1948 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1948)

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Manchester United captain Johnny Carey lifted onto the shoulders of Charlie Mitten (left) and Jack Cromptom (right) with the trophy.

Status: Partially Found

The 1948 FA Cup Final culminated the end of the 67th FA Cup season, occurring on 24th April 1948. Featuring Manchester United facing and winning against Blackpool at Wembley Stadium to earn its second FA Cup in front of 99,842, this marked the fifth instance the FA Cup was televised.


Both Manchester United and Blackpool, as First Division members,[1] entered the tournament in the Third Round proper.[2] Manchester United defeated Aston Villa, Liverpool, Charlton Athletic, Preston North End, and Derby County to reach the Final.[2] Notably, all five clubs were also in the First Division.[1] Meanwhile, Blackpool's campaign consisted of it overcoming Leeds United, Chester City, Colchester United, Fulham, and Tottenham Hotspur.[2] Prior to the Final, Blackpool had never won the FA Cup,[3] while Manchester United won it in 1909 but had failed to reach the Final since.[4] Manchester United were deemed the favourites heading in, in an event where they had to wear blue shirts and white shorts, while Blackpool were made to wear white shirts with black shorts.[5] This was a decision made by the FA, who wanted to avoid the possibility of a colour-clash.[5]

Meanwhile, this was the fifth FA Cup Final to be televised by the BBC. After being only allowed to televise 40 minutes of the previous year's FA Cup Final because of restricted domestic energy usage,[6] the BBC were now able to present full coverage of the event.[7][8] This included not only the game itself, but also the teams' presentations to King George VI before the match started, as well as the King and Queen Elizabeth presenting the FA Cup and medals following the match's conclusion.[7][8] Commentary was provided by Jimmy Jewell and Walter Winterbottom.[9][7][8]

The Match

The match itself occurred on 24th April 1948 in front of 99,842 fans at Wembley Stadium.[10] While Manchester United was deemed the favourites going in and had controlled play, it was actually Blackpool who took the lead, when Stan Mortensen being brought down led to a penalty, which Eddie Shimwell converted after 12 minutes.[5][10] United's Jack Rowley secured an equaliser after 28 minutes thanks to a Jimmy Delaney pass, but Stan Mortensen put Blackpool back in front seven minutes later after converting a cross from Mortensen.[5][10]

In the second half however, United fought back, Rowley scoring his second goal in the 70th minute after sprinting between two Blackpool players.[5][10] Blackpool nearly made it 3-2 when a strong shot by Mortensen was saved by United goalkeeper Jack Crompton.[5] This turned the tide of the match, with United taking the lead via a Pearson shot twenty yards from the Blackpool goal at the 80th minute.[5][10] Three minutes later, John Anderson added a fourth goal for United.[5][10] The game ultimately ended 4-2, thus ending Manchester United's FA Cup drought.[5][4][10] Since then, United has gone on to win 12 FA Cups, while also appearing in the final 19 times.[4] Blackpool would later win its only FA Cup in 1953, defeating Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in the Final.[11][3] The 1948 FA Cup Final was also considered “one of the greatest cup finals in history” at the time.[5]


Like all early television programs, the 1948 FA Cup Final was televised live and is not known to have been recorded, as recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[12] In fact, a telerecording would not occur until England's game against Italy on 30th November 1949.[9] Thus, all televised coverage of the Final is now permanently missing. Nevertheless, newsreel footage of the match remains publicly available.



British Pathé newsreel of the match.

Another British Pathé newsreel showing King George VI shaking hands with the players.

British Movietone News newsreel of the match.

More footage of the match.


See Also

Association Football/Soccer Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television

Early Sports Television Media