1949 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1949)

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Captains Norman Plummer (Leicester City, left), and Billy Wright (Wolverhampton Wanderers, right) shake hands before the match.

Status: Partially Found

The 1949 FA Cup Final culminated the end of the 68th FA Cup season, occurring on 30th April 1949. Featuring Wolverhampton Wanderers facing and winning against Leicester City at Wembley Stadium to earn its third FA Cup in front of 98,920, this marked the sixth instance the FA Cup was televised.

Background[edit | edit source]

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City, as First and Second Division members respectively, both entered the tournament in the Third Round Proper.[1] Wolves defeated Chesterfield, Sheffield United, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, and defending champions Manchester United to reach the Final.[1] Meanwhile, Leicester City's campaign consisted of it overcoming Birmingham City, Preston North End, Luton Town, Brentford, and Portsmouth.[1] Prior to the Final, Leicester City had never won the Cup, and had in fact made its first Final appearance at the event.[2][3] Meanwhile, Wolves had won it twice, the last time in 1908 after beating Newcastle United 3-1.[4][5] Heading into the match, Wolves were deemed the clear favourites, especially as Leicester lost its goalkeeper Ian McGraw, who suffered a finger injury that later required it to be amputated; and striker Don Revie, who suffered a severe nose injury that prevented him from even travelling to Wembley.[6][3]

Meanwhile, this was the sixth FA Cup to be televised by the BBC. The broadcast followed a similar format to the previous year's FA Cup airing.[7][8] Issue 1,332 of Radio Times also noted that that community singing would occur before the game began, while a massed military band display would commence during half-time.[7][8] Commentary was provided by Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd.[7][8]

The Match[edit | edit source]

The match itself occurred on 30th April 1949 in front of 98,920 fans at Wembley Stadium.[9] Wolves confirmed its favourites status in the 13th minute when Jesse Pye scored to give his side the lead.[3][9] After 42 minutes, Pye doubled his team's lead.[9] Nevertheless, despite Leicester's poor start to the Final, it began a recovery when Mal Griffiths pulled one back for his side after 47 minutes.[3][9] It looked like Leicester had secured an equaliser just a few minutes afterwards from forward Ken Chisholm, but this was ultimately disallowed.[3]

This essentially allowed Wolves to maintain control, with Sammy Smyth scoring the final goal at the 64 minute mark.[3][9] From there, Wolves controlled the remaining minutes of the game to secure its third FA Cup.[9][3] The club would later win its fourth and to date final Cup in 1960 by defeating Blackburn Rovers 3-0, with the team making eight appearances in the Final overall.[10][4] Meanwhile, Leicester City lost out in the Finals of the 1961, 1963, and 1969 editions, before finally winning its first Cup after 137 years of trying by beating Chelsea 1-0 in the 2021 Final.[11][2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Like most early televised football matches, the 1949 FA Cup Final was broadcast 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.[13] Thus, all televised coverage of the Final is now permanently missing. Nevertheless, newsreel footage of the match remains publicly available.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

British Pathé newsreel of the match.
Another British Pathé newsreel of the match.
A third British Pathé newsreel of the match.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers side are congratulated for their win.
British Movietone News newsreel of the match.


Images[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Association Football/Soccer Media[edit | edit source]

Early BBC Sports Television[edit | edit source]

Early BBC Television[edit | edit source]

Early Sports Television Media[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]