Sunderland and Preston North End, as First Division members, entered the tournament in the Third Round proper. Sunderland defeated Southampton, Luton Town, Swansea Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Millwall to reach the Final. Meanwhile, Preston North End's journey to the Final consisted of beating Newcastle United, Stoke City, Exeter City, Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion.[2] Prior to the Final commencing, Sunderland had never won the competition,[3] whereas Preston North End were looking to add to their 1889 win.[4]

Meanwhile, the BBC were looking to broadcast football matches for its new Television Service. The 1937 FA Cup Final would be the first match to be televised live, albeit only partially.[5][6] Nevertheless, the broadcast on 1st May 1937 meant it became the first competitive football match to be broadcast. It would also begin the trend of the FA Cup Final being annually broadcast, a staple of free-to-air television. Oddly, the BBC does not recognise its partial broadcast of the 1937 FA Cup Final, stating its first was indeed the 1938 edition.[7] However, both The Guardian and England Football Online claim that it did.[5][6]

The Match

Ultimately, Sunderland would go on to win its first FA Cup. Preston North End had taken the lead on the forty fourth minute thanks to a Frank O'Donnell, but a strong second half for The Black Cats resulted in three goals, coming from Bobby Gurney, Raich Carter and Eddie Burbanks. The club would later win its second, and to date last, FA Cup, in 1973.[8] Meanwhile, Preston North End would redeem itself by winning the 1938 Final, which following the success of the prior FA Cup Final broadcast, would become the first to be fully televised.[9]


Like other early BBC television broadcasts, the 1937 FA Cup was broadcast live and was not recorded. Therefore, any televised footage of the event is most likely permanently missing. However, a fragment of the match itself was recorded for film reels, and is still publicly accessible.



Footage of the match.


See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media