1947 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1947)

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Charlton players celebrating their FA Cup win.

Status: Partially Found

The 1947 FA Cup Final culminated the end of the 66th FA Cup season, occurring on 26th April 1947. Featuring Charlton facing and winning against Burnley at Wembley Stadium to earn its first FA Cup in front of an audience of 99,370, this marked the fourth instance the FA Cup was televised, and the first since the end of the Second World War.


Charlton Athletic as a First Division member,[1] entered the tournament in the Third Round proper. It defeated Rochdale, West Brom, Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, and Newcastle United to reach the Final.[2] Notably, Charlton became the first London club to appear in consecutive FA Cup Finals. Meanwhile, Burnley was a Second Division member,[3] and also therefore entered the Third Round. The team overcame Aston Villa, Coventry City, Luton Town, Middleborough, and Liverpool to qualify for the Final.[2] Prior to the Final, Charlton had never won the FA Cup,[4] while Burnley won the 1913/14 edition.[5] Charlton were looking to redeem themselves after losing the 1946 FA Cup Final to Derby County and following an unsuccessful First Division campaign.[6][1]

Meanwhile, the BBC had resumed its Television Service on 7th June 1946.[7] With the 1946 FA Cup Final having already occurred on 27th April 1946,[8] the 1947 FA Cup Final would be the first since the 1939 edition to be televised. Prior to this, the BBC had broadcast other football matches, including Charlton's win over Blackburn in the fifth round.[9]

Nevertheless, the BBC experienced resistance to televising the Final, because of the UK's post-war rationing that restricted domestic electricity usage.[10] However, the corporation was given permission by the Labour Government to broadcast the event, albeit only 40 minutes of it according to issue 1227 of Radio Times.[11][12] Nevertheless, some complained to Radio Times, criticising the televising of sport and the double standard Labour's decision appeared to be upholding. The BBC responded that televising sporting events was not only for entertainment purposes, but were of national significance too.[10] Since then, the FA Cup Final has been routinely broadcast, and is one of the events that must be televised on free-to-air channels.[13]

The Match

The match itself occurred in front of 98,215 fans at Wembley Stadium. Burnley were the stronger side initially, with Billy Morris just missing the target, but Charlton striker Chris Duffy almost got his side in front, were it not for a Harold Mather clearance just before the goal line. Peter Kippax, Burney's top player, missed several crucial shots for his side. A notable incident also occurred where the ball burst, which also happened in the previous year's Final.[14] At 0-0 after 90 minutes, extra time was required. Eventually, a cross into the Burnley box allowed for Duffy to score the winning goal. Burnley appealed for a penalty later on after Harold Phipps tackled Ray Harrison to the ground, after Harrison was dribbling towards the Charlton goal.[15] However, this appeal was rejected by the referee, allowing Charlton to win its first, and to date, only, FA Cup.[16][4]


Like all early television programs, the 1947 FA Cup Final was televised live and was unlikely to have been directly recorded. Although there were means of achieving this following the Second World War, recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[17] Thus, televised footage of the match is most likely permanently missing. Nevertheless, some newsreel footage of the match itself remains publicly accessible.



British Pathé newsreel of the match.

Another British Pathé newsreel of the match.

Movietone News newsreel of the match.


See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media


  1. 1.0 1.1 World Football detailing the 1946/47 First Division table. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  2. 2.0 2.1 RSSSF detailing the road to the 1947 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  3. Football Site detailing the 1946/47 Second Division table. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  4. 4.0 4.1 Charlton Athletic's trophy cabinet. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  5. 11v11 detailing Burnley's trophy cabinet. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  6. Archived FA-Cup Finals detailing the 1946 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  7. BBC detailing the return of BBC Television Service following the Second World War. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  8. Archived FA-Cup Finals detailing the 1946 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  9. Archived Off the Telly detailing the BBC securing broadcasting the Charlton-Blackburn game. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  10. 10.0 10.1 Copyright and the Challenge of the New detailing the BBC's challenges in broadcasting the 1947 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  11. BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues listing the 1947 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  12. Issue 1,227 of Radio Times listing the 1947 FA Cup Final's television coverage. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  13. BBC detailing the history of televising the FA Cup Final, including how it must be broadcast on free-to-air channels. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  14. Bartram The Blitz and Beyond detailing the burst ball incidents at consecutive Finals. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  15. Lancashire Telegraph detailing the match. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  16. Charlton Athletic detailing how the club won the FA Cup. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  17. Web Archive article discussing how most early television is missing due to lack of directly recording television. Retrieved 31st Dec '21